New Details About Robert F. Kennedy's Assassin Sirhan Sirhan Stabbed In Prison

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Who Is Sirhan Sirhan? New Details On Robert F. Kennedy's Assassin Stabbed In Prison

On June 5, 1968, shots rang out inside the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Robert F. Kennedy had just declared victory in the California Democratic presidential primary when the bullets struck him and killed him. Sirhan Sirhan was arrested for the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. He was convicted of the crime and he's been in prison ever since. Recently, he was stabbed in the San Diego prison he's serving time at. He was transported from the prison to Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego. Who is Sirhan Sirhan?

1. Early life

Sirhan Bishara Sirhan was born in May 1944 in Jerusalem to an Arab Palestinian-Christian family. He grew up in the West Bank and was traumatized by the violence in the Arab-Israeli conflict. His older brother was killed when he was run over by a Jordanian military vehicle fleeing hostile gunfire. When he was 12-years-old his family moved to the U.S. and settled in California. He grew up in the Los Angeles suburb of Altadena and attended John Muir High School and Pasadena City College, both in Pasadena. He never became an American citizen. Instead he chose to remain a citizen of Jordan. 

2. Why RFK?

In a 1989 interview with David Frost, Sirhan Sirhan said: "My only connection with Robert Kennedy was his sole support of Israel and his deliberate attempt to send those 50 [fighter jet] bombers to Israel to obviously do harm to the Palestinians."

3. June 5, 1968

Robert F. Kennedy was struck three times by bullets — once behind his ear, once in his back and the third bullet went straight through him, exited his chest and hit the ceiling. Kennedy died 26 hours later. Sirhan has maintained he was framed for Kennedy's death for the past 51 years.

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4. The conviction

Sirhan Sirhan was convicted of murdering Robert F. Kennedy on April 17, 1969. He was sentenced to death in the gas chamber six days later. In 1972, his sentence was committed to life in prison when the California Supreme Couty ruled that capital punishment is a violation of the California Constitution's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. The February 1972 decision was retroactive, invalidating all existing death sentences in California

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5. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. met him

In an interview with The Washington Post in 2018 Robert F. Kennedy Jr. revealed that he traveled to the San Diego prison to meet with Sirhan. The two had a lengethy conversation — which Kennedy chose to keep to himself — but he did say that he did not believe that Sirhan killed his father. Kennedy believes a second gunman was involved.

RELATED: Robert F. Kennedy's Granddaughter Dead Of Apparent Drug Overdose At Kennedy Compound In Massachusetts

6. The stabbing

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said:  "There was an assault on an inmate on Friday, August 30 at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility at 2:21 p.m. Officers responded quickly, and found an inmate with stab wound injuries." Sirhan Sirhan was stabbed in the neck. He will be returned to prison shortly. 

Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based writer and editor covering entertainment, pop culture, beauty, fashion, fitness, technology, and the intersection of technology, business, and philanthropy. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.