Kennedy talks of guilt in memoir

IN a posthumous memoir, Senator Edward Kennedy writes of fear and remorse surrounding the events on Chappaquiddick Island in 1969 and says he accepted the finding that a lone gunman assassinated his brother President John F Kennedy.

In True Compass, to be published on September 14, Kennedy says his actions on July 18, 1969, were “inexcusable”. He says he was afraid and “made terrible decisions” and had to live with the guilt for more than four decades.

Kennedy drove off a bridge into a pond. He swam to safety, leaving Mary Jo Kopechne in the car. A worker on Kennedy’s election campaign, she was found dead 10 hours later. Kennedy, then 37, pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and got a suspended sentence and probation.

Kennedy also writes in the memoir he always accepted the official findings on his brother John’s assassination. He said he had a full briefing by Earl Warren, the chief justice on the commission that investigated the November 22, 1963, Dallas shooting, which was attributed to Lee Harvey Oswald. He was “satisfied then, and satisfied now”.

Kennedy writes candidly about his battle with brain cancer and his “self-destructive drinking”.

The book was written with a collaborator and was based on notes Kennedy took throughout his life and hours of recordings.

He died last week aged 77.


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