SIRHAN SIRHAN Biography - Crimes, Laws and people


Biography » crimes laws and people » sirhan sirhan


Name: Sirhan Bishara Sirhan                                                         
Born: 19 March 1944 Jerusalem, British Mandate of Palestine                         
Charge(s) assassination of Robert F. Kennedy                                         
Penalty death, commuted to life imprisonment 1972                                   
Sirhan Bishara Sirhan (born March 19, 1944) is the convicted assassin of United     
States Senator Robert F. (Bobby) Kennedy. He is currently serving a life             
sentence at the state penitentiary in Corcoran, California.                         
Sirhan was born in Jerusalem to Christian Palestinian parents and was raised in     
the Maronite Church. In his adult life however, he made several religious           
conversions, joining Baptist and Seventh-day Adventist churches, and dabbled in     
the occult. His family, which moved to the United States when Sirhan was 12,         
briefly lived in New York, and soon moved to California. He attended John Muir       
High School and Pasadena City College in Pasadena, California and was employed       
as a stable boy in 1965 at the Santa Anita Race Track in Arcadia, California.       
On June 5, 1968, Sirhan fired a .22 caliber Iver Johnson Cadet revolver into the     
crowd surrounding Senator Kennedy in the kitchen pantry of the Ambassador Hotel     
in Los Angeles. This occurred shortly after Kennedy had finished addressing         
supporters in the hotel's main ballroom. George Plimpton, Rosey Grier (a writer,     
NFL defensive lineman, and Kennedy's close friend/bodyguard), and Olympic gold       
medalist Rafer Johnson were among several men who subdued and disarmed Sirhan       
after a lengthy struggle.                                                           
Kennedy was shot three times, with a fourth bullet passing through his jacket,       
and died nearly 26 hours later. Five other persons in the party also were shot,     
but all five recovered: Paul Schrade, an official with the United Automobile         
Workers union; William Weisel, an ABC TV unit manager; Ira Goldstein, a reporter     
with the Continental News Service; Elizabeth Evans, a friend of Pierre Salinger,     
one of Kennedy's campaign aides; and a teenager, Irwin Stroll, a Kennedy             
On February 10, 1969, a motion by Sirhan's lawyers to enter a plea of guilty to     
first degree murder in exchange for life imprisonment (rather than the death         
penalty) was made in chambers and denied. The court judge, Herbert V. Walker,       
ordered that the record pertaining to the motion be sealed.                         
On March 3, 1969, in a Los Angeles courtroom, Sirhan claimed that he had killed     
Kennedy "with 20 years of malice aforethought," although he has maintained since     
being arrested that he has no memory of the crime. The judge did not accept this     
confession and it was later withdrawn.                                               
Sirhan had long dealt with anger over Israel's creation in 1948 Sirhan               
supposedly believed he was deliberately betrayed by Kennedy's support for Israel     
in the June 1967 Six-Day War, which had begun exactly one year before the           
assassination. However, the "RFK must die" diary entries started before Kennedy's   
support of Israel became public knowledge. After his arrest,                         
these journals and diaries were discovered. Most of the entries were incoherent     
and repetitive, though a single entry obsessed over a desire to kill Kennedy.       
When confronted with this entry, Sirhan couldn't deny writing them, but rather       
expressed bafflement.