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To 20th Century Assassinations
"Nemesis" A Black Book?
by Lisa Pease
To: Was Robert Kennedy Killed By
'Manchurian Candidate' Style Assassin?)
Robert Kennedy Killed By
A Real 'Manchurian Candidate' Style Assassin?
A new book claims to reveal evidence that the CIA,
FBI and Aristotle Onassis hypnotised
a Palestinian man into
assassinating Robert Kennedy.
John Hiscock, January 18, 2005
happened nearly 38 years ago, but doubts and suspicions
have lingered on. Now the circumstances surrounding
the assassination of Robert Kennedy are being resurrected
and re-examined in an attempt to establish the truth
of what happened that night in the cramped pantry of
a Los Angeles hotel.
evidence has emerged and pressure is mounting on authorities
to reopen the case of Sirhan Sirhan, who was convicted
of the assassination and who remains in the California
state prison in Corcoran.
and journalists are joining the campaign for a federal
investigation, which has been sparked in part by a new
book, Nemesis, by the British author Peter Evans. Evans,
who spent 10 years researching the book, has unearthed
evidence to support Sirhan's contention that he was
hypnotised into being the "fall guy" for the
murder. Evans identifies the hypnotist, who had worked
on CIA mind control programmes and who was later found
dead in mysterious circumstances.
another move to reopen the case, a lawsuit has been
filed in Los Angeles Superior Court to stop the pantry
at the Ambassador Hotel being destroyed with the rest
of the hotel because, it is claimed, bullet holes in
the walls and ceiling demonstrate conclusively that
more than one gunman fired shots at Senator Kennedy.
Evans and Sirhan's lawyer, Larry Teeter, are convinced
that the Palestinian activist was chosen to be a Manchurian
Candidate-style assassin. In the 1962 film, remade last
year, and based on a novel by Richard Condon, a former
prisoner of war from the Korean conflict is brainwashed
by Communists into becoming a political assassin.
and Teeter believe that while Sirhan fired several shots,
none of them hit Kennedy. The assassination, they say,
was carried out by a professional hitman who fled immediately,
leaving Sirhan to take the blame.
was only because Kennedy had dismissed his Los Angeles
police bodyguards that Sirhan survived and was not gunned
down on the spot as his controllers had intended, reports
actor Robert Vaughn, who starred in the long-running
television series The Man From U.N.C.L.E and who was
a good friend of Robert Kennedy's, has sent a copy of
Evans' book to Sirhan and his lawyers. In his letter
to Sirhan, Vaughn wrote: "It contains important
new information about your case that I believe substantiates
your claims of having been hypnotised at the time of
the shooting and also produces the first credible evidence
of motivation and method. I can tell you that, like
me, important people in the US media are persuaded by
Mr Evans' revelations; some are talking of it opening
the door to a long overdue federal investigation into
the assassination. I also believe that it could give
you the grounds for a new appeal."
author Dominick Dunne, in his Vanity Fair column last
month, described Nemesis as presenting "a startling
revision of American history".
Kennedy was the senator for New York, the head of the
Kennedy clan and, according to Evans, the occasional
lover of his sister-in-law, Jackie Kennedy, when his
snowballing presidential campaign rolled into California.
He triumphed in the California primary, and around midnight
on 5 June 1968 in the Embassy Room of the Ambassador
Hotel he thanked his supporters. Then, surrounded by
aides, hotel employees and newsmen, with his wife, Ethel,
a few yards behind and with the cheers still ringing
in his ears, he left for a press conference in the Colonial
Room on the other side of the hotel.
route they took, from the stage to an anteroom and into
the service corridors, led them through a narrow serving-kitchen
known as the pantry. As the senator approached, a dark,
slim young man stepped from behind a tray rack. He raised
a .22 calibre revolver and squeezed the trigger. The
gunman continued firing, wounding five other people
as Kennedy aides and hotel employees wrestled him down
on to a table for steaming food, where he was held until
17 April 1969, after 64 sequestered days and nights,
and 16 and a half hours of deliberation, the jury of
seven men and five women found Sirhan "alone and
not in concert with anyone else" guilty of murder
in the first degree. He was sentenced to death in the
gas chamber, but the sentence was reduced to life imprisonment
when the United States Supreme Court declared the death
facts are not in dispute. Nearly everything else is.
was no way Sirhan Sirhan killed Kennedy," says
Teeter, who has filed the lawsuit to preserve the pantry
for further forensic examination. "He was the fall
guy. His job was to get busted while the trigger man
walked out. He wasn't consciously involved in any plot.
