“My brother was a man of love and sentiment and compassion. He would not have wanted his death to be a cause for the taking of another life”
On May 21, 1969, despite an eloquent plea from Senator Edward Kennedy on behalf of his fallen brother, Sirhan’s death sentence was confirmed. The next day, Sirhan Sirhan was interviewed by Jack Perkins of NBC and their eighteen-minute interview aired as First Tuesday – The Mind of an Assassin two weeks later. It’s a fascinating distillation of the mysteries and conundrums of the trial. Perkins leads Sirhan through the case and often seems bewildered by his responses.
The clips below from The Killing of America give a flavour of the interview but are sensationalist and misleading, with fake gunshots added and Perkins’ voice redubbed. When Sirhan says Kennedy “seemed like a saint”, he’s talking about seeing him at the Ambassador on Sunday, June 2nd, not the night of the assassination. So below the video, I’m posting audio of the complete Perkins interview – a fascinating insight into Sirhan’s state of mind the day before he was moved to Death Row in San Quentin.