Chappaquiddick & Senator Ted Kennedy
What's the most you've ever lost? As the result of a mistake in item value and opportunity a relationship life is a series of decisions many of them binary each one offering potential paths that fate may take us down. Every action has an effect every choice a consequence and sometimes in the rarest of occasions a person is is presented with a life or death choice that will come to define them. That was the case for Senator Ted Kennedy in the summer of Nineteen sixty-nine on Chappaquiddick Island in Massachusetts though the official account of what happened that night is somewhat muddled. The facts are as follows late at night after a party Kennedy set off down Chappaquiddick road in his oldsmobile with him was Mary Jo Kopechne acne a former campaign staffer for the recently assassinated Robert Kennedy. There was an accident. The car hit a barrier and flipped over into the water. Ted Got out and survived but Mary Mary Jo was left trapped in the car. Ted Kennedy did not inform the police about the accident until ten hours later when the car was recovered in Mary. Jo's body was found inside the initial reaction Ocean from the divers was that she hadn't actually drowned she'd suffocated and if Ted Kennedy had called the police immediately she may still be alive today. Welcome to conspiracy theories apar- cast original every Wednesday we dig into the complicated stories behind the world's most controversial events in search for the truth. I'm Carter Roy and I'm only Brandenburg and neither of us are conspiracy theorists but we are open minded skeptical and curious. Don't get US wrong long. Sometimes the official version is the truth but sometimes it's not today. We're talking about the chappaquiddick incident when Massachusetts senator and one time aspiring president Ted Kennedy crashed his car into polk upon and fled the scene leaving his passenger. Mary Jo Kopechne in to die in submerged vehicle Kennedy turned himself in and reported the accident to the police. The next day after the car was recovered with Kopechne. He's body inside the fallout from the scandal was the dominant force that prevented Kennedy from securing a nomination for president of the United States though fifty years have passed since the tragedy. There are still certain details details about what really happened that night that raise questions about a potential cover up was ted really driving the car. Why did he wait so long to report the accident? And what role did the various blueblood powerbrokers brokers have New England play in the saga that unfolded. This episode is part of par casts summer of Sixty Nine Event July twenty second through August ninth. All your favorite par- cash shows are teaming up to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary three of a landmark summer in American history. The summer of nineteen sixty nine from the Manson murders to the moon landing. We're diving deep into the summer. America hit up boiling point with twenty three special episodes across sixteen different podcast originals digging into the fallout of M._l._k.'s assassination a wide reaching l._S._d.. Called M Mohammed Ali's banned from the boxing ring. You can find these specials and more all on our new podcast presents feed on spotify or anywhere you listen to podcasts at podcast. Were grateful for you our listeners you allow us to do what we love. Let us know how we're doing reach out on facebook and Instagram at park cast and twitter at podcast network several of you have asked how to help us if you enjoy today's episode the best way to help is to leave a five star review. Wherever you're listening it really does help? Scandal seems like a natural component of politics for as long as America has been a country the men and women who have sought the power and influence that comes with public office breath of open themselves up to public scrutiny the imaging and character emphasis that goes into making successful politician strives for an ideal perfect person but a perfect person doesn't exist and in the history of American politics is by and large defined by figures whose personal flaws boiled over to tarnish their pristine public images but the chappaquiddick incident stands apart even from the most appalling public scandals handles largely because it represented the final downfall of the Kennedy family to truly convey how impactful Chappaquiddick was on the Kennedy family in the country we need to I explore just how how powerful the Kennedys used to be. America is a Democratic Republic. It's built upon the ideas of individuals elected by the people to serve the people there has never been an American American king but for a large part of the first half of the twentieth century the Kennedys were probably the closest thing America had to a royal family. The family's Patriarch was Joseph Kennedy senior born in eighteen eighty eight juice of senior was a business magnate who made his fortune in the nineteen tans and nineteen twenties through the stock market and the investments in Hollywood based movie studios among other ventures aw there has been a long standing unconfirmed myth at Joseph Kennedy senior supplemented his already sizeable fortune by smuggling liquor throughout the United States during the prohibition. Oh habituation period in the nineteen twenties. This rumor has been debunked a number of times its prevalence as a part of justice. Kennedy's legacy is largely due to historians who seek to find reasons why Joseph Senior never ran for president of the United States and Joseph Senior also