Shortly before his death, Casolaro told people that he was nearly ready to reveal a wide-ranging conspiracy spanning the Inslaw case, Iran-Contra, the alleged October Surprise conspiracy, and the closure of BCCI. David Corn writes in The Nation that the papers Casolaro left behind reveal few clues, except that he was in over his head, but was tenacious.
His papers included old clippings, handwritten notes that were hard to read, and the names of former CIA officers and arms dealers. Corn writes that the notes show Casolaro was influenced by the Christic Institute and that he had pursued material fed to him by a reporter who worked for Lyndon LaRouche. Richard Fricker writes in Wired that Casolaro had been led into a “Bermuda Triangle of spooks, guns, drugs and organized crime.”
Was Peaches Geldof murdered by the illuminati and the Knights of Malta for exposing pedophiles just months ago? Peaches, daughter of legendary rocker Bob Geldof, had recently tweeted the names of two mothers who had offered their babies to be raped by an alleged illuminati member who later admitted to the crimes after being outed by Geldof.
For those who don’t know Geldof, she was considered the ‘Paris Hilton’ of the UK, and she was highly involved in exposing pedophilia in the illuminati realm. She also faced charges for exposing a prominent UK pedophile on Twitter as shared in the videos as screenshots below. BeforeItsNews videographer pressResetEarth clearly proves in the first video below that Peaches untimely death has all the tell tale signs of being an ‘illuminati hit’.
Pedo Priest Don Patrizio Poggi Claims Vatican Rife With Prostitution and “Satanism”
FBI Planned to Kill Occupy Leaders – SHOCKER lol
Zimmerman Prosecutor Indicted For Allegely Falsifying arrest warrant and complaint
Mysterious Sophisticated Technology Could Rewrite History
Beyond Snowden: US General Cartwright has been indicted for espionage
Saga Continues: ‘The World Will Be Shocked': Greenwald on Upcoming NSA Exposé
Snowjob, a colloquialism for a cover-up, distraction
Every Week Night 12-1am EST (9-10pm PST)Read more
9 Year Old Explains the Universe, the Meaning of Life, Destiny, Free Will, & Alternate Realities
Data Mining – Facial Recognition – GPS Tracking by Cubic/Intrepid/Abbraxis TrapWire, Tartan, etc
BRICS Nations plan new bank to bypass IMF and World Bank?!
Why do we still have Legislators?? WE HAVE THE INTERNET NOW!
Correction: Sandy Hook Tribute Memorial – Data Stamp Inaccuracy Exposed?
Digesting the Conspiracy: Waking up, one step at a time.
UFO Quick History, the Nuclear R&D Connection
Phillip Marshall: 9/11 Truth Author Killed in Black Ops Hit
Guccifer ‘Hacker’ – Elite’s Dirty Laundry Exposed… on purpose?
Every Week Night 12-1am EST (9-10pm PST)Read more
Media Ignores Shooting Stopped by Law-Abiding Gun Owner
CLIP: Dianne Feinstein Says Her Goal is to Disarm All Americans
MR COLION NOIR:
You Know You’re a GUN CONTROL HYPOCRITE IF….
Obama signs NDAA 2013 without objecting to indefinite detention of Americans
FBI Should Investigate Bankers, Not Protesters
Fiscal Cliff – much better perspective
(and why/how they muddy the water)
Fraud, Money Laundering and Narcotics. Impunity of the Banking Giants. No Prosecution of HSBC
Every Week Night 12-1am EST (9-10pm PST)Read more
Assassinations In History
A wild Washington Post story reports that the Obama administration has been developing plans to “institutionalize” its extrajudicial assassination program. The lede is bonkers:
Over the past two years, the Obama administration has been secretly developing a new blueprint for pursuing terrorists, a next-generation targeting list called the “disposition matrix.”
The matrix contains the names of terrorism suspects arrayed against an accounting of the resources being marshaled to track them down, including sealed indictments and clandestine operations. U.S. officials said the database is designed to go beyond existing kill lists, mapping plans for the “disposition” of suspects beyond the reach of American drones.Although the matrix is a work in progress, the effort to create it reflects a reality setting in among the nation’s counterterrorism ranks: The United States’ conventional wars are winding down, but the government expects to continue adding names to kill or capture lists for years.Among senior Obama administration officials, there is a broad consensus that such operations are likely to be extended at least another decade. Given the way al-Qaeda continues to metastasize, some officials said no clear end is in sight.
was developed by the NCTC, under former director Michael Leiter, to augment those organizations’ separate but overlapping kill lists, officials said.
