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    The Cover-up

In 1968 it was not a federal offence to murder a presidential candidate. The case, therefore, came under LAPD juristriction. The investigation was based on the wish of Police Chief Ed Davis that it would not be "another Dallas." Whether this meant an intense, professional investigation or a tighter cover-up is debatable.

As the case was the responsibility of the LAPD, there was no pressure to release their findings, the "Summary Report". Researchers into the RFK Assassination finally forced the Report and the LAPD's files to be released, in 1988. Compare this to 1964 for the Warren Commission Report (the year after JFK's assassination) and it becomes obvious why the official version of the assassination has been unchallenged, despite the obvious complications.

After the release of the files, it became clear to what extent the cover-up had been carried out. Evidence which contradicted the official version was destroyed. The more extreme acts of destruction included:

  • 2,400 photographs burned because they were "duplicates." In fact, there were no lists precise enough to show that all the photos destroyed were indeed duplicates.
  • Ceiling tiles and the door frame from the pantry destroyed, because, according to then Assistant Chief Daryl Gates, they wouldn't fit into card files.
In addition, LAPD records showed that they had recorded 3,470 interviews during the course of the investigation. Only 301 interviews were released. Examination by researchers showed that for 51 key "conspiracy" witnesses, there were no interviews.

The LAPD were not alone in conducting this cover-up. The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office was also involved. The scope of this involvement was seen in the files released to researchers in 1985, due mainly to the inclusion of a box of tapes, videos and documents sent from the LADA branch at Van Nuys. This box contained evidence which went against the official version. The most graphic examples were the video reconstructions from 1968 and 1977, which prove that Sirhan could not have inflicted the wounds on Senator Kennedy. However, by using selected stills from the reconstructions, the official version was supported.

The coverup of the RFK assassination has been maintained because the facts are simply not known. Whereas the Warren Commission report was released the year following the JFK assassination, LAPD's "Summary Report" was not released until 1986. The files were released two years later. Both of these achievements were made despite strong LAPD/LADA resistance, for obvious reasons.

The RFK assassination was not investigated in by the House Select Commitee on Assassinations because of the seemingly open and shut nature of the case. Now that the facts are known, perhaps it is time that the RFK assassination was investigated. While the JFK assassination has reached the point where the answer is "Oswald might have done it or he might not have", there is no possible way that Sirhan could have inflicted the wounds on Senator Kennedy. All that is required is the official investigation.

Uploaded - 22nd July 1996
Last Update - 6th April 1998