didn't do much to distance himself from the rumor especially after he secured the licenses to import liquor from England after prohibition was lifted in Nineteen thirty three by the end of the roaring twenties. Joseph Kennedy was rich powerful influential and ready to take the next step in securing his legacy by becoming involved in politics is political career seemed to get off to the right start tart. He first became embroiled in politics in eighteen thirty two as a supporter for Franklin D Roosevelt's presidential campaign after Roosevelt one. He established the U._S. Securities and Exchange Commission and appointed. The Joseph Senior as its first Chairman Joseph Senior only served in the position for a year but his efforts to establish safeguards and regulations within the stock market made him a hero among investors Joseph senior continue continue to thrive within Roosevelt's administration. He had the support of America's growing population of Irish Catholics which at that point in American history were largely discriminated against by the Protestant majority. The Highest Office Joseph Elsa senior ever reached was ambassador to the United Kingdom a role he held from nineteen thirty eight to nineteen forty. Joseph Kennedy senior wasn't shy about his ambition to run for president in the nineteen forty election his position as ambassador would have put him in a prime spot to go for the nomination but his actions as ambassador would lead to his downfall. Joseph Joseph Senior made a number of political blunders while representing America to the United Kingdom. This was nineteen thirty eight during the build up to the outbreak of World War. Two in Europe and Joseph Senior wasn't as hard on Adolf Hitler Hitler as many felt he should be Joseph senior butted heads with Winston Churchill who famously spent the lead up to World War Two arguing that there was no negotiating with Hitler though he was the ambassador to the U._K.. Joseph senior in your spent a good deal of his time in London undercutting British interests by trying to establish a line of communication between the United States and Berlin after the war broke out in nineteen thirty nine Joseph senior took a staunch orange `isolation as position in argued against American aid to the United Kingdom. Even as it's towns were victims of nightly bombings by German planes and worst of all Joseph Kennedy was a not so private anti Semite as Nazi Germany furthered. It's horrific persecution of Europe's Jewish citizens Joseph Senior was quoted more than once saying something to the effect of quote. They brought it on themselves. Joseph Senior was not not popular in Britain and his war between America and Germany's seemed more and more like an inevitability his isolationist views came to define him as a defeatist non Patriot he wasn't outright fired from Roosevelt's Velde's administration the party still needed him to rally the Irish Catholic vote for the Democrats but he and the president had a falling out particularly after Roosevelt ran for and won his unprecedented third term Joe Osa senior resigned as ambassador in nineteen forty. He tried to write his political image by offering to throw his considerable wealth and influence behind the American war efforts but his years of trying to appease Hitler and essentially essentially made him persona non grata among the allied leaders he had no choice but to resign from politics and give up any hope of becoming the first Irish Catholic president of the United States but Joseph Senior wasn't a man to abandoned his ambitions so easily. If he couldn't become president on his own he would make sure that his sons would there's a religious verse about how the sins of the father are visited on the suns but the same can be said the father's goals chose a senior had four sons Joseph Junior born nineteen fifteen john born nineteen seventeen Robert Born nineteen twenty five and finally Edward Known as Ted head born nineteen thirty two Joseph Junior. The oldest Kennedy Son was the one Joseph senior hoped would one day become president to that end Joe Senior greened Joseph Junior from a young age for life in politics and Joseph Junior took the role quite well he attended Harvard law school his father's Alma Mater but left in his final year to enlist with the navy and fight in World War Two his plan as he told hold his friends Mr Run for the House of Representatives in the nineteen forty-six election presumably after the war was over from there he would follow his own political star all the way to the White House doc the plan never came to pass on August Twelfth Nineteen forty four Joseph Kennedy Junior was killed in action when his plane was shot down over England Joe Seniors perfect son his best is chance to put a Kennedy in the White House was gone and so the pressure fell to the second oldest Kennedy Boy John Up to that point John F. Kennedy head enjoyed relative freedom in life at least compared to his older brother John had spent most of his life in and out of hospitals and infirmaries for a number of chronic health issues including gastritis and back pain like Joseph Junior John had attended Harvard before enlisting to serve in in the military for World War Two when he first joined the Navy in nineteen forty one John had some ideas of what he wanted his life to be after the war prior to the war Kennedy had traveled to a number of countries including Germany and Britain and his college thesis about the Political Situation in Britain that would lead to the breakout of the war was actually published in nineteen forty. John ought that