Ted Kennedy RIP. My prayers go out to you and your family.
The liberal MSM will be falling all over themselves praising Ted's glorious career as a statesman. Let's see what he accomplished while on this earth. He killed a woman, leaving her to die in his car and not reporting it. He was a drunk. He divorced his wife. He was a Catholic that supported abortion. He spent taxpayer money on the welfare state like no Senator in history. He helped cover up a rape by his nephew. He began the scorched earth policy of nominees for the Supreme Court with his lies during the Bork nomination. He was a small man who spent your money like a drunken sailor. Without his Kennedy connections, he would have been a nobody. His life was one of decadence and failure.
I certainly don't want my sons growing up to be just like Ted Kennedy.
Events of the night of July 18, 1969
According to his own testimony at the inquest into Kopechne's death, Kennedy left the party at "approximately 11:15 p.m." When he announced that he was about to leave, Kopechne indicated "that she was desirous of leaving, if I would be kind enough to drop her back at her hotel". Kennedy then requested the keys to his car from his chauffeur, Crimmins. Asked why he did not have his chauffeur drive them both, Kennedy explained that Crimmins along with some other partygoers "were concluding their meal, enjoying the fellowship and it didn't appear to me necessary to require him to bring me back to Edgartown". Kopechne told no one that she was leaving with Kennedy, and left her purse and hotel key at the party.
Christopher "Huck" Look was a deputy sheriff working as a special police officer at the Edgartown regatta dance that night. At 12:30 am he left the dance, crossed over to Chappaquiddick in the yacht club's launch, got into his parked car and drove home. He testified that between 12:30 and 12:45 am he had seen a dark car containing a man driving and a woman in the front seat approaching the intersection with Dike Road. The car had gone first onto the private Cemetery Road and stopped there. Thinking that the occupants of the car might be lost, Look had gotten out of his car and walked towards it. When he was 25 to 30 feet away, the car started backing up towards him. When Look called out to offer his help, the car took off down Dike Road in a cloud of dust. Look recalled that the car's license plate began with a "L" and contained the number "7" twice, both details true of Kennedy's 1967 Oldsmobile Delmont 88.
In addition to the working telephone at the Lawrence Cottage, according to one commentator, his route back to the cottage would have taken him past four houses from which he could have telephoned and summoned help; however, he did not do so. The first of those houses, referred to as "Dike House", was only 150 yards away from the bridge, and was occupied by Sylvia Malm and her family at the time of the incident. Malm later stated that she had left a light on at the residence when she retired for that evening.
According to Kennedy's testimony, Gargan and party co-host Paul Markham then returned to the pond with Kennedy to try to rescue Kopechne. Both of the other men also tried to dive into the water and rescue Kopechne multiple times. When their efforts to rescue Kopechne failed, Kennedy testified, Gargan and Markham drove with Kennedy to the ferry landing, both insisting multiple times that the accident had to be reported to the authorities. According to Markham's testimony Kennedy was sobbing and on the verge of breaking down. Kennedy went on to testify that "[I] had full intention of reporting it. And I mentioned to Gargan and Markham something like, 'You take care of the other girls; I will take care of the accident!' -- that is what I said and I dove into the water". Kennedy had already told Gargan and Markham not to tell the other women anything about the incident "[b]ecause I felt strongly that if these girls were notified that an accident had taken place and Mary Jo had, in fact, drowned, that it would only be a matter of seconds before all of those girls, who were long and dear friends of Mary Jo's, would go to the scene of the accident and enter the water with, I felt, a good chance that some serious mishap might have occurred to any one of them". Gargan and Markam would testify that they assumed that Kennedy was going to inform the authorities once he got back to Edgartown, and thus did not do so themselves.
According to his own testimony, Kennedy swam across the 500-foot channel, back to Edgartown and returned to his hotel room, where he removed his clothes and collapsed on his bed. Hearing noises, he later put on dry clothes and asked someone what the time was: it was something like 2:30 a.m., the senator recalled. He testified that, as the night went on, "I almost tossed and turned and walked around that room ... I had not given up hope all night long that, by some miracle, Mary Jo would have escaped from the car."