Once information is acquired, the new guidelines authorize broad new search powers. As long NCTC says its search is aimed at identifying terrorism information, it may conduct queries that involve non-terrorism data points and pattern-based searches and analysis (data mining). The breadth and wrongheadedness of these changes are particularly noteworthy. Not only do they mean that anytime you interact with any government agency you essentially enter a lineup as a potential terrorist, they also rely on a technique, datamining, which has been thoroughly discredited as a useful tool for identifying terrorists. As far back as 2008 the National Academy of Sciences found that data mining for terrorism was scientifically “not feasible” as a methodology, and likely to have significant negative impacts on privacy and civil liberties.Perhaps most disturbing, once information is gathered (not necessarily connected to terrorism), in many cases it can be shared with “a federal, state, local, tribal, or foreign or international entity, or to an individual or entity not part of a government” – literally anyone. That sharing can happen in relation to national security and safety, drug investigations, if it’s evidence of a crime or to evaluate sources or contacts. This boundless sharing is broad enough to encompass disclosures to an employer or landlord about someone who NCTC may think is potentially a criminal, or at the request of local law enforcement for vetting an informant.All of this is happening with very little oversight.
Remembering the ‘Correct’ version of History is important! let’s set the foundation for the various methods of lying-into-war, Where and when history has chosen to ‘overlook’. Think-Tanks that manipulate & influence, Power Brokers of the Global Elite, Secret Societies and what some would describe as Satanic Mass-Sacrificial Agreements.
Every Week Night 12-1am EST (9-10pm PST)Read more
It is widely known that victims and witnesses were giving conflicting reports when compared to the ‘official’ version of events. Did Jenny hear something she shouldn’t have? Did she know something they didn’t want to get out? This is far too suspicious…
-Max Maverick, DCMX Editor
US president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle paid tribute to Jenny and her colleagues who are credited with saving the lives of some of those injured in the massacre.
PHD student James Holmes has been charged in relation to the shootings which left 12 people dead.
However, her family has now been plunged into a sense of grief of their own. Jenny was out swimming in a lake close to her home when she is believed to have drowned.
Her husband Greg Pinson and five-year-old son Jack are struggling to come to terms with the loss of a “wonderful mother”.
Her mother Brigid, who was unable to fly to Denver for the funeral, added: “I am heartbroken, it is just terrible, terrible. She was such a wonderful person who was just so full of life and a wonderful mother who loved Jack so much,” she said.
Jenny studied to be a nurse in Denver in the nineties and decided to settle there.
She was a GAA fanatic and founded the Denver Gaels ladies football club.
The club posted an emotional tribute on its website, describing Jenny as a “loving and devoted mother” and a “proud Meath woman”.
“Every team has its ups and downs, its wins and losses … the Pinson and Gallagher families, the Gaels and our Irish community suffered a great loss. Jennifer Gallagher passed on, leaving a wake of sorrow, sadness and loving memories.
“When you met Jenny she brightened up your day and wanted to know how you were doing. Others always came first in the most natural and sincere way.
“In her vocation as a nurse, she cared for those with most acute needs in the burn unit, the ER and most recently was recognized for her work with the Aurora shooting victims by President Obama. We were all very proud of her”
A special memorial mass is due to take place in Duleek on August 26.
Political Assassinations throughout history, Targeted killing and the Obama ‘hit list’, Black Ops, Conspiracy, Drones, and the technology that makes it all possible.
Every Week Night 12-1am EST (9-10pm PST)Read more
Cynthia McKinney tells CR 10 about 5,000 mostly men executed in N.O. post Katrina
A group of military veterans in California are suing the CIA over allegedly implanting remote control devices in their brains. They allege the spy agency was on a quest to turn humans into robot-like assassins via electrodes planted in their brains.
Looking closely at Eminem’s lyrics, he was a troubled man with a talent exploited by the system he let create the rap legend that is Eminem.
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Yasser Arafat died on November 11, 2004, of a mysterious ailment. His enemies spread the rumor he had AIDS: David Frum, with typical classiness, claimed he had contracted AIDS as a consequence of having sex with his bodyguards. Now, however, it has been revealed Arafat was poisoned: the cause of his death was exposure to very high levels of polonium-210 [pdf], a rare radioactive substance. An investigation conducted by Al Jazeera showed Arafat’s personal items, released to the media organization by his widow, contained several times the normal level of polonium that would normally be detected on such items. The Palestinian leader’s terminal symptoms were similar to those experienced by victims of polonium poisoning: the substance targets the gastrointestinal tract and the subject wastes away.
Arafat’s Ramallah compound had been bombed several times by the Israelis, and they had the place surrounded – yet still he persisted. They couldn’t get him out. Worse, his plight was becoming a metaphor for the condition of his people, who were – and still are – prisoners in their own land. A former adviser claimed he was poisoned by the Israelis, who detained the Palestinian ambulance used to deliver Arafat’s medications to the Ramallah compound. At the time, one tended to write this off as a purely polemical exercise: in light of the new evidence, however, the question has to be asked.
Simply by continuing to exist in the face of such a sustained assault, Arafat was defeating the Israelis every day. They had to get rid of him. Did they? We’ll never know for sure, but it is worth noting that Israeli threats to kill him preceded his untimely death by less than a year. As is well-known, Israeli intelligence has carried out numerous assassinations: it is simply another tool in their international operations, one they have never hesitated to utilize. A passport-falsification scheme involving New Zealand, Britain, France, Spain, and a number of other countries was widely believed to have been meant to equip the Mossad’s crack team of assassins, who could slip into – and out of – target areas at will.
