Review: “A Lie Too Big To Fail” – Lisa Pease On The Robert Kennedy Assassination

September 22, 2019

I remember June 6th 1968 very well.
It was my younger brother’s birthday, bright and sunny. My parents had intentionally left the morning paper where I could see it, and the banner headline announced that Senator Robert Kennedy had been killed. It was a familiar feeling as I recalled when President John Kennedy was shot, and though young I also remembered seeing John Kennedy Jr. saluting his father’s casket on television.

Much has been written about the assassination of President Kennedy, only a handful of books detail the killing of his brother Robert Kennedy, who was poised to win the presidency and very likely re-open the investigation of his brother’s murder.

Some fifty years after the death of RFK author Lisa Pease has written the definitive book on the subject to date. Pease, in writing and interviews has described her 25-year odyssey investigating the conspiracy to kill Robert Kennedy which included listening to hours of archived audio tapes, police reports and personal interviews with witnesses and key figures. While building on early work by previous authors, Pease has come up with new evidence that points to how the hit went down and who may have orchestrated the assassination.

What is clear, is that Sirhan-Sirhan simply could not have killed Robert Kennedy, from eyewitness accounts as well as the coroner’s report. Sirhan was never closer than 3 to 6 feet in front of Kennedy, while the fatal shots all came from behind at point-blank range.

Robert Kennedy stood before a jubilant crowd at The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles and called out “My thanks to all of you, and now it’s on to Chicago and let’s win there!”. There were several ways he could have left the event, but he ended up exiting through the pantry of the hotel kitchen. The pantry was crowded, with an estimated 77 people filling it to capacity. Kennedy was escorted by security guard Thane Eugene Cesar, whose regular employment included a stint at defense contractor Lockheed Martin. Cesar was a known racist and Kennedy hater, an unusual pick for someone that was supposed to protect Kennedy.

Sirhan, in the company of the mysterious “girl in the polka dot dress” (we find out a great deal about her) stepped out and fired off an estimated two shots before being wrestled into submission by Kennedy’s team and hotel staff. With his arm pinned to a table he fired off several more shots in a random direction. In the panic that ensued, Kennedy fell mortally wounded with security guard Thane Cesar standing over him with his gun drawn. Cesar had been directly behind Kennedy, and as we remember, all fatal shots came from Kennedy’s rear.

What most people don’t know, is that witnesses saw other assailants with weapons, including a man firing from the top of a steam table, a weapon in a rolled up in a poster, another with what appeared to be a gun bag. In fact, several people other than Sirhan were detained, such as suspect Michael Wayne who was tackled and handcuffed. Dr. Marcus McBroom, part of Kennedy’s staff saw a man with a gun in his left hand, while Sirhan is right-handed. There were three men other than Sirhan that LAPD radio logs and recordings indicate as suspects. Nobody hears about them, or the multiple Sirhan look-a likes that were seen in the hotel. In fact, Pease makes a case that from eyewitness accounts there were small teams stationed at various locations, prepared for any change in plans.

We are introduced to Sandy Serrano, who was cooling off outside when several men and “the girl in the polka dot dress” ran by. The girl said “We’ve shot him, we’ve shot him”. Serrano asked who did you shoot? The girl replied “We’ve shot Senator Kennedy”. After Serrano stated that to NBC’s Sander Vanocur, Serrano underwent blistering interrogation and intimidation by two CIA connected officers, Pena and Hernandez who tried to confuse her and change her story. We will, over the course of many chapters, return to “the girl in the polka dot dress”.

In a chapter titled “Too Many Holes”, Pease painstakingly shows us that there were more shots fired than were held in Sirhan’s 8-shot pistol. From police photographs of bullet holes in woodwork (which was destroyed), ceiling tiles that were damaged and removed, and from the bullets used at trial (which didn’t match the gun). Three additional shell casings were found under an ice machine much later.
A recovered audio tape demonstrates at least 12-13 shots were fired, with several that were microseconds apart indicating separate weapons firing at the same time.
Pease informs us on page 382 that “Sirhan’s gun fired none of the bullets recovered from victims in the pantry, necessitating the switching of several bullets”.

From the scene of the crime we move to trial, where the cover-up goes into high gear. In fact, A California court of appeals basically called DeWayne Wolfer of the LAPD crime lab a liar. Wolfer was responsible for tampering with much of the evidence. He was later suspended for failing to control evidence in a separate shooting case, and went on to be rewarded with a job at Ace Security, the very same outfit that guard/suspect Thane Cesar was employed by. The trial was a sham, as the defense team
“Stipulated up front to the jury in their opening statement that their client, Sirhan Sirhan, had killed Robert Kennedy”. Pease tells us on page 137 that “In fact, less than a month before the trial, the FBI had turned down the request from the LAPD to confirm the LAPD’s analysis of the evidence in this case”. That’s how poor the evidence against Sirhan was, with a corrupt FBI being out-corrupted by the LAPD.

