Kennedy And Chappaquiddick

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In the early morning hours of July 19, 1969, a black Oldsmobile sedan turned down a narrow dirt road and careened away in a cloud of dust. As the car approached a wooden bridge that sat at an oblique angle to the road, it failed to slow. Too late, the driver realized his error. The car dropped over the side of the bridge, turned over and plunged into the Poucha Pond.

The driver escaped the overturned and water-filled car. A 28-year-old female passenger did not. What followed doomed the Presidential aspirations of 37-year-old Senator Edward M. “Ted” Kennedy.

Only Kennedy knew exactly what happened in the hours following the accident. He apparently took the truth with him to the grave. But this much has been gleaned from investigations into the accident:

  • Kennedy was hosting a reunion party on Chappaquiddick Island for a group of six women (the “Boiler Room Girls”), including Mary Jo Kopechne, who had served in Robert Kennedy’s 1968 Presidential campaign. Chappaquiddick is connected via ferry to the town of Edgartown, Mass., which is located on Martha’s Vinyard.
  • When he announced he was leaving the party, Kennedy claims Kopechne asked if he would drive her to her hotel room.
  • Kopechne left her purse and hotel key at the party.
  • Between 12:30 and 12:45 a.m., a black car containing a man and a woman were seen by a sheriff’s deputy exiting a private road onto Dike Road. The deputy said the car’s license plate began with the letter L and contained two 7s. The license plate on Kennedy’s Oldsmobile began with the letter L and contained two 7s.
  • Kennedy claims he took a wrong turn while trying to get to the ferry, even though the road to the ferry is paved and the road that led over the bridge was not.
  • Kennedy escaped from the car and swam to the shore, where he says he called Kopechne’s name several times.
  • Kennedy claims he then tried several times to rescue Kopechne, to no avail.
  • He says he walked back to Lawrence Cottage where the party was being held, but did not see any houses to use to call for help, even though he passed several along the way.
  • When he arrived at the cottage he did not call authorities for help. Instead, he summoned his cousin Joseph Gargan and friend Paul Markham to go with him back to the accident site to see if they could locate Kopechne.
  • When their rescue efforts failed, they drove to the ferry landing. Gargan and Markham told Kennedy the accident had to be reported, but Kennedy told them not to tell the other “girls” about the accident and that he would take care of it. Kennedy then dove into the water and swam the 500-foot channel to Edgartown.
  • He returned to his hotel room, removed his wet clothes and went to bed.
  • Kennedy claims he was awakened by noises outside his room at about 2:30 a.m. and he got up and put on dry clothes and began to toss and turn and walk about the room.
  • At 2:55 a.m., he complained to hotel staff about the noise.
  • At about 8 a.m., Gargan and Markham joined Kennedy at the hotel where the three had a “heated conversation” about Kennedy’s refusal to report the accident.
  • At about the same time, two amateur fishermen spotted the overturned car in the water. They notified authorities at 8:20 a.m.
  • Edgartown Police Chief James Arena arrived a few minutes later and tried to examine the interior of the car. Unable to do so, he called a professional diver, John Farrar, who arrived at 8:45 a.m.
  • Farrar located Kopechne’s body and pulled it from the car within 10 minutes. Farrar would later testify that the position of Kopechne’s body indicated she had survived the crash and had lived for two to four hours in the car by breathing from a pocket of air. According to Farrar, Kopechne would have survived if he’d been summoned immediately after the accident.
  • When Kennedy heard police had found the car, he went to the police station, arriving about 10 a.m., made a couple of telephone calls and then dictated a statement to give to police — a statement in which Kennedy revealed little of what actually transpired.
  • The medical examiner ruled that Kopechne died of drowning, but no autopsy was performed. She was buried the next day.
  • The Koephne family received a payment of $90,904 from Kennedy and a $50,000 payout from insurance.

Kennedy later pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident after causing injury and prosecutors agreed to Kennedy’s request that a jail sentence be suspended owing to Kennedy’s age, character and prior reputation. Judge James Boyle ruled that there was probable cause that Kennedy had committed a crime, but declined to issue an arrest warrant. District Attorney Edmund Dinnis chose not to prosecute him for manslaughter. And then, Boyle even had the temerity to claim that Kennedy “has already been, and will continue to be punished far beyond anything this court can impose.”

In reality, it was Americans who were punished. It showed that equal protection under the law is a fairy tale. The people of Massachusetts continued to re-elect Kennedy to the Senate until his death in 2009. And although Kennedy couldn’t overcome the accident to become President, he became one of the Democratic Party’s leading Senators and used his influence and power to force upon Americans a number of egregious statist policies and laws, not the least of which is Obamacare.

