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More kith and kin gathered. The three eldest children—Kathleen, 16, Joseph, 15, and Robert, 14—were allowed to see their father. Andy Williams, George Plimpton, Rafer Johnson and others peeked in. The even rise and fall of the patient's chest offered some reassurance; the blackened eyes and the pallor of cheeks that had been healthy and tanned a few hours before were frightening.
Six Counts. As the doctors fought for one life, Police Chief Thomas Reddin worried about another. Dallas, 1963, might not have taught the nation how to preserve its leaders, but it had incontestably demonstrated the need to protect those accused of political murder. The inevitable speculation about conspiracy arose again. There was no support for it, but a dead suspect would certainly become Exhibit A.
The man seized at the Ambassador was taken first to a local police station, then to North Los Angeles Street police headquarters. His arraignment would have to take place at the Hall of Justice, a few blocks away, and Reddin, ever mindful of Dallas, was determined to make it as private a proceeding as possible. First the police considered using an armored car for transporting the prisoner, but decided instead on a patrolman's pickup truck that was, conveniently, rigged as a camper. A judge was recruited to preside at an unannounced 7:30 a.m. session, an hour before the court usually convenes. With Public Defender Richard Buckley representing him, the prisoner was charged with six counts of assault with intent to kill.
Subsequently the suspect was transferred to a windowless maximum-security cell in the hospital area of the Central Jail for Men. A guard remained in the cell with him. Another watched through an aperture in the door. Altogether, the county sheriff's office assigned 100 men to personal and area security around the cell and the jail. For the suspect's second court appearance, the judge came to him and presided at a hearing in the jail chapel.
Who was the man initially designated "John Doe"? The police had few clues: height, 5 ft. 3 in.; weight, 120 Ibs.; eyes, brown; hair, thick, black; accent, foreign, but not readily classifiable. He had a broken index finger and a sprained ankle as a result of the struggle in the pantry, but his basic condition was good. His fingerprints disclosed no criminal record in any law-enforcement agency. Reddin thought he might be a Cuban or a West Indian. He car ried no identifying papers, but had four $100 bills, a $5 bill, four singles and some change; a car key; a recent David Lawrence column noting that Kennedy, a dove on Viet Nam, was a strong defender of Israel.