Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sirhan Notes to be Auctioned

Bobby Kennedy assassin could fail in jail freedom bid over handwritten notes portraying him as 'cold-blooded killer'

From The Daily Mail by David Gardner April 7, 2011:

Handwritten notes penned by Bobby Kennedy’s assassin Sirhan Sirhan could derail his attempts to be freed from jail - by painting him as a calculating, cold-blooded killer.

Sirhan's lawyer last month tried to convince a parole board that he was brainwashed when he gunned down the presidential hopeful in Los Angeles in 1968.

But the letters he supposedly wrote 42 years ago tell a very different story.

Sirhan describes how he visited a shooting range to get in some target practice and waited calmly in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel before killing Senator Kennedy.

‘He wrote it right in front of me,’ businessman Michael McCowan told the Los Angeles Times.

Mr McCowan was the youngest member of Sirhan’s defence team in 1969 when the gunman signed the statement.

‘It never seemed to me to be a conspiracy. He wanted to be a martyr for the Palestinian cause,’ said Mr McCowan, now 78, who is putting the notes up for auction next week.

‘Sirhan’s not stupid. In his 10th-grade history book from his high school in Pasadena he’d underlined the assassination of President McKinley and on the next page of Archduke Ferdinand,’ he added.

Sirhan had hinted there would be many more such assassinations. ‘I think he wanted to be a martyr. To me, he was the first terrorist,’ Mr McCowan added.

Sirhan has appeared before fourteen parole boards in so far unsuccessful appeals to be released.

In his latest hearing last month, Sirhan’s lawyer suggested he was ‘manipulated’ and ‘set up’ and did not act alone in the shooting, said the Times.

Lawyer William Pepper reportedly said Sirhan was ‘hypnoprogrammed’ to kill Kennedy and didn’t remember anything about it.

Sirhan, 66, who is serving a life sentence, was denied parole.

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