Robert F. Kennedy saw conspiracy in JFK’s assassination

tags: JFK, JFK assassination, RFK, Kennedys




Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy was sitting at his backyard patio table, clutching a tuna fish sandwich, when the call came through. Kennedy had spent the morning at a Justice Department conference on his intensifying war against organized crime. He had invited two of his employees from New York, US Attorney Robert Morgenthau and an aide, back to his sprawling home, Hickory Hill in McLean, Va., to continue the conversation over a private lunch.

A key focus of the morning meetings had been the Justice Department’s efforts to put Mafia kingpins behind bars. Now, by the pool on an unseasonably warm day in November 1963, Kennedy talked optimistically about efforts to neutralize one of those mob leaders, Carlos Marcello. At the very moment when Kennedy and his guests were digging into their sandwiches and clam chowder, Marcello was sitting in a packed courtroom in New Orleans, awaiting the verdict in his deportation trial....

In the half-century since that awful day, much has been made of Bobby Kennedy’s impossible burden following the assassination of his brother. He needed to reassure a shaken nation, support his widowed sister-in-law and her two young children in addition to his own brood of kids, and maintain the cohesion and political relevance of the entire Kennedy clan — all while contending with his own soul-crushing sadness.

But a closer examination of Bobby’s actions leading up to and immediately following Nov. 22 offers a fresh vantage point on this still-unhealed gash on the American psyche. The view has become clearer thanks to the accumulation of documents released over the last two decades — some as recently as a few months ago — that had long been kept from public view. A review of those documents by the Globe, fortified by the work of historians and new interviews with former Kennedy aides, paints a picture of a brother responding to the assassination with equal parts crippling grief and growing suspicions....



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