The Israelis hated Arafat with a particular passion, for two reasons:
1) His longevity – The Palestinian movement is thick [pdf] with factions, but thin when it comes to recognizable leaders. Arafat was the principal leader, and no one since his death has achieved his stature. He was a political survivor, having lived through numerous assassination attempts, and deflected the schemes of internal enemies to displace him. Simply by sticking around for so long, he became a living symbol of the Palestinian struggle for self-determination – and that is one big reason why the Israelis got rid of him.
2) His secularism – The Israelis encouraged the growth of groups such as Hamas in the beginning, in order to split away the more religious elements from the decidedly secular Palestine Liberation Organization/Fatah, which Arafat headed. It is easy to sell the Palestinians as crazed jihadists when a group like Hamas or Islamic Jihad is the most visible champion of their cause: the secular PLO presented the Israelis with a public relations problem. There’s another reason for the Israelis to have knocked him off.
One aspect of this case is extremely odd: polonium-210 is the same poison Alexander Litvinenko was dosed with. Litvinenko, a former KGB official, converted to Islam, joined the Chechen rebels, and became an associate of Boris Berezovsky, the notorious Russian oligarch wanted on charges of embezzlement in his home country. Litvinenko and Berezovsky are the Russian version of 9/11 Truthers: they believe practically every terrorist attack on Russian cities has been “staged” by Vladimir Putin in order to keep him in power. When he became ill, Litvinenko charged the Russian spy agency with poisoning him – although that seems highly unlikely.
Polonium-210 isn’t something you can buy off the shelf at your local Walmart. It isn’t even something a mad scientist might cook up in his home lab. About 100 grams are produced each year for specialized technical uses. The only entities with access to this sort of thing are state actors, or, at least, a private organization with very substantial resources at its disposal.
What’s interesting is that a diplomatic cable, dated Dec. 26, 2006 and published by WikiLeaks, details the conversation of a US diplomat with Russian spook Anatoly Safonov in which Safonov claims the Russians told the British about the importation of “nuclear materials” into London during the Litvinenko affair – and were told that the whole thing was “under control before the poisoning took place.” In the course of the same conversation, Safonov – Putin’s chief representative on terrorism-related matters – went on to describe a number of threats and their possible sources:
“Safonov noted the daunting number of countries that posed particular terrorism threats, mentioning North Korea, Pakistan, South Africa, Libya, Iran, India, and Israel (sic?). He described a range of dangers, stressing the more immediate threats posed by nuclear and biological terrorism, but also acknowledging the risks of chemical terrorism.”
While the use of “sic” is meant to indicate our diplomat’s incredulity at the inclusion of Israel in this list, what we now know about how Arafat died should tear away the blinders from several sets of eyes – yes, even at the US State Department.
NOTES IN THE MARGIN
I note with sadness and a real sense of loss the departure of Scott Horton, the host of Antiwar.com Radio, from our staff. We wanted to keep him on, but we just couldn’t afford him anymore. Times are tough, but this is a big blow: Scott’s interviews with the Big Names in the foreign policy universe are always informed, and in his inimitable style he always laced his programs with humor and a keen intelligence. I can’t even begin to tell you how much he will be missed, but that’s life these days, unfortunately.Read more
Enrique “Ricky” Prado’s resume reads like the ultimate CIA officer: veteran of the Central American wars, running the CIA’s operations in Korea, a top spy in America’s espionage programs against China, and deputy to counter-terrorist chief Cofer Black — and then a stint at Blackwater. But he’s also alleged to have started out a career as a hitman for a notorious Miami mobster, and kept working for the mob even after joining the CIA. Finally, he went on to serve as the head of the CIA’s secret assassination squad against Al-Qaida.
That’s according to journalist Evan Wright’s blockbuster story How to Get Away With Murder in America, distributed by Byliner. In it, Wright — who authored Generation Kill, the seminal story of the Iraq invasion — compiles lengthy, years-long investigations by state and federal police into a sector of Miami’s criminal underworld that ended nowhere, were sidelined by higher-ups, or cut short by light sentences. It tracks the history of Prado’s alleged Miami patron and notorious cocaine trafficker, Alberto San Pedro, and suspicions that Prado moved a secret death squad from the CIA to Blackwater.
“In protecting Prado, the CIA arguably allowed a new type of mole — an agent not of a foreign government but of American criminal interests — to penetrate command,” Wright writes.
In this sense, there are two stories that blur into each other: Prado the CIA officer, and Prado the alleged killer. The latter begins when Prado met his alleged future mob patron, Alberto San Pedro, as a high school student in Miami after their families had fled Cuba following the revolution. Prado would later join the Air Force, though he never saw service in Vietnam, and returned to Miami to work as a firefighter. But he kept moonlighting as a hitman for San Pedro, who had emerged into one of Miami’s most formidable cocaine traffickers, according to Wright.
San Pedro hosted parties for the city’s elite, lost a testicle in a drive-by shooting outside of his house, rebuilt his house into a fortress, tortured guard dogs for sport, and imported tens of millions of dollars’ worth of cocaine into the United States per year, Wright adds. His ties reportedly included an aide to former Florida Governor Bob Graham, numerous judges, lobbyists and a state prosecutor. His ties also included a friendship with former CNN anchor Rick Sanchez, then a local TV reporter.
