Dan Moldea, author of the book, "The
Killing of Robert F. Kennedy", participated in a recent
television special on the RFK assassination. Using, laser sights,
stand-ins, and a re-creation of the Ambassador Hotel pantry in
which the assassination occurred, Moldea purported to account
for the six assassination victim's wounds using no more bullets
than Sirhan's gun could hold. Moldea's television explanation,
the same offered in his book, has several fatal shortcomings.
One particularly critical conclusion by Moldea ensures that,
under his scenario, no less than 9 shots were necessary to account
for the victims' wounds. Problematically for Moldea, Sirhan fired
an 8-shot revolver, which he unquestionably did not reload. Ironically,
in a book which concluded that Sirhan B. Sirhan acted alone,
Moldea actually offered a shooting scenario that demands two
And what was Moldea's fatal mistake? He
concluded that one of the victims (Paul Schrade) was struck in
the forehead by a bullet that struck nothing else first. (The
import of this claim is outlined below.) I made Moldea aware
of his error in 2003 during a lengthy phone conversation. He
sidestepped the issue, saying, "I wrote the book almost
ten years ago. Honestly, I've forgotten the details [of the trajectory
scenario] and put the RFK assassination behind me." Moldea
ended the pleasant conversation by giving me some genuinely friendly
advice: spend more time with your family and let the RFK assassination
Now, two years after that conversation
we find Moldea pushing the same impossible shooting scenario
on national television. The key to understanding how Moldea's
single-assassin shooting scenario, if correct, actually proves
conspiracy, begins with an understanding of the number of victims
and wounds they suffered. The following accounting of those wounds
is arraigned from the closest victim to Sirhan (RFK) outward
to the most distant (Weisel).? These wounds are undisputed:
1. RFK - Shot in the head, no exit.
2.RFK - Shot in the right rear armpit,
with the bullet coming to rest in the flesh beneath the skin
at the base of the back of the neck. The bullet was recovered
3.RFK - Shot in the right rear armpit one
inch above shot No. 2. The bullet exited through right front
chest below the clavicle.
4.RFK - Entry and exit of a bullet which
passed through the rear right shoulder of RFK's suit jacket.
The entry and exit were both behind the yolk seam at the top
of the shoulder, and penetrated only the outermost layer of fabric.
5.Paul Schrade - Shot in the forehead above
hairline near the apex of the head. Bullet fragments remained
in the head, with a majority exiting through an exit defect several
centimeters behind the entry point.
6.Ira Goldstein - Shot in the left buttock/thigh.
The bullet was recovered during surgery.
7.Ira Goldstein - Entry and exit of a bullet
that passed cleanly through his left pant leg without striking
8. Irwin Stroll - Shot in the left shin.
The bullet was recovered during surgery.
9.Elizabeth Evans - Shot in the center
of the forehead one inch below the hairline. Fragments of a bullet
recovered during surgery were too light to comprise a full .22
round. There was no exit point in the scalp.
10. William Weisel - Shot in the left abdomen.
The bullet was recovered near the spine during surgery.
In order to sort out his scenario, we need
to be aware of additional points of damage that Dan Moldea ignored;
three bullet holes in the pantry's ceiling tiles:
11. Ceiling Tile Hole #1 - A bullet penetrated
an acoustic ceiling tile (A), proceeding into the drop-ceiling
12. Ceiling Tile Hole #2 - That bullet
(No. 11) struck the concrete ceiling above the tiles, and ricocheted
back down into the pantry through a second ceiling tile (B).
13. Ceiling Tile Hole #3 - A bullet entered
the same tile as No. 11 above (A), but, we are told, did not
exit back down into pantry. That bullet was "lost in the
ceiling interspace," and apparently never recovered.
The Trajectory Accounting
Recall that Sirhan could have fired eight
bullets at most. As a result, any scenario that comes up with
a 9th bullet implicitly sanctions a second shooter. According
to Moldea, the first shot hit Paul Schrade (6' 4") in the
forehead above the hairline. The following shooting scenario
is not meant to represent how the assassination actually occurred.
Rather, it starts with Moldea's "Schrade shot" and
moves outward to account for the rest of the officially accepted
damage.(The victim/wound/bullet damage listed below is represented
by corresponding panels in the attached scale illustrations.)
Bullet # 1, Paul Schrade (Forehead, transiting
Bullet # 2, RFK (Through and through bullet
hole in jacket).
Bullet # 3 , RFK (Headshot, non-transiting).
Bullet # 4 , RFK (Armpit, non-transiting).
Bullet # 5 , RFK (Armpit, transiting upward).
Bullet # 6 , Goldstein (Thigh, non-transiting).
Bullet # 7 , Goldstein pants, transiting,
ricocheting, and striking Stroll in the shin (non-transiting).
Bullet # 8 , Evans struck in the head by
a bullet reentering thorough the ceiling tiles (non-transiting).
Bullet # 9 , Weisel (Abdomen (non-transiting).
No matter which way the "officially
accepted" damage and victims' wounds are commingled, the
crime cannot be accounted for with eight shots if Paul Schrade
was hit by a shot unto itself. Had Dan Moldea been more thorough,
he would have understood this.
[To John Hunt:]
Nobody I know can say with absolute certainty
what happened to the four stray bullets at the crime scene of Senator Kennedy's
murder: 1) the bullet that passed through Kennedy's jacket without striking
him, 2) the through-and-through bullet that exited from his chest, 3) the
bullet that struck the ceiling and exited through one of the ceiling tiles,
and 4) the bullet that was supposedly lost in the ceiling interspace.
In its official inventory of the bullets
fired by Sirhan, the LAPD claimed that Paul Schrade was wounded by the
bullet that went harmlessly through the shoulder pad of Senator Kennedy's
suit coat. Some people clearly [believe] the LAPD's flawed and widely-discredited
bullet count. I do not.
Instead, I believe that the shoulder-pad
bullet probably struck one of the other four shooting victims - someone
other than Schrade. So, regardless of how much some critics try to twist
and torture the crime-scene evidence, my explanation does not add a single
bullet to the final bullet count.
In short, I stand by what I have written,
especially my conclusion that Paul Schrade was hit by the first shot--which
is completely consistent with the fact that Sirhan's eight-shot revolver
could not fire more than eight bullets. Once again, the simple truth is
that Sirhan murdered Senator Kennedy, and he acted alone.
--Dan E. Moldea