During hearings in the run-up to Obamacare’s passage, Democrats repeatedly used the “Kennedy card” to tug at the heartstrings of lawmakers. Kennedy had often called socialized medicine the cause of his life.

Personal Liberty

Bob Livingston

founder of Personal Liberty Digest™, is an ultra-conservative American author and editor of The Bob Livingston Letter™, in circulation since 1969. Bob has devoted much of his life to research and the quest for truth on a variety of subjects. Bob specializes in health issues such as nutritional supplements and alternatives to drugs, as well as issues of privacy (both personal and financial), asset protection and the preservation of freedom.

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  • figmo

    there was some speculation that Mary Jo was pregnant. An autopsy would have revealed that. A homicide with no autopsy – really?

    • Jurgy

      even an accidental death under unusual circumstances will call for an autopsy …

      • Vigilant

        And most states REQUIRE IT.

        • independent thinker

          The law is probably on the books in Mass. as well it just gets convienently forgotten when a Kennedy or other rich democrat is involved.

          • MargaretJacobson

            I wo0nder if Mary Jo was cremated??

    • MargaretJacobson

      My mothers family came from north Boston and revere mass . There was talk that Mary Jo was pregnant (about 3 months). If the party for the “boiler room girls” was a perfectly innocent party, why couldn’t they have had the party at one of the ” inns” on the mainland side?? Why weren’t their wives invited ?? Why couldn’t Kennedy get Mary Jo out of calm pond water (with a bad back), but could swim the “turbulent “waters of the strait?? This is open water ?? How come Kennedy lived in the area , and didn’t know the roads ?? How come he passed numerous (half dozen or more) summer homes there?? A fire station ( set up for water rescue) ?? Went back to the party !! Trying to get a sucker to get the fall ?? He then jumped into the water to swim to the mainland side ?? He claimed that “the pond water was just too much for him to swim !! Why couldn’t Mary Jo get out ?? What was wrong with her?? If she were next to him, why couldn’t she get out ?? She just might have been dead ??

      • figmo

        There is a good possibility he was picked up by someone in a motor boat and taken accross the water. It was claimed that someone heard a boat that night. Then he goes to bed without reporting it?? He did nothing to summon help to rescue her?? That by itself was criminal! Then he wanted to get one of his cousins to take the fall but ended up taking the blame at the last minute. If she was pregnant, it would be a great motive for murder and then we have the highly questionable death of Marlyn Monroe… I think we are blessed that no Kennedy is currently holding a significant national political office. Mad Magazine published a cartoon showing a VW beetle floating on a pond with the caption “IF Ted Kennedy had driven a Volkswagon he would be president today”. The Kennedy family used its influence with VW in Germany who then forced Mad Magazine to withdraw the issue from the news stands. Then we have the “suicide” of a whitehouse counsel during the Clinton

    • CJM2

      She wasn’t pregnant; just some people trying to add to a tragedy. I think an autopsy was done, but it was never made public.

      • http://personalliberty.com/ Bob Livingston

        Dear CJM2,

        You write: “I think an autopsy was done, but it was never made public.” What part of the sentence “The medical examiner ruled that Kopechne died of drowning, but no autopsy was performed. She was buried the next day” is unclear to you? The Kopechne family requested no autopsy and none was performed.

        Best wishes,
        Bob

        • CJM2

          Back then some sources said an autopsy was done but the results would not be made public at family request. With two opposing reports, how can anyone be certain?

          • Vigilant

            Mr. Livingston cites the finding of the medical examiner. You cite nothing but “some sources said.” You’re as bad as Smilee in making gratuitous statements and then hiding behind “something you heard or read.”

            If you have credible sources, then by all means contribute to the discussion. If not, then I quote you in saying “Shut up about the incident…”

          • CJM2

            “Some sources” refers to the many reporters covering the incident….take an aspirin for that headache you developed.

          • Vigilant

            “Some sources? Google “Some sources” and see what you come up with…take a smart pill for that dumbness you developed.

          • CJM2

            Having read your posts on this (and other) board indicates you are incapable of looking at another’s point of view because you think you are the only one who’s opinion is valid. Your disrespect, not just to me, towards others is appalling to say the least.

          • Vigilant

            You tell Mr. Livingston to “Shut up” and you expect to talk about disrespect? You’re certifiable.

            And what does “another’s point of view” have to do with a simple request for credible sources? In case you haven’t learned in life yet, people expect assertions to be backed up by authoritative sources (not just saying “some sources”) if you expect to be taken seriously.

