Plain Talk 3
What I will try to accomplish in this section is to address some of the nagging problems which I feel were not sufficiently explored in my earlier reports. Here they are:
#1 - It will be remembered that the Los Angeles County Grand Jury met on June 7, 1968 in the Sirhan case. One of the items which the LACGJ received in evidence on that date was the Sirhan gun, however, nowhere in that entire LACGJ Transcript was the serial number of that gun recorded. A gun in evidence without a serial number!! Now let us take a look at what transpired at the Sirhan trial with respect to that gun’s unrecorded id number.
There is an official Property Receipt in SUS files with Sirhan’s DR No. (68-521 466) at the upper right. The box on the upper left lists the officer who authorized release of evidence Item numbers (1-14) to the trial court custody as Sgt. F.J. Patchett #7872 Homi. The box listing “person issuing this receipt (name, serial no. Div.)” is left blank - so, where was this gun (also without a serial number) transferred from? It will be remembered that on Aug. 24, 1968 gun id # H 53725 was illegally transferred from LACGJ custody to SUS under documents marked CONFIDENTIAL. That secret SUS transfer was a patent violation of Judge Arthur Alarcon’s Los Angeles County Grand Jury Court Order dated 6-7-68 which sealed all of the Grand Jury’s Evidence.
The list of evidence items # 1-14 was transferred to the Sirhan court for use in his trial and signed by Court Clerk A. Nishikawa. I noted Item #11 (the gun) is typewritten and bears the following description: “Gun, 22 cal., Iver Johnson Cadet”. That is all - no serial number for this gun appears on this official Property Receipt. However please examine the handwritten number “6” which was written in at a later date. How do I know this? Because number “6” is the Siirhan Trial People’s Exhibit # 6 assigned to the Sirhan gun at Sirhan’s trial when Defense Attorney Cooper stipulated the gun in evidence and therefore could not possibly have been known at the time Court Clerk Nishikawa received evidence items # 1-14. So what does this tell me? That literally there is no way anyone can definitively know the true id number of the Sirhan gun simply because these critical documents lack the gun’s serial number! And further, there isn’t even a Grand Jury Evidence Tag (#7) for the gun LACGJ received in evidence on 6-7-68. But that is not all. There isn’t even an LAPD Evidence Envelope in existence for the alleged Sirhan gun! That is a true fact. I asked California State Archivist Nancy Zimmelman to produce the evidence envelope for the gun in CSA possession so that I might photograph it. She informed me that CSA never received an evidence envelope with the gun. And that is positively borne out by an official SUS document - see the Memorandum To: John E. Howard, Chief Deputy District Attorney From: Sidney D. Trapp, Jr., Deputy District Attorney. As to a chain of custody for the gun- forget it.
Even in 1975 in accordance with the Judge Robert Wenke Court Order calling for the refiring of the Sirhan gun and examination of certain items of evidence - the transfer documents in SUS still do not record the gun’s serial number. (see attached document)
The above events were not oversights. What does one do when it is impossible to commit to a gun’s serial number in writing? Simple, omit it from the records! click here
#2 -Shortly after Sirhan’s arrest Sirhan raised his right clenched fist. I immediately told Mary Sirhan to tell Sirhan it was a terrible thing to do and to stop it. He listened to her and never repeated it. Also, very shortly after Sirhan’s arrest he told ACLU Attorney A.L. Wirin that he killed Robert F. Kennedy. Wirin told this to both Robert Blair Kaiser and at a later date Wirin told the same thing to me and added :“Don’t waste your time” And why I wondered was Wirin - in my opinion- “poisoning the well”. I ask, who else did Wirin tell that to? Why?
