Famed KING CORONER, THOMAS NOGUCHI performed the autopsy on BOBBY KENNEDY and he’s convinced SIRHAN SIRHAN didn’t pull the trigger.
In his book “Coroner” Dr. Noguchi recalled the grim aftermath of the assassination of Presidential candidate Robert Kennedy in 1968.
Noguchi, who was chief medical examiner in Los Angeles, recalled answering the phone and being told Bobby had been shot in the kitchen of a Los Angeles hotel in front of 70 witnesses.
24 hours later RFK was dead.
After conducting an initial autopsy, respectfully covering Bobby’s face with a towel – something the famed coroner had never done- a criminologist from the Los Angeles Police Department burst into Noguchi’s office with startling new evidence.
“Gun powder residue and soot (were found) in some head shavings taken from Kennedy’s head wound!” Noguchi wrote.
Yet the police had informed Noguchi that morning that all 70 witnesses had reported that the suspect Sirhan Sirhan had been a yard away from when he fired at Kennedy.
Soot in the scalp hair meant the gun had been triggered within inches of his head, Noguchi wrote in the book.
He ordered a battery of ballistics tests, ordering officers to shoot at mock skulls created from pig ears built up with latex to simulate the weight and density of a human skull. The “skulls” put on the police academy’s firing range for a unique experiment supervised by Dr. Noguchi.
Each officer was commanded to fire at each ‘ “skull” beginning with a firm contact shot, then moving back to a quarter-inch, half-inch, two, three and four inches.”
As the officers lay waste the pig ears skull with precise marksmanship, Dr. Noguchi discovered that “at 3 inches from the skull…we had a perfect match of the pattern of unburned gunpowder grains I had found on Kennedy’s right ear.”
Noguchi realized that the precise location of the shooter’s weapon was fired only three inches BEHIND the head and yet not a single witness had seen him fire behind Bobby’s head at point blank range.
What was the truth, Noguchi wondered, since all the eyewitnesses said they had seen Sirhan brazenly shoot and kill the Senator from New York.
Noguchi postulated, along with others, that there may have been a second gunman, who did the actually killing while Sirhan theatrically distracted the witnesses by firing himself.
In addition, Noguchi wrote, that the most sophisticated forensic evidence and tools at that time were unable to determine that the shot that killed Kennedy actually came from Sirhan’s gun.
Yet, Sirhan was convicted and remains in prison on the murder rap.
Noguchi wrote that he believed “the Kennedy assassination must go down in forensic science as a classic phenomenon of ‘crowd psychology’ where none of the witnesses saw what actually happened.
"Perhaps the whole truth will never be known.”