            But thanks, nonetheless, for taking such an interest in my posts. You no doubt learned something of value in the process if you did.

    • MargaretJacobson

      I know that the parents gratefully accepted money i9n what seemed like less than 48 hours after her death !!

  • observer

    Some folks always were and still are above the law. Unfortunately there are those who do not do their job correctly because of threats and bribes or simply because they should not be doing that job to start with. Kennedy was a punk anyway who spoke wildly about things he new nothing about. A real agitator of no real substance. If that event had not taken place he would have been president and his record would have made Obama look great. Doubt he is resting in peace.

  • IHateLibs

    He should’ve been in Jail for Murder

    • CJM2

      Money talks.

  • dan

    …and yet the people (or at least THE PARTY) kept electing and re-electing him.
    AT the least ,he exercised abysmal judgement and character. We get the government we tolerate.

  • Dinnie

    Politicians are rarely treated as regular citizens. Because of his age? He was 37! A complete cover up of an accepted political behavior. How many other things are continuing to be covered up? Obama’s behavior for instance? You and I couldn’t get away with that. To accept the money was wrong. They should have kept their stance and filed a wrongful death. I would be he was drunk and couldn’t think clearly, if at all, ever.

  • Doc Sarvis

    O M G! And I am harassed anytime I even reference the Administration before President Obama’s. Desparation is hauling out (very tired) skeletons from a years dead man’s closet.

    • http://personalliberty.com/ Bob Livingston

      Dear Doc Sarvis,

      You write: “Desparation (sic) is hauling out (very tired) skeletons from a years dead man’s closet.” See my response to CJM2.

      Best wishes,
      Bob

      • Doc Sarvis

        I clicked on the article title on your the front page under “Conservative Politics”.

        • http://personalliberty.com/ Bob Livingston

          Dear Doc Sarvis,

          Apologies. It went out in the Personal Liberty email titled “History Lesson of the Month” and the fact that today is the anniversary is the reason I wrote it. Staff also tagged it so it would appear on the home page under Conservative Politics. You do see it’s relevance. No?

          Best wishes,
          Bob

  • CJM2

    This happened 44 years ago—it’s been hashed and rehashed over and over again. It has nothing to do with today’s critical era. People knew in 1969 that laws are for the underlings and the wealthy hold themselves above the law–not a damn thing has changed since then. The man is dead and God will judge him accordingly. Shut up about the incident–it’s over.

    • http://personalliberty.com/ Bob Livingston

      Dear CJM2,

      You write: “Shut up about the incident–it’s over.” This section is headed “History Lesson.” Today is the anniversary of the incident. Therefore, it is relevant. If you don’t want to read about historical incidents, don’t click on the section.

      Best wishes,
      Bob

      • CJM2

        There was no heading that this is a historical incident section. One could hope that a nice essay would reflect how differently the general public is treated from those of the wealthy class under the law. It has been said that the laws were made for the poor by the wealthy; and we have had ample demonstration throughout our history to prove the point. Today may be the anniversary of the tragic event, but I don’t see where the format offers anything new on the topic. Thanks for your response, though, it’s appreciated.

        • http://personalliberty.com/ Bob Livingston

          Dear CMJ2,

          You write: “One could hope that a nice essay would reflect how differently the
          general public is treated from those of the wealthy class under the law.” I believe I mentioned that.

          See my second response to Doc Sarvis.

          Best wishes,
          Bob

          • CJM2

            I read your responses–

            You mentioned it, but the bulk of the article was devoted to the incident and not the lesson learned.

          • http://personalliberty.com/ Bob Livingston

            Dear CJM2,

            You write: “…but the bulk of the article was devoted to the incident and not the lesson learned.” Feel free to write your own.

            Best wishes,
            Bob

      • Jeff

        That the rich receive special treatment is hardly a newsflash, Bob. Many powerful families are able to “buy” their members’ way out of trouble. The Kennedys, the Bushes, and many, many others. I sense you have a particular loathing for the Kennedys you might not have for other wealthy families.

        • http://personalliberty.com/ Bob Livingston

          Dear Jeff,

          You write: ” I sense you have a particular loathing for the Kennedys you might not have for other wealthy families.” As usual your sense is nonsense. Any “loathing” is directed simply toward Ted Kennedy and his abominable immorality and progressive record.

          Best wishes,
          Bob

    • TBJWebmaster

      It might have happened 44 years ago, but Kennedy was living the life of luxury and excesses, idolated by the left, right up to his death recently, despite the death of Mary Jo, which should have stopped his political life as surely as Mary Jo’s was stopped.

