tv Scandalous Chappaquiddick FOX Business November 28, 2019 11:00am-12:00pm EST
his brother robert became a u.s. senator from new york and was hoping to follow in his presidential footsteps. >> my thanks to all of you and now it's on to chicago. on his way to the democratic nomination he to. [inaudible] the last surviving kennedy brother was teddy. >> the entire week goes on the shoulders of ted kennedy he was not ready for that kind of responsibility. >> teddy kennedy was a quarter million miles below as the astronauts headed to the moon, unaware that he would soon be competing for them for attention. still mourning the loss of his brother he was preparing for the annual pilgrimage.
>> the annual yacht club that ted kennedy had sailed in for a number of years. >> it was late in the summer of 1969. the kennedy family had long been fixtures and he was looking forward to returning. >> he is there to race, as always and they decided to have union. >> that's an old political term for those doing the heavy lifting in the campaign. >> they were a knit group.
rosemary often went by her nickname. they all had specific jobs. there were no computers. they did everything off index cards and they were in constant contact over the phone or by mail. >> thursday july 17 it was the boiler room girls who arrived for their reunion. >> they were all checked into one hotel on martha's vineyard and kennedy of the people who were. [inaudible] the next morning they were driven to the beach. they crossed over the one lane.
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said about the kennedys. they are the stars and everybody else is an extra. >> the small party was typical. >> there's a lot of activity at night. >> he had a few drinks there and then takes the. over to chappaquiddick. >> he was already on board when he took over for the previous captain. >> he said that's ted kennedy setting up on the bow. he jumped off and i jumped in and we headed over to chappaquiddick. >> he was headed down toward the rented cabin. >> the cottage was located along the north, south segment of the road, south of the intersection.
he waited for the others to arrive. >> in addition to the boiler room girls, for other men were in attendance. >> it included paul markham, a onetime u.s. attorney for massachusetts and to political associates. also ray and charles, the sixth man was ted kennedy's chauffeur whenever he was in massachusett massachusetts. >> the party began at 7:00 p.m. a handful of guests arrived. two hours in rosemary briefly parted from the group. >> she went on an errand at around 9:00 o'clock in the evening back to the center to
pick up the radio for the party. >> they returned to a party that was well underway. >> for the party goes on all evening, a lot of drinking going on and reminiscing about the old days. >> ted had to rum and cokes. he was almost too depressed to drink. he could be, and i saw him, he just kept knocking him down but that wasn't going on that night. >> one of the boiler room girls asked the senator if he could drive her back to the chappaquiddick. credit was mary jo who was known to all the diligent and loyal employees of the kennedy family. >> mary jo had a good sharp sense of humor. she was also very close to bobby kennedy. she would often take care of the children. by then had ten children. that's a lot of work for ethel so teddy knew her from having seen her. >> the day in the sun had been a bit too much for mary jo. she wanted to go back and retire for the evening senator
ted kennedy took the key to his black 1967 oldsmobile from jakku normally served as his driver that put teddy in a position to have to drive mary jo who was very uncomfortable with the sunburn back to the ferry to get back to her motel. >> ted kennedy said they left around a little after 11:00 o'clock. >> the two departed the cottage down chappaquiddick road. >> it becomes hazy. >> the ferry stopped running at ms midnight but they stayed late that night. >> was a busy night and it was so hot and humid. i sat on the dock. at that point and there was no traffic.
he never made it to the very dock but was seen at 2:30 a.m. >> he went up to his room and changed his clothes and then talk to the room clerk. he complained about the noise in the adjoining room. he also said he had no money and needed to start making some phone calls. just across the nantucket town he emerged and started chatting, half a mile away
where the police department arrived including the chief of police. >> he was a great small town cop but he was also very professional, liked by everybody. >> they had just settled in about 8:30 a.m. when the phone rang. a call that would turn the police chief's life upside down. >> they said they saw a car upside down in the water and she asked me if i wanted to send someone else. i said no i'll take it myself the chief boarded the fairy in his squad car. as he caught the 500-foot channel, a sense of dread set in. >> something was telling me it was more than just a car in the water. when i got there the car was in the water about 50 feet, it was upside down.
