The Mystery of RFK’s Assassination: Exploring the Autopsy Photos Housed at the National Archives
The assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, the younger brother of President John F. Kennedy, remains to be one of the most controversial and mysterious events in American history. Just two months after announcing his candidacy for the United States presidency, Robert Kennedy was shot dead on June 5, 1968, in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. The official autopsy report indicated that Kennedy died as a result of three gunshot wounds, one of which was fatal. However, many questions have been raised about the circumstances surrounding RFK’s death. The autopsy photos housed at the National Archives shed light on some of these questions, but they also raise new ones.
One of the most persistent questions about RFK’s assassination is whether Sirhan Sirhan, the man convicted of the crime, acted alone. Sirhan fired eight shots at Kennedy, but eyewitness testimony and ballistics evidence suggest that only three of those shots hit Kennedy. The autopsy photos confirm that Kennedy was indeed shot three times, with two of the bullets entering his back and one entering his head from behind. However, the photos do not definitively answer the question of whether Sirhan acted alone. Some conspiracy theories suggest that there may have been a second gunman, possibly firing from behind Kennedy.
Another mystery surrounding the assassination is the identity of the person responsible for the fatal shot. Although the autopsy photos show that Kennedy was shot in the head from behind, there is some dispute as to who fired the fatal shot. Sirhan’s gun was a .22 caliber revolver, but the fatal wound was caused by a .22 caliber long rifle bullet. Some people believe that a second gunman fired the fatal shot, while others speculate that Sirhan may have switched guns with another shooter. However, there is no concrete evidence to support either theory.
The autopsy photos also reveal some interesting details about the wounds suffered by Robert Kennedy. The entry wound on the back of his head appears to be small and circular, consistent with a .22 caliber bullet. However, the wound on the back of his neck appears to be larger and more irregular in shape, possibly indicating that it was caused by a different type of bullet. Some have speculated that this wound may have been caused by a fragment of a bullet that hit another surface before striking Kennedy.
Another strange detail in the autopsy photos is the presence of a third bullet hole in Kennedy’s clothing. The official report only mentions two bullet wounds, but the autopsy photos clearly show a third hole in the fabric of Kennedy’s jacket, just below the right shoulder blade. Some have suggested that this could indicate a missed shot or a bullet that passed through Kennedy’s clothing without penetrating his skin. However, there is no clear explanation for this third bullet hole.
Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the autopsy photos is the damage done to Robert Kennedy’s brain. The bullet that entered his head caused extensive damage, shattering bone and tearing tissue. The photos show the extent of this damage, with fragments of bone visible in the open skull. The photos also reveal that the bullet passed through the right temporal lobe of Kennedy’s brain, which is responsible for processing language and memory. It is possible that Kennedy would have survived the gunshot wounds to his back, but the damage to his brain made his injuries fatal.
Despite the release of the autopsy photos, many questions about the assassination of Robert Kennedy remain unanswered. Some people still believe that there was a conspiracy to kill Kennedy, involving multiple gunmen or government agencies. Others maintain that Sirhan Sirhan acted alone, but that there may have been other factors involved in the assassination, such as the influence of drugs or hypnosis. Whatever the truth may be, the assassination of Robert Kennedy remains a tragic and controversial event in American history, and the mystery surrounding his death is likely to persist for many years to come.