“Chappaquiddick” is coming & the Kennedys won’t like it His name – “Kennedy” -- was similar to the power of the name “Clinton” in today’s politics.

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Feb 28, 2018 1 Comment ›› admin

by Lynn Woolley

Mark your calendars!

John Curran’s movie about Edward Kennedy and the death of Mary Jo Kopechne hits theaters on April 6th. That’s assuming the Kennedys can’t kill it. If it comes to your town, you’ll be able to see what has been called a “masterful” movie about a woman who’s now billed as the first “Me Too” victim.

Video: “Chappaquiddick” the official trailer

You know the story.

Kennedy gave a party on Friday, July 18, 1969 on Chappaquiddick Island. In attendance – 6 married men and 6 single women who had worked on Bobby’s Kennedy’ presidential campaign.

Teddy left early to give Mary Jo a ride, and he crashed the car into the water, escaped, and left Mary Jo to drown.

Like Bill Clinton, he never paid a price.

This new movie – made by an Australian, could be the most accurate account of what happened – including the subsequent cover-up.

Let’s hope for a wide release.

Chappaquiddick involved a massive cover-up – years before Watergate.

We don’t really know whether Teddy was drunk that night (but it’s likely), or whether he had sexual relations with Kopechne. We do know that she left her purse and keys behind, as if she planned to return.

We know that Teddy drove his car off a one-lane bridge. We know that Kennedy escaped from the car and returned to the party, leaving Mary Jo behind. We know that the car was spotted and that divers recovered the body the next day. We know that Mary Jo was just 28 years old. We know that he pleaded to a charge of leaving the scene and causing personal injury. 

For that, he got a two-month suspended sentence.

Maybe it didn’t get much media coverage; after all, the Apollo 11 moon landing took place two days later. Or maybe it was because of his name – “Kennedy,” similar to the power of the name “Clinton” in today’s politics.

When Kennedy learned that the car had been discovered, he went to the local police station.

At 10 a.m., Kennedy entered the station in Edgartown and dictated a statement to his aide Paul Markham to give to the police. Here is the statement:

On July 18, 1969, at approximately 11:15 p.m. in Chappaquiddick, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, I was driving my car on Main Street on my way to get the ferry back to Edgartown. I was unfamiliar with the road and turned right onto Dike Road, instead of bearing hard left on Main Street. After proceeding for approximately one-half mile on Dike Road I descended a hill and came upon a narrow bridge. The car went off the side of the bridge. There was one passenger with me, one Miss Mary [Kopechne], a former secretary of my brother Sen. Robert Kennedy. The car turned over and sank into the water and landed with the roof resting on the bottom. I attempted to open the door and the window of the car but have no recollection of how I got out of the car. I came to the surface and then repeatedly dove down to the car in an attempt to see if the passenger was still in the car. I was unsuccessful in the attempt. I was exhausted and in a state of shock. I recall walking back to where my friends were eating. There was a car parked in front of the cottage and I climbed into the backseat. I then asked for someone to bring me back to Edgartown. I remember walking around for a period and then going back to my hotel room. When I fully realized what had happened this morning, I immediately contacted the police.

Seven days later, on July 25th, Kennedy entered his plea and Judge James Boyle slapped him, gently, on the hand. That night, Kennedy explained it all away on national TV.

Edward Kennedy presents his side of the Chappaquiddick incident in this address.
Screen grab , YouTube

What will the movie be like?

We shall have to wait and see – or judge from the trailer. Roger Friedman, writing in Showbiz411.com says that Jason Clarke as Edward Kennedy is inspired, as is if Clarke was born to play the role.

He says Kate Mara gives an “astute performance” as Mary Jo Kopechne.  Bruce Dern plays a wheelchair-bound Joe Kennedy.

Better yet, the fact that John Curran is not knee-deep in American politics may give him an outsider’s point of view.

Video: Kennedy goes on national TV to appeal to the people of Massachusetts.

Friedman says he is “damn serious.”


Mary Jo Kopechne died in the company of smear artist Edward Kennedy (Photo: Wikipedia)

We can judge this movie by what we see on screen, and by the reactions of the Kennedy family and other Democrats.

I know that I’m more pumped about this than I was about “The Black Panther,” or any of the recent Star Wars movies. My only concern is whether my local movie theaters will pick it up. If not, we should insist.

If this movie actually begets an audience, let’s see if it gets a tenth of the coverage that “The Black Panther” has received.

Remember, this is not an identity or diversity movie. It’s about a mostly neglected part of history involving a despicable politician that was loved by the Left and who remained in the U.S. Senate until he was removed by a malignant brain tumor.

If this movie is what I hope it is – namely, truthful – then I’d like to see John Curran take on the Clintons. Maybe a series of movies would be appropriate, since one would not be nearly enough. “Chappaquiddick” is set for theaters on April 6th. I’ll see you there.


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  1. don76550 says:

    A little known fact. If that would have been you or me, an autopsy would have been performed on Mary Jo to determine the cause of death. The Kennedy family was responsible for getting her body moved out of the state before that could be done. So the question arises, was she dead or alive before the car hit the water. Did the Kennedy family cover up a murder?

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