The anniversary of the RFK assassination is bringing forth a host of articles related to Sirhan Sirhan and a great many of them are revisiting a conspiracy theme that has been present for some decades – a theme based in Sirhan’s claim that he had no memory at all of events around the time of the shooting in the Ambassador Hotel.  It was a claim which led to a rather strange legal defense, not terribly unlike that which at one point was offered for Jack Ruby in the shooting of Lee Oswald. Of course when you are captured at the scene of the crime with a gun in your hand and numerous witnesses to your firing it, legal defenses do have to get creative.

Sirhan’s initial court room defense did not introduce the idea of conspiracy at all – which it certainly would have had to if he had been positioned as some sort of patsy. However in more recent years Sirhan himself has moved to towards that position, speculating that he might have somehow been manipulated by the infamous (and indeed very suspicious) “polka dot dress girl”, who he now suspects might have put something in his drink.

The view taken in most of the conspiracy writing related to that girl connects to something far more complex and far darker, the possibility that Sirhan was under some sort of mind control, functioning as a totally automated assassin. To a large extent, that view has been fostered by the fact that Sirhan himself has been shown to be easily hypnotized, giving every sign that at some point before the shooting he had previously been the subject of hypnotic practices.

That fact has led to wide ranging speculation that Sirhan was not simply conditioned though hypnosis but indeed had been developed as the type of mind controlled assassin envisioned in one aspect of the CIA’s MK/ULTRA project. Of course MK/ULTRA had many elements, including the use of drugs for interrogation, assassination and in support of psychiatric conditioning.  Indeed drugs, extensive psychiatric conditioning in controlled environments and hypnosis were all elements of the program over a period of years. Good overviews of the total program may be found at these links:

A more in depth, contemporary article related to the subject of mind control may be found here:

I explored the issue of the polka dot dress girl and Sirhan’s own history with hypnosis – including his self-practice of auto-suggestion – in my essays on the RFK assassination which are available on the Mary Ferrell Foundation web site:

My conclusions were that there is extensive evidence that the polka dot dress girl and her associates were involved in a conspiracy to assassinate RFK and the attack at the Ambassador was simply the final effort in a series of attempts which had gone on for some weeks. Beyond that there is every reason to feel that hypnosis was involved in conditioning Sirhan, but very likely not in the form of a sophisticated mind control program. Given Sirhan’s own political views targeting him on RFK was rather easy. There is also considerable reason, based in extensive taped interviews following his arrest, to be skeptical about Sirhan’s own claims to have no recollection of the events at the hotel or during the immediate period after the shooting.

That’s all in the essays and I’m always happy to discuss those. In terms of the RFK conspiracy itself I remain very much interested and involved in investigating it – more on that in a following post.


8 responses »

  1. James Stubbs says:

    Any thoughts about who the polka dot dress girl was? Shirin Khan’s name has been bandied about.

    • larryjoe2 says:

      Hi Jim, actually I’ll be delving into the PDG a bit in my next post…including who she wasn’t, how LAPD did such a terrible job of actually investigating her as a suspect and some brief thoughts on who she might have been. As it happens that’s an ongoing research effort and I don’t want to say too much about it other than the fact that Shirin Khan is indeed very high on our suspect list.

      Along those lines I can also say that certain girlfriends and female associates of the Sirhan brothers are also on the list. It is truly amazing how limited the investigation was in terms of people who were in a position to fuel Sirhan’s hatred of RFK and to directly manipulate him. There were a number of suspects close at hand, however they would have to have been investigated in terms of international political motives and connections and LAPD was most definitely up to that.

      Of course part of the explanation for that lack of effort lies in the fact that the prosecution team focused on Sirhan and obviously didn’t want to complicate a slam dunk case with hints of conspiracy – that message was conveyed quite clearly to LAPD. It was even conveyed to the coroner who stated that an assistant DA had tried to get him to alter his statement about the fatal wound.

      The basic answer to your questions is yes…based on about seven years of interest and research on exactly that point.

      • JAMES D STUBBS says:

        What are your thoughts about who actually pulled the trigger on RFK? Seems like the shots were within a couple of inches and at an upward angle. No one has ever convincingly demonstrated that Sirhan did that. Cesar seems to be the only choice but I know that researchers are split on that idea. I also found it interesting that one of Sirhan’s friends (Michael, can’t recollect last name, had Keith Gilbert’s name in his address book, as I recollect. If so, that’s almost surely Keith Dwayne Gilbert, a very notorious and violence prone right wing extremist – Minutemen I think.

      • larryjoe2 says:

        Without doubt Cesar is the prime suspect – although not necessarily as part of a conspiracy. I examine that in considerable detail in my RFK essays and given the inconsistencies in his statements and his lies about his pistol I think its quite possible he pulled his pistol (actually no doubt about that) and fired one or more times as he was falling to the floor with RFK. He may or may not even have been conscious of that at the time. His later day polygraph is virtually worthless.

        Of course there is also a more complicit alternative but connecting the dots on that is more than challenging, especially since he was only called on duty that night at the very last minute and his assignments changed over the course of the evening (that’s in the essays too). On the other hand there was another person who had worked for hotel security for some time, was there that evening and had a very strange alibi about going to the airport late that night. He may have done so, but to get somebody out of town rather than greet them at almost midnight. That’s another, very long story.

        There is a possibility, again discussed in the essays, that someone moved out from the side of the swinging doors as Cesar and RFK moved though and shot RFK as Sirhan began to fire. Plots of the pantry at least suggest that could have happened but noting else does…without the film taken inside the pantry we will never know for sure and its pretty certain that LAPD or the DA’s office knew that film was dangerous to their story.

        As to Gilbert, Stu and I researched him at length and actually he comes into the story via his own later day offer to provide information as part of a prison release deal, there is nothing to connect him directly to Sirhan or to the crime – we really thought there might be at one point but in the end none of the leads jelled.

      • Hi Larry, I have long suspected a particular female known to Sirhan as being the PDG. Sirhan only confessed to keep this girl off the witness stand. I did some background on her which only fueled suspicion.

        As I have shown in my book, there was a precedent case of a young charismatic liberal leader being allegedly cut down prior to an election by a lone young disaffected man who was a member of AMORC and who practiced self-hypnosis.

        Like the RFK hit, it was at close range using a pistol in front of a crowd with anther person standing with the alleged assassin quickly leaving the scene.

        This was the assassination in Bogota in 1948 of Jorge Gaitan. The alleged assassin was Juan Roa Sierra.

        The similarities between Gaitan and RFK are stunning, as are the similarities between Roa and Sirhan.

        My own conclusions about Roa, derived from substantial FBI files and contemporary news reports, is that Roa had put himself into a trance (as part of his “occult training”) after which someone planted post-hypnotic suggestions. The person with him at the scene had a coat wrapped around his arm. I believe this concealed the real murder weapon. There were three quick shots which all hit the target, followed by one more which missed. I believe Roa was responsible only for that last shot.

        IMO, it is helpful (maybe even necessary) to study the precedent case as an aid to understanding Sirhan and his predicament.

      • larryjoe2 says:

        Hi Greg, nice to hear from you; I think we might have discussed idea (and AMORC) this a few years ago and it certainly rings some bells for me. I would not be at all surprised with that scenario, indeed its very close to my own current thoughts. I also agree that he was shielding the girl, his relationship with her and the fact that he had been manipulated. Would you might dropping me an email so we could chat further on it, I’m most interested.

  2. Thanks Larry. Have sent you a PDF of my book which lays out all my research on Gatain and Roa.

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