Plain Talk Six


This section will tidy up a number of issues concerning the Sirhan evidence. (please Click here for all exhibits cited in this work)


# 1  - One of which is the William Price interview  which includes Price’s description of the Sirhan gun box lining. Additionally,  and far more important , Price ( Erhard’s friend)  accompanied Erhard when they drove up to the Howard Street address  to sell Erhard’s gun to  fellow employee Joe  from Nash’s Department store.  Price  witnessed the sale of Erhard’s gun to  “Joe”  (Munir Sirhan used the name Joe).  Price is clear that it was Joe  who bought the gun from George Erhard.  Unfortunately, George Erhard  failed to issue a receipt of that transaction  (which would have memorialized the gun’s serial number).  On one of my visits with Sirhan I did in fact ask him if he remembered ever examining the gun for its serial number. His response was “no”.


# 2  - While I’m on the subject of the Sirhan gun box I want to state  my reasons  for strongly  disagreeing with Lowell Bradford’s conclusions  of a  specific question I sought: “Did the  torn gun  box label  come from the Sirhan gun box? “  Bradford’s examination  (Report of Evaluation - No. 7182)  consisted  of his placing the torn gun label on top of the gun  box  in the location where a gun label had once been.  So what is wrong with that? Well, the gun label  (#H53725 ) suffers from a MISSING piece of the label  located  at the upper left  hand corner. Therefore, it is not an intact label. Furthermore, that missing piece of the torn gun label was not affixed to the gun box. So, how could anyone declare with an absolute certainty that the torn gun  label came from that gun box ?   Additionally, as I pointed out in an earlier report Bradford did not perform any scientific tests on the paper/glue residue from both the gun box and the underside of the gun label. Then too, Bradford does not  make  any mention  in his report that there is a missing piece of the  torn gun label  and that the missing piece is not affixed to the gun box. That evidentiary information is extremely important and clearly, Bradford should have  included  that information in his report.  But, unfortunately, he did not.


( I was standing right next to Bradford in the CSA examining room and observed him place the torn gun label on top of the  Sirhan gun box  (where a gun label had once been affixed).   I clearly observed  there appeared to be a  few traces of paper/glue residue on the gun box  - I repeat - the missing portion of the torn gun label was not present on the gun box)


But there is more to this affair: I am also somewhat  displeased  with Bradford  for refusing  to take photographs of the grease-like coating he observed on both the sides and the bases of the Sirhan evidence  bullets. I am including two letters from Bradford  to me in which he specifically states he will “ make a photographic record of the findings”. Both Teeter and I asked him  several times to please photograph the condition of the bullets (specifically showing the grease on the sides and bases of the bullets).  After Bradford observed  the grease on the bullets he  abruptly terminated the examination with these words: “There goes your evidence - down the drain” - and at the same time -up went  his arms and he moved his chair away from the examining table.  His body language said it all -” this examination is TERMINATED !”  When our party , who was observing the proceedings through a large window outside the examining room saw what was taking place,  complete chaos  erupted  and they burst into the examining room. In  came  Paul Nellen, a reporter who had flown in from Hamburg, Germany  and the other invited observers CSA rules be damned,  they wanted to see for themselves what was happening.


(The guests who were invited to witness the examination in progress were first cleared with CSA staff and were barred , as an extra precaution, from  entering the examining room. The only persons permitted in the examining room while the examination was in progress  were  the examiner, archive staff,  their assistants , the law enforcement officer and the person who requested the examination  ( myself)   My son Gary McQueary was permitted in the examining room  to film only  portions of the proceedings.  At the outset,  Bradford  made it very  clear to my son that he (Bradford) was in charge of what Gary would be permitted to film (that was the reason for the starts and stops in Gary’s film).   And with that caveat  in place  Gary remained in the examination room but stayed a good distance away from the evidence. Thus it was that the observers were restricted  to watching  the examination through the large window.  And so when they clearly saw Bradford’s  strange and  sudden reaction  ( his raising his arms up while pushing away his chair from the  examining table) all rules and regulations went out the window.  It almost looked like  a free-for-all.  Nellen  suddenly burst into  the room holding  his camera equipment and at that point  Gary  left his assigned position and joined Nellen.  We (I joined in placing Peo. 47 in its upright position)  were actually handling and  positioning   Peo. 47 which would allow  filming the bullet  base  up close.  That is how it came about that both Nellen and my son were able to take up-close photographs of the grease on the Kennedy neck bullet - Peo. Ex. 47s.  There is no question they acted as they did because Bradford appeared to freeze when he saw the grease -smeared bullets and refused outright to proceed further.   His examination was at an end and  though his assignment called for providing me with photographs of the  bullets his  finding of grease  on the bullets  changed   everything.  I  believe he should have  photographed  the  altered and damaged condition of the evidence before him.


