June 13, 2018
66 Leavitt Street
Hingham, MA 02043
Reference Desk: 781-741-1405 x1404
Evening with the Author: Donald Nelson presents Chappaquiddick Tragedy: Kennedy’s Second Passenger Revealed
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
On July 18, 1969, Ted Kennedy drove his car off Dike Bridge in Chappaquiddick, Massachusetts. Kennedy was unharmed and acted as if nothing had happened. His cousin was reportedly willing to take the rap for a wreck, but not for a death.
In the morning, the body of Mary Jo Kopechne was discovered in the back seat of the sunken car. The Edgartown police charged Kennedy with leaving the scene of an accident that caused personal injury. Kennedy pleaded guilty to avoid a trial, but his sentence was suspended. The public did not understand this “accident,” and demanded answers. The district attorney launched an inquest, but the proceedings were closed to the public.
Why was Kopechne in the rear seat? Why didn’t Kennedy call for help? Why did he flee to Edgartown? Why was Rosemary Keough’s handbag found in the submerged, inverted car on the ceiling of the front-seat compartment? Perhaps, as the author proposes, there is an alternative theory that would answer all of these questions.