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on. he went under the car, he told me there was a person there. >> realizing it was a fatal accident, he would be likely to question the condition of the car. he dove back into the water and examine the car for those details and then in the process found in the front seat compartment, a woman's uniquely shaped flowered handbag two it had rosemary's identification and it two they also found the senator's card that was also a key to a motel room at the motor in. [inaudible] they took her to the shoreline. i temporarily had it on my lap until the firefighters could
take her to the cruiser which i had driven over. >> it hit the fan. john's people heard about it and people started showing up. it started out with the car lying on its side and then the divers when in. the car was rolled over and moving a little bit because of the current. onlookers watched in suspense as the oldsmobile was pulled from the bottom. >> it was really beat up. it had all purposely taking a hit going over the side. it was on dry land and the water came out of it and the cops are looking at it. >> on dry land the car was recognized. the deputy sheriff who had been on the road the night before. >> we saw the license plate and said i know that car. i thought last night. >> i couldn't help but think this is just another step in a
life full of tragedy. who was this girl. was she a kennedy? jim radioed in from his car asking that his officer in charge at the desk to locate kennedy and she said he just walked in. >> the sun rose over massachusetts on this steamy morning of july 1969. ted kennedy maintained a calm demeanor. that was until they abruptly interrupted the conversation. in a panic, they pulled the senator away. [inaudible] as the sun rose over
massachusetts on the steamy morning after july 19, 1969, ted kennedy had maintained a calm demeanor as he mingled with fellow competitors, until his friends paul and joe interrupted the conversation. in a panic, they pulled the senator away from his friends. >> they demanded to speak to kennedy in private and they went into his room and there was loud muffled talking. >> they had some words, apparently was kind of loud, so the story goes, and they come walking out and go down this stairs and walked back down to the ferry. they had been preparing for a routine day of work. >> he saw ted kennedy come walking down the hill from the hotel where he had stayed that night and i remember seeing him.
>> the senator was well dressed and in a serious mood. >> i probably said something to him that didn't get too much of a response. i call him glom. >> he wanted to immediately call a variety of advisors so he had to find a public phone that would have some privacy. joe suggested the phone at the ferry shed on the chappaquiddick side. >> they boarded the ferry. >> we had taken them over the day before. i was little surprised to see him. everything was business. they were hunched over on the side. >> i went to the payphone in the shed and i called my dad at home and said that, there's something going on down here. >> senator kennedy and his entourage continued their efforts and headed toward chappaquiddick road. >> the usual was away at the
time and doctor mills from edgartown was the standby examiner. >> after the examination was performed by doctor mills in his professional capacity there was no need for an autopsy, clearly a case of drowning and he leaves. >> there was another that came and took her body away. >> the hearse made its way back to the mainland and ted kennedy had run out of options. >> it was now at least 930 in the morning and they decided they couldn't spend any more time asking for advice. they came back to the ferry. >> harvey ewing appeared. >> my dad came walking up just as the vote was coming in. he snapped a shot of kennedy
walking off the ferry. >> it would be the only photograph taken that day of the senator. the image seemed incompatible. the chief had learned his part was in return to the cottage where he had gotten a bathing suit and asked to use their phone. >> i'm sorry senator, i have some bad news. there's been another tragedy. your car was involved in an accident and a girl is dead. >> they were shocked by the reply. >> kennedy state cool as a cucumber and said i prefer you come here. >> use the phone in his office to call glenn and joe.
mary jo's parents. it was a call that would haunt them forever. >> glenn was alone in the house and she got the call from ted kennedy. >> mary jo's close cousin experience the family's grief first hand. >> she was literally destroyed. she started to scream and cry and she was beside herself. mary jo was the light of their life. >> a religious hard-working family from pennsylvania. they struggled to comprehend that they would never see their mary jo. >> she was a wonderful young girl. she was always a good role model. [inaudible] she was lovely. always a good friend. we thought we would raise our family together but that didn't happen. on that does your broker offer more than just free trades?
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the chief weekly headed to the station to talk to kennedy about the accident in person. >> they talked about what happened. [inaudible] i said i was sorry for ms. steele and he told me it wasn't ms. steele he told me it was mary jo and i had asked if anyone had been in contact with their family. they said can you tell me what happened and he said he would be happy to give me some sort of a statement. >> than the senator invites the police chief while he and
his friend put the statements together. i went back to the scene. [inaudible] he did not question him about all of the things but instead they wrote out the statement of kennedy mackey carefully composed a statement. >> it suggests he still had not understood exactly what he was going to say. >> he came upon a narrow bridge. the car went off the side of the bridge. the car turned over and sank to the bottom. it came to the surface in
attempt to see if a passenger was still in the car. i was unsuccessful. >> when i came back, i came back to see my car full of reporters so i typed up the statement and i read it to them. there was a car parked in from the cottage. i've been asked for someone to bring me back. i remember walking around for a period of time and then going back to my hotel room. when i had fully realized what had happened, i immediately contacted the police. >> there was no mention of the event before or after the accident or why it went unreported for more than eight hours. senator kennedy made no further statements.
in anxious team of lawyers, speech writers and advisors descended upon the compound. behind expenses they began to strategize. >> senator kennedy didn't seem to have a grasp on it when he gave his first statement that morning, but it became clear very quickly that this was a potential career ender. so when senator kennedy gets back to the family compound, he doesn't have local lawyer waiting for him, no, he has former secretary of defense whose head of the world bank, at the tanning. two of the key speechwriters, masters of manipulating the media. ted kennedy, plus a group of other attorneys and political experts who have all gathered. >> a staff member who was actually vacationing on the neighboring island of nantucket was assigned a job that they of getting the body off the island. >> don gifford is at the funeral home that morning.
