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Journalist Terence Smith on his encounter with Sirhan Sirhan’s father


Former “Sunday Morning” correspondent Terence Smith is out with a brand new memoir: “4 Wars, 5 Presidents,” which features a story about an encounter with the daddy of convicted murderer Sirhan Sirhan, whose current bid for parole was denied by California Governor Gavin Newsom. Smith shares his ideas:


When Robert Kennedy was shot in Los Angeles on June 5, 1968, I used to be hundreds of miles away in Jerusalem, Israel, as a correspondent for The New York Instances. I rapidly discovered that the shooter’s father, Sirhan Sirhan Sr., lived in a small village within the West Financial institution.

It was 10 p.m. and darkish by the point I arrived on the Sirhan home. I rapped on the door, and a small man in his pajamas answered. I defined that I used to be a reporter and, typical of Palestinian hospitality, Sirhan Sirhan Sr. invited me in and insisted on making espresso.

I requested him if he had heard that Kennedy had been shot? Sure, he mentioned, and thought it was horrible information. I requested if he had heard that the murderer had been caught on the spot? Sure, he mentioned.

I requested another query: Had he heard the identify of the captured murderer? No, he mentioned, he had gone to mattress and never heard it.

Simply surprised, I pushed my reporter’s pocket book throughout the kitchen desk and requested him to jot down the names of his 5 sons. The fourth identify on the record: Sirhan Sirhan Jr. I put my finger on that identify and regarded him within the eye and mentioned: “That is the murderer.”

Sirhan was shocked – first incredulous, after which offended. Sirhan Sirhan Jr. had been one of the best of his boys, he mentioned.

Then his face darkened, and he mentioned: “If he did it, he ought to hold!”

four-wars-five-presidents-rowman-and-littlefield-cover.jpg

Rowman & Littlefield


With extra reporting, I discovered the Sirhan household had been deeply troubled. The daddy had misplaced his job and blamed the Israelis. He beat his spouse and sons, and the mom escaped by transferring with the boys to California.

Sirhan Sirhan Jr. grew up hating the Israelis, and hating anybody who supported Israel.

Anybody, that’s, like Robert F. Kennedy.

Ought to the 77-year-old murderer be granted parole after 5 a long time in jail?

As somebody who admired Robert Kennedy, I am unable to declare to be goal.  However I’d say, no – not now, not in 18 months on the subsequent parole listening to.

I would say the Governor received it proper.

      
For more information:

     
Story produced by Younger Kim. Editor: Remington Korper. 

     
See additionally: 


RFK kids communicate out on Sirhan Sirhan parol…

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