Thane Eugene Cesar was the security guard who was standing behind Robert F. Kennedy when the presidential candidate was assassinated in Los Angeles. For decades, Cesar, who supposedly disliked the Kennedys, has been the subject of conspiracy theories about RFK’s death, in large part because multiple witnesses watched him draw his gun when Sirhan Sirhan fired toward Kennedy.
Sirhan Sirhan was convicted of murdering Kennedy. He admitted he murdered the presidentKennedy brother and former attorney general at his trial, but that was strategic because his attorneys chased a diminished capacity argument, and he has also claimed he has no memory of the slaying. Just like RFK’s brother, President John F. Kennedy, there are people who assert that the government got it wrong. A few of those theories, though not all, revolve round Thane Cesar, the amount of overall shots which were fired, the trajectory of those shots, and whether there may have, consequently, been two gunmen. There’s absolutely not any question that Sirhan Sirhan was there, and likely he opened fire. The question is whether his shot was the one that killed RFK or if a second gunman fired that bullet.
Based to an article in The Washington Post by Tom Jackson, printed on May 26, 2018, Bobby Kennedy’s own son, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., no longer considers his father was killed by Sirhan Sirhan and recently met with him at a California prison. After the assembly was over (that Kennedy didn’t detail to the Article ), “he joined those who believe there was a second gunman, and that it was not Sirhan who killed his father,” the story reported.
“I was disturbed that the wrong person might have been convicted of killing my father,” Kennedy stated, linking calls for a new investigation already produced by Paul Schrade, who was also shot that afternoon on June 5, 1968 in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.
For many years, Thane Cesar has found himself the target of next gunman theories. Who’s Thane Eugene Cesar, who’s sometimes called Gene Cesar? “There were dozens of articles that have come out saying that I carried a second gun, and that I possibly could’ve been the person who shot Bobby Kennedy – because the bullet entered the back of his head,” Cesar confessed to writer Dan Moldea, who has written that he does not feel that Cesar murdered Kennedy. Cesar denied shooting his gun at an interview with Moldea. The unproven second gunman theories are based on a intricate web of ballistics, forensics, and eyewitness evidence.
Here is what you need to understand:-LRB-*******************************************************************)
Jump To Section
- 1 1. The Coroner Says Kennedy Was Shot From Behind, Sparking Conspiracy Theories That Sirhan Didn’t Fire the Deadly Shot
- 2 2. Thane Cesar Was a Last-Minute Addition to the Security Detail & After Allegedly Called the Kennedys a ‘Bunch of Crooks’
- 3 3. One Witness Said He Saw the Security Guard Fire His Weapon but Others Only Saw Him Holding it
- 4 4. Thane Cesar Gave Shifting Stories About His . 22 Revolver & Moved Overseas
- 5 5. Some Witnesses Heard Over Eight Gunshots but Sirhan’s Gun Didn’t Hold More
1. The Coroner Says Kennedy Was Shot From Behind, Sparking Conspiracy Theories That Sirhan Didn’t Fire the Deadly Shot
One of the driving forces behind the belief that there was a second gunman is that the testimony of famed Los Angeles County Coroner Thomas Noguchi, who maintained from the beginning that Kennedy was shot from behind and at a closer range than witnesses state Sirhan obtained to the offender. Bobby Kennedy told the Post that this argument was persuasive to him, saying, “The people that were closest to [Sirhan], the people that disarmed him all said he never got near my father.”
This argument was advanced by Sirhan’s lawyers for a while. In 2012, UPI reported that Sirhan’s attorneys “say a second gunman fired the fatal shot.” But they “ruled out a security guard long suspected of playing a role in the slaying,” UPI reported. The attorneys were attempting to get a new trial for Sirhan, and they said in court filings that Cesar wasn’t the killer. However, they desired an evidentiary hearing.
The Los Angeles Times reported in 2005 of Los Angeles County Coroner Noguchi’s findings: “Eyewitnesses put Sirhan no closer than 18 inches from Kennedy, but Noguchi testified that when the fatal wound was inflicted the gun was 1 inch to 1 1/2 inches from Kennedy’s ear. His testimony fed conspiracy theories that Sirhan had not acted alone.”