He was a patsy. He was unconscious and unaware of what
was happening - he was the true Manchurian Candidate.
is absolutely innocent. He is not the person who did
the shooting. He was out of position and out of range
and he couldn't have done it."
does not know for certain who hypnotised Sirhan, but,
he said: "I know it was done. It was consistent
with the US government's programme developed by the
CIA and Military Intelligence to enable handlers to
get people to commit crimes with no knowledge of what
they are doing."
goes further and names the hypnotist as a Dr William
Joseph Bryan Jnr. He had worked on a CIA mind-control
programme called MKULTRA and claimed to have moonlighted
as a technical adviser on The Manchurian Candidate.
The hypnosis, says Evans, had been done over three months,
a period known as the "white fog" when the
Los Angeles police task force later investigating the
assassination - and trying to construct a meticulous
timetable of Sirhan's activities up to the shooting
- lost track of him.
Bill Jordan, the detective who was Sirhan's first interrogator,
told Evans: "We took him back for more than a year
with some intensity - where he'd been, what he'd been
doing, who he'd been seeing. But there was this 10-
or 12-week gap, like a blanket of white fog we could
never penetrate, and which Sirhan himself appeared to
have a complete amnesia about."
Bryan was found dead in a Las Vegas hotel room in 1978.
He had either shot himself or was murdered. The case
agrees that Sirhan could not have killed Kennedy. "He
got off a lot of shots and the panic in the pantry that
night was extraordinary. But the angle of the bullet
holes are against Sirhan having pulled the trigger,"
he said. "Sirhan Sirhan was very volatile, very
visible and the perfect patsy.
some of the physical evidence was destroyed almost immediately
because the Los Angeles police department burned the
doors to the pantry, which was an extraordinary thing
recollections of a waiter at the Ambassador at the time
add weight to the theories that Sirhan was not the assassin.
Phil Elwell, who owns the popular King's Head pub and
restaurant in Santa Monica, recalls that his friend
and fellow waiter Carl Ucker was in the pantry that
night and grabbed Sirhan's gun hand. "He was holding
Sirhan Sirhan's wrist, and although Sirhan was firing
the gun, Carl said that there was no way that any of
the bullets could have hit Kennedy," said Elwell.
"Carl told the police this and went on a lot of
talk shows saying the same thing, but nobody seemed
to take much notice."
Evans and Teeter differ is on the question of motive,
and there they are at loggerheads.
assassination was staged by US intelligence for the
purpose of continuing the war against Vietnam and putting
the Republican Party in the White House," said
Teeter. "The assassination was arranged with the
CIA, the FBI and the LAPD. There was a massive cover-up.
If he had lived and been allowed to run, Bobby Kennedy
would have been elected president and this was a multi-agency
task force to make sure that the Democrats didn't take
the White House again."
Nemesis, Evans gives a totally different motive. He
has unearthed startling evidence that the assassination
was carried out by a Palestinian terrorist named Mahmoud
quotes sources as saying that Hamshari was receiving
protection money from Aristotle Onassis to prevent attacks
on his Olympic Airlines. Onassis, says Evans, had hated
Bobby Kennedy since 1953, when Kennedy was one of the
prime movers in scuppering a major deal Onassis was
pushing through in Saudi Arabia. In addition, Kennedy
stood in the way of his marriage to Jackie. She had
promised her brother-in-law not to wed Onassis until
after the 1968 election because they both knew how the
American public would have reacted. She married Onassis
in October 1968.
Bryan was chosen to hypnotise Sirhan because he had
links to both Hamshari and Onassis. Hamshari had visited
him seeking a cure for migraine headaches, while Onassis
had called on the doctor in an attempt to cure his sexual
dysfunction, says Evans. It was Onassis's money, says
Evans, that financed both the hypnotism of Sirhan and
says that Onassis confessed his complicity in the assassination
to one of his lovers, Helen Gaillet De Neergaard, when
she was his guest on his private island, Skorpios, in
1974. She confirms this in a letter to Vanity Fair,
published in the February issue. "Thank God the
truth has finally been told for posterity," she
scoffs at Evans' research and describes the book as
"a soap opera". Said Evans: "I can see
Mr Teeter's nervousness about my book because I have
shown that Sirhan Sirhan was there, he had a gun and
he pulled the trigger. My book is about the conspiracy
to murder Bobby Kennedy and it is putting a lot of pressure
on authorities to reopen the case. The point of the
assassination is not who fired the gun, but who paid
for the bullets. Aristotle Onassis paid for the bullets."
