Paul Schrade passed away on November 9, 2022. He contacted me through the publisher in 2012 upon reading my “LBJ – Mastermind” book and several times more in the intervening years.
Paul contacted me to inform me that he greatly appreciated reading my LBJ — The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination and commended me for my extensive citations to credible sources. And he told me that I was on the “right road . . . the path to actual truth.” But his real purpose, I felt, was to urge me to have a closer look at what he called the unsolved murder of his friend Robert F. Kennedy.
I remember a little snafu I made when I referred to his friend as “Bobby.” He gently informed me that he preferred not to use that nickname because, despite its widespread use, he and his contemporaneous friends never used it when Robert was still alive, though some would call him “Bob,” as they knew what he thought of the younger-sounding extension. Left unsaid was that, naturally, if they didn’t use it themselves, neither should anyone else, especially complete strangers, as I was.
When I told him I was working on a “sequel” (the “LBJ – Colossus” book, published in 2014) he urged me to include a chapter on the RFK assassination. I had previously planned to include it in a chapter titled “Endless Investigations, More Murders,” but he soon convinced me that it needed at least a full chapter dedicated to his murder. I immediately changed the Table of Contents to add “The Demise of Robert F. Kennedy” as Chapter 6.
A few months later, I sent him a pre-publish copy of that chapter for his review. While he liked what was there (with citations to the primary sources The Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy by William Turner and John Christian and Shadow Play by William Klaber and Philip Melanson), his concern was with what was not there.
Paul quickly got back to me with a strong recommendation to get Shane O’Sullivan’s book Who Killed Bobby? and video RFK Must Die, because they contained a number of essential points not made by the others.
Among them were O’Sullivan’s insightful descriptions of Sirhan’s attorney, Grant Cooper, as an incompetent lawyer, which these excerpts demonstrate:
“Cooper complained about [coroner Thomas] Noguchi’s testimony, claiming that it went into too much detail. He asked the judge: ‘Pardon me, your Honor . . .Is all of this detail really necessary? I think the witness can express an opinion that death was due to a gunshot wound but these details’ . . .[?] Cooper was quick to overlook such details as bullet trajectories . . . Cooper’s muddled, bungling performance was merely a taste of things to come.”
As Mr. Schrade further explained to me, O’Sullivan’s video showed startling new proof that up to thirteen gunshots were fired, including the eight fired by Sirhan and four or five by the second gunman. That conclusion was based upon the analysis, by forensics expert Philip Van Praag, of the “Pruszynski audiotape.”
Those revisions provided much clearer evidence of how the trial of Sirhan was “fixed” from the start. Only a corrupted defense attorney and judge could ensure that Sirhan would be found guilty, despite the coroner’s sworn testimony that RFK was killed by a pistol only two inches from the back of his right ear, an impossible position for Sirhan, given what numerous people witnessed: He was never closer than about 3-4 feet in front of Kennedy.
Yet, even now, corrupted politicians are protecting themselves and their corrupted progenitors, as this excerpt from the WAPO obituary attests:
“I sympathize very clearly with the way Sirhan’s been treated,” Mr. Schrade said in 2021 at the inmate’s hearing with a parole panel, which recommended Sirhan’s release but was denied by California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D).
“After decades in prison, [Sirhan] has failed to address the deficiencies that led him to assassinate Senator Kennedy,” Newsom wrote in his decision in January 2022. “Mr. Sirhan lacks the insight that would prevent him from making the same types of dangerous decisions he made in the past.”
The patterns of the 1960’s political assassinations were obvious: All supposedly killed by a “lone nut,” the victims all hated by Lyndon Johnson and Edgar Hoover, the defense lawyers (for James Earl Ray and Sirhan Sirhan) were “on the make” for fame and fortune and brazenly acted against the interests of their clients in numerous ways.
With Paul Schrade’s passing, the chances of Sirhan Sirhan ever getting an honest hearing or trial, or actually being freed as a harmless old man for that matter, are now practically nil.