I think what happened is that Bradford saw that  Larry was getting in over his head and he wanted no active role in this sorry case   A  limited  passive role was OK.  Bradford led a happy ,successful and contented  life ; he didn’t  need this troublesome  headache.  


 I couldn’t speak up  at the time of the examination -  and  besides who was I going to complain to?  Who on earth  was going to listen to me ?  There is  no question about it , this is a dirty case.


 I also want to add that  Bradford failed to mention in his report that I requested  he take photographs of his  bullet examination and that  agreed to do so,  and also that he would bring the necessary camera equipment for the purpose.


It is not my wish to  disparage  Bradford’s  impressive reputation. I am not. I simply disagree with his  “examination “  due to the fact that  he reached  his conclusion within a  matter of a few minutes, an examination which I feel  should have included  the removal of  a small sample of the  paper/glue residue from the gun box and  from the underside of the  torn gun label ( for scientific comparison tests) .  In short,  Bradford’s  report  lacks the necessary scientific data without which he cannot conclusively declare that the  gun label  indeed  belonged to the Sirhan gun box.


# 3  -  In an earlier report I made a brief reference to  a few pages from the Judge Wenke Hearing Transcripts  which  I discovered in  Dep. A.G. Lou Karlin’s Informal Response. Those few pages contained the extraordinary information of a custodial gap of the Sirhan evidence - from : “…at least 1968 through ’73...”  (it should correctly read 1969 through ’73 because  1969 is the year the trial ended).  Now  we see  the  post -trial  custodial gap in  the chain of custody of the Sirhan Trial Evidence  was  eclipsed by  far more serious problems .  Therefore, I now ask:   Where was the Sirhan Trial Evidence  stored  during that  four year custodial gap?  Was the evidence safely stored?  Under whose control was the evidence from  1969 through 1973?  What was the reason for the custodial gap? I  am shocked at such total and  uncontrolled power.  (and bear in mind the custodial gap followed on the heels of the Judge Loring/Judge Walker toothless court order).


# 4  - Also  contained in the Judge Wenke Hearing Transcripts is  a portion of LAPD criminalist DeWayne Wolfer’s testimony.  His  testimony revealed the information that different agencies  were involved in making the decision to block the Neutron Activation Analyses Tests.   Unfortunately, Wolfer’s peers were unaware of that meeting and as a result  they  believed the decision  to block NAA tests was made by him.


On pages 82 and 83 of the above referenced Judge Wenke Hearing Transcripts we see Wolfer response  to Attorney Levine’s questions  about the NAA test.  Wolfer  testimony is as follows: (Attorney Levine asked Wolfer: “With whom did you discuss it?”) Wolfer’s response was : “With several. I discussed that with the District Attorney, the Attorney General, everbody in the room, the FBI, our chief, the District Attorneys, the whole works.” Here we  clearly see  it was not Wolfer  who made the decision to block NAA tests.


I am including  copies of several pages from Harper’s research files which bear on the subject of the NAA test. During our numerous meetings, Harper frequently complained to me about  SUS/LADA “shutting Dr. Noguchi’s mouth”. It is my firm belief that if Harper had known about that assembled meeting Wolfer testified about - he would never have placed the blame (for NAA test denial) on Wolfer’s head. I say this with confidence because Harper often spoke so highly about Wolfer. And now we see his bitterness  toward Wolfer  (re NAA test denial) was tragically misplaced.    “Shutting” Dr. Noguchi’s mouth was probably the one thing that upset Harper the most. He  respected nearly everyone “in the business” and they held him in the highest esteem.


# 5  - Dr. Noguchi’s  testimony  at the  Supervisor Baxter Ward Hearings reads :  “…retained during the course of the autopsy…”  this, no doubt,  is a reference to the “missing”  6x3x2 mm bullet fragment  which was removed during the autopsy  and which : “…corresponds to the largest  bullet fragment…”    reported  by Dr. Noguchi in his  Robert F. Kennedy Autopsy Report.  It was that  small bullet fragment which was to  have been used in the NAA test  to compare with the Kennedy fatal bullet (Peo. 48) and which was “retained” for that purpose.


It is my belief that the  knowledge of the existence of the fragment  measuring 6x3x2 mm was the reason the NAA test was turned down in the meeting referenced by Wolfer during his testimony in the Judge Wenke Hearing. What could have  been so important for  all of those agencies to be  called together to shut down NAA tests?   And on June 7th (the date of Wolfer’s testimony before the LA County  Grand Jury) What were they so afraid it might prove?