RFK Must Die

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RFK Must Die
RFK Must Die Cover.jpg
DVD Cover
Directed by Shane O'Sullivan
Produced by Shane O'Sullivan
Starring Robert Kennedy
Sirhan Sirhan
Munir Sirhan
Sandra Serrano
Paul Schrade
Evan Freed
Vincent Di Pierro
Music by Pyratek
Edited by Shane O'Sullivan
Distributed by Soda Pictures
Release dates
  • 20 November 2007 (2007-11-20) (United States)
  • 16 May 2008 (2008-05-16) (United Kingdom)
Running time
102 minutes
Country United Kingdom

RFK Must Die: The Assassination of Bobby Kennedy is an investigative documentary by Irish writer and filmmaker Shane O'Sullivan released in 2007. The film expands on his earlier reports for BBC Newsnight and the Guardian and explores alternative theories of what happened the night Robert F. Kennedy was shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on June 5, 1968. The title comes from a page of "free writing" found in assassin Sirhan Sirhan's notebook after the shooting, in which he wrote "R.F.K. must die - RFK must be killed Robert F. Kennedy must be assassinated... before June 5 '68."

Running on an anti-war ticket, Kennedy had just won the California Democratic primary and was confident he would challenge Richard Nixon for the White House. As he walked through the hotel kitchen pantry, shots rang out and he fell to the floor, fatally wounded by a bullet to the brain, fired from an inch behind his right ear.

Twenty-four-year-old Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan was convicted of murder as the "lone assassin." The film investigates claims that witnesses placed Sirhan several feet in front of Kennedy and for forty years he claims he has never been able to remember the shooting. Defense psychiatrist Bernard L. Diamond testified that Sirhan was in a hypnotic state at the time of the shooting and FBI agent William Bailey saw extra bullet holes in the pantry, suggesting a second gunman may have been involved.

The film features interviews with Sirhan's younger brother, Munir, where he talks about his brother's upbringing and perceived injustices. RFK Must Die: Epilogue goes into detail about a recent audio analysis that concludes that 13 shots were fired and suggests the possibility of a second shooter.[1]

After a three-year investigation, RFK Must Die was theatrically released in the United Kingdom on May 16, 2008 and in New York on June 5, 2008, the fortieth anniversary of the assassination.

In November 2006, BBC Television's Newsnight aired a twelve-minute screening of the documentary.[2]

O'Sullivan stated that while researching a screenplay based on the Manchurian candidate theory for the assassination of Robert Kennedy, he "uncovered new video and photographic evidence suggesting that three senior CIA operatives were behind the killing".[2] He claimed that three men seen in video and photographs of the Ambassador Hotel immediately before and after the assassination were positively identified as CIA operatives David Sánchez Morales, Gordon Campbell, and George Joannides.[2]

Several people who had known Morales, including family members, were adamant that he was not the man who O'Sullivan said was Morales.[2] After O'Sullivan published his book, assassination researchers Jefferson Morley and David Talbot also discovered that Campbell had died of a heart attack in 1962, six years prior to the assassination of Kennedy.[2] In response, O'Sullivan stated that the man on the video may have used Campbell's name as an alias.[2] He then took his identifications to the Los Angeles Police Department whose files showed the men he identified as Campbell and Joannides to be Michael Roman and Frank Owens, two Bulova sales managers attending the company's convention in the Ambassador.[2] O'Sullivan stood by his allegations stating that the Bulova watch company was a "well-known CIA cover".[2]

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