Back at his hotel, Kennedy complained at 2:55 am to the hotel owner that he had been awoken by a noisy party. By 7:30 am the next morning he was talking "casually" to the winner of the previous day's sailing race, with no indication that anything was amiss. At 8 a.m., Gargan and Markham joined Kennedy at his hotel where they had a "heated conversation." According to Kennedy's testimony, the two men asked why he hadn't reported the accident. Kennedy responded by telling them "about my own thoughts and feelings as I swam across that channel ... that somehow when they arrived in the morning that they were going to say that Mary Jo was still alive". The three men subsequently crossed back to Chappaquiddick Island on the ferry, where Kennedy made a series of phone calls from a payphone by the crossing to his friends for advice; he again did not report the accident to authorities.
Earlier that morning, two amateur fishermen had seen the overturned car in the water and notified the inhabitants of the nearest cottage to the pond, who called the authorities at around 8:20 am.
A diver was sent down and discovered Kopechne's body at around 8:45 am.
The diver, John Farrar, later testified at the inquest that Kopechne's body was pressed up in the car in the spot where an air bubble would have formed. He interpreted this to mean that Kopechne had survived for a while after the initial accident in the air bubble, and concluded that
|“||Had I received a call within five to ten minutes of the accident occurring, and was able, as I was the following morning, to be at the victim's side within twenty-five minutes of receiving the call, in such event there is a strong possibility that she would have been alive on removal from the submerged car.|
Although Kennedy was an accomplished legislator, his personal life was troubled during this time. His weight fluctuated wildly, he drank heavily at times – although not when it would interfere with his Senate duties – and his cheeks became blotchy. Kennedy later acknowledged, "I went through a lot of difficult times over a period in my life where [drinking] may have been somewhat of a factor or force." He chased women frequently, and also was in a series of more serious romantic relationships but did not want to commit to anything long-term. He often caroused with fellow Senator Chris Dodd; twice in 1985 they were in drunken incidents in Washington restaurants, with one involving unwelcome physical contact with a waitress.
One of Kennedy's biggest battles in the Senate came with Reagan's July 1987 nomination of Judge Robert Bork to the U.S. Supreme Court. Kennedy saw a possible Bork appointment as leading to a dismantling of civil rights law that he had helped put into place, and feared Bork's originalist judicial philosophy. Kennedy's staff had researched Bork's writings and record, and within an hour of the nomination – which was initially expected to succeed – Kennedy went on the Senate floor to announce his opposition:
|“||Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens ...|
The tone of the Bork battle changed the way Washington worked – with controversial nominees or candidates now experiencing all-out war waged against them – and the ramifications of it were still being felt two decades later.
Kennedy's personal life now came to dominate his image. In 1989 the European paparazzi stalked him on a vacation there and photographed him having sex on a motorboat. In February 1990, Michael Kelly published his long, thorough profile "Ted Kennedy on the Rocks" in GQ magazine. It captured Kennedy as "an aging Irish boyo clutching a bottle and diddling a blonde," portrayed him as a Regency rake, and brought his behavior to the forefront of public attention. The death from cancer of brother-in-law Stephen Edward Smith in August 1990 left Kennedy emotionally bereft at the loss of a close family member and troubleshooter. Kennedy pushed on, but even his legislative successes, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which expanded employee rights in discrimination cases, came at the cost of being criticized for compromising with Republicans and Southern Democrats in order to gain passage.
On Easter weekend 1991, Kennedy was at a get-together at the family's Palm Beach, Florida estate when, restless and maudlin after reminiscing about his brother-in-law, he left for a late-night visit to a local bar, getting his son Patrick and nephew William Kennedy Smith to accompany him. Patrick Kennedy and Smith returned with women they met there, Michelle Cassone and Patricia Bowman. Cassone said that Ted Kennedy subsequently walked in on her and Patrick, dressed only in a nightshirt and with a weird look on his face. Smith and Bowman went out on the beach, where they had sex that he said was consensual and she said was rape. The local police made a delayed investigation; soon Kennedy sources were feeding the press with negative information about Bowman's background and several mainstream newspapers broke a taboo by publishing her name