PEOPLE’s first-ever podcast, Cover-Up, debuts on May 31 and will puncture into a Chappaquiddick liaison that scarred a Kennedy family and altered a march of American presidential history. In a 7 episodes of a series, PEOPLE’s easterly seashore editor Elizabeth McNeil seeks answers to a blazing questions from a 1969 tragedy, that left one lady dead. Below, McNeil sum a 10 startling things listeners will learn about a tangled box in a podcast.
Over a past 8 months, I’ve investigated what unequivocally happened on a tiny Massachusetts island of Chappaquiddick on Jul 18, 1969, when Ted Kennedy entertainment his automobile off a slight wooden overpass — an collision that took a life of his passenger, 28 year aged Mary Jo Kopechne. The formula of my reporting can be listened in Cover-Up, that PEOPLE constructed with Cadence 13.
The podcast will try a events of that night and a liaison that ensued — starting with a 10 hour check between a time Kennedy transient from a automobile and when he reported a collision to a military — all in an bid to know a poser that has lasted scarcely half a century.
Here are 10 startling contribution about Chappaquiddick that listeners will learn in a series.
1. Mary Jo Kopechne roughly didn’t go to Chappaquiddick. According to her cousin and closest living relative, Georgetta Potoski, 78, “Mary Jo was never ostensible to go to Chappaquiddick that weekend.” Potoski tells PEOPLE Kopechne had a work requirement in New Orleans that was going to forestall her from attending a reunion celebration for her associate debate workers in Robert F. Kennedy’s presidential run. But, during a final minute, Potoski says, “she got someone to cover for her and she went since she wanted to see her friends.”
2. Mary Jo Kopechne was most some-more than only a “a blonde secretary,” that is how she was mostly described after her death. But her story was ignored by a media who instead focused on Kennedy. Mary Jo was one of a Boiler Room girls, a organisation of achieved women who worked for R.F.K.’s presidential campaign, entertainment debate information in designated regions of a nation and researching gathering delegates. (They got their nickname from a windowless bureau where they worked.) She was during a Ambassador Hotel on Jun 5, 1968, a night R.F.K. was assassinated and she rode on a delayed relocating wake train, along with his family and tighten friends, that brought his physique from New York City to Arlington National Cemetery. “She was some-more than a lady in a car,” says Potoski’s son, William Nelson. “But her story was forgotten.”
3. Mary Jo’s mother, Gwen Kopechne, always regretted that she had against an autopsy for her daughter. “Years later, Gwen pronounced it was the biggest mistake she ever made,” says Potoski. “There should have been an autopsy. She knew it would have privileged adult a lot of things.” But during a time, Mary Jo’s relatives were fearful a autopsy was only to establish if their daughter was pregnant. And they did not know its importance. Although it was ruled that Mary Jo died by drowning, there were always slow questions about accurately how prolonged she survived in a automobile and either she suffocated or drowned. An autopsy would have answered those questions.
4. Many trust a collision during Chappaquiddick altered presidential story —and might have kept Ted Kennedy from winning a White House. “It hung over him like a permanent cloud,” a crony tells PEOPLE. “He felt like he let himself, his family and a nation down in Chappaquiddick.” The tragedy condemned Ted for a rest of his life. As Ted wrote in his 2009 memoir, True Compass, “Atonement is a routine that never ends … maybe it’s a New England thing, or an Irish thing, or a Catholic thing, Maybe all of those things. But it’s as it should be.”
5. Mary Jo’s final review with her relatives left them with unanswered questions. In their final phone call, several days before she died, Mary Jo told her mother, Gwen, she had 3 things to tell her. “The initial was she was meditative of removing engaged,” says her cousin Georgetta Potoski. (Her beloved worked in a Foreign Service.) “The second thing was she had taken a pursuit operative for Matt Reese, a domestic consultant. But before she could tell them a third thing, her father got on a phone to contend ‘hi’ and they never found out a third thing. We’ll never know what a third thing was.”
6. Many people were condemned by what happened during Chappaquiddick. Edgartown Police Chief Dominick Arena who took Ted’s matter a subsequent morning, and after charged him with withdrawal a stage of a accident, still wonders because a senator waited 10 hours to news what happened. Now 88 years old, Arena says, “I’ll never know because he left Mary Jo in a automobile for 10 hours before he reported a accident.”
7. On a same weekend that Ted’s automobile went off a Dike overpass in Chappaquiddick, an American wanderer became a initial male to travel on a moon. On Jul 21, 1969, Neil Armstrong took his initial lunar stairs as partial of a Apollo 11 goal and proclaimed: “That’s one tiny step for man, one hulk jump for mankind.” It was a accomplishment of a guarantee from J.F.K. that someday a male would travel on a moon. And nonetheless a same weekend that Americans watched a ancestral event, a resplendent impulse in a Kennedy legacy, Ted’s automobile collision in Chappaquiddick threatened to uncover it.
8. Deputy Sherriff Huck Look saw Ted’s car, 90 mins after he pronounced his automobile went over a Dike bridge. On Jul 19, 1969, during around 12:45 a.m., Look was pushing behind to his home on Chappaquiddick, when he saw a dim automobile and suspicion a motorist seemed “unsure or lost.” He parked his automobile and got out to see if a motorist indispensable assistance though before he could get there, a automobile took off and went down Dike Road towards a bridge. Look continued home, though a subsequent morning, when he went to a stage of a automobile collision on Dike overpass and saw Ted’s automobile overturned in a water, pronounced “That’s a same automobile we saw final night.” The 90 notation time disproportion between 11:15 p.m., when Ted pronounced a collision occurred, and 12:45 a.m., when Look pronounced he saw a senator’s car, was never entirely explained.
9. The Ballou family had a bizarre confront on a H2O that night. A tiny before 2 a.m. on a morning of Jul 19, 1969, C. Remington Ballou and his family were on their boat, that was moored tighten to a packet channel. As Ballou told a New Bedford Standard Times, he saw a tiny boat, carrying 3 people, lard its lights and its motor — an surprising occurrence. He afterwards saw a tiny vessel deposit towards a incomparable vessel that had crossed a channel towards a Chappaquiddick landing. And that vessel also incited off a lights. A few mins later, a smaller vessel revved adult it’s engine and sailed out of a harbor. At a time, Kennedy’s press help Dick Drayne denied any connection. “If there was a boat, a senator wasn’t on it,” he said. “The senator swam opposite [the water].” But Remington’s daughter, Cristy Ballou tells PEOPLE her father always wondered if a boats were somehow related to what had happened progressing that night. “The subsequent day when he listened what happened during Chappaquiddick, he suspicion a were really connected,” says Ballou. “He suspicion it was really peculiar for that time of night.”
10. Mary Jo Kopechne’s family is anticipating for a “death bed confession” from someone who knows some-more about what happened that night. “The law has never come out,” says her cousin William Nelson tells PEOPLE. Adds his mom Georgetta Potoski, “Mary Jo’s relatives never had her final hours explained to them. We are anticipating some day some-more information will come out. Maybe someday there will be a genocide bed confession.”
Listen to all a episodes:
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