Dialogue: Assassination #11 (1971-09-09)

Mae Brussell Archive Show Notes

Audio for this broadcast available here.

Part of an effort to provide a searchable database of Mae Brussell’s life work. More info on Mae can be found here.

Dialogue: Assassination #11 (1971-09-09) Show Notes

Main Subject(s): RFK assassination

Updated 05/07/15: Added link to LATimes article.

– Mae opens with an offer to give Congressman Paul McCloskey the facts on the nations political assassinations, since he is running on a campaign of “truth in government.”  She reiterates her challenge to Jack Anderson to compare her facts on the John F. Kennedy (JFK) assassination against his team of investigators.  Mae touches on recent events including the support of Spiro Agnew for Vice President by the Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) group in Houston.  She talks about how this group was infiltrated and taken over by the “Munich Gang,” with the help of rich Texas business and oilmen.  She links the people backing Agnew as those who took part in the “Colonel’s Coup” in 1967, which overthrew the government of Greece, through the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) backed Pappas Foundation (some reading on the subject here).

– Mae adds a few more books to her reading list: “Inquest” by Edward Jay Epstein, and “A Search For Justice” by James Squires, Frank Ritter, and John Hemphill.

– She then goes into the Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) assassination. How the only question asked at the trial of alleged assassin Sirhan Sirhan, was that of his sanity. Mae then addresses a letter that the KLRB radio station had received from Evelle J. Younger in response to the RFK conspiracy coverup allegations. Parts of this letter are then read on air: Younger admits that there was a conspiracy, that inconsistencies in the testimony of the 65 witnesses in the Sirhan trial are no big deal, that people like conspiracy theories because they make for better stories than the truth, and how the Sirhan investigation was the most complete investigation ever undertaken in the U.S.

– Mae breaks down the implications of the letter.  How only 65 hand-picked witnesses out of 4,000 total testified to the jury. How the 23-man team of investigators that were handpicked to investigate the RFK assassination were specially chosen for their military connections. How claims by Younger that any and every lead would be followed were bold face lies.  How Mae offered to give her evidence of coverup to the investigators, but all that she got was one phone call asking her to confirm her identity.  How she put a letter in Rose Kennedy’s hands a week before the assassination warning her that RFK would be killed. Mae then reads a letter that she wrote to Evelle Younger on July 5, 1968 offering her research on the Sirhan case.

– Mae reads from a Los Angeles Times (LATimes) article titled “Sirhan Case—Was There a 2nd Gunman?” from August 16, 1971, which covered the lawsuit of Barbara Warner Blehr against DeWayne Wolfer for tampering with ballistic evidence in three major murder investigations in Los Angeles.  She notes how Wolfer was, at the time, up for appointment as the head criminologist in the LA Crime Lab. How the three murder investigations where Wolfer’s alleged evidence tampering took place were those of RFK, Doyle Terry, and Deputy District Attorney Jack Kirschke.

– Mae then relates how after Sirhan had been arrested and was being interrogated, he wouldn’t answer any questions and only wanted to talk about the murder of Jack Kirschke with the District Attorney (DA). How author Robert Blair Kaiser, in his book RFK Must Die!, noted that this was very unusual behavior.  How the tampering of evidence in the Kirschke case was likely the cause of the reduction of sentence from the death penalty to life in prison.  How it is entirely possible that Sirhan knew all this, and by mentioning Kirschke to the DA, he was using some kind of secret code or blackmail device.

– Continued reading from the LATimes article.  Mae looks at how Blehr’s charges, made on May 28, 1970, were immediately dismissed by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) on June 1st, and how the LAPD walked that back on June 4th with a press release stating that they would take 2 weeks to probe the charges.  How on June 24th, they postponed releasing any information on the findings until July 6th, and how on July 2nd, it was postponed indefinitely.  How when LAPD was pressed about the reasons for the indefinite postponement, the answer given was that crucial evidence, including the bullets and the murder weapon, in the Sirhan trial had likely been tampered with and contaminated.  How in August it was announced that a grand jury investigation would be necessary and how the evidence had been so poorly handled by the authorities that it may be rendered useless in any future cases including Sirhan’s appeal and allegations attached to Blehr’s case that there was a second gunman in the RFK assassination. How a second gun had been thrown away.

– Mae then talks briefly about the countersuit filed by Wolfer against Blehr, and how the whole situation has devolved into a standoff. She also quickly mentions that county clerk William Sharp, whose office was accused of mishandling the RFK evidence, has documentation that 13 unauthorized persons had accessed the certain critical evidence, namely the bullets and the guns.

