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New Movie Promises The "Untold, True Story" Of Ted Kennedy's Deadly Car Crash

Boston Herald

When news broke that Senator Ted Kennedy had been involved in a deadly car crash, Americans were glued to their TV screens.

But over the weeks and months that followed, the story of the crash on Chappaquiddick Island only became more and more strange. Decades later, we still have unanswered questions about what happened the night of July 18, 1969.

Senator Kennedy and Mary Jo Kopechne.

Kennedy, the younger brother of the late President John Kennedy and the late Senator Robert Kennedy, was driving a campaign worker home from a party the night of the accident. Mary Jo Kopechne was 28, and while the  37-year-old senator was married, he later insisted there was nothing "immoral" going on between the two of them.

Kennedy plunged his car over the side of a small wooden bridge, and while he quickly escaped the car, Kopechne was trapped inside.

The senator's car, recovered from under the bridge.Boston Herald

The senator said he made "repeated efforts" to save Kopechne, but the water's currents were too strong. Then, he walked back to his home, but did not call the police. In fact Kennedy waited 10 hours before notifying authorities about the crash.

That's just one of the suspicious details about the famous accident explored by a new movie, and the trailer reveals it won't pull any punches.

Chappaquiddick casts Jason Clarke as Kennedy, while Kate Mara plays Kopechne.

The new movie examines the aftermath of the crash, and explores the burning questions that still linger about the accident.

The one on everyone's mind decades later is why Kennedy didn't call for help after the accident, and whether Kopechne's life could have been saved is he did.

John Farrar, the captain of the nearby Edgartown fire and rescue unit, said that after Kennedy's car crashed it rolled over, creating an air pocket. He guesses that Kopechne might have survived for "at least two hours" inside that air bubble, and believes he could have rescued her in less than 25 minutes after being called.


Kennedy famously insisted that he didn't see any homes with lights on during his walk back from the bridge, but locals just 150 yards from the scene of the accident said they were home at the time of the crash.

Jason Clarke recreates Ted Kennedy's televised statement about the crash in 'Chappaquiddick.'

And while Kennedy pleaded guilty to "leaving the scene of a crash causing personal injury," he was only given a two-month suspended sentence.

The new movie will dig into these mysteries and controversies along with the impact the accident had on the senator's political career and his family.

While Kennedy stayed in the senate until his death in 2009, many believe the crash at Chappaquiddick ruined his chance to win the presidency in 1972.

Chappaquiddick is out on April 6.

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