this might be his calling as a political writer and reporter on everything changed when his brother died with Joe Junior's death John was now the eldest Kennedy boy and after lifetime of being just to the side of his a father's focus John Kennedy was now Joseph Seniors mean project in Life Joe was going to put one of his sons in the White House and he did it after World War Two Joseph Bankroll John's I campaign for representative of the Eleventh District of Massachusetts John One and served in the house for six years he successfully ran for the Senate in nineteen fifty three and served as a Massachusetts Senator for seven more years and in one thousand nine hundred sixty Joseph senior got his wish when John F. Kennedy was elected as the president of the United States he was the first Catholic to hold that position. This could have seem like something thing of a redemptive Ark for Joe Senior after botching his own political career and losing the sun whom he'd groomed for politics he was able to steer John's meteoric rise but the curse that some have rumored the plates the Kennedy Family would not be satisfied on November twenty second nineteen sixty three as John was touring the country in preparation for his reelection he was assassinated on the streets of Dallas John's legacy and by Extension Joseph Seniors Legacy was permanently tarnished by the tragedy all the John had done in all that he might have done as president was doomed to be overshadowed by the killing feeling but Joseph senior still had more sons with Joe Junior and John Deceased Robert Kennedy was now the oldest Kennedy Boy Robert had served as. The Attorney General under John's administration and many Kennedy Historians believe that Robert May have even been the choice for vice president in John's reelection campaign and for most of the late nineteen sixties. It seemed I'm like Robert had a straight path to the White House. After President Lyndon Johnson announced he would not seek reelection in nineteen sixty eight Robert was the natural choice to lead the Democratic ticket after the tragedy of John John Kennedy's death Robert Kennedy may have been the first Kennedy to become president and actually serve a full term but then in nineteen sixty eight just after he was declared the winner of the California Primary Robert Kennedy was shot. He died of his wounds. The next day in the span of twenty five years Joseph Kennedy senior had lost three sons to violence Ted. The youngest Kennedy Son who was is only thirty four was suddenly the heir apparent to the dynasty. All of Joseph Seniors hopes and ambitions rested on Ted Shoulders. The pressure was now on Ted to become the third Kennedy to run for president accident but his political career would be maligned by scandal long before he ever got the chance up next. We'll discuss the events of July eighteenth nineteen sixty nine and the death of Mary Jo Kopechne e going from one veterinarian to another trying to get a proper diagnosis for your sick cat is stressful. I know because I've done it with my cat eva. The bills can rack up quickly but they don't have to embrace pet insurance offers comprehensive health insurance for dogs and cats so if the unexpected happens you're prepared there are no networks visit any Yvette and get reimbursed for up to ninety percent of the bill insuring your pet can cost less per day than your morning coffee answer a few questions on their website and get a free quote in seconds. You can also sign up for wellness rewards. It's embraces optional preventative care plan use it for everyday expenses like routine veterinary care grooming and training one in three policyholders submit claims in the first year SA- don't wait get your free quote at embrace pet insurance dot com slash conspiracy right now embraced pet insurance dot com slash conspiracy embraced pet insurance is underwritten by American modern insurance group terms and conditions nations apply see website for details. We are so appreciative of you spending the time to listen to our show as a thank you we wanted to do something special for you. podcast shows are teaming up to commemorate great the fiftieth anniversary of a landmark season in American history the summer of nineteen sixty nine over three weeks. We're diving deep into these summer. America hit a boiling point with twenty three special episodes across sixteen different podcast originals since you like our show we think you should check out the not guilty podcast that covers the Chicago eight eight anti Vietnam War protesters were arrested and charged with conspiracy and inciting to riot riot during the nineteen sixty eight democratic national convention in the summer and fall of nineteen sixty nine. The defendants went on trial in Chicago. Were they really rioters or just scapegoats to hear all of the fascinating painting summer of one thousand nine hundred sixty nine episodes search for and subscribe to summer of nineteen sixty nine on spotify or anywhere else you listen to podcasts shows and don't forget to tune into the not guilty episode on the Chicago. Oh eight thanks now back to the story. By the end of nineteen sixty eight three of Joseph Kennedy senior sons had died Joe Junior John and now Robert at all been killed before they could fulfil the extent of the ambition. Their father had Joseph Senior. Perhaps due to his own lodged intend to become president was adamant about putting the Kennedy Boys in the white eight house he had succeeded with his second son. John John's political legacy was permanently interrupted when he was tragically assassinated