Here is a part of a Noguchi radio interview, where the coroner basically repeats that point:
“Based solely on the examination of the remains and the scene afterwards, I came to the conclusion that the Senator Bobby Kennedy was shot by a small caliber gun from the right side of the back of the head,” he explained during the aforementioned interview. Noguchi said the deadly wound came in such close range it had been “perhaps three inches from the back of the ear. Might even be one inch.” He explained he understood that witnesses created by the prosecution hadn’t been able to locate any witness to state that Sirhan was close. But he said, “everyone was in a panicky situation.”
Noguchi discovered other curious details when he analyzed the body. Noguchi also “found powder burns on the senator’s jacket and on his hair, indicating shots fired at close range,” The Post reported. The Post reported that Schrade considers Sirhan did fire and others but didn’t kill Kennedy.
“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,” CNN reported.
That raises the question: If there was a second gunman, who was it? That hasn’t been determined.
2. Thane Cesar Was a Last-Minute Addition to the Security Detail & After Allegedly Called the Kennedys a ‘Bunch of Crooks’
An article in The Washington Post recounts the conspiracy theory this way: “Thane Eugene Cesar, a security guard with extreme right-wing views, who hated Kennedy, was standing next to the senator at the moment of the shooting and had a gun in his hand and powder burns on his face.” But when the post’s author, Dan Moldea, interviewed Cesar, he determined that he was innocent of any participation, writing that he “arranged for Cesar to be polygraphed. He passed.”
Moldea recounts how Cesar was a last-minute improvement to that the Kennedy security detail and did not desire to go. He described him 26, and working as a plumber in Lockheed Aircraft. He had been married to Joyce for five decades, and the marriage was troubled, Moldea writes. He worked part-time as a security guard, and his boss, the director of Ace Guard Service, where he worked, asked and called him to help with security in the Kennedy event.
He had been carrying a. 38 Rohm revolver (Kennedy was shot with a. 22, which Sirhan had. Cesar acknowledged that he owned a. 22 but stated he did not have it with him that fateful day. However, his remarks on this weapon sparked more controversy). In the Ambassador, Thane Cesar reported to “Fred Murphy, the Ace commander and a former LAPD lieutenant, and William Gardner, the hotel’s chief of security,” Moldea writes. “I’m on the right side of him,” Cesar told the writer. “And what I’m doing is taking my hand and pushing people back, because Kennedy was having a hard time walking forward.” He saw flashes and reached for his gun, the writer wrote in The Killing of Robert F. Kennedy: An Investigation of Motive, Means, and Opportunity.
Cesar told the LAPD that Kennedy had been two feet from Sirhan’s gun, the publication reports. According to Moldea’s book, several witnesses saw Cesar with the gun in his hands. One said that he had been “pointing it down in Kennedy’s general direction” and another expressed relief that Cesar hadn’t fired at Sirhan.
Cesar has denied firing his weapon. He had been interviewed within minutes of the shooting by John Marshall, a radio reporter, and said, “I was there holding his arm when they shot him” and “As he (Kennedy) walked up, the guy pulled a gun and shot him.” He said he had been on Kennedy’s right side. He said he reached for his gun but “it was too late.” Police at the scene didn’t analyze Cesar’s gun.
One curious feature of the case is exactly what happened to Cesar’s tie during the assassination, as some say it could be seen lying on the floor next to RFK in one of the most iconic shots of the Senator expiring on the ground (the photograph beneath this fact).
Online property records show Thane E. Cesar using a P.O. box and speech in Simi Valley, California, but there isn’t any record path since 2009. Defense investigator Bob Kaiser said of the guard, “he was innocent; there was no doubt in my mind.”
Thane Cesar was standing right behind Kennedy, gave “different versions of his movements” and roughly when he drew his gun, was a “supporter of 1968 American Independent Party presidential candidate George Wallace and made no secret of his hatred of the politics of both John and Robert Kennedy,” the Moldea book states. But he also offered to surrender his gun to authorities (though they did not take him up on it in the time of the assassination), volunteered he owned a. 22, and consented to take a polygraph.
The 1987 interview the writer conducted happened when Cesar was 45 and living in Simi Valley. He’s English, French, and German in the son of a housewife and air cargo dispatcher. He played football in high school and studied police science. He had been rejected from the LAPD and became a plumber, the publication says. He had two children and was divorced from his first wife. He married another time in 1969. At one stage, he filed for bankruptcy. He was a former Democrat turned Reagan supporter at the time of Moldea’s interview. He said he had been raised prejudiced and was “probably prejudiced today.”
