Alongside RFK Say Sirhan Sirhan Should Be Granted
By Steve Fiorina
February 11, 2016 "Information
Schrade, now 91 years old, was shot in the head on
June 5, 1968, at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles
while standing alongside Kennedy.
contends that Sirhan was not the only shooter that
In an exclusive interview that aired on 10News
Tuesday night, Schrade stated that Kennedy was
actually killed by a second gunman.
Here is the full text of the statement he gave
Wednesday to the parole board at the Richard J.
Donovan Correctional Facility, where the now
71-year-old Sirhan is being held.
I am Paul
Schrade of Los Angeles. I am 91-years-old. And
back when I was 43, I was among six persons shot
at the old Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles at
just after Midnight on June 5th, 1968.
I was shot along with Senator Robert F. Kennedy,
who had just won California's Democratic Primary
Election for the Presidency of the United
States. Five of us survived our wounds. And as
history knows, Senator Kennedy was fatally
I am here to speak for myself, a shooting
victim, and to bear witness for my friend, Bob
Kennedy was a man of justice. But, so far,
justice has not been served in this case. And I
feel obliged as both a shooting victim and as an
American to speak out about this -- and to honor
the memory of the greatest American I've ever
known, Robert Francis Kennedy.
Sirhan Bishara Sirhan was originally scheduled
for release in 1984 but, after intense political
pressure, his parole date was rescinded and he
has since been denied 14 times.
In order for you to make an accurate
determination of Sirhan Sirhan's parole, you
need to know my feelings on this case and the
full picture of what actually happened.
Sirhan, I forgive you.
The evidence clearly shows you were not the
gunman who shot Robert Kennedy. There is clear
evidence of a second gunman in that kitchen
pantry who shot Robert Kennedy. One of the
bullets -- the fatal bullet -- struck Bob in the
back of the head. Two bullets struck Bob
literally in his back. A fourth bullet struck
the back of his coat's upper right seam and
passed harmlessly through his coat. I believe
all four of those bullets were fired from a
second gunman standing behind Bob. You were
never behind Bob, nor was Bob's back ever
exposed to you.
Indeed, Sirhan, the evidence not only shows that
you did not shoot Robert Kennedy but it shows
that you could not have shot Robert Kennedy.
Gentlemen, the evidence clearly shows that
Sirhan Sirhan could not and did not shoot
Senator Bob Kennedy.
Several days ago, I made sure that several
documents were submitted to this board for you
to review. If you have not done so as yet, I
would ask you to please review them very
carefully during your deliberation. I will be
glad to re-submit these documents to you, here
I believe, after you review these documents,
that it should become clear to you that Sirhan
Sirhan did not shoot -- and could not have shot
-- Robert Kennedy. What I am saying to you is
that Sirhan himself was a victim.
Obviously there was someone else there in that
pantry also firing a gun. While Sirhan was
standing in front of Bob Kennedy and his shots
were creating a distraction, the other shooter
secretly fired at the senator from behind and
fatally wounded him. Bob died 25 hours later.
Gentlemen, I believe you should grant Sirhan
Sirhan parole. And I ask you to do that today.
Along with what Sirhan's lawyers have submitted
to you, the following are the documents that I
made sure were submitted to you and which should
also be factored into your decision today.
First, I want to show you this. It's a letter
written in 2012 by my good friend, Robert F.
Kennedy Junior. Bobby wrote this letter to Eric
Holder, who was then the Attorney General of the
United States. In his letter to Mr. Holder,
Bobby requests that federal authorities examine
the Pruszynski Recording, the only known audio
recording made of his father's assassination at
the Ambassador Hotel. The recording was
uncovered in 2004 at the California State
Archives by CNN International senior writer Brad
This next document is a federal court
declaration from audio expert Philip Van Praag,
who Johnson recruited to analyze the Pruszynski
In this document, Van Praag declares that his
analysis of the recording concludes that two
guns were fired in the Robert Kennedy shooting.
Van Praag found a total of 13 gunshots in the
Pruszynski Recording. Sirhan's one and only gun
at the crime scene held no more than eight
bullets and Sirhan had no opportunity to reload
Van Praag also found what he calls
"double-shots" -- meaning two gunshots fired so
close together that they could not both have
come from Sirhan's Iver Johnson Cadet revolver.
Van Praag actually found two sets of these
Additionally, he found that five of the 13
gunshots featured a unique audio resonance
characteristic that could not have been produced
by Sirhan's gun model, meaning those five shots
were fired from a second gun of a different
Van Praag further found that those five gunshots
were fired in a direction heading away from
Pruszynski's microphone. Since the microphone
was about 40 feet west of the Kennedy shooting,
those five shots were fired in an eastward
direction, which was opposite the westward
direction that Sirhan is known to have fired his
eight-shot Iver Johnson Cadet.
