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« Odyssey of a Recovering Conspiracist | Main | The Charm of Saddam »

11 March 2019

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Mark A. O'Blazney

"because that son of a bitch turned his head at the last second"_________ sirhan x2......... QED....... everybody gets the bobby kennedy they deserve...sigh+

Barry Ryder

Mel,

Many thanks for the review of this ridiculous book.
In addressing the ‘six myths’ of the RFK murder, you’ve pretty much negated the entirety of Pease’s nonsense.

Out of curiosity, I read through the brief ‘look inside’ sample of the book that appears on the Amazon site. I was actually moved to laughter. Pease writes of a chance meeting between two strangers; an unnamed woman and a man called John Fahey. We read that within a very short time of these two individuals meeting, the woman was confiding in Fahey of a plot to kill RFK! Pease relates,

‘The girl asked for Fahey’s name, where he worked, what he did for a living. Fahey answered and asked what she was doing at the hotel. “I don’t want to get you involved,” she said.’

But, of course, like all good conspirators on a mission, she does tell ‘Fahey’ what she ‘doing’. So we read on.

‘[Fahey’s] bigger surprise came with her next question. Could he come to the hotel tonight, to the winning reception, to watch them get Mr. Kennedy?

“What do you mean?”, Fahey asked.
“Well, they’re going to take care of Mr. Kennedy tonight.”
At this, Fahey felt uncomfortable and wanted to leave [...]’

Well, if ‘Mr. Fahey’ (if he ever even existed) felt uncomfortable it was probably because he thought that the mysterious, verbose, unnamed woman was a nut case.

Invented scenarios like this abound in the books churned out by conspiracy freaks. The above sampling might easily have been written by any number of ‘researchers’. This kind of free-form fantasizing is the stock-in-trade of writers such as Matthew Smith and Joan Mellen.

Curiously, this incredible ‘encounter’ was never included in the earliest works of Kaiser, Moldea, or Houghton. How did they miss it? ‘John Fahey’ appears nowhere in the official investigation or Sirhan trial. Where is he? He’s not in the Kranz report either. I think that we all know where Mr Fahey is. Inside the addled mind of Lisa Pease.

My thanks to you, Mel for the review. My thanks also go to Lisa - for the laugh.

Barry Ryder (London)


Barry Ryder

Hi again, Mel

Many thanks for your email and detailed correction. Clearly John Fahey did exist and he was interviewed by the FBI. I was, therefore, wrong to doubt his existence.

However, I’d been unable to find him in Houghton or Kaiser (both 1970) because he was referred to by a different name –Robert Duane. The circumstances and details of the meeting and car journey are the same for both names so it would seem that my two early sources got his name wrong but the details of his allegation right. Do you have any thoughts on how this confusion might have occurred?

In any event, the FBI’s conclusions about Fahey’s dishonesty are damning of him and his fabricated story. That being so, one has to ask, why on earth does Pease relate his "story" in support of her conspiracy contentions?

Fahey was damaged goods but, Pease is so desperate to concoct a conspiracy scenario that she uses his fable anyway. Speaks volumes, doesn’t it?

Regards

Barry Ryder (London)

Dan Allen

Excellent coverage and debunking of the big six myths used by conspiracy theorists seeking to rake muck in the case of the RFK murder.

Do you have any information that explains the theory that the brain damage described in RFK's autopsy could not have come from the weapon Sirhan used? Page 9 of the autopsy says the bullet hole in his brain was 2cm x 2cm, double the size of the widest wound possible from hollow-point .22 caliber rounds like the ones fired by Sirhan. I have been unable to find reference to the size wounds caused by .22 cal bullets more than 1cm across.
Link to autopsy: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=31989#relPageId=12&tab=page

Any information you can share on this would be appreciated immensely.

Thank you.

MEL Ayton

Regarding Dan Allen's questions about RFK's wounds: please see Larry Sturdivan's report on RFK's wounds in my book, Appendix A in The Forgotten Terrorist.

In part, Mr. Sturdivan's report reads: The diameter of the damaged area surrounding the bullet’s path depends on the shape, size, orientation, and velocity of the bullet and the elasticity and strength of the tissue. For instance, the entry wound in the skin is often smaller than the diameter of the bullet because the skin is strong and elastic and the bullet is in a low-drag orientation as it penetrates skin; some of the pressure that would otherwise move the skin aside may be relieved by surface effects (think of the skin bulging outward). Muscle and other tissue lying beyond the “surface effect depth” will usually be damaged to a diameter larger than the diameter of the projectile—sometimes much larger for a high-velocity, high-drag yawing bullet or fragment. Bone has much greater strength than soft tissue, but no elasticity, so the entry hole in the front table (hard surface layer) must be as large or larger than the size of the bullet as it penetrates, including expanded diameter (from penetrating skin) or change in orientation (no longer point first). In addition, the bone will be “cratered” on the exit side, as the projectile perforates. The cratering again depends on the size, shape, and velocity of the projectile and anatomical and physical properties of the bone. Sometimes the crater can be less than twice the diameter of the penetrating projectile and sometimes large chunks can be “scabbed” off the exit side of the bone. Thus, the size of the crater is inherently unpredictable.

The crater likely was irregular and as large or larger than twice the diameter of the expanded bullet.

Larry Sturdivan is an acclaimed and recognized expert on wound ballistics. He has a bachelor of science in physics from Oklahoma State University and a master of science in statistics from the University of Delaware. He worked at the US Army’s Ballistics Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, from 1964 to 1972, and then at the Edgewood Research, Development, and Engineering Center, Aberdeen Proving Ground, from 1972 through 1995. In 1964 he observed ballistics tests conducted at the Biophysics Laboratory of Edgewood Arsenal peformed in support of the Warren Commission’s investigation into President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. He has held positions from bench-level research to management, and he was the associate technical director for technology at Edgewood. He wrote the majority of the casualty criteria for bullets, fragments, etc. used by the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and has had contracts to update them. In 1978, as a senior researcher, he was made the US Army’s contact in helping the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) as it re-investigated the JFK assassination. He is currently a consultant in mathematical and statistical modelling for LMS Scientific Applications. He has written a book entitled The JFK Myths: A Scientific Investigation of the Kennedy Assassination, which was published in 2005.

Mel Ayton

The following article appeared on the 51st anniversary of Robert Kennedy's assassination: “The RFK Assassination– Modern-day audio technology concludes Sirhan acted alone.”

See: https://www.lacortenews.com/p/the-rfk-assassination-modern-day-audio-technology-concludes-sirhan-acted-alone

The article describes how audio forensic expert Ed Primeau analyzed a digitized copy of the tape recording of the RFK assassination (Note: nothing is lost when a recording is digitised). He used a sophisticated computer program called iZotope RX, which isolated the sounds of gunshots from the cacophony of the crowd that night.

Primeau’s work confirms the results of research carried out for my book, The Forgotten Terrorist, by two teams of experts: UK acoustics experts Philip Harrison and Peter French, and US scientific/technical experts Steve Barber, Michael O'Dell, and Chad Zimmerman. Their work on the acoustics of the shooting has now been independently corroborated and thus vindicated.

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