40th Anniversary of Chappaquiddick – Mary Jo Kopechne still cannot be reached for comment

Forty years ago today, Mary Jo Kopechne died in a car at the bottom of Poucha Pond while Ted Kennedy plotted to save his reputation and political career.

On July 18, 1969, Kennedy and Kopechne both attended a party at a cottage on Chappaquiddick Island.  Kennedy, a married man, and Kopechne left the party together in his car.  Kennedy claims he took a wrong turn and ended up on Dike Bridge where he lost control and the car went off the bridge. After the car plunged into the pond, he managed to extract himself and claims he made several attempts to free Mary Jo to no avail.  Instead of running for help, Kennedy walked back to the cottage where earlier he had been partying to summons his cousin, Joseph Gargan, and his friend, Paul Markham.  On the walk to the cottage Kennedy passed a fire station and a private home, but did not stop to ask for help at either.  All three men claim they returned to the scene made several more failed attempts to save Mary Jo.  This is where the story becomes ridiculous and sinister at the same time.  Kennedy and the other two men claim that he swam five hundred feet across the channel back to Edgartown and then walked to his hotel where he changed his clothes, complained about a noisy party (alibi, no doubt) and spent the night.  mjk

The next morning Gargan and Markham claimed to be shocked that Kennedy hadn’t reported the accident to the authorities.  What did the three of them do next?  They returned to Chappaquidick and started working the phones.  Little did they know that two fishermen had discovered the car and had called the police.  At 8:45 a.m. the body of Mary Jo Kopechne was recovered from the submerged car. At 10:00 a.m. Kennedy walked into the Edgartown police station and reported the accident.  Nine hours had elapsed since the car went off the bridge.  chappaquiddick

We all know what happened next.  The speech, the autopsy embargo, the neck brace, the slap on the wrist, the re-election to the Senate.  The continued womanizing and boozing until he was again in the news for an Easter weekend gone bad when his nephew was accused of rape following a day of partying with his cousin and uncle.kennedy18nw2

So when people revere Kennedy as the Liberal Lion of the Senate and gush over his accomplishments (can you name me five?), please  forgive me if I’m not feeling the warm fuzzies.


9 thoughts on “40th Anniversary of Chappaquiddick – Mary Jo Kopechne still cannot be reached for comment

  1. I would not expect the media to cover this even if Walter Cronkite had not died. It says a lot about the Bay State that that guy named Kennedy was able to be re-elected so many times.

  2. as usual the guys from Powerline have said it best

    Power Line Blog: John Hinderaker, Scott Johnson, Paul Mirengoff

    Chappaquiddick at 40

    July 18, 2009 Posted by Scott at 6:04 PM

    An attorney friend of mine who describes himself as a lifelong student of the Kennedy family has circulated the following email in honor of one anniversary that will pass almost entirely unremarked in the mainstream media:

    I thought I would take a moment to bother you all, ladies included, to remind everyone that this is the 40th anniversary of the infamous Chappaquiddick incident in which an inebriated Senator Ted Kennedy marked a reunion of his brother Bobbie’s “Boiler Room” girls by driving one to her death off the Dyke Road bridge.

    This manslaughter might have been forgiven if Kennedy hadn’t decided to evade responsibility for the accident and cover it up by failing to report it, trying to co-opt one of his aides to cop to being the driver, and then leaving them to try and fix it for him for over seven hours.

    Worse, Mary Jo Kopechne, whose drowned body was found in a position trying to eke out the last molecules of air within the submerged car, was left to drown by the self-involved Senator, who chose not to seek immediate help.

    After proceedings by a Kennedy-friendly judicial system in Massachusetts, Kennedy was found guilty of leaving the scene of an accident and had his driver’s license suspended. But perhaps the crowning event was Kennedy’s appalling nationally-televised apologia, which I remember viewing on TV, and which still reigns as probably the worst and most self-indulgent political pitch ever.

    He may be “the Lion of the Senate”, but I will never forget Chappaquiddick. For the uninitiated, a must read is Leo Damore’s excellent book Senatorial Privilege.

    Ted Kennedy has styled himself an opponent of wealth and privilege, but his career is a tribute to their power when wielded by a man of the left. The lesson of Chappaquiddick thus remains timely forty years on.

    JOHN adds: The Kopechne family hated Ted Kennedy, but Mary Jo’s parents are now dead. Which cleared the way, apparently, for Ted finally to visit Mary Jo’s grave. The National Enquirer has the story:

    The ENQUIRER reports exclusively that Ted Kennedy, dying of brain cancer, made a secret visit to the grave of Mary Jo Kopechne. …

    In his final Thanksgiving celebration with his family, the dying 76-year-old Kennedy patriarch expressed his deep regret over the Mary Jo tragedy.

    Only days before the holiday break, Ted made a special trip to visit the parish cemetery of St. Vincent’s Roman Catholic Church in Plymouth, Pa., where Mary Jo was buried July 22, 1969.

    “Ted knows his days are numbered and has been wrestling with making this difficult trip,” a family source told The ENQUIRER. “While Mary Jo’s parents were alive, because of the bad blood that existed, Ted avoided going.”

    A line from a country song goes through my head: “Jesus would forgive, but a daddy don’t forget.” Nor should he. Whether Kennedy genuinely repents leaving Mary Jo to die while he ran off in search of an alibi, we can only leave to a higher authority.

  3. Teddy Kennedy killed someone? Who knew? I thought he was the great defender of the middle and lower class and the savior od the US Healthcare system….

    Who knew he was one of THOSE Kennedy’s…

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