When Ted Kennedy’s memoir was published (posthumously), I hoped he had finally let loose about the "Kennedy curse" and told what he knew about his brothers’ killers. He didn’t.
Of course, the family has good reason to fear speaking out. The one and only Kennedy to do so — John Jr. — met his own horrific and untimely death in a very mysterious plane crash.
Teddy, as we know, miraculously survived a mysterious plane crash in 1964. But the so-called curse struck him again in 1969 at Chappaquiddick. Although Ted took the blame for Mary Jo Kopechne’s death, his account of what happened never added up.
It would have been nearly impossible for Ted to have escaped from the submerged car (as it was for the much smaller Mary Jo). Expert swimmers say his alleged swim back to Edgartown would haved likewise been virtually impossible. No one saw Ted return soaking wet or even tired. There were tire marks on the bridge indicating a sharp acceleration from a stop. Ted had been in good spirits, at ease and acting normally until a series of meetings and phone calls the next morning when he became thorougly shaken.
Ted was being stalked at the time by two notorious CIA operatives: E. Howard Hunt and Frank Sturgis, who have both been tied to the JFK assassination. They were on Martha’s Vineyard. It would seem that Ted was somehow forced to go along once again with some sort of cover-up.
Mary Jo Kopechne was not a random campaign worker. She, like dozens of others who died mysteriously in the 1960’s, was tied to the assassination in Dallas. Mary Jo had been secretary for Senator George Smathers, and was one of the first to know that Smathers was going to replace the corrupt and hated LBJ on the 1964 Democratic ticket.
Mary Jo shared a D.C. apartment with Nancy Carole Tyler, who was the personal secretary of Bobby Baker, LBJ’s main Senate crony. It was through Nancy and Mary Jo that LBJ learned he was going to be dumped as vice-president. This knowledge was a major catalyst for the assassination plot. And the CIA, which Kennedy wanted to dismantle, was only too happy to lend a hand.
Nancy Tyler clearly knew way too much. She died in a — can you guess? — mysterious plane crash in 1965. Mary Jo certainly must have been on the list as well, particularly after they rubbed out her idol Robert Kennedy in 1968. At Chappaquiddick they were able to take care of two birds with one stone. We just don’t know exactly how.
But here’s an interesting quote found on the Nixon White House tapes. In 1973 John Dean commented to Nixon, "If Teddy knew the bear trap he was walking into at Chappaquiddick…"