in nineteen sixty three with Robert debt as well and just as he seemed to be on the cusp of kicking off a successful presidential campaign the weight of the Kennedy name nail fell to the youngest Kennedy son Ted Edward Teddy Kennedy or nineteen thirty two it wasn't exactly the black sheep of the Kennedy family but as the youngest of nine Children Teddy was afforded leeway to fail in a manner that his brothers were never allowed while Joe Senior had been laser focused on ensuring the joe junior and to a lesser extent John and Robert worked to succeed in every aspect of their lives so as to prepare them for life in the public spotlight he seemed to not have the same level of commitment to ensuring that Teddy excelled old teddy had middling grades throughout his childhood though his large size made him a natural football player despite the lack of any real academic achievement he attended Harvard University for undergraduate just as his father and brothers had done sometimes name is more important than a transcript teddy was in his freshman year in college while his brother John was serving his first term in the House of Representatives that combined with the families already notable profile across Ross American news and politics meant that there was a public spotlight on anyone with the Kennedy name as the youngest child teddy likely wasn't used to having much attention directed his way. This is why he probably thought he could get away with cheating on an exam in his freshman year. In nineteen fifty one teddy arranged for another student to take one of his exams he was caught and both students were expelled. That's not the kind of backstory. Are you want to see in someone who wants to be President Teddy expelled and with few options of other schools that would actually take him enrolled in the military he served for two years in the military. Police and Joseph senior used his own military connections to ensure the teddy wasn't deployed in the Korean War which was ongoing at that time teddy was discharged in nineteen fifty three at that time Harvard University allowed expelled students to apply hi for readmission. After a few years teddy was readmitted again no doubt due to the workings of his father and his own family name Teddy graduated from Harvard in Nineteen Fifty six when he was twenty four war but he was rejected by Harvard law school due to his poor grades and the prior expulsion the academic dishonesty on his record should have prevented him from getting into most law schools but he managed to follow when Roberts footsteps and attend the University of Virginia School of law as he had for his entire life teddy performed middling Lii in his academics though in law school he started to develop a reputation for his strong oratory skills. While he was in law school teddy also had his first real run in with the law when he was charged with reckless driving nothing came of the charge and it certainly didn't seem to hurt his political aspirations but then again we must always consider teddy's powerful family and their ability to put him in positions to succeed Teddy was named manager of John Kennedy's election campaign for the Senate in Nineteen fifty eight after graduating law school in nineteen eighteen fifty nine. He went on to help manage John's campaign for president. After John won the nineteen sixty election. He wanted Teddy to take his vacant Senate seat. Even though that wouldn't be possible for two more years since instead he was only twenty eight in nineteen sixty teddy claim to have grappled for a time with whether or not he wanted to bank on his family name to begin his political career as a senator when most politicians served several terms and smaller offices offices before reaching the Senate Keti then twenty-eight wasn't even old enough to take the job since the minimum age for U._S.. Senators is thirty but he ultimately decided he wanted the job at Joel seniors urging John Kennedy appointed an interim officer to the Senate seat until nineteen sixty two when teddy turned thirty and was able to take the position once he was thirty teddy ran for the seat in a special election and despite his inexperience criminal record and the public revelation of his expulsion from Harvard he won. No one could have known back in nineteen sixty two but senator for Massachusetts was actually the last job Teddy Kennedy would ever have it served in the role for nearly eight consecutive terms until his death in two thousand nine in nineteen sixty four less than a year after John Kennedy's assassination mission teddy had his own brush with death when he barely survived a plane crash he suffered severe injuries and even after months in the hospital chronic back pain would play again for the rest of his life. Teddy evolved his political reviews throughout the rest of the nineteen sixties living through his brother John's assassination and later Robert's murder in nineteen sixty eight Robert's assassinations and the Democratic Party into chaos and the Democrats. We're already at a disadvantage in that incumbent president Lyndon Baines Johnson was electing not to run Robert was the most popular option and with his death so close to the actual election. There was no one else for the Democrats to put forward who had stand a chance against the Republican nominee Richard Nixon there was actually a movement among the Democrats to have Ted Kennedy Take Roberts place as a nominee Ted decline though both out of respect for his brother's memory and his own acknowledgment that he wasn't experienced enough to be president still