He allegedly referred to as the Kennedy family the “biggest bunch of crooks that ever walked the earth,” the publication says. Cesar allegedly included, “I had no use for the Kennedy family.” But he said that did not make him guilty. “Just because I don’t like Democrats don’t mean I go around shooting them,” he told the writer. In an interview, however, Cesar “denied every having held extreme right-wing views on racial issues, ever having canvassed for George Wallace, or ever having professed hatred for the Kennedys,” Moldea wrote.
Based to the publication, Cesar said another Ace Guard said he “wouldn’t be a bit surprised if somebody didn’t try to knock Bpbby off.” He had been guarding the pantry but did not see Sirhan. He said he’d “powder burns in his eyes.” The authorities did not seem interested in interviewing him completely or assessing his gun.
3. One Witness Said He Saw the Security Guard Fire His Weapon but Others Only Saw Him Holding it
There were lots of people jammed into the area where Kennedy fell. Because of this, there were many eyewitnesses to his death, and, unlike the death of his brother, they had a close view. Numerous witnesses watched Thane Cesar pull his gun out, but just one accused him of shooting it, which Cesar has denied through the years.
The primary witness mentioned by most believers of the second gunman theory is a guy named Don Schulman, who was then a runner for KNXT-TV.
He gave an interview in the scene to a local television reporter, which you can see above. “Well, I was standing directly behind him. I saw a man pull out a gun. It looked like he pulled it out of his pocket. He shot three times. I saw all three shots hit the senator. Then, I saw the senator fall and was picked up and carried away. I also saw the security men pull out their weapons. After that, it was very fuzzy. The next thing I knew, there were several shots fired. I saw a woman with blood come out of her temple… I saw the security police grab someone… the crowd was very panicky.”
The website RFKProject says Schuman appears in this movie at two:-LRB-*************************************************************************************************), confirming that he was there that day. The police report on Schulman’s announcement does not mention the safety guard angle.
Schulman afterwards grew more confident about what he says he saw when talking to Ted Charach for a controversial documentary Charach made placing onto the second gunman theory. He said he had been “following the senator….we were packed in there like sardines….another man stepped out and he shot. Just then the guard who was standing behind Kennedy, he took out his gun, and he fired also.” He explained that Sirhan Sirhan was about 3 to 6 ft behind Kennedy, but the guard was standing on the right hand side, right and supporting Kennedy. He said he told the story to several police authorities. He added, “The guard definitely pulled out his gun and fired.”
Schulman alsosaid, “A Caucasian gentleman stepped out and fired. The security guard hit Kennedy all three times. Kennedy slumped to the floor. The security guard fired back…” One Schulman announcement was taken by a reporter named Jeff Brent. He alleged to Charach, a researcher, “… a guard definitely pulled out his gun and fired… He wasn’t very far from Kennedy.” Again, Schulman’s accounts is unproven, other witnesses didn’t allege the same, and Cesar denies shooting his gun, which he says was a different caliber in the. 22 that required Kennedy’s life.
The Guardian reported in 2006, “Witnesses place Sirhan’s gun several feet in front of Kennedy, but the fatal bullet is fired from one inch behind.”
In 2012, CNN reported on a federal court hearing to Sirhan’s attorneys struggles against his convicction and a witness called Nina Rhodes-Hughes. “What has to come out is that there was another shooter to my right,” Rhodes-Hughes stated to CNN. “The truth has got to be told. No more cover-ups.”
At trial, Sirhan testified he murdered Kennedy “with 20 years of malice aforethought,” but later recanted, CNN reported. He also received the death penalty but in 1972 that was changed to life in prison. A 2016 appeal from the case was reversed. U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew Wistrich wrote that Sirhan will be responsible “as an aider and abettor” even if someone else killed Kennedy, the Post story reported, including, that the Concept of a second gunmen shooting Kennedy “at close range with the same type of gun and ammunition as [Sirhan] was using, but managed to escape the crowded room without notice of almost any of the roomful of witnesses, lacks any evidentiary support.”
4. Thane Cesar Gave Shifting Stories About His . 22 Revolver & Moved Overseas
It has been alleged that Cesar possessed an H&R. 22 revolver and sold it afterwards to Jim Yoder, a friend of his in Arkansas. He allegedly told police he sold . 22 prior to the murder when he really sold it following the murder. Moldea’s book claims that Charach, the documentarian, learned that Cesar sold his. 22 revolver to Yoder three months following the assassination, which Yoder provided a receipt. The publication adds that Yoder supposedly told Charach that the gun was stolen in a burglary.
