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Hacking History…Again.

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RE : New evidence challenges official picture of Kennedy shooting

James Randerson, Washington DC


Hacking History…Again.

James Randerson is credited with having crafted the article at:


Randerson made several distinct and sloppy errors of fact in his essay. To wit:

“But the shortcut he and his entourage took through the hotel's pantry quickly descended into bloody mayhem. As Kennedy turned from shaking hands with two of the kitchen staff, a gunman stepped forward and began firing. Kennedy was hit by four shots-”

Untrue; three bullets struck RFK, not four. A forth shot did pass through the lining of RFK’s suit jacket without striking flesh.

“-including one which lodged in the vertebrae in his neck and another which entered his brain from below his right ear.”

Untrue; the bullet entered the skull 1 cm to the rear of the external acoustic meatus. That is behind the ear and level with the ear canal, not “below the ear.”

“But the lone gunman explanation has always looked shaky. The autopsy of Kennedy's body suggested that all four shots that hit him came from behind,”

Untrue; Noguchi’s Autopsy Report spells out bullet trajectories using specific anatomic landmarks and language. The bullet that entered the right rear axilla (armpit) came to rest just medial to C6. The trajectory of that wound was virtually side-to-side, regardless of Noguchi’s testimony. The bullet that entered RFK 1” from the previous bullet was a back-to-front wound. The direction of the bullet that hit RFK in the head is anyone’s guess as the head is a readily mobile part of the human anatomy. Without photographs of his head at the moment of impact, it is simply impossible to say one way or another from whence the bullet that hit RFK in the head came.

“-and powder marks on his skin showed they must have been from close range.”

Untrue; only one wound had powder residue associated with it--head shot. The powder residue on the other two wounds in the axilla was confined to the suit jacket RFK wore at the time of the shooting.

“-But Sirhan was in front of Kennedy when he fired, and after shooting two shots was overcome by hotel staff, who pinned him to a table.”-

Untrue; a mass of conflicting eyewitness testimony exists regarding RFK’s position to Sirhan when the shooting began. Long story short, no one can say for sure whether RFK was facing Sirhan or not. Period. To baldly state that “Sirhan was in front of Kennedy when he fired” is simply another in a long line of simplistic, lazy, hackish journalism. (Sirhan’s former attorney, Lawrence Teeter argued this point long and hard for years without scintilla of success.) Shame on the authors for not taking this subject more seriously and giving it its full due.

“Also, Sirhan fired eight shots in total, yet 14 were found lodged around the room and in the victims.”

Untrue; although I am convinced beyond a moral certainty that Sirhan did not, and could not, have accomplished the RFK shooting on his own, to baldly state that “14 bullets” associated with the crime were found is simply untrue, and represents irresponsible journalism of the highest order.

Please, please get it right next time. A case of this magnitude requires no less.

John Hunt


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