After introducing a whirlwind of witnesses and investigators and the chapter on the trial, Pease walks us back through the cast of characters in greater detail. This is where we learn more about the mysterious “girl in the polka dot dress”.
Other than Thane Cesar, no one in this case draws more suspicion than Polka Dot girl. Beginning on page 346, Pease details 20 pages of witness identification of this mysterious woman. Attractive, with distinct features such as “a turned up nose” and the white dress with dark polka dots, this woman was with Sirhan before and during the shooting. It is Sirhan’s interaction with Polka Dot that enhances the belief that Sirhan may have been under hypnotic suggestion at that time. She appears to be an anchor that triggered Sirhan to begin shooting, by a certain way she pinched his arm or elbow at the exact moment Kennedy came within range. After the shots were fired, Polka Dot fled with a tall blond man, with both briefly returning to peek back into the pantry. Polka Dot and another man were later seen fleeing the building by Sandy Serrano, who quoted her as saying “We’ve shot Senator Kennedy”.
One of the most detailed examples of such a mysterious woman comes in the description by John Fahey as told to journalist Fernando Faura. Fahey spent a day with a woman that claimed “They were going to get Kennedy”. She claimed to be recently from Beirut, that her husband was stationed in Guam or Taiwan, and that she planned to leave on a flight by Civil Air Transport (CAT), a known CIA front. Elements of CAT, specifically Anna Chennault, were involved in sabotaging President Johnson’s peace plan for Vietnam. The author concludes this chapter with descriptions of people that claimed to have foreknowledge of the assassination.

There is very little controversy regarding Sirhan and the hypnosis element that may have lulled him into performing as the perfect “patsy” in this case. Sirhan was known to practice self hypnosis, was found by experts to be easily hypnotized and reenacted the hand motions of shooting a gun when directed to by a hypnotist. The case can be made that under hypnosis, a person may undertake an act when he/she believes they are involved in something completely different. For example, Sirhan is said to go into “Range Mode” under hypnosis, believing he is merely shooting at targets. This is the hypnotic trick that circumvents a person’s reluctance to act in violence. Pease presents us with a lengthy chapter called “Mind Games” that covers many examples of weaponized hypnosis. This includes details of famous hypnotist William J. Bryan, who had bragged about hypnotizing Sirhan, called a radio talk show to suggest Sirhan had been hypnotized, and later backtracked and stated “Why don’t you ask (hypnotist) Bernie Diamond, he’s the guy who did it!”

While the notion of the use of hypnosis is no longer controversial, Pease has drawn scrutiny among researchers for another subject; the possible use of “blank rounds” that may have been substituted in his gun. This would explain how the other shooters were able to operate without fear of being shot by an errant Sirhan bullet, with multiple other shooters accounting for the large number of injuries and kitchen damage. Pease cites several witnesses that seemed to observe bits of paper wadding, the sounds resembling a cap gun rather than the murder weapon. More will have to be discovered about that theory, but the fact remains that from Pease’s reporting, none of the bullets recovered from shooting victims came from Sirhan’s gun.

One very interesting tidbit is the direction Pease takes us as to who may have put together the team that killed Kennedy. I will leave that up to the readers to discover themselves. She concludes by putting the Robert Kennedy assassination in the context of The Cold War, Cuba,Vietnam, and the other assassinations of the 1960’s.
This book has become the most annotated, bookmarked and footnoted book in my collection.

“A Lie Too Big To Fail – The Real History Of The Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy” is a snapshot in time, a blueprint for political assassination, and a documented example of the ongoing coup that took the life of his brother President John F. Kennedy. It is a true guide to the magic trick that cloaked the masters of murder – the true killers of Robert Kennedy, and is a must-read to understand criminal acts of state – past, present and future.

John Titus
Covert Book Report


Within mere days of each other two events occurred – and one must ask if they were an attempt to eliminate both men. It must be noted that Robert Kennedy Jr. has called for the re-investigation of his father’s murder:

Sirhan Sirhan survived a stabbing in prison, after many years of safe confinement:

And Thane Eugene Cesar, the guard/suspect in the RFK murder has died in the Philipines, no indication of cause of death:


Loaded with annotations and bookmarks..

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2 Responses to Review: “A Lie Too Big To Fail” – Lisa Pease On The Robert Kennedy Assassination

  1. Beyonder on January 9, 2023 at 4:46 am

    I enjoyed reading this book very much especially because RFK research is the poor cousin of JFK research.

    The only disquiet I felt was when Lisa Pease dismisses the iranian girl as the girl in the polka dot dress and offers no evidence as to why other than “trust me bro.”

    She excoriates other CIA assets but this iranian girl who most definitely is CIA linked to this day is just eliminated as a suspect. I found that odd and suspicious.

    But other than that tiny quibble this is a definitive book on the RFK murder plot.

    When people ask why it’s all still covered up today “so long after 1963” they forget that there were several more murder plots up to and including 1968. Then Nixon got in and fell out of favor with CIA so they framed him in the Watergate nonsense. That takes us from 1963 to 1974 without a real break. It’s only after 1975-1976 one could say the clock began to run on the coverup, until then it was all still going on “live.”

    So from 1974 to today is not so terrible long, and plenty of the actual people are still alive while the children of conspirators have all been rewarded with high positions, the presidency, acting careers, music careers or senatorial positions.

    • JT on January 9, 2023 at 3:30 pm

      Good analysis, thank you

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