This of course made me ask myself what could possibly be going on and so I asked Deputy Public Defender Wilbur Littlefield (Sirhan’s earliest attorney) if Sirhan also confessed RFK killing to him. His response was “no”. Why not? Could it be that Sirhan was carrying out post-hypnotic suggestions/commands ? I posed that question to Dr. Herbert Spiegel and he told me “yes” that behavior was very consistent with post-hypnotic commands in a hypno-programmed subject. I am not trying to make a case one way or another - I am just stating the true facts. Also, it will be remembered on Mary’s first visit with Sirhan after the assassination she asked him :”Son, why did you do this?” To which he responded : “I was told I did it”. In all of my visits with Sirhan his loss of memory of the pantry scene events has never wavered. I positively believe he was being truthful and truly suffers from a memory block of what happened in the pantry. I want to state that I am not Sirhan’s apologist. I firmly believe Sirhan was hypnotized that awful night in the Ambassador Hotel Pantry. Also, if Sirhan was the killer - then why was there a need for false evidence?
Recently Dr. Daniel Brown questioned Sirhan under hypnoses in deprogramming sessions to bring back Sirhan’s memory of the pantry events. Had I talked with Dr. Brown prior to his sessions with Sirhan I would have suggested Dr. Brown ask Sirhan what he remembers about the raised fist salute (were they instructions ?) and ask him does he remember telling Wirin that he killed Robert F. Kennedy? But, that unfortunately is a lost opportunity.
# 3-I discovered a very clear photograph of Sirhan’s gun box with Mary Sirhan’s handwriting “this is Sirhan’s gun box” and was fortunate to have a Lebanese young man translate the Arabic writing into English. One of the things that continues to puzzle me about that gun box is that Sirhan always kept the gun in its box. So why wasn’t it among the items of evidence removed from Sirhan’s car when it was searched? Where exactly was it on 6-5-68 ? It wasn’t in the Sirhan home on 6-5-68. So, when, how and why was that gun box hidden away in the back of the bottom shelf of the Sirhan living room bookcase? (It will be remembered that is where Adel Sirhan discovered it in 1994) click here
# 4- Here you will see clearer copies of documents in SUS files about Sirhan firing blanks at the gun range . These documents fully corroborate Sirhan’s telling me that he met a young man at the Fish Canyon Firing Range and that the young man had received a gun for his eighteenth birthday. He was firing blanks and shared those blanks with Sirhan. That is not to say that Sirhan had blanks in his gun when he left the firing range. Still, that is a record in SUS files about Sirhan firing blanks at the gun range and it corroborates what Sirhan told me (that he fired blanks in his gun at the gun range on June fourth).click here
# 5- Sirhan’s handwritten account of attorney Cooper’s refusal to even listen to Sirhan about his not having a memory of the pantry shooting is virtually unchanged from his 1993 note which he asked Adel to give to me and his letter to Pepper/Dusek dated 10-7-2010..click here
# 6- Take a close look at the two different test firing dates: On 6-5-68 the .22cal Iver Johnson revolver with serial # H53725 was fired for (four) comparison test bullets (GJ5B). Now examine the test firing of an Iver Johnson .22 cal revolver with serial # H18602 for comparison (three) test bullets (Peo. Ex. 55). Take a close look at the date and you will see the number “ 6 “ appears to have been superimposed over what looks like the number “ 5”. However, even if one were to dismiss the conflicting dates on Peo. Ex. 55 there remains a far greater problem . It will be remembered LAPD Officer Wolfer stated under oath that LAPD Officer Lee removed the Jake Williams gun (H18602) from LAPD Property Division on 6-11-68 for the purpose of conducting distance and sound level tests. So, how exactly did it happen that Officer Lee removed the Jake Williams gun (H18602) on either June 5 or 6 from LAPD Property Division when Wolfer stated under oath that Officer Lee removed H18602 on 6-11-68? Why is Peo. Ex. 55 PREDATED ? IMPOSSIBLE! Then, GJ5B containing the four badly damaged test bullets from test gun # H53725 was not transferred to the Sirhan trial - it was in fact suppressed and well -hidden supposedly still in the custody of the LACGJ - however, the records marked CONFIDENTIAL clearly show the illegal transfer to SUS custody on Aug. 24, 1968 (gun id #H53725). Just how could these violations have taken place?
