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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Forensic pathologist and former Allegheny County Coroner Dr. Cyril Wecht has long held the belief that there was a second gunman who fatally shot Robert Kennedy in Los Angeles half a century ago.
With Kennedy’s son Robert Kennedy Jr. calling to reopen the investigation, Dr. Wecht is now hoping Americans – once and for all – will learn the truth about what happened in California that night 50 years ago.
It was revealed over the weekend that Kennedy had a jailhouse meeting with Sirhan Sirhan last December.
“The shot that killed Senator Robert Kennedy was fired 1 to 1.5 inches away from his head, just above and behind the right ear,” Wecht said.
Wecht, at age 87, has performed and/or consulted in tens of thousands of autopsies or post-mortems over the past more-than-half a century.
He was not directly involved in the autopsy on Robert Kennedy after the Senator died in June 1968, but he was a consultant in the case to then Los Angeles County Coroner, Dr. Tomas Noguchi.
“Sirhan Sirhan is in front of Kennedy. Sirhan shoots — bang, bang, bang,” Wecht said. “No way, at any time, in any scenario, in any version, no matter how incredibly wildly embellished, was Sirhan was behind Robert Kennedy.”
Wecht said although the autopsy results were clearly spelled out by Noguchi and others, including three military pathologists, Sirhan’s defense attorney, Grant Cooper, who died in 1990, for some reason effectively ignored that information at Sirhan’s trial.
“An experienced criminal defense attorney never consulted a forensic pathologist, a criminalist, a ballistics expert going into the case to review things. Never had such testimony by such experts for the defense,” Wecht said.
Wecht said the LA County Coroner wasn’t the only person who called him after the Kennedy assassination; someone else reached out to him who was very close to the accused killer.
“Well before the trial, I got a call asking me to be Sirhan’s lawyer. From whom? From his mother. His mother called me and asked me if I would be her son’s lawyer,” Wecht said.