RFK Assassination Witness: 12-14 Shots
CNN and other media have recently broadcasted interviews with Nina Rhodes-Hughes, who was in the pantry at the time Robert Kennedy was assassinated in 1968 and says that:
- She heard a total of 12-14 shots, far more than could be fired from Sirhan's 8-shot revolver
- Some of the shots came from behind Kennedy
- Her FBI interview is grossly inaccurate and contains statements she did not tell the FBI (including that "she recalled hearing eight distinct shots")
The Mary Ferrell Foundation's Robert Kennedy Assassination collection of essays and documents includes these relevant records:
- Summary paragraph from Volume 78 of Special Unit Senator Final Report
- FBI interview of Nina Rhodes, filed July 15, 1968
- LAPD interview I-845, dated July 9, 1968
Regarding the LAPD interview report, Mrs. Rhodes Hughes says now that she was never interviewed by the LAPD, despite the report in LAPD records. Given that the date of the LAPD interview is July 9 and it notes that "The subj was interviewed by FBI agents Dave Cook and Bill Bourque on 7-9-68 11:30 AM", it seems possible that the LAPD information was derived from the FBI interview (though the FBI interview was not recorded until July 15).
Mrs. Rhodes-Hughes was first alerted to her FBI report by author Philip Melanson in the 1990s; her story may be gaining more attention now that William Pepper has become Sirhan Sirhan's attorney and is seeking Sirhan's release from prison or a new trial.
Her story dovetails with analyses of a tape recording of the shooting by Philip Van Praag, who concludes that the recording captured the sound of "at least 13 gunshots", and that the recording contains two sets of "double shots", spaced too closely together to have come from a single gun.
If Nina Rhodes-Hughes were the only witness to more than 8 shots or the only to claim that her witness statement was falsified, it would be easy to dismiss this so many years later. But unfortunately the RFK case is replete with other examples of this sort of thing, most particularly the browbeating and ignoring of witnesses to a girl in a polka-dotted dress, seen by witnesses in the company of Sirhan, in the pantry, and even fleeing the scene with an accomplice shouting "We shot Kennedy!" For information on some of these witnesses, see Larry Hancock's essay Incomplete Justice.