United States

Aug 27, 2009

Ted Kennedy and Chappaquiddick, the true story

The dreadful truth of that night is well-known among Kennedy staffers and his surviving family, writes Bob Ellis. Teddy was nowhere near the car when the accident occurred.

The death of Mary-Jo Kopechne in Teddy Kennedy’s car on the night of July 18th, 1969, ended Teddy’s chances of the presidency, then thought very good, in 1972 and the memory of it, still recent, prevented him replacing Jimmy Carter at the top of the ticket in 1980. He never sought that office again. The Reagan years ensued, and it was said thereafter by thoughtful historians that ‘Roosevelt’s America drowned at Chappaquiddick, along with Mary-Jo.’

The dreadful truth of that night is well-known among Kennedy staffers and his surviving family, and it is that Teddy was nowhere near the car when the accident occurred.

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35 thoughts on “Ted Kennedy and Chappaquiddick, the true story

  1. Peter White

    I have heard some implausible stories in my time and that is right up there with the best of them….its lacks logic not to mention credibility.

  2. JamesK

    Bob Ellis. Say no more squire!

  3. John Newton

    One real mistake Bob – K Dun Gifford is not a food writer – he’s a food activist and the founder of the Oldways Corporation which is, if you like, an American version of Slow Food.

    A remarkable man, a great organiser, once a Kennedy lawyer, but never have I heard that story from Dun or anyone else. The scuttlebutt around him was that he was in the Kennedy compound that night and he did filed the press.

    As for the rest….hmmmm

    One thing I do remember about Dun Gifford is that in 2005 he told me that the Democrat ticket for the next Presidential election would be Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama. “Who’s Barack Obama?” I asked. “Just wait” he said.

  4. michael james

    “This story was told to a close political friend of mine by Dun Gifford”

    So you’re reporting here say as fact.

    And here I was thinking Crikey had pretensions towards being a respectable source.

    I could just as easily go to any number of left wing blogs and get equal amounts of half-truths, opinion and sheer speculation, all dolled up as attempts to rehabilitate the Kennedy name after Ted Kennedy sullied it beyond redemption.

    You can do better Crikey, of don’t you want to?

  5. SBH

    I though Alan Didak was driving?

  6. Adam Barker

    LOL @ SBH!!!!

  7. matt

    Dun Gifford is my best mate and he told me Bob Ellis was the driving the car. Not Teddy Kennedy.

    Bob Ellis you are full of shit.

  8. TheOtherMichaelT

    this story was told to me by your father’s, brother’s, nephew’s, cousin’s, former roommate

  9. Richard Morris

    In today’s Australian there is a photo of Kennedy’s car being pulled from the water . A caption says ” Kopechne’s body was found in the rear!

    This excerpt from another report : “Mary Jo’s body was found in the car’s rear section because that is where she was when the accident happened”.

    Doesn’t sound like she was driving!

  10. Daniel Ashdown

    Duh, Richard. The body was obviously planted there by the CIA/FBI/NSA/DNC and whoever else was involved in the frame-up.

    I believe this is all covered in the next Dan Brown novel.

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