Praise for The Killing of Robert F. Kennedy
by Dan E. Moldea
(Also see: Chapter One, as well as "Miscellaneous notes")
"Moldea has reexamined every piece of available evidence and, in an example of indefatigable journalism, tracked down virtually every policeman and FBI agent who worked on the case, is still alive, and would agree to talk to him. He also interviewed Sirhan and Thane Eugene Cesar, a security guard the night of the shooting often named as the second assassin. . . . Moldea's [storyline] works, holding the reader riveted as he reconstructs the crime scene and reviews the investigation. . . . Moldea has left no stones unturned in his examination of the Robert Kennedy assassination, uncovering many worms and perhaps, finally, the true smoking gun." - Kirkus Reviews: April 1, 1995
"[Moldea] has done an extremely painstaking investigative job. . . . [His] account of all of this, and of his many exclusive interviews and carefully pursued leads--he gave a polygraph test to a security guard who was also a possible suspect, and interviewed Sirhan in jail--is highly readable, often exciting." - Publishers Weekly: April 24, 1995
"Dan Moldea adeptly navigates these numerous detours of conflicting evidence, ballistics tests, red herrings and the FBI's count of 12 bullets--a screaming discrepancy, since Sirhan Sirhan used an eight-shot revolver. . . . Moldea provides timely insight into how an LAPD investigation developed tunnel vision early on and how the arrogant withholding of files can give ammunition to rabid conspiracy hounds. An encyclopedic effort." - Los Angeles, R. Daniel Foster: May 1995
"Moldea revisits [the murder case] comprehensively but unprejudicedly, so readers swayed by his forensic skill at examining ambiguous evidence will be surprised by his ultimate conclusion. . . . Moldea adopts no theory until he has analyzed all the evidence, culminating in interviews with [Sirhan] and the guard, Thane Cesar. Detailed and definitive, Moldea's persistent investigation might close the book on the tragedy." - Booklist, Gilbert Taylor: May 15, 1995
"Carefully reasoned . . . ultimately persuasive . . . dramatic. . . . The author meticulously dissects how the various disputes arose and how critics were drawn into the orbit of the case. . . . The cleverness of [Moldea's] strategy in the book lies in his playing so effectively the part of devil's advocate. . . . His book should be read, not so much for the irrefutability of its conclusions as for the way the author has brought order out of a chaotic tale and turned an appalling tatter of history into an emblem of our misshapen times." - New York Times, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt: May 25, 1995
"Moldea's reportage, including interviews with those at the scene as well as with Sirhan, serving a life term in a California prison, is thoroughly convincing." - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Bob Hoover: May 26, 1995
"Moldea has drawn on the expertise of over 100 law enforcement officials involved in the original investigation. . . . Moldea meticulously documents all aspects of the case and explores various conspiracy theories. He also pillories the LAPD for the 'atrocious' job it did of documenting its tasks and managing its records, no doubt fueling much of the controversy. Finally, during a June 1994 interview with the convicted assassin, Moldea realizes that Sirhan's 'memory lapses' all centered around motive, means, and opportunity. . . . Highly recommended." - Library Journal, Gary D. Barber: June 1, 1995
"One of the leading skeptics has been investigative reporter Dan E. Moldea, who some years ago wrote a groundbreaking magazine article raising many of the questions that have since become standards in the repertoire of the RFK conspiracy theorists. In his latest book . . . Moldea revisits the subject, promising this time to provide not only questions, but the answers, too. . . . [Moldea's] research is impeccable . . . the legwork is first-rate. . . . Moldea is to be commended for having the intellectual integrity to abandon a position he had become so publicly identified with. . . . But to repeat, the research is excellent." - San Francisco Examiner, Joe Dirck: June 7, 1995
"To investigative reporter Dan Moldea, the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy is a sort of 'magic eye' murder case. In The Killing of Robert F. Kennedy, Moldea lays out a detailed picture of a murder conspiracy concealed by inept investigators, then deftly turns the image inside out in what can only be described as literary sleight of hand. . . . Moldea has structured it like a mystery novel and does not reveal his personal views about the crime until the very end. . . Moldea examines the evidence supporting [various conspiracy theories] at length and then concludes that what appears to be discrepancies flow not from contradictory facts but from an inaccurate prosecution theory of the crime. He provides a new hypothesis that loosely incorporates the existing evidence--and that does not require a conspiracy, second assassin or any of the other trappings associated with alternative explanations of the crime. . . .
"Moldea's book is an act of courage. . . . Many writers would have simply abandoned the project when they discovered that their fundamental views about a subject they had researched for years were wrong. That Moldea did not is greatly to his credit. His book will serve future historians well." - San Francisco Chronicle, Bill Wallace: June 8, 1995
"If there had been a conspiracy to assassinate Robert F. Kennedy, as many people believe, Dan Moldea probably would have found it. . . . [I]n 1987 Moldea had written an influential article in Regardie's magazine demanding that the RFK case be reopened because of mounting evidence that a second gunman was involved. But after doing extra research for a book, Moldea concluded that he was wrong the first time--and that the sole killer of Robert Kennedy on June 5, 1968, was a deranged Sirhan Sirhan. . . . [T]he dramatic first two thirds of Moldea's book describes disconcerting inconsistencies in testimony and evidence; bullets that didn't match, and the conspicuous absence of key police records. But through interviews with police officers involved in the original investigation--some of whom had never talked about the case before--Moldea shows that simple (and sometimes hilarious) human error explain these suspicious coincidences. . . .
