Mary Jo Kopechne

Mary Jo Kopechne

26 July 1940 – 18 July 1969

On Friday night, July 18, 1969, then-Sen. Majority Whip Teddy Kennedy, heir to the Kennedy political dynasty, left a party on Chappaquiddick Island with his 28-year old campaign assistant, Mary Jo Kopechne. Intoxicated, and looking for a beach spot to “party” with Kopechne, Kennedy drove his car off the side of Dike Bridge into a few feet of water. The car overturned, trapping Kopechne, who drowned sometime later when the oxygen in the air pocket she in, was exhausted. Kennedy claimed he made several attempts to rescue her, however he waited until the next day before reporting the incident to police, conspiring with others to avoid man slaughter prosecution for driving while intoxicated. Being a “man of the people,” he was never held accountable for the death of Miss Kopechne, and was reelected to the Senate by Massachusetts Demos every term until his death in 2009.

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