the thought wasn't new to his mind. After Richard Nixon won the presidency in nineteen sixty eight Ted won the election to become the majority whip in the Senate. It was a given among the establishment Democrats that Ted Kennedy would make a bid to run against Nixon in the nineteen seventy two election but then the summer summer of Nineteen sixty-nine happened on July eighteenth nineteen sixty nine while most of the country was glued to their radios waiting for updates on the recently launched Apollo Eleven Moon Mission Ted Kennedy set up a party. The purpose of the gathering was to host a reunion of six women Rosemary Keough Nance and Mary Ellen Lions Susan Tanenbaum Esther Newberg and twenty eight year old Mary Jo Kopechne e these women had all worked on Robert Kennedy's presidential campaign and had come to be known as the boiler room girls due to the windowless room. They all worked out of on the campaign. This this was a group of young smart women whose time as an effective political team had been tragically cut short by Robert's murder they had reunited a number of times prior to the July eighteenth gathering the party was hosted on Chappaquiddick island a fairy accessible retreat east of Martha's Vineyard in addition to the boiler room girls six men attended including Ted Kennedy his cousin Joseph Gorgan and Paul Markham the the United States District Attorney in Massachusetts as the Party started to wind down Ted prepared to leave his wife. Joan was pregnant at the time and bedridden due to her two previous miscarriages and Ted was ready to return to her. He started making the rounds to say his goodbyes at eleven fifteen on his way out. He passed Mary. Jo Mary. Jo was staying at a hotel near Ted's and she asked if he could give her a ride back. Ted Kennedy did normally drive himself as a wealthy senator yet a chauffeur for most of his transport needs Ted's chauffeured. John Crimmins was actually at the party that night when Ted saw that John was still eating and and enjoying himself he ask for the keys to his car until John he drive himself home. The rest of the guests were too preoccupied with a party to notice Mary Jo leave with Kennedy when they realized she was gone. They all soom she'd had left on her own. Ted and Mary Jo climbed into Ted's Black Oldsmobile in started off down the narrow unlit paved road that would take them to the mainland for Mary Joe. It was the last last time she'd set foot dry land next. We'll discuss the death of Mary Jo Kopechne -I in the fallout of Ted Kennedy's actions after the fateful crash now back back to the story on the evening of July Eighteenth Nineteen sixty-nine Ted Kennedy left a party on Chappaquiddick island in his black oldsmobile. He had a passenger Mary Jo Kopechne -I whom he was giving a ride home. Ted didn't normally drive himself yet a chauffeur John Crimmins but he chose to take the keys and drive his black oldsmobile himself that night according to Ted's later testimony. He left the party with Mary Jo at around eleven fifteen in the evening Chappaquiddick was a popular destination in part because it was secluded and as such a number of its roads were unpaved and unlit shortly after driving away from the party Ted made a wrong turn in started down dyke road which at that time was an unlit unpaved road that led to a dead end past dike bridge in nineteen sixty nine dike bridge did not have a guardrail Ted was driving too fast to stop the car once he caught sight of the narrow cross whe he lost control of the Oldsmobile just before hit the crossing the car shot over the edge and hit the water the car saint quickly as it filled with water the momentum from the fall off the bridge caused it to turn over. Over before it finally landed at the floor of Polka Pond Ted had hit his head in the crash it was panicked and struggling as the car filled with dark cold water. Mary Jo was screaming. She was stuck she couldn't get out Ted managed to free himself through the car window and swim up to the surface as he gasped for air. He realized that Mary Jo had not followed him. She was still stuck in the car. Ted Swim Back Down to the car to try and free Mary Jo but it was dark and the only source of light was the distant moon the murky shine of the submerged car's headlights he he swam down to the car but couldn't get back into reach her. He went up for air again. Swam down again. He repeated this a number of times until the horrible truth finally dawned on him. He couldn't free Mary Jo in so many minutes had passed that I now she had Shirley already drowned soaked and disoriented Ted swam back to shore and and this is as the story goes where his actions shift from the understandable to the unforgivable Ted sat on the riverbank for a few minutes likely recovering from the shock the cold and the exertion of trying to reach Mary Jo in the car then he went home looking through the records of what was going on at Chappaquiddick that night Ted almost certainly walked past the dyke house aptly named for its location on Dyke Road on the night of July eighteenth. The dyke houses front porch light was on someone was home but Ted Kennedy walked right past it. It didn't go to the house to try and use the telephone call for help. It was just over a mile back to the cottage where the party was still in full swing. Ted also passed a fire station where he could have rushed in to ask for help. The cottage was actually across across the street from the Fire Department. Meaning Ted would have walked right past the building on his way back to the party again. He didn't alert emergency