Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Hero of Chappaquiddick

I have long thought of Teddy Kennedy as a selfish prig who only thought of his career as Mary Jo Kopechne lay drowning in his car at the Dike Bridge.

As I was watching Mythbusters the other night (before Teddy's timely¹ death), my mind was drawn back to that incident which had long been reduced to a mere cliché.

After Teddy's death, I looked up details of the Chappaquiddick incident for the first time. I am not much of a celebrity-phile, so I don't read People or US magazines or tabloid papers. I often say I am culturally illiterate, not knowing who is sleeping with whom. I didn't even know that Teddy had divorced from Joan even though that was nearly 27 years ago. But this time my curiosity had been piqued.

One author quotes the diver who recovered Ms. Kopechne's body as [her] having suffocated, not drowned in the inverted car at the Dike Bridge.²

Another quotes the autopsy report as being inconsistent with drowning.³

And now without even thinking of Teddy Kennedy, the Mythbuster boys show the near-impossibility of escaping a right-side-up car in clear calm water in broad daylight.

I do not believe Teddy was even in the car. I won't even touch accident or deliberate, as I can think of one or two circumstances that would have him outside the car and have the car accidentally roll into the water: having accidentally left the car in neutral outside taking a leak, or outside pulling his pants back up . Or maybe outside the car pushing? You choose.

In any event it is difficult to believe that for 40 years Massachusetts did not have a better person to represent them.

¹ At 77 untimely does not really apply.
² Kenneth R. Kappel. 1989. Chappaquiddick revealed: what really happened. S P I Books
³Damore, Leo (1989). Senatorial Privilege: The Chappaquiddick Cover-up. New York: Dell Publishing. ISBN 044020416X page 307
I am going to buy one of those hammers immediately!

1 comment:

luxomni said...

Yes, Adam was able to open the door in the first couple of seconds after the car was set on top the water. But he also knew what was coming and what happened. If you were driving, how fast would you know what happened?
And if you were driving, you would not be set gently on top the water.