>> by 3:00 p.m., despite the absence of a formal autopsy, mary jo's death certificate was signed. reporters swarmed the area looking for answers but the suddenly no one left who can provide them. >> all of the women who had spirited out of town. >> inside the quaint police the station, reporters look for information about the accident. >> i had held off until one or 2:00 o'clock and then i was getting a lot of pressure to read the statement, and the statement really didn't say much until he cracks while reading the statement. people from the kennedy team are calling in saying stop, but it was too late, the statement was already out. >> his story was on the record. the clock was now ticking for the team of lawyers and advisors working to shape the
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224 hours later the sleepy new england island was already becoming famous. the initial coverage was sympathetic to the last surviving kennedy brother. >> the boston globe moved to the moon landing story which of course is the biggest story on the planet to the bottom of the front page so they can make room for three sympathetic stories stories. tragedy strikes kennedy's again. all day long, reporters arrived by the ferry the entire world showed up. the daily news is coming, people are coming from everywhere. >> the phone rings, kennedy just went off a bridge with a girl. >> these calls came in and they were just overwhelming.
anyone was red meat. asking questions. >> first thing he did was going to the compound. >> as the day went on, the meager statement from the day before began to collapse under the weight of media scrutiny. journalists were left with more questions than answers. >> there was no information. it was a stone wall from the beginning. >> details began to emerge. details that he failed to mention before hunkering down at the compound. >> a reporter had heard there was a party out there at the cottage. the chief had not been told about the party and immediately wanted to interview those in attendance. >> i found out much to my dismay that every one of them had left the island. earlier that morning they escorted the body home to pennsylvania and remained
there with the family. >> they say she got the call around 9:00 o'clock, 930 and by noon the kennedy people were there at their house and they were answering the door and taking the phone calls and the thought was that's nice, they're helping and then you came to believe they were screening who they were talking to. >> some reporters got wind. mary jo's parents gave an interview despite the headline , they had not asked lane exactly what happened or even mentioned he was involved. >> even to his victims parents, he could not explain himself. >> and soon, little of the senator statement seem to make sense. >> senator kennedy claimed that he inadvertently took a long turn. that's very hard to reconcile with the fact that it wasn't even a turn so much as a main
road that occurred off one way and there was a dirt road that went down to the bridge. kennedy stopped and made a sharp right turn durin down a dirt road. >> you've got to do something stupid not to notice your on a bumpy road. >> i don't think anyone seriously believes. it's pretty much assumed that he was going down there for a purpose. the story just doesn't make sense. they watch the car get pulled from the water and the sheriff that he thought he recognized it from his drive home the night before. he had been working security at a yacht club event that ended at 1230 in the evening. >> he was returning from a dance where he was working up a detail. >> as soon as 1230 came, he was taken by a yacht club over to the very club where he picked up his car and headed for his summer residence. he saw a car by the dirt road
and he was going to go back and check on it but thinking perhaps people were lost or perhaps they needed some help, he pulled over to the side, got out and walked back toward the car. he said he remembered the license plate that began l7 and ended with the seven. >> there's always good reason to think a person who had a lot to drink wouldn't want to interact with an officer. the car suddenly went into a reverse and was spinning wheels and took off down the road which is a gravel and sand road to wait for the ferry senator kennedy's story is that he was tired and they just wanted to go back but the security detail at the yacht club hadn't yet ended. >> ted kennedy had left the party according to the timing of a deputy sheriff at close
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were tyler deng lunar modules on the surface of the moon. >> ted kennedy's team of advisors seemed competent that the biggest story in the world. [inaudible] but back on earth, more controversy erupted when reporter spoke with the scuba diver who had pulled mary jo's body from the car. >> the scuba diver talked about the fact that there was an air bubble. he believes she could have survived anywhere from minutes to possibly hours in this air bubble. he thought that mary jo had perhaps lived long enough and that air bubble that had he been called immediately he could have saved her. >> if we had been called at the time of the accident, i think there is a possibility. >> the question becomes, could she have been saved if ted kennedy had gone directly to a
phone and call the authorities. >> the story was not going away. >> 24 hours later it was just huge. we started to understand the magnitude of what was going on. >> the message from inside the kennedy compound. >> the discipline that he and his team had, no matter how bad it looked they were refusing to talk to the press. they refusing to talk to the authorities. how they could withstand that barrage of guilt and publicity. >> just before 11:00 p.m., the world stopped at people around the globe gathered yet again around their television sets. >> the night that armstrong walked on the moon i had about 30 or 40 reporters and we were watching this on a 9-inch sony black-and-white tv. >> one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. >> an estimated 500 million people tuned in and heard neil
armstrong say those famous words. the crowds that were gathered outside the compound, waiting for answers were greeted only by continuous silence. >> if this was just an act where the car went off the bridge, why was there such a call for such silence. why did no one go to her parents. why did know one speak to the press? i have an inkling something so horrific happened in chappaquiddick that everyone who had a stake in it had something to lose if it came out. >> on the next episode. >> there were cameras everywhere. it was like a movie set. >> the escorts had a major problem. >> she said i can't do this. i said you have to do it they used the occasion of the funeral to justify. [inaudible] >> i have an opportunity to talk to the people of