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Bobby Kennedy’s Last Words Revealed By Busboy 50 Years Later

Laura Hamilton

| Last updated 

Bobby Kennedy’s Last Words Revealed By Busboy 50 Years Later

It's the 50th anniversary of Senatory Robert F. Kennedy's assassination in LA in 1968, and the former busboy who shook hands with him seconds before the politician was shot has come forward.

Juan Romero was only 17 years old when Bobby Kennedy visited the hotel where he worked and the Senator was touring the kitchen when the young man asked for a handshake.

"I remember extending my hand as far as I could, and then I remember him shaking my hand," Juan told NPR's Morning Edition. "And as he let go, somebody shot him.

"I kneeled down to him and I could see his lips moving, so I put my ear next to his lips and I heard him say, 'Is everybody OK?' I said, 'Yes, everybody's OK.' I put my hand between the cold concrete and his head just to make him comfortable.

"I could feel a steady stream of blood coming through my fingers," Juan continued. "I remember I had a rosary in my shirt pocket and I took it out, thinking that he would need it a lot more than me.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

"I wrapped it around his right hand and then they wheeled him away."

Bobby Kennedy was the Senator for New York from 1965 until his death three years later, and had been the US Attorney General for his older brother President John F. Kennedy - who was also assassinated in 1963. Much like his brother, Bobby was seen as one of the icons of US democratic liberalism.

Juan is now 67 years old, but still struggles with survivor's guilt. In the wake of the senator's death, Juan received a lot of mail from the public, angry that he hadn't been able to save Bobby, or saying that if he hadn't asked the senator for a handshake, he still might be alive.

The guilt and pain of being next to the senator as he died led Juan to visit his grave in 2010 to ask for forgiveness.

"I felt like I needed to ask Kennedy to forgive me for not being able to stop those bullets from harming him," he said.

Juan Romero. Credit: Facebook
Juan Romero. Credit: Facebook

A lot of controversy still surrounds the death of Bobby Kennedy. His daughter, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and Robert F. Kennedy Jr have called for a reinvestigation into their father's assassination.

They believe that the man who was sentenced for murdering their father, Sirhan Sirhan, is innocent, although he pleaded guilty to murder.

It's not a view that's shared by their seven other siblings, however.

They believe that reinvestigating the case would detract from their father's legacy.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Joseph P. Kennedy II, a former congressman from Massachusetts, said in a statement: "As we approach the 50th anniversary of my father's passing, I think what is most important is that our country and my family reflect on what my father stood for and fought for - a legacy promoting global peace, social justice, and civil rights."

The Kennedy family has been plagued with rumours of being cursed, as both Bobby and John F. Kennedy were assassinated in the 60s, and then various members of the family have died in plane crashes, including John F. Kennedy Jr and his socialite wife Carolyn in the late '90s.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: US News

Laura Hamilton
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