Most of my information comes in a peripheral fashion. My father was a JFK assassination buff so my childhood is chalked full of grainy VHS recordings of History Channel specials and Kevin Costner shouting down a white haired Tommy Lee Jones. Dealey Plaza, CIA, Cuba, Operation Mongoose, Clay Shaw, Mannlicher–Carcano, the physics and the theatrics, all it whizzing by in a dizzying streak of southern accented interviews and ominous one note mood music.
Through this dirty window, this crud covered screen, all of these trees I can see the bits of the RFK assassination.
Chunks spliced in between the the scent of my dad's Windsor and Cokes, his snores overlaying poorly constructed breakthrough interviews.
So why is this so interesting to me?
A long time ago I categorized the JFK assassination as a floating head. Sure, when you first see it you gasp and say damn that's a big ass floating head. It gives you answers, it keeps you in awe with its obviousness.
It all makes sense now!
There's no way one whackjob could have killed the most powerful man in the world! It had to be a conspiracy!
So you start digging into the evidence, the interviews, the theories and you realize that the head starts looking a little fake.
So you dig in more. You look at videos of people testing the theories. You start to look into the background of the witnesses, you start looking at the explanations for some of the wild physics and your realize there is no head at all just some crackpot behind a curtain jerking your chain.
That's my assessment of the JFK conspiracy. It's a lot of faux logic theories that do little to explain things better than a crazy communist sympathizer with a rifle, the right job and a whole lot of luck.
Exactly what the RFK assassination doesn't present itself as.
The RFK assassination has always intrigued me because it's so discrete. There's barely any books, movies, tv specials, etc... yet there's some definitive smoke there. The woman in the polka dot dress that was corroborated by a police officer, the audio analysis of the shots that concluded that there were more shots in the pantry than Sirhan's gun could contain. I'm sure there are other things but I can't recall any more.
And that's just it. I don't know much about the RFK assassination. It didn't play on repeat on the History Channel in the 90's. It didn't garner a Bill O'Rielly Killing Insert Political Figure Here: My Intriguing Search for the Golden Check. It didn't permeate through society like JFK's killing did. It's a tagalong conspiracy. A conspiracy by association. Another piece of the JFK puzzle.
It's interesting because it's still a mystery to me.
Let me make myself clear though: this does not mean that I believe the conspiracy, it just means that I find it infinitely more interesting than treading the well beaten JFK path.
So what do I think I know?
- I know that this was portrayed, at least at the time, as another lone nut assassin. In the same fashion as Lee Harvey or James Ray, Sirhan Sirhan was regarded as acting alone and nobody, aside from the previously mentioned Clay Shaw has ever been prosecuted aside from the previously mentioned shooters.
- I know that RFK was on the campaign trail but I can't tell you if it was for Governor or President. He was at a speech or rally from the stills that I can remember. (I typed this part before I went out to find the picture if you're wondering)
- I know that RFK was traveling through the pantry of the place where he was when he was shot.
- I know the name of the assassin, Sirhan Sirhan. I can see his blunted eyes, his flat face, and all around creepiness. I think it was a mug shot but I can't be sure.
- I know that there is always whispered involvement of someone only known as The Woman in the Polka Dot Dress. What involvement? I haven't the slightest but I can remember various theories zeroing in on her as the "key" to the whole conspiracy.
- And lastly I know that I'm skeptical of the whole conspiracy bullshit. I'm not going to ignore evidence or let it skew my perception but I have serious doubts that this is going to turn out to be more than what is billed, which is a politician getting gunned down by a nutjob.
That's what I know. I'm sure most of this will change the more things I go over but I feel like it's a good starting point.
Aside from simply doing web sleuthing and a bit of reading on the subject I am going to be limiting the material I look at to first hand sources and historical documents. Why? Mostly because I really don't feel that things like RFK Assassination: The Havanna Connection are going to be much use. From my experience most of those books are what I like to refer to as Goldblum theories. A looks like B, B completes a cross drawn on a map to which C is the exact center and at the end of it all you end up standing in front of a tiny brick arch in a ditch like an asshole.
So to avoid my blood boiling out of my freaking pores and having to slog through a slurry of loosely correlated conspiracy slush I'm banning that stuff right now.
What is this supposed to accomplish?
I want to know more about the RFK assassination. I want to be able to speak intelligently when talking about what happened and lastly I'm in this for the journey. I enjoy poking around inside of mysteries, conspiracies, the unexplained, etc... Now be forewarned that I think that 95% of what is called "unexplained" out there is complete bullshit. But there is that rare 5%, the 5% that can't be explained by science, or the explanation given is leaky. I'm hoping that this might be part of the 5% but even if it's not then at least I'll know more about a man who, aside from his brother, is largely ignored.