84-year-old, 500-room Ambassador Hotel, which was the
site of six Academy Awards ceremonies and where many
celebrities, including the aviator and movie producer
Howard Hughes, had permanent suites, was never the same
after the assassination. Many believe it died with Robert
Kennedy. It became more run down year by year, closing
floor by floor until it finally shut its doors to the
public on 3 January 1989. Its contents were auctioned
off in the 1990s and it now stands empty and derelict
behind a chain-link fence on Wilshire Boulevard.
Angeles officials want to tear it down and build three
schools on the site, while the Los Angeles Conservancy
is fighting to save the hotel because of its architectural
value and historic significance.
Kennedy family has argued forcefully against saving
the hotel, saying that new schools would make the most
fitting memorial to Bobby's life.
pantry remains in the bowels of the building, a decaying
space with bullet holes in the wall and ceiling. An
ice machine still drips. Pending the outcome of Teeter's
lawsuit, a panel of historians will be appointed to
consider if the room ought to be sliced out and shipped
whole to another site, preserved as it is, or destroyed
along with the hotel.
"Nemesis" A Black Book?
Since this article was forwarded to me as
“new evidence in the RFK assassination,”
I feel compelled to speak.
by Lisa Pease, January 18, 2005
I beg forgiveness in advance. I would love to lay out
the evidence in scholarly detail to support all I want
to say in great detail, and might yet at some future
date. But frankly, the ridiculously absurd, ill-supported
theory in Peter Evans’ book Nemesis doesn’t deserve
I had only to hear the premise to know something was
amiss. Onassis had ordered Bobby Kennedy killed? I burst
out laughing the first time this was proposed to me,
several years ago, by a lawyer in Indiana who claimed
“secret knowledge” that Onassis was behind RFK’s assassination.
(His scenario, however, was very different from the
one put forth in Evans’ book.) When I laughed at this,
he got angry and actually threatened me, saying “the
Mob will get you” — words to that effect. You heard
me right. The Mob. So why would “the Mob” want to “get
me” if I didn’t believe some wildass story about Onassis
having killed RFK?
I never believed for a second that the people who would
“get” me, if anyone, would be from the Mob. But I did
believe I was witnessing the birth of a new disinformation
campaign, and mentioned it to a few people at the time.
Someone was trying to pin the RFK case on Ari Onassis.
Now I know who that “someone” is.
You see, the funny thing about this is that the attack
laid out in Nemesis, that Onassis ordered the killing
of Bobby Kennedy, parallels an earlier CIA disinformation
campaign against Onassis.
In 1954, the CIA hired Robert Maheu, whom it would later
hire to design Castro assassination plots, to perform
a character assassination plot against Ari Onassis.
Why? Because Onassis controlled the shipping of Arabian
oil, an extremely lucrative market. The CIA was upset
because both money and valuable intelligence were being
lost to Onassis. According to the CIA’s Inspector General
Report on Plots to Assassinate Castro:
“In the 1954-55 time period Maheu was hired by the Greek
shipping magnate, Niarchos, to help in a financial tussle
Niarchos was having with another Greek shipping figure,
Onassis, who had managed to negotiate a pact with King
Saud under which Onassis would control 90% of all Saudi
Arabian oil shipments. British, American, and German
shipping interests opposed Onassis' near monopoly, and
the US and UK governments supported Niarchos in his
fight to have the agreement canceled. Maheu is believed
to have worked at top levels in both the British and
American governments, reportedly meeting at least once
with Vice President Nixon. Maheu's operations were financed
by Niarchos, but CIA became involved in supporting them
by request of the Department of State. Agency communications
and pouch facilities were made available to Maheu, and
he was given help in developing a black propaganda campaign
against Onassis. Niarchos, with Maheu's help, won his
scrap with Onassis.”
Would it surprise you to learn, then, that this same
Robert Maheu was a chief source for author Peter Evans?
Would it surprise you to learn that Evans’ other sources
included CIA mastermind and Dulles/Helms/Angleton confidante
Miles Copeland, as well as the CIA’s best man in Greece,
Alfred Ulmer? Evans thanks these three for giving him
the introductions and leads to the others in the story.
So what is Evans’ evidence that Onassis ordered Bobby
killed? Granted, I’m skimming - but as best I can make
it out, a woman said Ari told her he paid to have Bobby
killed. THAT’S IT! I’m not kidding!! And 1) we have
no way to know if the woman is telling the truth, and
2) even if she has been honest, we have no way of knowing
whether she might have misinterpreted what Onassis said.
Maybe he made the comment as a joke. We don’t have enough
context to accurately assess the seriousness of this
comment, if it was even made.
In addition, Evans tries to link Ari to an Arab terrorist
who once made a comment about killing an American official.
