Crime writer Moldea (Interference, 1986, etc.) attempts to write the last chapter in the debate over who killed Robert F....


"THE KILLING OF ROBERT F. KENNEDY: An Investigation of Motive, Means, and Opportunity"

Crime writer Moldea (Interference, 1986, etc.) attempts to write the last chapter in the debate over who killed Robert F. Kennedy. Everyone knows that Sirhan Bishara Sirhan shot Sen. Robert F. Kennedy in the early morning hours of June 5, 1968, moments after he had declared victory in the California presidential primary. There were a dozen eyewitnesses, and Sirhan confessed to the crime at his 1969 trial. But a dogged group of investigators, writers, and conspiracy theorists have focused on two major discrepancies in the evidence to suggest there was a second assassin: first, the difference between the autopsy report and the reports of witnesses as to how far Sirhan and the gun were from Kennedy's head; and second, crime scene photographs showing apparent bullet holes that could not have come from Sirhan's pistol. Moldea has reexamined every piece of available evidence and, in an example of indefatigable journalism, tracked down virtually every policeman and FBI agent who worked on the case, is still alive, and would agree to talk to him. He also interviewed Sirhan and Thane Eugene Cesar, a security guard the night of the shooting often named as the second assassin. Moldea can be criticized for the deceptive way he presents evidence as credible and then, Sherlock Holmes--like, explains only at the end why it is tainted. But this infuriating device works, holding the reader riveted as he reconstructs the crime scene and reviews the investigation. The book's more serious flaws are matters over which Moldea had no control: the refusal of DeWayne Wolfer, the police investigator in charge of the crime scene, to be interviewed; and the destruction of crucial pieces of evidence by the police. These omissions will probably keep some people from accepting Moldea's version of events as the final word. Moldea has left no stones unturned in his examination of the Robert Kennedy assassination, uncovering many worms and perhaps, finally, the true smoking gun.

Pub Date: June 5, 1995


Page Count: 368

Publisher: Norton

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1995