Prado, meanwhile, was dropping bodies, alleges Wright. Investigators from the Miami-Dade Police Department’s organized crime squad suspected him of participating in at least seven murders and one attempted murder. He attempted to join the CIA, but returned to Miami after not completing the background check (due to his apparent concern over his family ties). But was admitted after the Reagan administration opened up a covert offensive against leftist Central American militants, where he reportedly served training the Contras.
More startling, the Miami murders allegedly continued after Prado joined the CIA. One target included a cocaine distributor in Colorado who was killed by a car bomb. Investigators believed he was killed over concerns he would talk to the police.
Years later, in 1996, Prado was a senior manager inside the CIA’s Bin Laden Issue Station, before the Al-Qaida mastermind was a well-known name. Two years later, the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania elevated Prado to become the chief of operations inside the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center, headed by then-chief Cofer Black, later an executive for the notorious merc firm Blackwater. “As the title implied, the job made Prado responsible for all the moving pieces at the CTC — supervising field offices on surveillance, rendition, or other missions, and making sure that logistics were in order, that personnel were in place,” according to Wright.
Prado was also reportedly put in charge of a “targeted assassination unit,” that was never put into operation. (The CIA shifted to drones.) But according to Wright, the CIA handed over its hit squad operation to Blackwater, now called Academi, as a way “to kill people with precision, without getting caught.” Prado is said to have negotiated the deal to transfer the unit, which Wright wrote “marked the first time the U.S. government outsourced a covert assassination service to private enterprise.” As to whether the unit was then put into operation, two Blackwater contractors tell Wright the unit began “whacking people like crazy” beginning in 2008. Prado also popped up two years ago in a report by Jeremy Scahill of The Nation, in which the now ex-CIA Prado was discovered to have built up a network of foreign shell companies to hide Blackwater operations, beginning in 2004. The Nation also revealed that Prado pitched an e-mail in 2007 to the DEA, explaining that Blackwater could “do everything from everything from surveillance to ground truth to disruption operations,” carried out by foreign nationals, “so deniability is built in and should be a big plus.”
But it’s hard to say where Prado’s alleged criminal ties end. It’s possibly his ties dried up, or moved on. Even mobsters, like Alberto San Pedro, retire. Another theory has it that Prado wanted to break his ties to the Miami underworld — and San Pedro — all along, and sought out legitimate employment in the military, in firefighting and the CIA as an escape. But, the theory goes, he stayed in because he still owed a debt to his patrons.
The other question involves the CIA itself. It’s no secret the agency has associated with dubious types, but the agency is also “notoriously risk averse,” Wright writes. Yet the agency is also protective. And letting Prado on board wouldn’t be the agency’s first intelligence failure.Read more
Veteran Los Angeles coroner forensic technican Michael Cormier had died, apparently due to arsenic poisoning. The 61 year old Cormier was discovered dead on April 20th – the same day the city officials had released their preliminary autopsy report on the death of conservative media powerhouse Andrew Breitbart.
According to early reports, Michael Cormier was “seemingly healthy,” yet “suddenly stricken” with a fatal condition – just like Andrew Breitbart.
It’s the latest twist in the case of Andrew Breitbart’s untimely death that will surely fuel increased speculation into possible foul play – in both cases.
The sluggish release of the Breitbart autopsy follows the unorthodox, rushed announcement by city authorities at the time of Breitbart’s death that he had died of ‘natural causes’ on March 1, 2012 at the age of 43.
The timing of Breitbart’s death came on the eve of a few highly anticipated events. Firstly, he had announced that he would be releasing rare ‘game changing’, rather damning video footage of President Obama allegedly cavorting with communist activists years earlier. Some footage was released in the days after his death, but it is not believed to be material that would change the corse of the 2012 election as Breitbart had indicated beforehand. He was also due to reveal his new Breitbart.com format, and had met only one before his death with Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse team in Phoenix in relation to Obama’s forged PDF birth certificate and forged US Selective Service registration card.
The LA County Coroner’s office announced in their preliminary report that Breitbart had died of heart failure, and that a negligible amount of alcohol was found in his system. No prescription or illicit drugs were discovered at any point during the autopsy. The final, definitive medical explaination on Breitbart’s death has yet to be made public.
Coroner Michael Cormier’s mysterious death was first reported by KTLA TV reporter Elizabeth Espinosa explaining how city detectives were investigating a possible ‘arsenic poisoning’ in the case. This report was later picked up and reported in an LA Times Local blog:
“The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that finding the presence of poison does not necessarily mean the death was a homicide, because the substance could have accidentally entered his system.”
“At this point we haven’t ruled out foul play,” said Lt. Alan Hamilton of the Los Angeles Police Department. “It is one of the things being considered. We are waiting for the coroner’s results.”
A toxicology report is expected to be released sometime between May 25th and June 1st.
