Mary Kennedy Falls Victim to the Kennedy Curse — Death by Hanging?

The wife of Robert Kennedy Jr., Mary Richardson Kennedy, was found dead Wednesday and the coroner has indicated that the cause of death was hanging. The body was discovered in an outbuilding on the Kennedy property in Bedford, New York. Her apparent suicide is another death in the string of misfortunes that have plagued the Kennedy family for decades, leading to the concept of the Kennedy Curse.

Psychologists say that Mary Kennedy had been on some rough times of late. She was abusing alcohol and drugs and had mental problems that made them less than surprised that she might take her own life. Back in 2007, her husband expressed concerns over her mental health. After sixteen years of marriage, they filed for divorce after an incident where police were called to their home over a domestic dispute. Mary claims that Robert Kennedy had been abusive to her and the kids, but no charges were filed. She was arrested for DUI a few days later. In 2010, she faced another arrest for driving while under the influence of drugs.

Now, she’s dead, and she joins a line of tragic and often mysterious deaths that have beset the Kennedy family. The notion of the Kennedy Curse is very popular, and just when it dies down, something else seems to happen just in time to help this long-standing conspiracy theory pick up steam. We’ll take a look back at some of the events that helped shape the idea of the Kennedy Curse. Almost everyone knows about the assassination of John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy, the father of Mary’s husband. However, these two high-profile events are only a small part of the Kennedy Curse legacy.

It dates back as far as 1941. Rosemary Kennedy fought depression and mental illnesses. Her mood swings and violence got so bad that her father decided to secretly arrange for her to have a lobotomy. It didn’t turn out so well. She was even worse off after and she was in a mental institution until her death by natural causes in 2005. Just three years later, Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. died when his plane exploded over England in a World War II military operation. Then, in 1948, Kathleen Candish, John F. Kennedy’s sister, died in a plane crash in France.

The JFK assassination was a pivotal moment in American and world history.

The curse took a bit of a break for eight years until it struck again in 1956. Well, kind of. Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy gave birth to a stillborn. She is buried at Arlington National Cemetery with the marker saying “Daughter.” In 1963, Patrick Bouvier Kennedy died two days after he was born. Just a few months later, the most famous Kennedy of all was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. We don’t have to tell you how pivotal that was.

A lot of conspiracy theorists are unaware that Ted Kennedy had a near brush with death himself. In 1964, just months after the JFK assassination, Ted was on a plane that went down. One of his aides and the pilot died. He was found in the wreckage and was out of commission for several weeks after suffering a broken back, punctured lung, internal bleeding, and broken ribs. A lot of people think that Ted was meant to die in the crash.

In 1968, JFK’s brother Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan after he claimed victory at a California primary. This assassination was also mounded in suspicion. In conspiracy circles, it is often theorized that Sirhan Sirhan was a victim of a mind control plot. He still to this day doesn’t know why he murdered Robert Kennedy.

Ted proved to be a survivor again. In 1969, he drove his car off a bridge, resulting in the death of Mary Jo Kopechne who was riding with him. In a statement on television, Kennedy probably started the legend of the Kennedy Curse when he stated that he had thought about “whether some awful curse did actually hang over all Kennedy’s.”

JFK's son would suffer a tragic death of his own many years later.

In August of 1973, Joseph P. Kennedy II was driving a car that crashed. He was killed, and his passenger, Pam Kelley was paralyzed for life. Then, the Kennedy Curse went AWOL for a while. It was eleven years before it struck again when David Kennedy died from a cocaine overdose. And that seemed like the end of it. For thirteen years more, nothing happened. The Kennedy Curse laid dormant. And then, on December 31, 1997, New Year’s Eve, Michael Kennedy died in a freak skiing accident in Aspen, Colorado. Two years later, John F. Kennedy’s son, creatively named John F. Kennedy, Jr. was killed when his plane wound up in the Atlantic Ocean after what was deemed a pilot’s error.

That brings us to May 16, 2012. Mary Kennedy was hanged on the grounds of her home, presumably by herself.

The Kennedy Curse is fascinating to examine. It does seem that an awful lot of tragedy has come to this family. The assassinations can be blamed on conspiracies, but still, the string of plane crashes. They say that your odds of dying in a plane crash or much lower than dying in a car. But what if you are a Kennedy? Even Ted was in a plane crash, though he miraculously survived. It also seemed that Ted kept a lower profile after his near-death experience. He never tried to run for president and remained a fairly low key senator. Did he get the message? Did he know that he was supposed to die on that day?

On the other side of things, the Kennedy family is and has always been wealthy, and they have a lot more chances to die in plane crashes by sheer numbers of plane rides they take. After all, there are many Americans that will never even get on a plane. Still, though, it seems unlikely that even this many plane crashes could afflict one family. What do you think? Is there any truth to the Kennedy Curse?
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