personnel about what had happened. Once there he summoned his cousin Joe Gorgan and his his friend Paul Markham Ted told these two men what happened together the three of them drove back to the crash site Markham in Gorgan both stripped out of their clothes before diving in to try and recover Mary Gel one might wonder why they would take the time to remove their clothes given that a woman was trapped in a submerged vehicle and had been for at least half an hour of course neither of the men could speak as to why they did it but consider the fact act that they'd have a hard time explaining away wet clothes. If anyone saw them later and you can start to connect the dots like Kennedy the men couldn't reach her the water was too dark in the car was at such an angle angled. They couldn't get inside it. The men's spoke in hushed whispers as they walked to the ferry dock on Chappaquiddick Island Gorgan and Markham made it clear in no uncertain terms. The ten should call the police immediately. Lee Ted agreed said he would and then jumped in the ocean to make the swim back to the mainland Ted reached his hotel after two in the morning close to two thirty a m after he had showered and changed into dry clothes in Ted approach the innkeeper and stated that he'd been awakened by some noise in doing so ted seemed to have created something of an alibi for himself. Garden and Markham met up with Ted the next morning at eight A._M.. They were both furious to find out he had not kept his promise to tell the police about the accident. We can't know what was going on in Ted's head at that moment but his actions would seem to be those of a man who is hoping being that that car simply wouldn't be found at that same time as the tide was moving out a fisherman and his son spotted Kennedy's cars submerged in the water. The police were called in eight eight forty five the captain of the Edgar town fire rescue. John Farrar was summoned with his diving gear to swim down into the car. He found capacities body in the passenger seat. They recovered her within ten minutes and I did the license plate to find that it was registered to Ted Kennedy close to ten A._M.. Ted received word that police had found the car and the body over ten hours after the accident Ted Ted Kennedy appeared at the Edgar Town police station and reported the incident in his official statement Kennedy confessed a crashing the car and stated that he was both exhausted from his attempts at trying to save Mary Jo and in a state of general shock from the accident itself. This was why he failed to report the accident immediately. Ted claimed that he came to his senses after getting a few hours of sleep and that he contacted attacked police immediately afterwards Kennedy appeared in court a week later on July twenty fifth on charges of leaving the scene of an accident in the week between the incident and the court appearance the details of what had really what happened only became muddier and Muddier with questions how did Ted accidentally turn onto dyke road. The turnoff required a driver to make a deliberate right turn from a curving paved road Ted and Mary Joe had likely driven that route a number of times just on that day. Why did Mary Jo Leave her person keys behind the party? If Ted was supposedly taking her to her hotel Ted later claimed that he suffered a concussion as a result of the crash and that contributed to his inability to think straight or make rational decisions but then how is he able to swim back to the mainland to reach his hotel a concussion can cause disorientation and fatigue neither of which you WANNA be dealing with if you're planning on making a long night swim plus Ted still suffered from the chronic back pain brought on by the plane crash he'd been in five years before. Could you really have made that swim if he wasn't of sound mind and finally who could account for the testimony of Deputy Sheriff Christopher Look Look had been working on the night of July eighteenth and in the fall out of the accident he testified it just seen a car on Chappaquiddick road that matched the description of Kennedy's Oldsmobile. The characters look recalled from the license plate also matched with Kennedy's the smoking gun here is the time line look reported had seeing this car at around twelve forty am yet Kennedy testified that he left the party with Mary. Jo at eleven fifteen and people at the party corroborated this. If everyone involved was telling the truth that would mean that Ted and Mary Jo were in the car for over an hour before crashing just a mile away from the party so what happened during that hour the incident in Ted Kennedy's. Involvement was a national news story though it received less attention than likely should have remember at that time the entire country was fixated on the impending moon landing which would occur on July twentieth nineteen sixty thirty nine at the July twenty fifth hearing Kennedy pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two months suspended jail sentence in other words. He got a slap on the wrist that same night Ted went on TV the and delivered a prepared statement in it. He clarified that he had not behaved immorally with Mary Gel meaning. He was not engaging in an affair with her. He wasn't under the influence he had no excuse for his failure to report the accident other than his shock and confusion he concluded his statement by asking his constituents in Massachusetts to help him process what had happened but clarified that the decision to resign from the Senate would be his to make and he didn't make it as we