On the night that Robert F. Kennedy was mortally wounded at the Ambassador Hotel, five others were felled by his assassin's bullets: a labor leader, two newsmen, a Democratic Party activist and a teenage campaign volunteer.
It took years for the whispers and stares to cease, the investigators to disappear, the introductions that started with "He got shot with Bobby Kennedy" to stop. As the 1968 assassination receded in the nation's memory, their stories seemed destined for the historical trash heap.
Today, a major motion picture revolving around the assassination, "Bobby," opens in Los Angeles and New York. Their characters don't exist in the film, which -- quoting from the publicity material -- "reimagines one of the most explosively tragic nights in American history."
But they recognize that "Bobby" may renew public interest in a night that, for them, needs no "reimagining" -- forcing them out of the shadows and into the intersection of Hollywood and history.
"I'm sure there's a service being done by making the movie," said William Weisel, a retired ABC News associate director who was hit in his left side by a bullet as he stood behind Kennedy. "But it's not the facts, and I think that's a shame.... I want to remember it the way it was."
None of those wounded were consulted during the making of the film. Some don't care to see it.
Weisel, then 30, was one of five bystanders shot by Sirhan B. Sirhan, a 24-year-old Palestinian, as Kennedy made his way through the crowded kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel just after midnight on June 5, 1968, after thanking supporters gathered in the hotel ballroom to celebrate his victory in California's Democratic presidential primary.
Paul Schrade, then 43, was a regional director for the United Auto Workers who had broken ranks with union leadership to campaign for Kennedy. He was hit by a bullet in the head and bled so heavily onlookers thought he was dead.
Ira Goldstein, 19, was a rookie radio reporter who had just shaken hands with Kennedy when a bullet hit him in the hip. He hobbled to a chair and collapsed.
Irwin Stroll was a 17-year-old campaign volunteer whose parents found out he'd been shot when they saw him on television, stumbling out of the Ambassador's kitchen, his pants leg stained with blood.
Elizabeth Evans, 43, was a Democratic Party activist who had supported Kennedy's opponent, Eugene McCarthy, but went to the Ambassador that night because she loved a party. She was grazed in the forehead by a bullet as she bent over to retrieve a shoe she'd lost when jostled by the crowd.
They have rarely spoken to one another since that night, with nothing to connect them but a shared moment in history.
Stroll went on to become a successful interior designer and died in 1995.
Evans was reportedly divorced not long after the assassination and later faded from the political scene.
Schrade lost his union post in 1972 and returned to the factory floor. He spent years helping Latino farmworkers and black leaders in South L.A. and campaigned, on behalf of the Kennedy family, for a school on the site of the Ambassador, which was closed in 1989. On Monday, construction of that school will begin.
Weisel returned to his job at ABC's White House bureau, but 12 years later he moved to the Napa Valley, where he runs a restaurant and bed-and-breakfast.
A disillusioned Goldstein left the news business, returned to school and eventually started his own business. He lives in relative obscurity today and plans to keep it that way.
For six months after he was shot, he said, Secret Service agents shadowed him and public curiosity turned him into a reluctant celebrity. "I couldn't go anywhere without being asked questions," he said.
"I thought about it every day for 10 or 15 years," he said. "After that, it sort of went away."
Now he can't remember the last time he looked at the mark the bullet left -- "a pinpoint now, about the size of a pencil lead." And he's not interested in seeing "Bobby."
"I knew when the movie came out, this would all start up again," he said wearily. "I don't need to see it. I was there."
Weisel, now 68, can't avoid his scar. The 13-inch gash bisects his torso, from side to side. But for him, that physical memento was the only damage done.
He spent weeks as a guest of the Beverly Hilton, recuperating from surgery. ABC flew his mother out; friends visited from Washington, D.C. "It was wonderful," he recalled.
He met briefly with Sirhan's family; the gunman's mother, Mary, wanted to apologize. "I didn't want to," Weisel groused. "My mother said, 'Oh, go. You should do that.' So I did. I went out in the lobby, and his brothers were there bowing and scraping, and I was trying to smile."
When Weisel returned to Washington, he became a fixture on the political social circuit. "I was invited to parties where I didn't even know the people," he said. "I'd notice people over in the corner looking at me, whispering, 'You see that guy? He took the second bullet.' "