US News: 50 Years After a Woman Mysteriously Drowned in Ted Kennedy's Car, a Letter Claims to Reveal the Truth - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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US News50 Years After a Woman Mysteriously Drowned in Ted Kennedy's Car, a Letter Claims to Reveal the Truth

02:05  19 july  2019
02:05  19 july  2019 Source:   people.com

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Ted Kennedy ' s car plunged into Massachusetts pond July 18, 1969, killing Robert F. Kennedy ' s Jury foreman claims they were blocked from reviewing much of the evidence, which meant they did Kopechne drowned when a car driven by Kennedy went off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, at

Kopechne drowned when a car driven by Kennedy went off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island It’s been 50 years since the fateful automobile accident that killed a woman and thwarted Kennedy ’ s There were so many discrepancies, but we weren’t allowed to do our jobs to get to the truth

50 Years After a Woman Mysteriously Drowned in Ted Kennedy's Car, a Letter Claims to Reveal the Truth © Provided by TIME Inc. 50 Years After Woman Mysteriously Drowns in Ted Kennedy's Car, Letter Claims to Reveal the Truth

It’s a mystery that’s lasted for 50 years and lingers still: What happened on the summer night in 1969 when a car driven by Sen. Ted Kennedy plunged off the Dike Bridge into the waters off of Martha’s Vineyard, killing his 28-year-old passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne?

On July 18, 1969, Kopechne, who had worked on Sen. Robert F. Kennedy’s 1968 presidential bid, attended a reunion party with five of her fellow campaign workers, known as the “Boiler Room girls,” so named for their windowless office.

The party, held at a rental cottage on the island of Chappaquiddick in Massachusetts, was also attended by Ted, Robert’s younger brother, along with five other men, some of whom had also worked on the campaign.

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Thursday marks 50 years since Ted Kennedy , liberal Democrat from Massachusetts, drove off a bridge on MARY ALICE WILLIAMS, substitute anchor: It was 20 years ago tonight that a car swerved off a small bridge on Chappaquiddick Island off Massachusetts’ s coast, and Chappaquiddick gave its name

Ted Kennedy is escorted from court after pleading guilty to leaving the scene of the Chappaquiddick incident ( AP ). He was the handsome young senator from an A car crash in Chappaquiddick would claim the life of a young female political campaigner and forever tarnish his reputation.

What happened next that night remains unclear, even decades later. And many believe the scandal — beginning with Ted’s 10-hour delay in reporting the deadly accident as well as the lack of an autopsy and his evasiveness about answering the most basic questions about the events surrounding Kopechne’s death — kept him from reaching the White House.

A friend who worked on his 1980 presidential campaign told PEOPLE this of Chappaquiddick: “It hung over him like a permanent cloud. It’s the question everywhere all the time. He knew that.”

In his 2009 memoir, True Compass, Ted wrote: “That night on Chappaquiddick Island ended in a horrible tragedy that haunts me every day of my life. I had suffered sudden and violent loss far too many times, but this night was different. This night I was responsible. … Yes, it was an accident. But that doesn’t erase the fact that I had caused an innocent woman’s death.”

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Kennedy was driving after a party when his car flipped into the chilly waters, trapping Kopechne inside. She had been a campaign worker for Kennedy ’ s brother, Robert, who was assassinated the previous year in Los Angeles during California’s Democratic presidential primary. Kennedy , who managed to

Ted Kennedy talks to reporters after leaving a courthouse in Edgartown, Massachusetts, following Seven years earlier, Teddy’ s brother President John F. Kennedy proposed putting an American on The most damning testimony came from a police officer named Huck Look, who said he saw a car he

Of what happened that night, he once said: “There is not going to be any new information that will challenge my testimony.”

Not so: In the course of more than 60 interviews while reporting the Cover-Up podcast, PEOPLE learned otherwise.

For example, as revealed in the series’ seventh episode, Kopechne’s surviving family received a letter in 2018 labeled “The Untold Story of Chappaquiddick.”

