Interestingly, Kennedy’s autopsy contradicted the reports of witnesses in a number of ways and is the primary source of many ongoing conspiracy theories about the assassination. All three shots were from behind Kennedy, and the fatal shot was fired with the muzzle of the gun nearly touching Kennedy’s head. Since Sirhan Sirhan approached Kennedy head-on and was reportedly stopped more than a foot away from Kennedy, this has sometimes been seen as the strongest evidence that there was a second shooter that day, as some witnesses have claimed.
There is, however, a simpler explanation for why the shots came from behind Kennedy. Before the shooting, the senator had turned to his left to shake a bus boy’s hand. When Sirhan Sirhan lunged at Kennedy, he may have ducked further in self-defense, exposing his back to the assassin. “The conspiracy people will have you believe that Kennedy is standing there, putting his chest out,” said the journalist Dan Moldea, who wrote a book on the assassination, to The Boston Globe. “If you see someone running at you, shouting ‘You son of a b****,’ he’s got a gun in his hand, what are you going to do? You’re going to turn defensively.”