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Mary Jo Kopechne
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    (July 26, 1940-July 18, 1969)
    Died in Chappaquiddick, Massachusetts
    Campaign worker for Robert F. Kennedy during the 1968 presidential campaign
    Congressional staffer for Senator Edward M. (Ted) Kennedy
    Killed in an accident while riding in a car driven by Sen. Kennedy that plunged off a bridge into a pond on Chappaquiddick Island near Martha's Vinyard
    The car submerged and overturned, and Kennedy escaped from the car and swam to shore
    She remained trapped in the car and drowned.
    Kennedy didn't report the accident until ten hours later
    He pled guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, received a two-month suspended sentence and had his driver's license revoked for a year
    She attended a party on the night that she died.
    She left the party with a man who may have been drunk.
    She left the party with a man who has a reputation as a womanizer.
    She was a single woman who may have been acting inappropriately with a married man.
    At one time, she wanted to be a nun.
    Her death nearly ended Ted Kennedy's political career.
    The scandal caused Ted Kennedy to reverse his decision to run for President in 1972, which helped incumbent President Richard M. Nixon cruise to an easy landslide reelection.
    The cause of the accident and the circumstances surrounding her death have never been fully explained.
    Her parents filed a petition barring an autopsy.
    In the eyes of many, she attained martyrdom status in death.
    She was an only child.
    Her parents have said that they never received a personal apology from Kennedy.
    Kennedy's insurance company paid her parents $140,923 for the loss of their only child.
    She left the party relatively early for a Friday evening (about 11 pm) because she wanted to get home early to get to bed.
    She was an innocent victim who simply wanted a ride to get home.
    She suffered an early and untimely death at the hands of a cowardly individual who never fully paid for the consequences of his irresponsible actions.
    Kennedy may have arranged a coverup of his involvement in the accident and her death.
    Kennedy likely used the powerful influence of himself and his famous wealthy family to get off with a relatively light penalty and avoid further criminal ramifications.
    Her death was overshadowed in national news by the Apollo 11 lunar mission, which was launched on July 17 and which culminated in Neil Armstrong's moon walk on July 20.
    Her death prevented Ted Kennedy from ever becoming President.

Credit: Highpointer

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