This campaign involved a staff of five young women, including Kopechne, called “The Boiler Room Girls,” who had the responsibility of direct communication with each state director in the region they were assigned. In July 1969, two days before man took his first steps on the moon on July 20, this 27-year-old white, single, female political worker was found dead, alone, under water, in an overturned Oldsmobile sedan, just off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island near Cape Cod, Massachusetts, under—still, now 49 years later—mysterious circumstances. If you would like to opt out of browser push notifications, please refer to the following instructions specific to your device and browser: this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. “There is no doubt she would have done great things in her life.”, Meanwhile, Potoski’s son adds that “We’re happy more information is coming out — that’s the path to the truth.”. Cite this: George D. Lundberg. All material on this website is protected by copyright, Copyright © 1994-2020 by WebMD LLC. Nothing. Mary Jo Kopechne's aunt tells PEOPLE her niece "wasn't particularly fond" of Ted Kennedy — and he was nicknamed "office boy". Many questions surrounding the tragic end of her life remain unanswered. “He was a young man finding his way around Washington, but he didn’t have the same focus that his brothers had — at least not yet. What Cardiologists Read on Medscape in 2018. Chappaquiddick pays more attention to Kopechne's own life, but Esther Newberg, who worked with Kopechne as one of Robert F. Kennedy’s “Boiler Room Girls” and was with her hours before her tragic death, criticized the film in an interview with People. Getty Images, | Please confirm that you would like to log out of Medscape. RFK seemed to be headed towards securing the nomination of Democratic presidential candidate, winning the California and South Dakota presidential primaries, until he was tragically murdered at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. The impact of the aftermath in Kennedy’s life is often talked about, with Kopechne reduced to just his rumored lover. What was the alcohol level of her blood, urine, gastric contents, and vitreous? If you are a buff of American political history or even a current moviegoer, the name may also ring a bell. She was then was transferred to work for Senator Robert F. Kennedy upon his election in the following year. Fox Says He and His Wife of 32 Years Tracy Pollan Laugh Every Day ‘for a Good 2 Minutes’, Foster Dad, 29, Adopts 5 Siblings After Refusing to Keep Them Separated: 'They Give Me Purpose', The Sweetest Photos of Princes Harry with Diana, First-Time Voters Across the Country Share Why the 2020 Election Matters to Them. “She was charming, she was funny, she was a little uptight,” says Potoski with a smile. She was devoted to Bobby. These pertinent questions probably could have been answered: Was she dead of foul play before the car went into the water? Claire Folger. “For 49 years people have wanted to know what happened,” Mary Jo’s aunt Georgetta Potoski, 75, says in an exclusive interview in this week’s PEOPLE. Did she die of suffocation in a diminishing air bubble before her head became immersed in water, and how long did she survive in the overturned car? She also launched a scholarship in her name at Misericordia College, to be given out for the first time this year. If you log out, you will be required to enter your username and password the next time you visit. Remember these lessons the next time you are confronted with a death, especially if it's sudden, unexpected, and unwitnessed. Had she recently had sexual intercourse? She and some of her co-workers were given the task of cleaning out his office. Long before she met Kennedy, Kopechne was interested in politics. What Did the Autopsy of Mary Jo Kopechne Reveal? She wrote up all his personal correspondence and typed up his declaration to run for President.”, Potoski also says “Mary Jo was devastated by his assassination.”, “[Mary Jo and her co-workers] loved him and they loved Ethel and the kids,” Potoski continues. Click the topic below to receive emails when new articles are available. “They believed they had a mission and it was catastrophic when he was killed because everything they believed in all of a sudden was gone. “They called him the office boy,” she says. Medscape Internal Medicine © 2018  WebMD, LLC. The Kennedys are no strangers to tragedy and controversy, but the Chappaquiddick incident involving the late Ted Kennedy remains one of the most talked about scandals decades later. You've successfully added to your alerts. Yet it has also brought attention to Mary Jo, whose story was long overlooked in the headlines that followed, which primarily focused on Kennedy and his thwarted political career. Local witnesses and law enforcement, friends, family, state authorities, an inquest, a grand jury, judges, lawyers, political operatives, numerous investigative reporters, filmmakers, and even Roman Catholic priests have engaged in the still-questioning effort to learn, or to obscure, "truth," depending on their personal motivations. What was the alcohol ... Was the decision not to perform an autopsy on the body of Mary Jo Kopechne a result of ignorance on the part of an authority, primarily Dr Donald Mills? “Maybe now Mary Jo will be brought to the forefront and remembered not just for how she died but for who she was.”, Potoski and her son, William Nelson, 46, hope the film will convey something about the real Mary Jo, who was reduced at the time to what William calls “the quote-unquote ‘Girl in the Car.’ ”. Credit: - Medscape - May 21, 2018. Was her neck broken when the car landed upside down on the pond bottom? [3] Without autopsy, these questions, and perhaps many others, are left unanswered and add to the intrigue and the suspicion of a long-term cover-up. Credit: Her political career seemed to be taking off. A major political dynasty was diverted by the event and its aftermath. Kopechne was assigned Pennsylvania, and she invested long hours working for RFK, doing everything in her power to guarantee his presidency. This website also contains material copyrighted by 3rd parties. And if so, with whom? Ischemic Stroke May Hint at Underlying Cancer, Topol: US Betrays Healthcare Workers in Coronavirus Disaster, The 6 Dietary Tips Patients Need to Hear From Their Clinicians. Who was really trying to hide what, and why?