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The Robert F. Kennedy Assassination: New Revelations on the Conspiracy and Cover-Up, 1968-1991 Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: S.P.I. Books (June 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561713244
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561713240
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,004,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This book methodically and meticulously analyzes the evidence about the 1968 Robert Kennedy assassination, reopening the question of possible alternatives to the officially accepted version of Sirhan Sirhan as the lone gunman. Melanson, a political science professor and author of Spy Saga ( LJ 11/1/90), sifts through a mass of documents and reinterviews witnesses to the event and participants in the original Los Angeles police investigation. He finds huge suspicious gaps in the police file and missing tapes, and he identifies unsettling irregularities in the police investigation. Melanson's conclusion is circumstantial, but cogently argued: Sirhan was programmed by someone (a group?) opposed to Kennedy (the author suggests possibilities), and the conspirators may have been present at the shooting and even taken part in it. By so effectively discrediting both the motives of the police and the entire investigatory process, Melanson makes the outlandish almost believable. Melanson wrote about the RFK assassination files in "The Politics of Public Disclosure," LJ , Feb. 1, p. 54-56.--Ed.
- Jack Forman, Mesa Coll., San Diego
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From the Publisher

Advance praise for The Robert F. Kennedy Assassination:

"Professor Philip Melanson presents a credible, shocking account of LAPD misconduct far more sinister than the brutal video-taped beating of Rodney King. Melanson chronicles the destruction of thousands of photos and documents. including vital evidence pointing to a second gun in the RFK killing.

The result, he shows, was a grossly inadequate lone-assassin conclusion that continues to violate our democratic ideals and processes." - David E. Scheim, author of the international bestseller Contract on America: The Mafia murder of President John F. Kennedy

"In his important new book on the Robert F. Kennedy murder, Philip Melanson clearly proves that the Los Angeles Police Department misrepresented key facts in the case, destroyed material evidence. and obstructed independent attempts to resolve the critical issues surrounding the official investigation. Melanson provides significant new evidence that should serve as justification for the case to be re-opened." - Dan E. Moldea, Investigative Journalist, author of The Hoffa Wars and Dark Victory --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
Philip H. Melanson is a professor of political science and a specialist in the study of political violence. This book is an authoritative expose of brazen official manipulation of the legal process used to cover-up the conspiracy to kill RFK. The numerous glaring and unanswered questions in this case, with the simplistic official solution, caused the author to research for additional unexamined evidence. He spent many years investigating the facts, interviewed dozens of witnesses, law enforcement officials and other sources, and analyzed hundreds of LAPD and FBI files released by 1991.
Philip H. Melanson provides evidence that Sirhan did not act alone, and, the official investigation authorities (LAPD, FBI) covered up evidence that suggested conspiracy (p.4). He was the first author to have access to most of the existing LAPD files on the case. He and his team found that the LAPD had altered, suppressed, and destroyed vital evidence in the case (p.6).
The investigation assumed a "lone gunman" immediately. The trial was only concerned with Sirhan's state of mind (pp.24-25). The number of shots fired, the bullets matched to the wrong gun, were all skipped over. The LAPD's conclusions, its methods and its competence were not tested in an adversarial proceeding. The tapes of Sirhan's interrogations were never released to the defense. The profound discrepancies and conflicts in the evidence were suppressed or ignored by the LAPD and were never addressed by the judicial process.
What made this case so hot that the 1997 Congressional Investigation wouldn't touch it? Will the assassination of RFK ever be reinvestigated by a Congressional Committee? We've also learned a lot since 1991 about the LAPD and the FBI: the Trial of OJ Simpson, and the Inspector General's report on the FBI. (Read "Tainting Evidence: Inside the FBI Crime Lab Scandals" by Kelly and Wearnes.)
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Michael Gerber on February 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a tremendously worthwhile book for students of this topic. Philip Melanson was extremely measured and fair-minded in his research, and he strongly believed that the discrepancies in the RFK case warranted its reinvestigation by an impartial governmental body. Some of these discrepancies were:
--too many bullets for Sirhan to have acted alone;
--the back-to-front problem revealed by the autopsy;
--the strong evidence of a female companion to Sirhan;
--the LAPD's destruction of evidence;
--the LAPD's lone-gunman bias and persistent squelching of any evidence to the contrary;
--the LAPD's cozy relationship with government intelligence agencies;
--Sirhan's bizarre mental state on the night of the shooting.

Taken together, these are a powerful indictment of the LAPD's investigation, and suggest that we do not know the full story behind the assassination of Robert Kennedy. Given the passage of time and willful destruction of evidence we will probably never know--but we could know more than we do, and that is a good thing in any case.

Both left and right may have their reasons for preferring the theory that Sirhan Sirhan acted alone, but the preponderance of the evidence suggests that he did not. A desire to know the truth in a murder case should not be related to one's opinion of the victim. Political murder is the opposite of democracy, and must be discouraged in every instance--and the best way to discourage it is by thorough, impartial, and swift investigation when it happens. Any other stance is morally bankrupt.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Tabe on January 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
RFK's assassination has been given short shrift by book publishers despite there being just as much evidence of a conspiracy as there is in his brother's murder. Philip Melanson attempts to answer many of the questions in this updated version of a previous work on the subject and succeeds admirably. Melanson will leave no doubt that there was a conspiracy and that the LAPD covered it up.

This is quite possibly the definitive work on the RFK assassination and definitely worth picking up.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By amphyrion on March 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
When some tired old celebrity or politician expires the media is replete with somber expressions like, "We have lost a great ..." etc., but with the death of Professor Melanson those of us who refused to be deceived about the circumstances and effects--even today--of the cycle of 60's assassinations really have lost an essential voice: firm, clear and incisive. I quote Edward Kennedy's eulogy with the notion that those researchers like Melanson who have sought the truth about our history also, as a consequence, were looking for a better world, one with a citizenry less prone to deceive and be deceived.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By TLR on May 18, 2013
Format: Paperback
There aren't very many books on Robert Kennedy's assassination, but this is one of the two or three best. Philip Melanson, who died in 2006, is greatly missed.

From the book's Introduction by John H. Davis: "The most powerful groups arrayed against Kennedy included the Teamsters Union, organized crime, the Southern California ranchers (resentful of Kennedy's support of migrant farm workers leader Cesar Chavez), the big oil companies and oil magnates (Kennedy wanted to repeal the oil depletion allowance), the military-industrial complex (Kennedy wanted to pull out of the Vietnam War) and the Southern white segregationists..." He says that an FBI report revealed that California ranchers contributed to a $500,000 contract on his life 6/1968. "Melanson is the first author...to have had access to most of the existing Los Angeles Police Department's files on the case. For almost 20 years, LAPD had inexcusably sat on its 50,000-page file of assassination documents, refusing to allow public access to it. Finally, after considerable pressure from independent investigators (including Melanson), concerned citizens, and the efforts of a few influential media figures, the files were finally released and shipped to the California State Archives at Sacramento, where they were redacted, organized and finally made available to the public....It took Melanson and his team of research assistants four months to sift through the 82,000 page mountain of RFK assassination documents (50,000 pages of LAPD files and 32,000 pages of FBI documents.) By the time he and his assistants were through, it was abundantly clear that the Los Angeles Police Department had altered, suppressed, and destroyed vital evidence in the case.
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