It’s been there since 1968, but Nina Rhodes-Hughes is finally ready to put her anger to rest regarding what she witnessed when Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated: there were more than 8 shots fired. Sirhan Sirhan was not the only assassin, there was a second gunman.
Of course the Kennedys have a family history of tragic assassinations, and, apparently, second gunmen. The JFK “second shooter” franchise has kept conspiracy theorists in business for over half a century, even with such cultural references as the Seinfeld episode where Kramer and Newman were spat upon not by Keith Hernandez (who played himself), but according to Jerry, a “second spitter.”
Nina never had peace with this, not since she said straight from the beginning, that she heard more than 8 shots, but had her report twisted around, allegedly, by the FBI, who gave court testimony that she only heard 8 shots (which is how many bullets Sirhan’s gun could carry).
“What has come out is that there was another shooter to my right,” she said to CNN recently. “The truth has got to be told.”
“For me it’s hopeful and sad that its only coming out now instead of before — but at least now instead of never.”
Sirhan, now 68-years-old, and his legal team are attempting to reopen the case with Rhodes-Hughes previously suppressed testimony. Not that Nina is happy about it. She doesn’t think Sirhan is by any means innocent, saying that he was “absolutely there. I don’t feel he should be exonerated,” but she says that “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 untrue.”
Four other people bear witness that it is untrue, with Jesse Unruh, Frank Mankiewicz, Estelyn LaHive, and Booker Griffin each suggesting more than 8 shots were fired. And that’s not all. There’s hard evidence found in a soundtrack of the event, a recently uncovered tape recording that clearly records 13 shots over the course of six seconds. Analysis of the tape shows that none of the 13 were echoes, and there are suggestions that two different guns were involved. The interpretation of the tape remains controversial.