      • CJM2

        TBJWebmaster: Thank you for your response. I never said I condoned what Kennedy did or that he should have been allowed to continue his “political” career; I took issue with the rehashing of very old news and the fact that even back then, folks knew the wealthy enjoyed the privilege of being held above the law. That isn’t a new lesson.

        • dennis

          It might not be new , but it needs to be retold there many young people out there that do not know what kind of crap went on in the 60s and still gos’ on today … The crap the Kennedy’s and Lyndon Johnson did should not be forgotten or covered up .

          • CJM2

            I can agree with your thoughts, dennis; perhaps the article could have stated that cover-ups were as well known then as they are today and that one’s status has always made the difference in how certain decisions are made (especially where criminal acts are concerned).

    • Anthony Clay

      YOU CAN EAT SH– AND DIE BUDDY, WHO APPOINTED YOU GOD YOU SCUMSUCKER, WAS THAT CLEAR ENOUGH FOR YOU

      • CJM2

        It’s rather obvious that you have a moral problem. When folks engage in a DECENT conversation, that does not give you the right to interject your vulgarities simply because you don’t like what someone says. As for anyone being appointed God, it does appear that you have made that claim for yourself.

  • Wild_Bill_vintage_1948

    What about these recent stories suggesting that Ted’s car was rigged to crash and that it drove off the bridge due to this sabotage? In other words, that this was a failed attempt on his life? I guess it doesn’t matter — he was too dead politically to become president, and if he came close, he would have been shot dead like Bobby.

    • TBJWebmaster

      Doesn’t really matter considering his behavior afterwards. That, even more than the crash – almost certainly caused by alcohol and sexual anticipation – is what is really despicable about the whole business.

    • independent thinker

      I have not heard that theory before but it still does not account for him being on the wrong road, one so different from the one he claimed he wanted to be on even a drunk should have noticed it.

      • MargaretJacobson

        He lived in the area, he probably knew the roads ?? Maybe he was planning a little sex on the side ?? She might have been having a disagreement with him ?? Fight perhaps? Lost control of car?? I often wonder why she couldn’t get out of the car too ?? Ted made it out !! Why not her ??”

    • MargaretJacobson

      who knows? who really cares ??

  • TBJWebmaster

    He might have missed the presidency, but he spent the rest of his fairly long life in an alcoholic haze as the beloved senior senator for Massachusetts, adulated by the left, still indulging his appetite for younger women, continuing to get DUIs (the accumulation of which would cause most of us to spend time behind bars) brushed under the carpet and generally pontificating. It could have been a lot worse, and it should have been a lot worse.

    What we can really learn from this is not just that there is one law for them and one for us, it is that, to this day, the lefties have no conscience and will adulate anyone, however despicable, that strokes their left wing fantasies.

    Now, would you like to know how I really see it, without the gloves on?

    • Anthony Clay

      OVER 100 TIMES HE WAS STOPPED FOR DRUNK-DRIVING, GOING FOR THE I BANGED A 1000 SECRETARY’S MEDAL, WHICH HE RECEIVED, THIS GUY WAS MASS POND SCUM OF THE HIGHEST ORDER, A TOTAL RECKLESS DISREGARD OF ANYONE OR ANYTHING THAT STOOD IN HIS WAY

  • MIKE6080

    Since he couldnt become king , he spent the rest of his life trying to destroy the country

  • dennis

    I always knew there was a cover up … The Kennedy’s were above the law … Kind of like Obama is now … In the eyes of the press they can do no wrong …

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkgA2rUAY-o Booker

    Damn.

    I have a feeling that this woman was pregnant and Ted had to just find a way to get rid of her. It’s just a theory though. Well, he’s gone now.

  • Dave

    This incident proves that in law & justice…neither count! But money…ahhh, that can definitely cover over a lot of sins. I’m sorry for Mary Jo.

    • MargaretJacobson

      I am more sorry for Mary Jo’s parents. Mary Jo is at rest ?

  • BHR

    All the Kennedy’s were crooks. Joe Kennedy was a horrible man, he cheated on his wife all their marriage, had doctors give his daughter a lobotomy because see was active and might give him a bad reputation. He made much of his money running alcohol during prohibition, while ambassador to England. He paid the mob to help get John elected.

  • Judi Mahoney

    This is the same fool who passed immigration reform that has browned out the USA. Filled our schools with the dregs from third world countries who do NOT want to assimilate but bring it down from within with the help of the MSM and Barry.

  • Doris

    He “pointedly” asked the desk clerk for the time after he “dried off.” He bought the Kipechnes a new house. Massachusetts law calling for a pregnancy test for victims like Mary Jo was ignored. The Kennedys own the officials.