Had the Los Angeles Police Department had been allowed to conduct their own investigation without having been taken over by SUS we would not be facing these problems today. But, they were not. Instead, the ultra- secret SUS was quickly formed and they hand-picked their own team. This top-secret SUS outfit took over the entire RFK investigation - out of LAPD hands - and then went about the business of cooking up a batch of their own rotten “evidence”. I found ample proof of this again and again.
# 7-For the serious RFK/Sirhan researcher this is an extremely important discovery: here is a brief review of SUS documents of the two fake mini mag bullet sales receipts. Additionally, I have included Sirhan’s trial testimony about his purchase of the mini mag bullets. If the reader takes the time to carefully examine each document it will be seen that without the slightest doubt in the world that the Sportarm receipt #2372 is a fraudulently manufactured document which has Sirhan’s DR number 68 521466 on the right and at the bottom is the FBI identification # 7607G67 !! Compare with the Lock Stock”n Barrel receipt also #2372. Take note of Sirhan’s trial testimony wherein he testifies that he bought one box of mini mag bullets and not two boxes as seen in Lock, Stock’n Barrel receipt # 2372. My source of this critically important photograph of Lock, Stock ‘n Barrel receipt # 2372 shows its condition prior to its chemical burning which I received from the California State Archives RFK Collection in Sacramento, Ca. I am greatly indepted to CSA staff for their assistance in my acquiring this rare copy of this extremely important photograph.
There is also the matter of the same FFL number on both Sportarm and Lock, Stock ‘n Barrel receipts. However, when I wrote to ATF to confirm L,S ‘n B’s FFL # I was informed that number was not in their files. And as to my inquiry about Sportarm, there was no record in ATF records for that company.click here
# 8- When one reads Sirhan Trial Transcript page 3967 it will clearly be seen how this sinister Machiavellian cover-up was set in motion. Note the objective was secrecy, e.g. the taking over of LAPD investigation of RFK assassination by the ultra- secret SUS Investigation Team. Following that SUS moved into the Sirhan Trial courtroom itself on February 21, 1969 to seal the agreement between prosecution and defense attorneys to stipulate to literally all of the ballistics evidence. And to make certain there was no last minute glitch, Sirhan Trial Judge Herbert V. Walker presided over that unbelievable cabal.
This is nothing less than a “dirty back room deal”. Not one of those participants present was in a coma, they knew exactly what was taking place And what if that happened to you, to me to everyone? Then what?
Truly, that was one of the darkest days in an American courtroom. And if anyone began probing into that ugliness they were smeared with a broad “Conspiracy Nut” brush.
Well, I am not a “Conspiracy Nut” and I tell you the Emperor is stark naked. Shame on such appalling theft.
# 9- I’d like to clarify the most recent problem I have encountered in this case. It involves errors in both the October 2010 court filing and the April 2011 Supplement filed in the United States District Court by Sirhan attorneys William F. Pepper and Laurie D. Dusek . On taking a closer look at the source of a serious error what I discovered simply puzzled me. That is not to imply either Pepper or Dusek did some bad lawyering here but , to speak plainly something is clearly wrong. It sufficiently bothered me enough to look deeper. This is what I found:
On pages 37 and 38 of the October 2010 court filing and repeated in the April 2010 Supplement Pepper/Dusek present to the court incorrect information that Harper’s pre -trial examination (of the bullets) resulted in his (Harper’s) conclusion that there was no match of the Senator Kennedy, victims Weisel and Goldstein bullets and that this pre -trial information was brought to the attention of Trial Attorney Grant Cooper who failed to act on Harper’s warning. That of course was clearly untrue.
The only source I found by P/D of this stunning misinformation was the attribution of Robert J. Joling and Philip Van Praag,’s book, An Open & Shut Case: How a “rush to judgment” led to failed justice in the Robert F. Kennedy Assassination viii (2008).