"If this reporting doesn't seal the case, Moldea's chilling prison interviews with Sirhan do." - Newsweek, Steve Waldman: June 12, 1995
"In The Killing of Robert F. Kennedy, a persuasive reexamination of the assassination, Mr. Moldea does what many journalists would lack the courage for--admit that his earlier work was wrong. . . . His new conclusion . . . is amply supported by prodigious research, including many first-time interviews with dozens of police officers involved in the investigation.
"This book presents a remarkable turnaround for a writer who had partly staked his reputation on the existence of a second shooter. But because of the honesty and logic with which he approaches his study, Mr. Moldea's journalistic instincts have never looked sharper.
"If students of the assassination or fans of Mr. Moldea's earlier work think that this less sensational resolution of the case is not as interesting as a conspiracy theory, they're mistaken. . . . How Mr. Moldea separates good leads from bogus ones, how he eliminates key suspects, and his climactic prison confrontation with Mr. Sirhan in 1994 make for far more interesting reading than any conspiracy theory based on hearsay and speculation.
"Beyond presenting what is likely to be the best understanding of what actually happened on June 5, 1968, Mr. Moldea is stinging in his criticism of shoddy work by the Los Angeles Police Department. . . . [T]his is the best written of his books, finished in a clear and easy style." - New York Times Book Review, Gerald Posner: June 18, 1995
"It is [Moldea's] best. . . . In three sections, Moldea presents the assassination, the controversies that sprang from it and his reassessment of both. As always, Moldea proves himself an indefatigable investigator and researcher." - Akron Beacon Journal, Steve Love: July 2, 1995
"Pity poor Dan Moldea. He's involved in the sensationalistic field of crime reporting--his previous books include Dark Victory: Ronald Reagan, MCA, and the Mob--and instead of the trash the public craves. . . . Moldea creates an absorbing, thorough study by focusing on facts. . . . Moldea provides logical answers to troubling questions, and arrives at his own explanation for the tragic encounter in the Ambassador Hotel pantry--an explanation that may disappoint some but always seems grounded on firm evidence." - Seattle Times, Erik Lundegaard: July 9, 1995
"Quite properly, [Moldea] concentrates his formidable investigative skills on puzzling aspects of the physical evidence. . . . Proceeding step by methodical step, he concludes that while the LAPD investigation was flawed, its basic conclusions were right. . . . His scrupulous book should make that loud and clear to even the most dedicated conspiracy buffs." - Kansas City Star, James McKinley: July 9, 1995
"The book is a triumph in several ways. The first triumph is stylistic. . . . The second triumph is ethical. . . . The third triumph is substantive. . . . Readers who want to reward responsible investigative journalism ought to buy this book." - St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Steve Weinberg: July 9, 1995
"Moldea performs a public service. His book is, above all else, an anatomy of conspiracy theory: a dissection of how blundering public officials, in trying to cover up their own quite human mistakes, can fuel wider suspicions and doubts. . . .
"That Moldea could carry off such a trick is a testament to his skill as a writer and investigator. . . . Of all the writers who have challenged the official verdict on the Kennedy assassinations, his careful work won the quiet respect . . . of the Kennedy family's aides and advisors.
"In the end, Moldea chose journalistic integrity over the commercial possibilities of a fresh conspiracy theory." - Boston Globe, John Aloysius Farrell: August 31, 1995
"There are various conspiracy theories about RFK's assassination. I was persuaded by Dan Moldea's The Killing of Robert F. Kennedy that they are bogus." - Evan Thomas, Robert Kennedy: His Life, (Simon & Schuster, 2000), page 478.
* Read Chapter One of Dan E. Moldea's The Killing of Robert F. Kennedy: An Investigation of Motive, Means, and Opportunity (W.W. Norton, 1995).
* For an excerpt of Moldea's interviews with Sirhan Sirhan, see Confessions of a Guerrilla Writer, Part Seven, Chapter 8.
* Read Moldea's response to a January 17, 2000, documentary about the RFK case on The History Channel, specifically dealing with the issue of alleged extra bullets at the crime scene.
* For reasons unknown, the Los Angeles Times did not critique this book. For the inside story about the Washington Post's review, see: "Where was Godfrey Hodgson when Sirhan Sirhan shot Robert Kennedy?"
* See Moldea's response to the continuing false charges by Rose Lynn Mangan, Sirhan's handler. (Also see: The letter Moldea sent to Michael McCowan.)
* How do Sirhan's apologists explain the convicted assassin's "Hey Punk" letter to his attorney?
* For Dan Moldea's reply to another conspiracy-advocate's attack, see "Moldea responds to Probe's 'The Curious Case of Dan Moldea.'"
* Read Moldea's responses to questions posed on John Simkin's Education Forum on the RFK murder case.
* Moldea's reply to conspiracy-theorist Shane O'Sullivan and the "paranoid's paradise" he has created with his shameless work on the RFK case.
* Moldea on the 2006 motion picture, Bobby: "Despite the frequent departures from reality, this motion picture has both heart and soul, culminating with the tragic sequence of events in its dramatic final half hour. Remarkably, some of the biggest stars in Hollywood willingly became members of the supporting cast to the film's real star, Robert F. Kennedy."