WND also recounted Breitbart’s early career, by summarizing:
Matt Drudge paid tribute to his colleague and friend with a posting on the Drudge Report: “In the first decade of the DRUDGEREPORT Andrew Breitbart was a constant source of energy, passion and commitment. We shared a love of headlines, a love of the news, an excitement about what’s happening. I don’t think there was a single day during that time when we did not flash each other or laugh with each other, or challenge each other. I still see him in my mind’s eye in Venice Beach, the sunny day I met him. He was in his mid 20′s. It was all there. He had a wonderful, loving family and we all feel great sadness for them today.”
April 30, 2012
Los Angeles (CNN) — As a federal court prepares to rule on a challenge to Sirhan Sirhan’s conviction in the Robert F. Kennedy assassination, a long overlooked witness to the murder is telling her story: She heard two guns firing during the 1968 shooting and authorities altered her account of the crime.
Nina Rhodes-Hughes wants the world to know that, despite what history says, Sirhan was not the only gunman firing shots when Kennedy was murdered a few feet away from her at a Los Angeles hotel.
“What has to come out is that there was another shooter to my right,” Rhodes-Hughes said in an exclusive interview with CNN. “The truth has got to be told. No more cover-ups.”
Her voice at times becoming emotional, Rhodes-Hughes described for CNN various details of the assassination, her long frustration with the official reporting of her account and her reasons for speaking out: “I think to assist me in healing — although you’re never 100% healed from that. But more important to bring justice.
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“For me it’s hopeful and sad that it’s only coming out now instead of before — but at least now instead of never,” Rhodes-Hughes told CNN by phone from her home near Vancouver, British Columbia.
Sirhan, the only person arrested, tried and convicted in the shooting of Kennedy and five other people, is serving a life sentence at Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga, California.
The U.S. District Court in Los Angeles is set to rule on a request by the 68-year-old Sirhan that he be released, retried or granted a hearing on new evidence, including Rhodes-Hughes’ firsthand account.
At his 1969 trial, Sirhan’s original defense team never contested the prosecution’s case that Sirhan was the one and only shooter in Kennedy’s assassination. Sirhan testified at his trial that he had killed Kennedy “with 20 years of malice aforethought,” and he was convicted and sentenced to death, which was reduced to life in prison in 1972.
After the trial, Sirhan recanted his courtroom confession.
In the recent federal court filings, state prosecutors led by California Attorney General Kamala Harris argue that even if there were a second gunman involved in the Kennedy shooting, Sirhan hasn’t proven his innocence and he’s still guilty of murder under California’s vicarious liability law.
Sirhan’s new legal team disputes Harris’ assertion about that state statute.
Their current battle has prosecutors and Sirhan’s new lawyers engaging directly the merits of new evidence — as well as witness recollections such as Rhodes-Hughes’ account — never argued before a judge.
Prosecutors under the attorney general are contending that Rhodes-Hughes heard no more than eight gunshots during the assassination. In court papers filed in February, Harris and prosecutors argue that Rhodes-Hughes was among several witnesses reporting “that only eight shots were fired and that all these shots came from the same direction.”
Sirhan’s lawyers are challenging those assertions.
In a response also filed in federal court in Los Angeles, the defense team led by New York attorney William Pepper contends that the FBI misrepresented Rhodes-Hughes’ eyewitness account and that she actually had heard a total of 12 to 14 shots fired.
“She identified fifteen errors including the FBI alteration which quoted her as hearing only eight shots, which she explicitly denied was what she had told them,” Sirhan’s lawyers argued in February, citing a previously published statement from Rhodes-Hughes.
The FBI and the California attorney general’s office both declined to comment to CNN on the controversy over Rhodes-Hughes’ witness account since the matter is now being reviewed by a federal judge.
Rhodes-Hughes was a television actress in 1968 who worked as a volunteer fundraiser for Kennedy’s presidential campaign.
The FBI report indicates that Rhodes-Hughes was indeed inside the kitchen service pantry of the Ambassador Hotel during the crucial moments of the Kennedy shooting, but she contends the bureau got details of her story wrong, including her assertions about the number of shots fired and where the shots were fired from.
Rhodes-Hughes, now 78, tells CNN she informed authorities in 1968 that the number of gunshots she counted in the kitchen pantry exceeded eight — which would have been more than the maximum Sirhan could have fired — and that some of the shots came from a location in the pantry other than Sirhan’s position.
Robert Kennedy was the most seriously wounded of the six people shot inside the hotel pantry on June 5, 1968, only moments after the New York senator had claimed victory in California’s Democratic primary election. The presidential candidate died the next day; the other victims survived.
The Los Angeles County coroner determined that three bullets struck Kennedy’s body and a fourth passed harmlessly through his clothing. Police and prosecutors declared the four bullets were among eight fired by Sirhan acting alone.
Rhodes-Hughes tells CNN the FBI’s eight-shot claim is “completely false.” She says the bureau “twisted” things she told two FBI agents when they interviewed her as an assassination witness in 1968, and she says Harris and her prosecutors are simply “parroting” the bureau’s report.
“I never said eight shots. I never, never said it,” Rhodes-Hughes told CNN. “But if the attorney general is saying it then she’s going according to what the FBI chose to put into their report.”