When I carefully examined page viii of the above cited Joling/Van Praag book I immediately found the source of that misinformation. There was no mention of the fact that it was in actuality Sirhan Trial Attorney Grant Cooper who advised Ted to seek out Harper for his evaluation of the ballistics evidence (after the trial had ended) . This is extremely important since it addresses the correct time-line of Harper’s earliest introduction to the Sirhan ballistics evidence.
The truth of exactly how and when criminalist Wm. Harper entered this case is this: One day a few months after the Sirhan Trial concluded Ted Charach came to the Sirhan home and while having tea with Mary and me Ted made the comment that attorney Grant Cooper did an excellent job defending Sirhan and that he charged no fee. Since I had read the Sirhan Trial Transcripts I knew differently and I told Charach in very sharp words why I disagreed with him - which of course included my finding of faulty ballistics evidence. When Charach heard my strong criticism of Cooper’s defense he immediately got up from his chair and said that he was going to tell Cooper about my charges.
The way Charach reacted to what I had just said I really thought he was out looking for trouble, eg, a sensationalist story to write about, so I warned Charach to be sure to tell Cooper that it was me and not Mary Sirhan who is attacking his “defense “ of Sirhan. Charach immediately went to see Cooper to tell him about my stinging criticism. Cooper’s response was to give Charach Harper’s phone number and address and to tell him to go to Harper and let him see what my charges were based on. Following his meeting with Cooper Charach returned to the Sirhan home and related to me Cooper’s advising him to pay Harper a visit. Charach then asked to borrow the Sirhan Trial Transcript I relied on - vol.15 - as that is where I found most of the ballistics problems. Those were the precise circumstances under which I loaned vol. 15 to Ted to take to Harper for him to examine for the first time. Indeed when Harper read the pages I cited he (Harper) fully agreed with my findings - he too found something was definitely wrong with the Sirhan ballistics evidence. And that is precisely when and how Wm. Harper actively became involved in Sirhan case research. The trial was over when Harper examined the Sirhan bullets and the gun for the first time and therefore did not perform the pre-trial ballistics examination Pepper/Dusek write about in their Oct. 2010 and April 2011 court filings. Aside from my own personal experience about when it was that Harper actually became involved in the Sirhan ballistics there are several documents from SUS files which I am here including which fully attests to when and how Harper was given access to Sirhan case bullets and gun.
It appears to me P/D’s account stems from the pages viii and ix of Joling/Van Praag’s book Open & Shut Case (I include page ix as it is a continuation on the subject of Harper)) It was not until September/October 1970 time- line that Sirhan Appellate Attorney George Shibley wrote a letter to the Los Angeles County Clerk’s Office authorizing Wm. Harper be given access to the Sirhan Trial ballistics evidence for examination purposes.
Thus it was that Cooper played a pivotal role in bringing William Harper into Sirhan case appellate phase for it was positively he who advised Charach to bring my criticisms of the evidence to Harper’s attention. If not for Ted’s tenacious tracking down of a promising story Harper’s curiosity and ultimate entry into the case would not have occurred. There were many times when Charach nearly drove me out of my mind with his relentless hounding to learn what I was working on and then wouldn’t stop until I provided him with a copy. That whirlwind of a man gave no quarter; when he wanted something you had - God help you - he was going to get it. But, that was his style - he just wore you down until he got what he was after.
In spite of my frequent trying experiences with Ted, I feel he truly deserves his place in history for his outstanding investigative work in the RFK/Sirhan case. With respect to attorney Cooper, though I strongly disagreed with his defense of Sirhan I feel he showed real character when he advised Charach to contact Harper about the evidence. As to both Harper and Dr. Noguchi’s role - there are no words that I can possibly use to adequately express my great admiration for them. Sadly, even Harper’s smarts were no match for SUS’ enormous power. We see from the above (which represents only a portion of the serious problems I discovered with the evidence) that SUS answered to absolutely no one - not even the law. Since when is that acceptable?