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December 21, 2014

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Family of RFK gets an apology from LAPD as Palms’ ‘Behind the Scenes’ evidence exhibit opens

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Steve Marcus

A display on the murder of Bobby Kennedy is displayed at “Behind the Scenes: The LAPD Homicide Experience” Tuesday in the Palms. Kennedy was assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan June 5, 1968 at The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. The exhibit, a glimpse into some of the most notable homicides and critical incidents in Los Angeles in the past 100 years, coincides with the four- day California Homicide Investigators Association conference.

Quick notes as we plod toward the middle of the hump day:

• The already oft-discussed crime-evidence "Behind The Scenes" exhibit being staged at the Palms by the Los Angeles Homicide Department and the California Homicide Investigators Association has been drawn back because one family is upset about what is being exhibited. That family is the Kennedys.

One of the exhibits planned for the display, which opened Tuesday and runs through Friday, was to be the shirt, jacket and tie worn by Robert F. Kennedy the night he was shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles after winning the California Democratic presidential primary June 4, 1968.

Kennedy was mortally wounded by assailant Sirhan Sirhan while being led through the kitchen on his way out of the hotel. The display from that awful night had been taken down by the time the display formally opened Tuesday after members of the Kennedy family learned RFK's clothing, held by the LAPD, was intended for display.

"The last thing we want to do is traumatize a victim's family, and I am very sensitive to that," LAPD Chief Charlie Beck told the Los Angeles Times. "But at the same time, we want to preserve the history of the city of Los Angeles and improve the quality and understanding about our homicide investigations." A video exhibit of the crime is still in place.

• One of the candidates for Lieutenant Governor, Paul Murad, has corrected a way he has been described in this column. I've previously referred to him as a real-estate magnate, but he's actually — as he has claimed — a small-businessman. He's the president and CEO of Metroplex Group, which deals with brokerage, investing and construction in Las Vegas. "Magnate" came about because of the high-end dealings of his company, and also as a result of his appearance on the Bravo pass-the-popcorn guilty pleasure, "Millionaire Matchmaker."

As the title would suggest, magnates have permeated the show. Murad's appearance was memorable mostly because he proposed on the first date (and he is single, still), which had never happened before on the series. But the Democratic hopeful's campaign is a man-of-the-people effort, so he now prefers small-businessman. A question of semantics? You — you! — make the call.

• This morning on Fox 5's "More" show, anchors Monica Jackson, Claudine Grant and Rachel Smith were the subjects of a segment in which they were all made over to look like the women from "Jersey Shore." They snapped the gum, strutted in quick little steps in high heels, the whole nine. They really got into character, and on the set the three of them talked — at high volume and in that tinfoil-across-the-blackboard Jersey dialect — of the experience. Then the producers cut to Jason Feinberg and me, where we were going to detail Barry Manilow's new residency at Paris Las Vegas. If you've ever wondered what "stupefied" looks like, it happened this morning. The segment is on the Fox 5 "More" Web site (click here). Take it from The Circumstance, it was wild.

Update: Earlier today, Robert Kennedy's son Maxwell Taylor Kennedy told The New York Times, "This was obviously painful to me and to other members of my family It sends a message to victims of violent crime across the state that if you turn over evidence to the police, they may eventually put your most personal pain on stage at a Vegas casino.“

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at twitter.com/JohnnyKats.

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