Senator Ted Kennedy Dies, Can’t Escape Chappaquiddick Even in Death

Senator Edward ‘Ted’ Kennedy died Tuesday after a battle with brain cancer, leaving behind an impressive political legacy and a tragic personal past. Even in death, Ted Kennedy cannot escape the scandal that has plagued him most of his adult life – the Chappaquiddick incident and the death of Mary Jo Kopechne.


As the nation mourns for Senator Ted Kennedy, a new generation is digging up information on the most infamous dark moment of his life, littering the Internet with searches about Chappaquiddick incident. On July 18, 1969, Senator Edward ‘Ted’ Kennedy set out for a party on Chappaquiddick, an island near Martha’s Vineyard. The following morning, Ted Kennedy’s overturned car was found off the side of a bridge on Chappaquiddick, under water, with the body of Mary Jo Kopechne inside.

The Chappaquiddick incident quickly became a national scandal. Senator Kennedy eventually pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident after causing injury. He served no jail time. Senator Ted Kennedy refused to report the fatal accident to police until authorities had already discovered the body. Kennedy’s crazed behavior following the accident and conflicting details between his story and the evidence of what happened that night launched a thousand conspiracy theories. The least convoluted theory – Ted Kennedy was drunk at Chappaquiddick and did not want authorities to have proof he was drinking when he drove off the bridge.

For all of the many great things Senator Ted Kennedy has done both as a person and as a statesman during his long life, the Chappaquiddick incident and the death of Mary Jo Kopechne has been and likely always will be a lingering dark shadow over his legacy.

No matter what did happen that night in 1969, we hope Senator Edward ‘Ted’ Kennedy can now R.I.P.