Two gunmen and not one shot Robert F Kennedy, claims witness

   May 1, 12:01 pm

London, May 1 (ANI): Robert F Kennedy, JFK's brother, was shot dead by two gunmen and not just 'lone wolf' Sirhan Sirhan, a witness has claimed.

Nina Rhodes-Hughes, of Vancouver, Canada, was standing just metres away from the presidential candidate during the shooting in Los Angeles Ambassador Hotel on June 5, 1968.

And she is convinced that Sirhan - who is sentenced to life imprisonment after the killing - was not the only man firing shots that fateful 1968 day.

"What has to come out is that there was another shooter to my right. The truth has got to be told. No more cover-ups," the Daily Mail quoted her as telling CNN.

Rhodes-Hughes, now 78, claimed she had told FBI investigators she heard much more than eight shots, which was the maximum Sirhan could have fired with his small-caliber handgun.

The former television actress, who was working as a volunteer fundraiser for Kennedy's campaign at the time, also said some of the '12 to 14' shots came from a different location to where the convicted murderer was standing.

But the 'official reporting' of the incident has left her frustrated after it was changed by the FBI, she claimed, to say that she only heard eight shots.

"For me it's hopeful and sad that it's only coming out now instead of before - but at least now instead of never," she said.

"I never said eight shots. I never, never said it. There were more than eight shots. There were at least 12, maybe 14. And I know there were because I heard the rhythm in my head.

"When they say only eight shots, the anger within me is so great that I practically - I get very emotional because it is so untrue. It is so untrue," she stated.

She revealed that she ran out of the pantry, where the shooting took place, yelling: "They've killed him! They've killed him! Oh, my God, he's dead! They've killed him!."

"Now, the reason I said, 'they' is because I knew there was more than one shooter involved. Although it was 44 years ago, I will swear that this is exactly what happened.

"I remember it like it was almost yesterday, because you don't forget something like that when it totally changes your life forever.

"It took a great toll on me. For a while, even the backfiring of a car would send me into tears," she added.

Sirhan, now 68, is currently serving a life sentence at Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga, California.

He was the only person arrested, tried and convicted for the murder, and never contested the case, during his 1969 trial, that he was the only gunman.

Initially handed the death sentence, it was reduced to a life sentence in 1972.

But he is now trying to engineer his release on the grounds that he was not the only gunman and that it was not him that killed Kennedy.

He is now awaiting a U.S. District Court ruling, which could see him released, re-tried or granted a hearing.

The hearing would take place on the production of new evidence - including Rhodes-Hughes' eyewitness account.

His lawyer William Pepper called the alleged FBI alteration of her story 'deplorable' and 'criminal' and said it 'mirrors the experience of other witnesses'.

Kennedy, the most seriously wounded of the six people shot, was gunned down just moments after claiming victory in California's Democratic primary election.

He died the next day, while the other victims survived.

Although Sirhan's lawyers are calling for his release, Rhodes-Hughes, who was never called to testify at the trial, said he should remain in prison.

"To me, he was absolutely there. I don't feel he should be exonerated. There definitely was another shooter. The constant cover-ups, the constant lies - this has got to stop," she said. (ANI)

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