These documents are statements from two
witnesses to the Robert Kennedy shooting, both
of them assistant maître d's for the Ambassador
Hotel. These two men, Karl Uecker and Edward
Minasian, escorted Robert Kennedy into the
kitchen pantry immediately after the Senator
delivered his victory speech in a hotel ballroom
for having won the California Primary. Both
Uecker and Minasian say Sirhan was in front of
Bob Kennedy as the Senator walked toward Sirhan,
meaning that Bob and Sirhan were facing each
other. Both witnesses say Sirhan was still in
front of Bob as Sirhan fired his gun. And both
say that after Sirhan fired his first two shots,
Uecker quickly pushed Sirhan against a steam
table, placing Sirhan in a headlock while
grabbing hold of Sirhan’s firing arm, forcing
the tip of Sirhan’s gun to point away from where
Bob Kennedy was and causing Sirhan to fire
blindly his remaining six bullets.
In other words, Sirhan only had full control of
his gun at the beginning, when he fired his
first two shots, one of which hit me. Sirhan had
no opportunity to fire four precisely-placed,
point-blank bullets into the back of Bob
Kennedy's head or body while he was pinned
against that steam table and while he and Bob
were facing each other.
This document is the official Robert Kennedy
autopsy report summary. It shows that all
bullets directed at Senator Kennedy were fired
from behind him at point-blank range. As the
autopsy states, and as these drawings show, the
bullets traveled from back-to-front at steep
upward trajectories. One bullet struck Senator
Kennedy at the back of the head, two bullets at
the right rear armpit and a fourth bullet at the
right rear shoulder of his jacket, which passed
harmlessly through his jacket.
Again, Sirhan's bullets could not have struck
the back of Bob Kennedy's head or the back of
his body or the back of his jacket's right
shoulder, as the autopsy clear shows took place,
because Sirhan was never in a position to
administer any of those four Kennedy shots. The
prosecution never placed Sirhan in that location
These are documents from the Los Angeles Police
Department that reveal LAPD misconduct in the
police investigation of the Robert Kennedy
murder. They detail evidence that was destroyed
while Sirhan’s appeal was still pending as well
as a photograph that was acknowledged by the
LAPD to be "effective rebuttal" but was withheld
from the defense team.
Indeed, the LAPD and L.A. County District
Attorney knew two hours after the shooting of
Senator Kennedy that he was shot by a second
gunman and they had conclusive evidence that
Sirhan could not -- and did not -- do it. The
official record shows that the prosecution at
Sirhan's trial never had one witness -- and had
no physical nor ballistic evidence -- to prove
Sirhan shot Bob Kennedy. Evidence locked up for
20 years shows that the LAPD destroyed physical
evidence and hid ballistic evidence exonerating
Sirhan -- and covered up conclusive evidence
that a second gunman fatally wounded Robert
This document is a memo written by Criminalist
Larry Baggett, who investigated the Robert
Kennedy shooting for the LAPD. The Baggett memo
states that the bullets that hit Senator Kennedy
and William Weisel, another shooting victim in
the pantry, were not fired from the same gun.
The memo also states that the bullet that
traveled upward through Bob Kennedy's body and
into his neck was not fired from Sirhan's
revolver. Such a finding would be proof that
Sirhan did not shoot Robert Kennedy.
Mr. Deputy District Attorney, based on all of
this information and more, I ask that you inform
Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie
Lacey that I am formally requesting her to order
a new investigation of the Robert F. Kennedy
assassination. I will also be making the same
request of Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie
Please note, Mr. Deputy District Attorney, that
I am using the word "new" here. I am not
requesting that the old investigation simply be
re-opened. For that would only lead to the same
old wrong conclusions. I am requesting a new
investigation so that after nearly 50 years,
justice finally can be served for me as a
shooting victim; for the four other shooting
victims who also survived their wounds; for Bob
Kennedy who did not survive his wounds because
his were the most grievously suffered in that
kitchen pantry; for the people of the United
States who Bob loved so much and had hoped to
lead, just as his brother, President John F.
Kennedy, had led only a few years before; and of
course for justice, to which Bob Kennedy devoted
Furthermore, Mr. Deputy District Attorney, I ask
that you please also tell the District Attorney,
Ms. Lacey, that I would appreciate the
opportunity to personally meet with her in Los
Angeles at her earliest convenience. Would you
please convey my message to her?
I hope you will consider all of the accurate
details of this crime that I have presented in
order for you to accurately determine Sirhan
Sirhan's eligibility for parole. If you do this
the right way and the just way, I believe you
will come to the same conclusion I have: that
Sirhan should be released. If justice is not
your aim, then of course you will not.
Again, Sirhan was originally scheduled for
release in 1984 but after intense political
pressure, his parole date was rescinded and he
has since been denied 14 times.
The best example of this can be found in this
statement of Los Angeles District Attorney John
Van de Kamp.
Again, gentlemen, I believe you should grant
Sirhan Sirhan parole. And I ask you to do that
today in the name of Robert F. Kennedy and in
the name of justice.
Thank you. That concludes my remarks.
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