In 1971, Cesar was interviewed by the LAPD on the . 22. According to Moldea, Cesar denied that he possessed the gun on the night Kennedy was assassinated and instead said he offered it to Yoder until Kennedy was murdered. Moldea notes that Cesar had sold the gun to Yoder following the assassination and had revealed it to that a sergeant on June 24, 1968. “But law enforcement authorities accepted Cesar’s account,” he composed.
Cesar filed for bankruptcy in 1994. He filed an ineffective Employment Discrimination lawsuit against Anheuser Busch “and subsequently moved to the Philippines. It doesn’t sound like the profile of an assassin on a CIA pension,” composed writer Shane O’Sullivan from the book Who Killed Bobby? The Unsolved Murder of Robert F. Kennedy.
But, some people today think questions still remain.
“It’s clear that Cesar’s position behind and to the right of Kennedy matched the shooting position described in the autopsy,” the publication reports. He had advance notice Kennedy was coming and was “possibly seen talking to Sirhan.” He “has repeatedly changed his story on when he drew his gun, and his movements after the shooting…Questions remain as to who pulled his tie off.”
Cesar “told the LAPD that he ducked and was knocked down at the first shot,” based to The Assassinations: Probe Magazine on JFK, MLK, RFK, and Malcolm X.
Eara Marchman told the LAPD that she saw a man arguing with a “uniformed guard who was standing by swinging kitchen door,” The Probe Magazine publication asserts. Cesar denied seeing Sirhan prior to the shooting. Cesar “was only hired in May of 1968, just days before the assassination,” the publication says.
5. Some Witnesses Heard Over Eight Gunshots but Sirhan’s Gun Didn’t Hold More
Another important argument of those who think the second gunman theory is that Sirhan Sirhan was carrying out a. 22 that just held eight bullets and did not reload, but a few witnesses (and sound experts) allege that over eight shots rang out. Rhodes-Hughes told CNN she discovered over eight shots. “There were too many bullets,” Robert Kennedy Jr. stated to The Article in 2018. “You can’t fire 13 shots out of an eight-shot gun.”
CNN reported that at least four other witnesses told police they might have heard over eight shots. They’re Jesse Unruh, Frank Mankiewicz, Estelyn Duffy LaHive, and Booker Griffin. Furthermore, there’s an audio recording of the assassination which was captured by an independent journalist named Stanislaw Pruszynski. Some experts say the sound recording captured the sound of 13 shots.
An acoustic expert named Philip van Praag analyzed the sound, which the Polish journalist didn’t realize that he was recording at the moment. “…there are two pairs of double shots that occurred so close together it is inconceivable that Sirhan could have fired them all. The third and fourth shots and the seventh and eighth were separated by 122 and 149 milliseconds respectively,” Spartacus Educational alleges.
Based to CNN, “The Los Angeles County coroner determined that three bullets struck Kennedy’s body and a fourth passed harmlessly through his clothing.”
The Post noted that a ballistics expert testified at trial that a bullet in Kennedy’s body matched Sirhan’s gun, but other specialists discovered that bullets at the scene were from different firearms. Some also argue that potential bullet holes in door frames reveal there’d to be another gunman.
In 2008, The San Francisco Chronicle ran an article on the Robert Kennedy assassination. Of Sirhan, it reports that he had been “ Palestinian who was raised in the Middle East until he was 12, when his family settled in Southern California.” He “held a series of menial jobs” and after desired to be a jockey, the paper reported.
There is definitely lots of evidence that Sirhan Sirhan murdered Kennedy, not to mention the fact he was captured in the scene and seen shooting at Kennedy by multiple witnesses. He also wrote about murdering RFK in journals.
This is Sirhan Sirhan’s journal.He writes in the months leading to Robert F Kennedy’s assassination:’RFK must die’ pic.twitter.com/w4VPIUmdNi
— Prof.Frank McDonough (@FXMC1957) June 3, 2013
He wrote “RFK must die” in his journal and police thought that the date of the assassination tied to the “one year anniversary of the Six-Day War,” that the report says.
One of anolamlies in the situation, the Chronicle mentioned the fact that Noguchi “reported that the fatal shot was fired less than one inch from Kennedy’s head behind his right ear.” Four shots came in the trunk but Sirhan fired . 22 “from a few feet in front of Kennedy.” The revolver held eight rounds, but “a radio reporter’s tape recording of the shooting has sounds of what one audio expert describes as 13 shots” and “double shots,” reported The Chronicle, summing up the primary concerns.
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