said Ted Kennedy occupied his Senate seat until the end of his life in two thousand nine but there was significant fallout how do to the highly publicized scandal to be blunt. The chappaquiddick incident of nineteen sixty nine is likely the sole reason that Ted Kennedy never became president despite the P._R.. Black Mark Against Him Ted was re elected by an overwhelming majority to a Senate seat in nineteen seventy. It was widely assumed he was going to confirm the rumors and run for president in nineteen seventy two but he didn't Ted Kennedy was at least on the national stage inextricably linked to the chappaquiddick scandal in nineteen seventy four he once again made the decision not to run in the nineteen seventy six election in part because he knew the scandal would dampen his chances Ted finally made his move in nineteen seventy nine when he challenged incumbent president Jimmy Carter for the Democratic nomination he lost the primary badly and Carter's constant reference to the Chappaquiddick chappaquiddick incident in the media and in the publicized debates largely contributed to that loss in two thousand eighteen a film about the incident appropriately title Chappaquiddick was released. There's a scene in the film that takes place just after Ted Kennedy returned to the party from the leg. The line he says is by the admission of the film's writers a fiction a speculation on their part but they justified it by claiming they we looked into what was known about the man himself and what was likely going through his head at that time and they wrote the line based on that foundation of research in the film when Ted Kennedy First Summons Joe Garden in Paul Markham he he tells them bluntly. I'm never going to be president. He may not have said it in real life but the sentiment is true all the same Ted Kennedy passed away in two thousand nine with his death. The only two people people who really knew what happened on the night of July Eighteenth nineteen sixty nine we're now gone and could no longer answer any lingering questions but they're still are lingering questions. Our first conspiracy deals with the so-called missing our between when Kennedy left the Party with Mary Jo and when he was suspected to have been seen by sheriff look over an hour later. There's a number of speculative possibilities including getting the theory that Ted was drunk in Mary. Jo forced him to pull over and sober up or that Ted wasn't even driving the car after spotting sheriff look head left Mary Jo to drive herself home. Mary Jo unacquainted with the road got lost and crashed into the pont our second conspiracy deals with the status of Mary Jo herself who she even alive when the car crashed did she drown as is commonly suspected acted or did she survive for hours in an underwater air bubble doomed only because Ted waited so long to report the accident. Our third conspiracy asked the question was there a cover up orange attempted one ted Kennedy called a number of his father's powerful friends in the hours before he spoke to the police. What was said in those calls? What was he hoping to accomplish? Was He trying to hide something even more despicable than leaving a woman behind to die. There's a conventional wisdom that scandals are just part of the political game when you're embroiled in one honey. You just need to wait for the press to move on to the next big story. A chappaquidick has endured for fifty years since the incident the unanswered questions and more seriously the fact that a man who clearly felt the oval the office was his birthright could be capable of such a callous act of negligence. Joe Kennedy senior lived just long enough to witness the shameful period that ended his dreams of having a son finish a term as president he died shortly after the incident in November of nineteen sixty nine. When we think of John Kennedy we think of assassination when we think of Robert Kennedy we think of assassination when we think of Ted Kennedy we think of Chappaquiddick thanks again for tuning into our conspiracy theories summer of sixty nine special next week? We'll be back with partout if you enjoyed this episode checkout podcast continued retrospective into these summer of sixty nine from July twenty second through August ninth. The summer of sixty nine will feature twenty three special episodes across sixteen different podcasts covering everything from Vietnam War protests to the Zodiac killer be sure to check it out on our new podcast presents feed on spotify or anywhere you listen to podcasts several of you have asked how to help us if you enjoy the show. The best way to help is to leave a five star review and don't forget to follow us on facebook and Instagram at podcast West and twitter at podcast network until then remember the truth isn't always the best story and the official story isn't always the truth. Conspiracy theories was created by Max Cutler is a production production of cutler media and as part of the park cast network it is produced by maximum cutler sound design by Russell Nash With Production Assistance by Ron Shapiro and Paul Libeskind additional production assistance by nagy admire and Freddie Beckley early conspiracy theories as written by Colin mcglaughlin and Stars Molly Brandenburg Encarta Roy. Don't forget to check out not guilty episode on the Chicago eight plus s you can check out all the other episodes of podcasts summer of sixty nine event extraterrestrial recounts. The Apollo Missions Female Criminals Examines the women of the Manson family. My other show historical figures looks at Muhammad Ali.