– Mae then turns to witnesses who were never brought before the jury in the Sirhan case, including two John Does attached to the Blehr lawsuit, who all allege that a second gunman killed RFK.  She notes the private ballistic report of criminalist William Harper of Pasadena, a 35 year veteran, supports the second gunman theory and is at the core of a lawsuit against the LAPD filed by Theodore Charach.  How a local television newsman, Donald Schulman, who witnessed Kennedy’s murder, claimed that he saw a security guard also fire a gun in the pantry.  How his story was reported by TV anchor Jerry Dunphy hours after the murder and later carried world-wide by the United Press International (UPI).  How Schulman was only briefly questioned once by police investigators, somehow never brought before the jury as a witness despite witnessing Kennedy’s murder first-hand, and only interviewed again by Ted Charach three years later.  How Karl Uecker, the maître d’hôtel at the Ambassador Hotel, who was the man leading Bobby Kennedy through the pantry by the arm, insisted that Sirhan fired his gun from the front of Kennedy, was only able to fire two shots before he was tackled, and that he was never near enough to Kennedy to inflict the point blank, upward traveling, back-to-front trajectory head shot that fatally wounded RFK.  How Uecker’s account confirms the autopsy report of coroner Thomas Noguchi, who said the fatal shot came from the back, approximately one inch away from Kennedy’s head.  How these instances contradict claims by Evelle Younger that any and every lead would be followed up on.

– Mae then continues along the line of Charach’s investigation.  How Bobby Kennedy only traveled with one professional bodyguard, William Barry, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent. How author Robert Kaiser noted that while going through the pantry, William Barry fell back behind Bobby, and was holding the arm of Ethel Kennedy instead of being out in front of Robert.  Mae speculates that Barry may have been in on the plot, given his location at the time of the murder, and her suspicion of the FBI’s involvement.  She continues to cover the unusual details of the security detail the night of RFK’s assassination.  How the Ambassador Hotel had hired seven additional security guards from the Ace Guard Service, and that these men were moonlighting after their day jobs and had to provide their own uniforms, insignias, and sidearms.  How one of these guards, Thane Eugene Cesar, had a full-time job as a maintenance plumber at the Lockheed Aircraft plant in Burbank, California.  How this guard was interviewed by police but told several conflicting stories causing investigators to doubt his credibility.  How his weapon was never examined by police, and no attempt was ever made to determine whether his conflicting stories were because he was covering something up, or because he was trying to inject himself into a sensational national event; the investigators simply assumed it was the latter.

– Mae talks about how Robert Houghton, LAPD Chief of Detectives and head of Special Unit Senator (SUS, the RFK murder investigation task force), called a meeting in July of 1969, to examine whether any person in the pantry of the Ambassador Hotel the night of Bobby Kennedy’s murder had any “right-wing” political connections. How Special Unit Senator came to the conclusion that there were no “right-wing” connections.  How they overlooked the security guard Gene Cesar, who was tracked down by Ted Charach in the San Fernando Valley, and who gave statements that he hated the Kennedy family, supported Governor George C. Wallace of Alabama for president, and that he though a race war in America was imminent. She then relates how Gene Cesar admitted to Charach that he had owned a .22 caliber pistol, but that he had sold it to a friend. He also admitted that he had drawn his gun in the pantry the night that Bobby Kennedy was killed.

– Mae then goes into the ballistic work of William Harper.  How Harper had noticed apparent inconsistencies over a slug too large to have come from Sirhan’s revolver. How Harper, after making several detailed examinations of the evidence in the case, levied the following criticisms of Wolfer’s work: at least two bullets removed from the pantry (one from Kennedy’s body, one from ABC journalist William Wiesel) do not match each other and could not have been fired from the same gun, that there is at least a 14% difference in the rifling angles of two bullets suggesting that they came from different guns, and that neither of these bullets match the three bullets entered as Exhibit 55, which purport to be test bullets fired from Sirhan’s gun after his arrest.

– Mae explains how these bullets were fired from a gun with a serial number of H18602.  She then points out that Sirhan’s gun was listed as having serial number H53725. She points out that at the Sirhan trial, Wolfer testified that the test bullets had been fired from a second gun (H18602), that was “borrowed” from the County Clerks criminal evidence section on June 10, 1968, and that this weapon was slated to be, and later was destroyed.  How Wolfer had stated that this second gun was used because of the fact that Sirhan’s gun (H53725) was before the grand jury as evidence and therefore unavailable to him at the time. How an evidence slip in Wolfer’s own handwriting, which was attached to Exhibit 55, stated that the bullets were test fired from the second gun (H18602) on June 6th, 1968, despite the fact that Sirhan’s gun (H53725) was not entered into evidence until the next day, June 7th.  Mae explains that this leads to the conclusion that there were no test bullets fired from Sirhan’s own gun (H53725) entered into evidence at his trial.

– She concludes with the massive amount of evidence tampering in the RFK case including the second gun, the ballistic evidence, the jacket that Robert Kennedy was wearing, and the missing pages from Sirhan’s diary.

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