Sirhan, 77, learned last month that he would be eligible for release after serving 53 years behind bars for assassinating the senator during his 1968 presidential campaign
The Kennedy family is “at war” after Robert Kennedy’s widow Ethel sent a letter, with the support of six of her children, to the California Probation Commission against the release of his murderer, Sirhan Sirhan.
Sirhan, 77, learned last month that he would be eligible for release after serving 53 years behind bars for assassinating the senator during his 1968 presidential campaign.
Although the 93-year-old matriarch and six of her and RFK’s children strongly opposed Sirhan’s parole, not all were in favor of the man who killed their father.
The relatives who opposed the release had promised not to make a statement to the parole board at Sirhan’s Aug. 27 hearing, but according to the New York Post, they blinded sons Robert Jr — aka Bobby — and Douglas, who is in favor of the release. of his release.
The split has led the family to accuse each other of ‘double crossing’ the others source close to the August 27 conditional hearing told the New York Post.
“Bobby was stabbed in the back,” the insider told the Post.
Sirhan’s lawyer, Angela Berry. says the family quarrel turned into a full-blown showdown between different factions of the Kennedy clan — those who supported Sirhan’s release and those who didn’t.
“The night before the hearing, I received a letter from the probation commission through the LAPD,” Berry told the news channel.
“It said, ‘On behalf of the Kennedy family, we oppose the release of Sirhan.’ [Bobby] had mostly stayed out assuming his family would stay out… I got hold of him right away to let him know what had happened.’
“We do not believe this man would be recommended for release,” the six siblings said.
It was signed by Joseph P. Kennedy II, Courtney Kennedy Hill, Kerry Kennedy, Christopher G. Kennedy, Maxwell T. Kennedy and Rory Kennedy, who write that the decision “caused enormous additional pain.”
Ethel Kennedy, widow of Robert Kennedy who was assassinated during his 1968 presidential campaign, wrote a letter to the probation commission pleading not to release Sirhan Sirhan.
Ethel described her husband’s death as “an unspeakable loss to the inhumanity of one man” (Pictured Robert (left) and Ethel Kennedy (right) on their wedding day in Greenwich, Connecticut on June 17, 1950)
He must NOT be paroled’: RFK’s widow Ethel Kennedy, 93, joins 6 of her nine surviving children who oppose Sirhan Sirhan’s parole as opposed to sons
But two of RFK’s children, Douglas Kennedy, 54, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., 67, have supported Sirhan’s parole.
Upon hearing his mother’s letter, Bobby made a last-minute statement in favor of Sirhan’s parole the night before the hearing, which was just in time to be reviewed at the hearing.
“The hearing started at 8:30 a.m. and Robert’s letter came in at 10:30 a.m.,” Berry said.
“It read in part, ‘I must assure you that the letter you received is not on behalf of the entire Kennedy family.’ That was the very last thing the hearing officer read in the file.’
FOR: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (left) and Douglas Kennedy (right) supported Sirhan’s early release recommendation
Meanwhile, at the hearing, Douglas spoke in support of Sirhan’s release and said he was “moved to tears” by his regret, according to a reporter. Associated Press report.
‘I am overwhelmed by the fact that I can see Mr Sirhan face to face,’ he said.
“I think I’ve lived my life in fear of him as well as of his name. And I am grateful to see him today as a person worthy of compassion and love.”
“I’ve got something for you,” he said to Sirhan, who nodded in response.
RFK was gunned down in Los Angeles after giving a victory speech following his victory in the 1968 Democratic primaries in South Dakota and California (Photo: Ethel, left, RFK, right)
Robert Kennedy immediately after being fatally shot by Sirhan Sirhan in 1968
Robert Kennedy was walking through the hotel kitchen and stopped to talk to supporters when he was shot, June 1968
California Parole Board staff have 90 days to review the decision whether or not to release Sirhan, after which California Governor Gavin Newsom makes the final decision to deny or allow the Palestinian killer’s parole.
While Ethel’s letter may have taken several family members by surprise, a longtime Kennedy associate said she understood why Ethel “sucked” on the controversial subject.
“It’s a shame,” she said.
‘Six children are resisting Sirhan’s release, along with the 93-year-old mother who has experienced nothing but pain and loss for years. What’s wrong with those two kids trying to get that lying bastard out of jail? Where is the unity of the family?’
Paul Schrade, who had worked with RFK and was also shot that night, also believes Sirhan was not the gunman and should be released.
“Sirhan didn’t shoot Robert Kennedy,” Schrade said. “I got the first shot, Kennedy missed the second,” NPR said.
He believes that unreliable ballistic evidence by the Los Angeles Police Department has disrupted the case and calls for Sirhan’s release to find RFK’s true killer.
Sirhan stepped to RFK with a rolled up campaign poster and hid his .22 revolver which shot him in the head just 30 centimeters away
He was immediately wrestled to the ground by RFK’s security team and taken into custody. He claims he drank alcohol and can’t remember pulling the trigger
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, 70, is the only member of RFK’s nuclear family who has not publicly expressed his views on Sirhan’s parole recommendation.
Two of the 11 children of Robert and Ethel have died. David Kennedy died at age 28 in 1984 and Michael Kennedy died at age 39 in 1997.
This latest parole hearing marked Sirhan’s 16th parole attempt. The panel’s recommendation is pending review by the California Parole Board and a final decision by Governor Gavin Newsom.
The review process can take up to 120 days.
Robert Kennedy was the younger brother of former President John F. Kennedy and was his brother’s U.S. Attorney General. He was then elected as a New York senator.
RFK was 42 years old when he was pronounced dead on June 6, 1968 at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. The up-and-coming politician was gunned down after delivering a victory speech following his victory in the 1968 Democratic primaries in South Dakota and California.