Sunday, November 26, 2006

Behind the film BOBBY

My friend Carrie Heeter (MSU professor) researched the events around the assassination of Bobby Kennedy after seeing the movie. I am sure it will not matter to most people that the real people do not entirely mesh with the fictional characters. Carrie writes:

I was curious about the extent to which the movie was based on real people, so I did a search....

1.) Others at the Ambassador Hotel rally were also injured. Shortly after the shooting, it was reported that Jesse Unruh, Kennedy's campaign manager, had been hit, along with Paul Shrade, head of the United Automobile Workers union. Four hours later, added to the list were William Weisel, an ABC unit manager; Ira Goldstein, a California news service reporter; Elizabeth Evans, a political supporter; and Irwin Stroll, a teenage bystander.

2.) At that moment, history blurred. A .22 caliber pistol flashed and Kennedy seemed to waver sideways. Some in the room froze at the sound, but others, recognizing it, dodged and ducked. The gun barked again, and in that instant, speechwriter Paul Schrade spun to the ground, hit in the forehead. By this time, maitre'd Uecker had been able to catch the shooter's gun arm and press it down on the steam table beside him. Nevertheless, the gun continued to explode, a third time, a fourth time, and more, its barrel aiming straight into the procession. Rosey Grier, Rafer Johnson and others struggled to disarm the assailant and corral him. But, in the 40 seconds it took to pry the gun loose, all eight cylinders of the weapon emptied. Kennedy sprawled on the floor, spread-eagled and in pain. Behind him, Schrade writhed. Seven-year-old Irwin Stroll was clipped in the kneecap; ABC-TV director William Weisel grabbed his stomach where a bullet had entered; reporter Ira Goldstein's hip had been shattered; and an artist friend, Elizabeth Evans was unconscious from a head wound. Confusion and horror gripped the onlookers, some of them speechless, numbed.

"Come on, Mr. Kennedy, you can make it," pleaded busboy Juan Romero, who pressed a pair of rosary beads in the senator's upward palm. He bent down to hear the victim's barely audible voice asking, "Is everybody all right?" Would you prefer that I comment directly to your blog (as I have done multiple times this weekend) or just email you?


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