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THE ASSASSINATION OF ROBERT F. KENNEDY by Jonn & William Turner Christian



Pub Date: June 5th, 1978
Publisher: Random House

Alas, a flaky California aura clings to this overwrought ""conspiracy"" theory propounded by a former TV journalist and a former FBI man, both veterans of the JFK-Dallas wars. In this case, the protagonists sound as though Ken Kesey had invented them. Pivotal is one Jerry Owen, a sawdust evangelist with a rap sheet as long as your arm, who is also known as ""The Walking Bible."" Shortly after RFK's shooting in the Ambassador Hotel in L.A., Owen went to the LAPD to tell a farfetched story about transporting a hitchhiker who was Sirhan Sirhan, with whom he discussed the purchase of a horse--the versatile Owen raised horses as a sideline. Sirhan, it later turns out, wanted to be a jockey and hung around tracks. Neither the LAPD nor the authors believe the preacher's tale but there all agreement stops. With the cops ""stonewalling"" their investigation all the way, Christian and Turner uncover a small band of persons--cowboys, boxing trainers, a mental defective--who link Owen and Sirhan before the assassination. The famous ""girl in a polka-dot dress,"" seen by witnesses at the Kennedy shooting but discounted by the cops, is resurrected by the authors who also find a gun expert who claims that ""extra bullets"" besides the eight in Sirhan's gun were found at the scene. Familiar? The corker is the authors' unshakable conviction that Sirhan Sirhan was ""hypnoprogrammed to kill--and forget"". . . like Jack Ruby and also like the Manchurian Candidate. During their investigations, fake FBI agents bully witnesses, snipers attack Owen and another man, and Vincent Bugliosi, the D.A. who tried the Manson family and later wrote Helter Skelter, comes to their aid. The evidence, if that's what it is, points to a miasmic far-Right plot--names like Carl McIntyre and Lamar Hunt pop up--and Bugliosi at one point speculates in court about ""a conspiracy the prodigious dimensions of which would make Watergate look like a one-roach marijuana case."" The judge was incredulous. Us too.