Nearly 44 years after the June 1968 assassination of U.S. presidential contender Robert F. Kennedy, a Canadian woman who was at the Los Angeles scene of the crime has emerged as the key witness in a bid by convicted assassin Sirhan Sirhan to gain release from prison or be granted a new trial based on previously unheard evidence.
A U.S. federal appeals court is currently examining submissions from Sirhan’s legal team that argue suppressed ballistic evidence and eyewitness accounts — including one from the Canadian woman — suggest there was a second shooter at the Los Angeles hotel where Kennedy was murdered.
Vancouver resident Nina Rhodes-Hughes — a 78-year-old American-born television actress and a local theatre enthusiast in the city’s Bowen Island community — was serving as a volunteer fundraiser for Kennedy’s campaign when he was fatally shot in a kitchen pantry at the Ambassador Hotel on June 5, 1968.
NBC photo taken in 1965, Tv actress Nina Rhodes-Hughes, left, and her Morning Star co-star Elizabeth Perry meet Robert F. Kennedy at NBC’s Burbank studios. HANDOUT PHOTO: Nina RHodes-Hughe
He died from his wounds about 24 hours later, on June 6. Five others injured in the attack survived.
Rhodes-Hughes, after a Saturday interview with CNN sparked a worldwide resurgence of interest in the assassination, told Postmedia News on Monday that she heard at least 12 shots that day — not eight as argued by the California prosecutors who convicted Sirhan as the lone gunman.
The gun Sirhan had when he was arrested held only eight bullets.
“I gave them a true account of what happened,” Rhodes-Hughes said of the FBI investigators who interviewed her following the Kennedy killing. “I had no idea what they were going to say I said. You trust, you know? But what I said about a second shooter was completely ignored.”
Following Sirhan’s conviction, Rhodes-Hughes said she felt she was “not in a position of power or influence” to raise questions about a single-killer theory. Then, years after she’d moved to British Columbia in 1987 and become a Canadian citizen, she was contacted by University of Massachusetts professor and freedom-of-information advocate Philip Melanson, who was writing a book raising questions about the RFK assassination — including various threads of evidence pointing to more than eight gunshots and a possible second assassin.
She recalls Melanson showing her a transcript of her 1968 interview with FBI detectives.
There were more than a dozen errors in the document, she said, “and they credited me with saying there were eight shots — which I never said.”
Her eyewitness account of Kennedy’s murder “was completely misconstrued and misrepresented,” she added, vividly recalling details of where people were standing and what happened on the night of the assassination.
“There was no way that the shots coming from my right at such rapid fire were done by Sirhan Sirhan,” said Rhodes-Hughes, who spoke with Postmedia News Monday.
Rhodes-Hughes said in her CNN interview that she believes Sirhan — 24 at the time of the assassination and now 68 — “was absolutely there” as a participant in the killing and “I don’t feel he should be exonerated.”
But she added on Monday that “there is a great urgency” to identify the second shooter, “who I believe was the one that hit Sen. Kennedy.”
Gunman Storms Dutch TV Station Demanding Airtime 2015-01-30 23:32
Dutch authorities have released few details about the bizarre case of 19-year-old Tarik Zahzah’s attack on the main news studio of television station NOS on Thursday. To get the obvious question out of the way first, the police say there is no evidence that Zahzah, who is half-Egyptian, acted on behalf of organized terrorism.
The authorities always say that on the ...
How Alan Dershowitz bullied rape victims to protect a serial child molester 2015-01-30 23:40 Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz always felt children were fair game for Israeli missiles. Now the question is whether he thinks they are fair game for the sexual exploits of his powerful associates and himself.
Dershowitz and the UK’s Prince Andrew were accused in a recent court filing of raping a teenage girl who was forced into sexual slavery by ...
Alchemical Banksters 2015-01-30 22:39
This past week, the world's preeminent vultures, the economic power elite, met in Davos to discuss the maintenance of their global fiat hegemony. Highlights included furthering austerity, noting that the serf class can't have air conditioning and cars, as well as cheering on the death of privacy through the rise of technocracy. The degenerate elite, completely out of touch with ...
Men must prove a woman said ’Yes’ under tough new rape rules 2015-01-30 4:54
New guidance will be issued to all police forces and prosecutors as part of a ’toolkit’ to move rape investigations into the 21st century
Men accused of date rape will need to convince police that a woman consented to sex as part of a major change in the way sex offences are investigated.
The Director of Public Prosecutions said it was ...
4 beheaded in Saudi Arabia less than a week into King Salman's rule 2015-01-30 3:13 Comment: So when will the the "Human rights" promoting liberal west elite decide invade Saudi Arabia like they did Libya?
Members of Magic Movement stage a mock execution scene in protest of Saudi Arabia beheading of eight Bangladeshi workers in October 2011.
Four people have been executed in Saudi Arabia less than a week after 79-year-old King Salman assumed power following the ...