“There were more than eight shots,” Rhodes-Hughes said by phone. She says that during the FBI interview in her Los Angeles home, one month after the assassination, she told the agents that she’d heard 12 to 14 shots. “There were at least 12, maybe 14. And I know there were because I heard the rhythm in my head,” Rhodes-Hughes said. She says she believes senior FBI officials altered statements she made to the agents to “conform with what they wanted the public to believe, period.”
“When they say only eight shots, the anger within me is so great that I practically — I get very emotional because it is so untrue. It is so untrue,” she said.
Contacted by CNN for comment, Sirhan lead attorney William Pepper called the alleged FBI alteration of Rhodes-Hughes’ story “deplorable” and “criminal” and said it “mirrors the experience of other witnesses.”
Other witnesses also mentioned more than eight shots
Law enforcement investigators have always maintained that only eight shots were fired in the RFK assassination, all of them by Sirhan. His small-caliber handgun could hold no more than eight bullets.
But released witness interview summaries show at least four other people told authorities in 1968 that they heard what could have been more than eight shots. The following four witness accounts appear not in FBI reports but in Los Angeles Police Department summaries:
— Jesse Unruh, who was speaker of the California Assembly at the time, told police that he was within 20 to 30 feet behind Kennedy when suddenly he heard a “crackle” of what he initially thought were exploding firecrackers. “I don’t really quite remember how many reports there were,” Unruh told the LAPD. “It sounded to me like somewhere between 5 and 10.”
— Frank Mankiewicz, who had been Kennedy’s campaign press secretary, told police that he was trying to catch up to the senator when he suddenly heard sounds that also seemed to him to be “a popping of firecrackers.” When an LAPD detective asked Mankiewicz how many of the sounds he’d heard, he answered: “It seemed to me I heard a lot. If indeed it had turned out to have been firecrackers, I probably would have said 10. But I’m sure it was less than that.”
— Estelyn Duffy LaHive, who had been a Kennedy supporter, told police that she was standing just outside the kitchen pantry’s west entrance when the shooting erupted. “I thought I heard at least about 10 shots,” she told the LAPD.
— Booker Griffin, another Kennedy supporter, told police that he had just entered the pantry through its east entrance and suddenly heard “two quick” shots followed by a slight pause and then what “sounded like it could have been 10 or 12″ additional shots.
An analysis of a recently uncovered tape recording of the shooting detected at least 13 shot sounds erupting over a period of less than six seconds. The audiotape was recorded at the Ambassador Hotel by free-lance newspaper reporter Stanislaw Pruszynski and is the only known soundtrack of the assassination.
Audio expert Philip Van Praag told CNN that his analysis establishes the Pruszynski recording as authentic and the 13 sounds electronically detected on the recording as gunshots.
“The gunshots are established by virtue of my computer analysis of waveform patterns, which clearly distinguishes gunshots from other phenomena,” he said in an e-mail. “This would include phenomena that to human hearing are often perceived as exploding firecrackers, popping camera flashbulbs or bursting balloons.”
Van Praag’s Pruszynski recording findings are now a major point of controversy among new evidence being argued between the two sides in the Sirhan federal court case. Harris contends that his findings amount to an “interpretation or opinion” that is not universally accepted by acoustic experts.
CNN initially reported on Van Praag’s audio analysis in 2008 and then with additional details in a BackStory segment in 2009.
Shots fired from two different locations
California prosecutors have argued that witnesses heard shots coming from only one location, but Rhodes-Hughes tells CNN that while the first two or three shots she heard came from Sirhan’s position several feet in front of her, she also heard gunshots “to my right where Robert Kennedy was.”
According to the autopsy report, the coroner concluded that the senator’s body and clothing were struck from behind, at right rear, by four bullets fired at upward angles and at point-blank range. Yet witnesses said Sirhan fired somewhat downward, almost horizontally, from several feet in front of Kennedy, and witnesses did not report the senator’s back as ever being exposed to Sirhan or his gun.
In his analysis of the Pruszynski sound recording, Philip Van Praag found that five of the gunshots captured in the tape were fired opposite the direction of Sirhan’s eight shots. Van Praag also concluded that those five shots — the third, fifth, eighth, 10th and 12th gunshots within a 13-shot sequence — displayed an acoustical “frequency anomaly” indicating that the alleged second gun’s make and model were different from Sirhan’s weapon.
A chance meeting with Robert Kennedy
The path that eventually led Nina Rhodes-Hughes to the Ambassador Hotel kitchen pantry began 2½ years earlier during a chance meeting with Robert Kennedy at NBC-TV studios in Burbank, California. She was being made up for her co-starring role in the daytime drama “Morning Star” when Kennedy suddenly entered the makeup room. The actress was starstruck. “I saw Robert Kennedy and everything else disappeared from view,” she said. “There was an aura about him that was very captivating. He kind of pulled you in. His eyes were very deep set and they were very blue. And when you looked at him, you got very drawn in to him.”
As Rhodes-Hughes remembers it, the senator had arrived to pre-record an interview on “Meet the Press” and the two discussed political issues while awaiting their separate TV appearances. “Here I am, just an actress in a soap opera, and he took the time to have an in-depth conversation with me,” said Rhodes-Hughes, who was then known professionally by her screen name Nina Roman.