In it, the writer (who declined to be interviewed by PEOPLE) described a lunch he had had years earlier with his wife and her friend, a woman who had attended the party the night Mary Jo died. The woman was referred to by a pseudonym, “Betty,” to protect her identity.

The man’s letter described how Kopechne had had too much to drink that night in 1969 and did not feel well. Betty put her in the back seat of the senator’s car to rest and then she returned to the cottage where she, too, fell asleep.

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Kopechne drowned when a car driven by Kennedy went off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, at the eastern It's been 50 years since the fateful automobile accident that killed a woman and thwarted Kennedy ' s presidential It was all about Ted Kennedy . She would have gone on to do great things."

Kennedy attributed his actions after the accident to injury (he suffered a concussion), shock and confusion. Map of Chappaquiddick, just off the island of Martha’ s Vineyard, that shows the locations of the major events of the evening of July 18, 1969, when a car driven by Senator Ted Kennedy

According to the letter, in the hours that followed Ted and another female party guest went for a drive in his car, unaware that Kopechne was in the back. When the car went over the bridge, Ted and his passenger escaped and returned to the party — unaware of who they left behind.

50 Years After a Woman Mysteriously Drowned in Ted Kennedy's Car, a Letter Claims to Reveal the Truth 7/24/1969- Edgartown, MA- Curious spectators look on from pier at the car driven by Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy which plunged off a bridge on Martha's Vineyard on July 19th. The letter went on to say that when Betty woke up the next morning, she was told Ted’s car had crashed and she asked about Kopechne. To her surprise, no one had been aware of Kopechne’s presence in the vehicle.

Once Betty relayed her story, according to the letter, “…the Kennedy damage control machine kicked in and informed the shocked senator.”

It was only that next morning, after the upside-down car had been spied in Poucha Pond by two fishermen, that Ted went to the local police station to report the accident. (A spokesperson for Ted’s widow, Victoria Reggie, declined to comment on the letter last year.)

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Kennedy managed to escape but 28- year -old campaign worker Mary Jo Kopechne drowned . In the movie, Jason Clarke plays Kennedy , donning a neck brace just like the one the senator wore following the accident. Kate Mara plays Mary Jo. The movie suggests that she could have survived the accident.

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A year after receiving the letter, Kopechne’s cousin Georgetta Potoski, now 79, still wonders if it’s the full story.

“I’m not convinced the mystery has been solved,” she tells PEOPLE. “I know there are things that we do not know about what happened that night. The truth, even if it’s not what you want to hear, at least has some dignity around it.”

“There was such a cover-up and such disregard for Mary Jo when she died,” Potoski says. “I don’t think there will ever be justice for the loss of her life. [But] I think the truth would make our hearts rest easier.”

Kopechne would have been 79 this year. “She could have had a wonderful life,” Potoski says.

50 Years After a Woman Mysteriously Drowned in Ted Kennedy's Car, a Letter Claims to Reveal the Truth © Getty A frogman attempts to raise car eight hours after it plunged into pond here with Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy behind the wheel, July 19. Mary Jo Kopechne, 29, was killed in the crash. Kennedy pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and received a suspended two-month jail sentence. July 19, 1969. “Maybe she would be a grandmother,” Potoski continues. “It would have been wonderful to have her in my life.”

But Potoski and her son, William Nelson, are heartened by the renewed interest in Kopechne over the past year.

“We feel Mary Jo is finally seen as the intelligent and lovely young woman she was,” says Potoski. “Finally, she’s no longer described as ‘the girl who died in the car.’ And our scholarship fund in her name at Misericordia University is coming along. We’ve granted two scholarships, and that’s brought happiness to us.”

Says Nelson: “The first thing was to correct history in how people saw Mary Jo and to portray her accurately. With the book we wrote, Our Mary Jo and the podcast, now her memory and her character are more truthfully represented. Our second goal is to fund the scholarship in her name, so that her life continues to have an impact.”

The family hopes that, finally, any remaining silence around the case is shattered.

“The more we hear from people, the more people help us add pieces to the puzzle,” Nelson says, “and that will hopefully spur on others to share what happened. We still have questions, but we have come a long way.”

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