The legacy of RFK and Pasadena resident Sirhan Sirhan


In the course of researching a column for Friday’s paper, I ended up interviewing Munir Sirhan, brother of Sirhan Sirhan, the accused assassin of Robert F. Kennedy who died 40 years ago Friday.

Munir had some interesting things to say and introduced me to some people who believe there’s more to his brother’s story than the lone gunman narrative.

Among those taking up Munir’s cause are Summer Reese, who is affiliated with KPFK radio, and Dr. William Pepper, who has a pretty interesting history of his own, and knew both Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy.

Pepper and several other researchers interested in the Kennedy assassination are getting together tonight near LAX to discuss new theories and information that’s become available in recent months.

Here’s a YouTube video about the organization known as COPA.  


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  • Angel Bec

    I grew up in Pasadena. I actually grew up 2 houses down from the Sirhan family. I was only 6 at the time – but I remember him as very quiet, shy but very kind. He used to give me gummy bears. Life was much different back then. I remember the Helm’s Bakery truck coming around to deliver delicious chocolate donuts – and I remember the mail man used to draw me little pictures. Back in those days you could play outside in the street till the streetlights came on because it was safe.

    In any event – I used to say hi to him everytime he passed my house. He worked at a butcher’s on Lake Avenue.

    I remember the day Kennedy was shot. I awoke to my mother crying – because we were Irish Catholics and we had a picture of the Pope and JFK in the living room. I was scared that my mother was crying. I was watching TV and I saw a picture of Sirhan and I kept asking my mom why he was on TV. My mom said “He did something very bad”

    I wasn’t allowed to go out of the house that day. When I was allowed I was very surprised to see that the street was blocked off – there was police all over the place – and there was a huge crowd sitting in front of the Sirhan residence. I remember running back into the house and telling my mom I didn’t want to go outside.

    A few days later the FBI came door to door and interviewed all the neighbors. I remember to this day that they literally looked like the guys from “Men In Black” with the dark suits on.

    We were still friendly with Mary Sirhan – the mother. She used to walk everyday to her job which was up the street. We didn’t bother the family – no one tried to torch the house or throw things at it. We basically left the family to live alone with their agony. I do remember the neighbors always being kind to her as she walked back and forth to work.

    For years people would drive up and down the street asking the neighbors “Where does Sirhan live?”

    To this day I cannot equal the memory of Sirhan in my mind as a child growing up – with what he was accused of doing.

    Maybe I just want to have another precious memory of childhood. In any event – a part of my childhood innocence was lost that fateful day in June so long ago.

  • Bob Daniels

    I went to Jr. High and High School with Sirhan. He was a year or two ahead of me. I was one of those kids who studied yearbooks and I was sure I had caught a misprint when I first saw his name.

    Anyway, I also remember him as appearing shy and quiet but then in High School he also always seemed to carry big armloads of books….I thus thought he was really going somewhere with his life.

    Then he graduated, I graduated and boom, there he was on TV to my shock in 1968.

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