As impressed as Rhodes-Hughes was with Robert Kennedy, she says the senator indicated that he himself was impressed with her ability to quickly memorize many pages of TV script. She says he confided to her that he had no such talent himself but that his older brother, the assassinated President John F. Kennedy, had possessed similar skills.
“Our conversation basically was the clincher for me,” Rhodes-Hughes told CNN. “I said to him, ‘You know, I have followed your career in politics and I really believe in you and I love all the things that you did — and are trying to do, and propose to do — and so if ever you declare yourself a candidate for the presidency, I will work for you, heart and soul.’ And he smiled and said, ‘Well, I don’t know if that’s going to happen.’ And he was very humble and very sweet.”
Rhodes-Hughes says that later, in the spring of 1968, shortly after Kennedy announced his candidacy for the presidency, she helped form a campaign support group in Los Angeles called “Young Professionals for Kennedy” and assisted in raising funds for the California phase of the senator’s White House bid.
Weeks later, as he claimed victory in the California primary, addressing hundreds of supporters in the Ambassador Hotel’s Embassy Room shortly after midnight on June 5, Kennedy paid tribute to the many volunteers, like Rhodes-Hughes, who had assisted his campaign. Referring to his own role during his brother’s successful run for the presidency in 1960, Kennedy told them, “I was a campaign manager eight years ago. I know what a difference that kind of an effort and that kind of a commitment makes.”
Trying to keep Kennedy from heading to the pantry
For Rhodes-Hughes there was one more commitment to keep. She had promised Kennedy aide Pierre Salinger that following the candidate’s victory speech she would try to meet the senator as he exited the ballroom and usher him to a backstage area where Salinger had been keeping abreast of the California primary returns. She says although she and another campaign volunteer made sure to carefully position themselves to greet the candidate, the opportunity never came. According to Rhodes-Hughes, shortly after Kennedy completed his remarks in the Embassy Room, he was whisked away by others down a corridor and toward the kitchen pantry while she scurried to catch up.
“No, no, that’s the wrong way!” Rhodes-Hughes tells CNN she shouted to the senator and his escorts as she chased after them in an unsuccessful effort to turn them around. “It’s this way! Come back! You’re going the wrong way!”
Kennedy and Sirhan almost face-to-face
Rhodes-Hughes says that after she entered the kitchen pantry’s west entrance, she could see Kennedy in left profile, “greeting” well-wishers a few feet ahead of her. She says a moment later she was looking at the back of the senator’s head, as he continued onward, when suddenly the first two or three shots were fired.
“I saw his left profile. And then, very, very quickly, he was through greeting, and he turned and went into the original direction that he was being ushered to,” Rhodes-Hughes told CNN. “At that point, I saw the back of his head and part of his shoulders and back.”
“My eyes were totally on him, and all of a sudden I started hearing popping sounds, which I thought at first were flashbulbs from a camera,” she said. It was Rhodes-Hughes’ account of Kennedy’s movements in the pantry that Sirhan’s lawyer Pepper focused on in particular when CNN asked him to comment on Rhodes-Hughes’ account of the shooting.
“This observation is vital,” said Pepper. “Her clear recollection of being some short distance behind the Senator and seeing his left profile and then seeing him quickly turning so that the back of his head was in her sight at the time the shooting began — this reveals that the Senator was almost directly facing Sirhan just before he took three shots, from behind, in his back, and behind his right ear at powder burn range, making it impossible for Sirhan to have been Robert Kennedy’s shooter,” the defense attorney said in an e-mail to CNN. “It clearly evidences the existence of a second gunman who fired from below and upward at the Senator.”
Rhodes-Hughes says that while she was behind Senator Kennedy, looking at the back of his head and hearing the first two or three gunshots, Kennedy did not appear to be struck by bullets at that point.
Still believing the first shots were merely flashbulbs, she says she then took her eyes off the senator, while turning leftward, and caught her first glimpse of Sirhan standing in front of Kennedy and to the candidate’s left.
She told CNN that the 5-foot-5-inch tall Sirhan was propped up on a steam table, several feet ahead of her and slightly to her own left. Rhodes-Hughes says part of her view of Sirhan was obstructed and she could not see the gun in his hand but she says that, as soon as she caught sight of Sirhan, she then heard more shots coming from somewhere past her right side and near Kennedy. She told CNN that at that point she was hearing “much more rapid fire” than she initially had heard.
In his recent analysis of the Pruszynski recording, Philip Van Praag found that some of the tape’s 13 captured shot sounds were fired too rapidly, at intervals too close together, for all of the gunshots in the pantry to have come from Sirhan’s Iver Johnson revolver alone.
Sirhan’s lawyers report in their federal court papers that gunshot echoes have been ruled out as the cause of the Pruszynski recording’s “double shots.” Ricochets also are ruled out according to Pasadena, California, forensic audio engineers who verified Van Praag’s Pruszynski findings for the 2007 Investigation Discovery Channel television documentary “Conspiracy Test: The RFK Assassination.”
