Words Failed Kennedy on Chappaquiddick

Senator invited Kopechne's parents over, couldn't talk
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2009 11:06 AM CDT
Words Failed Kennedy on Chappaquiddick
Map of Chappaquiddick Island, just off the island of Martha's Vineyard, that shows the locations of the major events of the evening of July 18, 1969.    (Getty Images)

Though he longed to tell Mary Jo Kopechne’s parents about the 1969 accident that killed their daughter, Ted Kennedy couldn’t find the words on two occasions when he invited them into his home, a new book on the senator says. “When the time came, after plenty of small talk, he said he just couldn’t talk about it,” Gwen Kopechne told the author, the New York Daily News reports.

“The burden of guilt sat on Ted’s chest like an anvil,” Edward Klein writes of the tragedy on Chappaquiddick Island in Ted Kennedy: The Dream That Never Died. “He desperately wanted to relieve himself of the guilt, but in the end, he couldn’t find the words to express his feelings. And, in fact, he would never find expiation for his guilt.” (More Ted Kennedy stories.)

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