It was the summer of ’69, and Matt Storin was waiting anxiously in the U.S. Capitol press gallery for the Senate’s return from its August recess. A month before, Massachusetts’ junior senator, Ted Kennedy, had driven off a bridge on the island of Chappaquiddick and plunged into a pond. Kennedy had swum free of the vehicle and left the scene of the accident, but his 28-year-old passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, was trapped inside the car and drowned.
Since the accident, Kennedy had been holed up silent in his family’s Hyannis Port compound, while rumors festered about whether he’d been drunk and why he had waited until the next morning to report the accident. As The Boston Globe’s Washington correspondent, Storin ’64 was determined to get the first interview.
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June 22, 2019