Evans takes the words of a couple of people and strings
together incidents that could have had any number of
other explanations and that’s his evidence. He makes
a big deal of the fact that this terrorist visited William
Bryan, the doctor who probably hypnotized Sirhan. But
that’s his evidence - the comment and the visit - that
this man was directly involved in the assassination
plot. Again, I’m not kidding!
Most of his introductions for the sources in the book
came, according to Evans’ own acknowledgements, from
either proven CIA sources (Maheu, Copeland, and Ulmer)
or likely CIA sources such as his much-touted Yannis
Georgakis, the prominent Greek man who was the actual
instigator for this book. See, Evans had already written
a biography of Ari Onassis. Guess what? None of this
stuff came up! It took Georgakis to instill curiosity
by promising “the rest of the story.” Georgakis was
a stellar student in Greece during the years prior to
WWII - admitted to law school at the age of 15 and graduating
at the age of 20. He studied in Germany where he obtained
a doctorate in criminal law, and then returned to Greece
at the start of WWII. The CIA was heavily ensconced
in Greek politics by the end of WWII as Greece was seen
as one of the holdouts keeping the Iron Curtain at bay.
It’s not stretching to imagine that such a talented,
high-profile individual would be a top recruitment target
for the Agency.
Evans’ book simply lays out a theory, and an ill-documented,
ill-supported one at that. So just for fun, let’s compare
that to my theory.
I propose that the CIA killed Bobby. I propose that
they did this because he was pursuing their involvement
in the killing of his brother. I propose they knew they
would be toast if Bobby ascended to the office of the
President. I believe they used Maheu to do this.
I believe that Maheu, concerned perhaps by the growing
interest in the RFK assassination, has been looking
for an alternate patsy and pulled out his old playbook
the CIA gave him and ran it one last time against his
And let’s look at my evidence.
Maheu had been the CIA’s point man planning the Castro
assassination plots. Maheu was directly implicated by
Hoover, if John Meier, who talked to Hoover personally,
is to be believed. Hoover told Meier, so Meier told
me, that “We know this [the Robert Kennedy assassination]
was a Maheu operation. But I’m powerless against the
CIA” - a comment made believable by the fact that James
Angleton had a photo of Hoover with his gay lover Clyde
Tolson in a compromising position, and Angleton had
provably used that photo to force Hoover’s hand in the
case of that other Kennedy assassination, that of President
John Kennedy. (See my Angleton articles in The Assassinations
for that story.)
After the assassination of RFK, Maheu, for Howard Hughes,
hired the cream of the crop of the Kennedy operatives
so they would be on his payroll. That’s a nice thing
to do - give a job to the folks who might otherwise
be interested in finding out what your involvement might
have been. It’s always hard to bite the hand that feeds,
as any mainstream journalist knows.
Maheu had strong ties to the LAPD, the agency most responsible
for the cover-up of the facts proving conspiracy in
the assassination of RFK. Maheu had even helped produce
a porno film with members of the LAPD to discredit the
CIA target and Indonesian leader Sukarno.
Johnny Roselli, Maheu’s close associate, the man who
trained Maheu’s would-be assassins for the Castro plots,
was involved in a scandal that compromised Grant Cooper,
the lawyer who would soon represent Sirhan Sirhan. Cooper
was facing losing his license to practice law because
some Grand Jury transcripts, stolen by Roselli, ended
up on his desk in court. (Cooper was representing an
associate of Roselli’s when both were on trial in the
Friar’s Club card cheating scandal). Cooper miraculously,
amid his own troubles, volunteers to help Sirhan, and
equally miraculously, his charges are reduced, payable
by a small fine.
I believe Maheu had Roselli compromise Cooper so that
Sirhan’s case would never be more than a show trial.
It worked. When the LAPD admittedly could not prove
the bullets they had in evidence actually came from
Sirhan’s gun, Cooper told the Judge in chambers, that’s
okay - I’ll stipulate to wherever the cops say the bullets
came from. I believe Cooper did this to protect some
deal he had made re the sinking of Sirhan’s defense.
I mean, what lawyer has his client read from his notebook,
“RFK must die, RFK must die” as Cooper had Sirhan do
on the stand? Not a lawyer who was trying to help his
client. At least, that’s my theory.
See, the thing with my theory is, it’s based primarily
on a well-documented record. Not simple assertions by
players you’ve never met. Not by statements from spooks
told in whispers in dark restaurants. Actual documents.
LAPD investigative files. Court records. Stuff like
Now you can take your pick. Or make up a theory of your
own! Heck, anyone can play this game. But given a choice,
I’d rather follow a trail of documentable evidence,
rather than a trail laid out by people who lie for a
Maybe that’s just me. But I hope not.
I hope that’s you, too.