‘They’ve killed him! They’ve killed him!’
Rhodes-Hughes told CNN she heard gunshots coming from some place not far from her right side even while Sirhan was being subdued several feet in front of her. “During all of that time, there are shots coming to my right,” she said. “People are falling around me. I see a man sliding down a wall. Then I see Senator Kennedy lying on the floor on his back, bleeding. And I remember screaming, ‘Oh no! Oh, my God, no!’ And the next thing I know, I’m ducking but also in complete shock as to what’s going on.
“And then I passed out,” she said.
Rhodes-Hughes says that, moments later, while she was regaining consciousness from having fainted to the floor, she noticed that her dress was wet and that she was missing a belt and one of her shoes. It was clear to her that she had been trampled, but she was unhurt.
She then looked across the room and saw Kennedy once again, lying on the floor and bleeding, this time with his wife Ethel kneeling and trying to comfort him. Rhodes-Hughes says the sight horrified her, sending her screaming out of the pantry and back through the corridor, where she was attended to by her then-husband, the late television producer Michael Rhodes.
“I’m running out of the pantry and I’m yelling, ‘They’ve killed him! They’ve killed him! Oh, my God, he’s dead! They’ve killed him!'” Rhodes-Hughes told CNN. “Now, the reason I said, ‘they’ is because I knew there was more than one shooter involved.”
Little more than 25 hours later, Kennedy was pronounced dead at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles.
Rhodes-Hughes describes the events of early June 1968 as “the most iconoclastic experience” of her life.
“Although it was 44 years ago, I will swear that this is exactly what happened. I remember it like it was almost yesterday, because you don’t forget something like that when it totally changes your life forever,” she said. “It took a great toll on me. For a while, even the backfiring of a car would send me into tears.”
Never called to testify
Despite the fact her FBI interview summary indicates Nina Rhodes-Hughes was inside the kitchen pantry during the assassination, she was never called to testify at Sirhan’s 1969 trial or at any subsequent inquiry over the years. Rhodes-Hughes says she made a point of telling two FBI agents in 1968 that she would be willing to make herself available to appear as a witness anywhere at anytime and to testify “that there were more shots.”
“They never wrote that down,” she says of the FBI agents who conducted the interview in her Los Angeles home. She also says that when the pair of agents departed following their visit, they forgot to take along their attaché case and, minutes later, had to return to her residence and retrieve it.
Rhodes-Hughes says that, in the months following the June 5, 1968 assassination, she and some others who had been at the Ambassador Hotel refused news media interviews so as to avoid interfering with preparations for Sirhan’s trial. It wasn’t until the 1990s that Rhodes-Hughes was asked whether she would ever be willing to testify under oath — an invitation coming not from a prosecutor or law enforcement official but from author Philip H. Melanson, a chancellor professor of policy studies at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
At Melanson’s request, Rhodes-Hughes reviewed her 1968 FBI interview summary for the first time and found it contained more than a dozen inaccuracies. She provided Melanson with a statement, but the professor died some years later and Rhodes-Hughes once again missed her opportunity to testify. Before his death, Melanson published Rhodes-Hughes’ statement in “Shadow Play,” a book he co-authored with William Klaber in 1997 and one of several Melanson wrote on the Robert Kennedy assassination.
Rhodes-Hughes recounted the Kennedy shooting and her initial contact with Melanson in a 1992 interview on “Contact,” a local TV program carried at the time in Vancouver by Rogers Cable.
Defense attorney William Pepper calls Rhodes-Hughes’ recollections “significant verification” of new assassination evidence that the Sirhan legal team is currently presenting. “It provides further verification of a dozen or more gunshots and mirrors the experience of other witnesses which confirms the existence of the cover-up efforts,” he told CNN.
“Along with all of the other evidence we have provided, one wonders why it has taken so long for this innocent man to be set free, a new trial to be ordered or, at least, a full investigatory hearing to be scheduled,” Pepper said. “Nothing less than the credibility and integrity of the American criminal justice system is at stake in this case.”
Sirhan Sirhan’s current legal team is doing something his original lawyers never did. They are asserting that Sirhan did not shoot Kennedy.
Sirhan’s original defenders had decided at the outset that Sirhan was the lone shooter. Because Sirhan’s initial lawyers presented a diminished capacity case in 1969, they never pursued available defenses. Evidentiary conflicts, and issues such as a possible second gun, simply were not addressed at Sirhan’s 1969 trial. Most of the original prosecution’s evidence was stipulated by the original defense team, which agreed that Sirhan had killed the presidential candidate.
Nina Rhodes-Hughes opposes freedom for Sirhan Sirhan, whom she regards as one of two gunmen firing shots inside the Ambassador Hotel kitchen pantry. “To me, he was absolutely there,” she said. “I don’t feel he should be exonerated.”
Rhodes-Hughes insists the full truth of Robert Kennedy’s murder has been suppressed for decades, and says she hopes that it will now finally come out and that the alleged second shooter will be identified and brought to justice.
“There definitely was another shooter,” said Rhodes-Hughes. “The constant cover-ups, the constant lies — this has got to stop.”Read more