Cover-Up Episode 3: The Family Code

➜ Cover-Up Episode 1: 10 Hours Later
➜ Cover-Up Episode 2: Joey’ll Fix It

On July 18, 1969, Sen. Ted Kennedy’s car crashed off the Dike Bridge on Chappaquiddick Island and plunged into the water below –– killing his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, a 28-year-old campaign worker for Ted’s brother Bobby.

The day after her body was found, the headline of the New York Daily News read: “Teddy Escapes, Blonde Drowns.” And that about summed up the coverage of her tragic death — the stories that followed were always about Kennedy — never about Mary Jo.

But now, almost 50 years later, People’s new podcast, Cover-Up, produced in conjunction with Cadence13, puts a new lens on the tragic accident, exploring its enduring mystery through interviews with over 50 people, including Kopechne’s cousin and closest living relative, law enforcement officials who oversaw the investigation, the diver who recovered her body from the car, and many more.

In the third episode, you’ll get to know the real Mary Jo — a small town girl with big dreams who was deeply affected by Bobby Kennedy’s death — and so much more than a “blonde secretary.”

She was passionate. She was political. She worked 24-7. And she was a true believer. She played a key role in Bobby’s campaign: handling correspondence, researching convention delegates and canvassing for votes. She had traveled to Los Angeles for the Democratic Primary and was at the Ambassador Hotel the night he was assassinated. And she was there, along with some of the family’s closest friends, on the slow moving funeral train that carried Bobby’s casket from New York City to Arlington Cemetery where he was buried next to his brother, Jack.

But all these details were left out at the time.

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Ted Kennedy was also haunted by his brother’s assassination, which took place a little more than a year before the Chappaquiddick accident.

One of Ted’s closest friends, Senator John Tunney, once said that Chappaquiddick was “a direct result of what happened to Bobby a year earlier.”

And in a 2009 interview with the Miller Center, Tunney described his friend’s extraordinary grief that summer of 1969.

“I could tell there was a wildness in his brain,” Tunney said. “There was kind of a wildness there that was almost a flaunting of rules of the game, so to speak, because he was so angry. There was an anger that he felt about the unfairness of the way his brothers had been gunned down.”

In the aftermath of Chappaquiddick, Ted was also tormented by fears of displeasing his father, Joe Kennedy — fears that sent Ted spiraling back to another tragedy from his childhood.

In 1941, when Ted was 8 years old, his older sister Rosemary was given a lobotomy on their father’s orders. The procedure was a disaster and Rosemary, then 23, was left with the mental capacities of a toddler and sent to live at a Catholic school for the disabled in …read more

Source:: People

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