Chappaquiddick 50 Years Later: That Time When Ted Kennedy’s Dreams Died
[guest post by Dana]
Here’s how USA Today opens their report on the 50th anniversary of Chappaquiddick:
The crash ended a young woman’s life, and with it, a man’s White House dreams.
Dammit, Mary Jo, why couldn’t you have been a better swimmer!
Dammit, Mary Jo, you denied America President Ted Kennedy!
Dammit, Mary Jo, why didn’t you say no when he offered you a ride home from the party!
Dammit, Mary Jo, why couldn’t you figure out how to get out of the car? He did.
The article continues:
U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s Oldsmobile sedan veered off a narrow bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, an extension of the resort island of Martha’s Vineyard off Massachusetts, and plunged into a moonlit pond 50 years ago Thursday. His passenger, 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne, drowned.
His sedan “veered off a narrow bridge” all by itself apparently. She “drowned”? That’s all? How could they know for sure, given that there was no autopsy performed? Especially as John Farrar, the scuba diver who recovered Mary Jo Kopechne’s body from the partially submerged vehicle, believed that she suffocated.
Kennedy, 37, survived, but his presidential ambitions did not.
Leslie Leland, who served as foreman of the grand jury that investigated the incident, had this to say:
Now 79, Leland was a young pharmacist on the island when he was swept up in the aftermath. He recalls getting death threats and 24-hour police protection, and says he is still frustrated by the judge’s refusal to subpoena anyone who was at the party or share key investigative documents — stymieing the grand jury’s efforts to determine whether Kennedy had been drinking.
“If we’d been allowed to do our job, there would have been an indictment and a request to have a jury trial,” he said. “Justice wasn’t served. There were so many discrepancies, but we weren’t allowed to do our jobs to get to the truth — whatever the truth may have been.
“I was young, and I believed in the system. I believed everyone played by the same rules. I learned they don’t.”
And is he ever so right.
This Kennedy’s public address about Chappaquiddick:
And here is the AP’s tweet about the 50th anniversary of Chappaquiddick. Again with that mysterious self-driving car:
(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)