Entries in Robert F. Kennedy (6)


Mary Richardson Kennedy's Body at Center of Family Dispute

Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- A dispute is brewing between Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and the family of his estranged wife, Mary Richardson Kennedy, over where she will be memorialized and laid to rest.

Mary Kennedy's body was found on Wednesday in an outbuilding on the couple's property in Bedford, N.Y.  She died of asphyxiation by hanging, New York's Westchester County Medical Examiner's office announced Thursday.

The Kennedys were planning to hold a wake for Mary Kennedy on Friday at the family's mansion in Bedford, with funeral services to follow Saturday morning at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church in Bedford.

Her family, however, wants a private memorial service in Manhattan.

There are also reports that the Kennedys want Mary Kennedy to be buried in Hyannisport, Mass., where the Kennedy family has long resided.

The medical examiner has refused to release Mary Kennedy's body until the dispute is resolved.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Kennedy Curse: A Political Family's Troubled Life

Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- The death of Mary Richardson Kennedy is another sad event in the long arc of the Kennedy family's story. The estranged wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. died of an apparent suicide on Wednesday, sources confirmed to ABC News.

RFK Jr. -- Jack Kennedy's nephew, Bobby Kennedy's son -- had four children with his wife. They filed for divorce two years ago.

"We deeply regret the death of our beloved sister Mary, whose radiant and creative spirit will be sorely missed by those who loved her," Mary Richardson Kennedy's family said in a statement. "Our heart goes out to her children who she loved without reservation. We have no further comment at this time."

Along with political fame and power, tragedy has befallen the Kennedy clan for decades.

Ted Kennedy's death from brain cancer, in August 2009, is still fresh in the American memory. He was the last of four brothers -- Joe, Jack, Bobby and Teddy, all of whom served their country. His passing almost three years ago reminded a mourning country of Camelot's crests and troughs -- ascents to the pinnacle of American glory, assassinations, plane and car accidents, legislative accomplishments and obstacles, and family troubles.

They began well before the brothers' ascent to political power. Joseph Kennedy Sr. famously approved a lobotomy, then a rarely used procedure, to be performed on his daughter, Rosemary, in 1941. The surgery was thought to help Rosemary's violent moods. But the procedure didn't go as planned, and Rosemary was left mentally damaged. She died in 2005.

Not long after Rosemary's surgery, Joseph Kennedy Jr. was shot down in World War II, in 1944. Then, in 1948, Kennedy's older sister Kathleen died in a plane crash on a trip to France.

A little over 10 years later, Jack Kennedy ran for president. His youthful, vigorous campaign and presidency filled a nation with hope and promise. His assassination in 1963 sent shockwaves through a country that would take years to heal.

Just a year later, in June 1964, Ted Kennedy was in a plane crash that killed one of his aides, Edward Moss, as Kennedy was running for reelection in the Senate.

In 1968 Robert Kennedy brought the Kennedy charm, youth and idealism to a campaign and captured voters' hearts and minds as he sought the Democratic nomination for president. But in June he was assassinated in a Los Angeles hotel after a campaign event.

The following year, the family faced tragedy and public humiliation, when Ted Kennedy drove his car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, drowning his 28-year-old female passenger, who had worked on RFK's campaign. Kennedy didn't report the accident for almost nine hours and was later charged with a misdemeanor for leaving the scene. He later called his decision "indefensible."

Tragedy did not bypass the next generation. In 1984, David Kennedy, the fourth of Bobby Kennedy's 11 children, died in a drug overdose. Fifteen years later, John Kennedy Jr., affectionately called John-John when he was a young boy and his father was president, died while piloting a small plane; with him was his wife, Carolyn, and his sister-in-law.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mary Richardson Kennedy's Death Attributed to Hanging

Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- Mary Richardson Kennedy, the wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., died of asphyxiation by hanging, according to New York's Westchester County Medical Examiner's office.

Mary Richardson Kennedy's body was found Wednesday in an outbuilding on the couple's property in Bedford, N.Y. Her death marked the final event in a life that had turned tumultuous of late and adds yet another dark moment to the Kennedy family's history.

Kennedy, 52, had four children with her husband, the son of Robert and Ethel Kennedy, to whom she'd been married for 16 years.

In September 2007, the Westchester Journal News reported that Robert F. Kennedy Jr., worried about his wife's mental state, had tried to drive her to a psychologist's office. She resisted and ran from the car into the road, according to police reports.

The couple filed for divorce in 2010, a day after police arrived at the couple's Bedford home in response to a "domestic incident" during which Mary Kennedy was allegedly intoxicated, according to the Journal News.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s Estranged Wife, Mary Richardson Kennedy, Dead

Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s estranged wife, Mary Richardson Kennedy, has died at age 52, apparently committing suicide by hanging herself, multiple sources told ABC News.

"We deeply regret the death of our beloved sister Mary, whose radiant and creative spirit will be sorely missed by those who loved her," Mary Kennedy's family said in a statement released through her lawyer. "Our heart goes out to her children who she loved without reservation."

Bedford, N.Y., police responded to the Kennedy home in Mount Kisco, N.Y., at 1:36 p.m. Wednesday to investigate a "possible unattended death," according a news release. While police would not identify the person who died, the house is listed under the names of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Mary Kennedy on property reports.

"Responding officers confirm that a deceased individual has been located inside an out building on that property," the statement said. "At this time, the Bedford Police Department is not releasing the identity of that individual until notification to family members has been made."

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The incident is under investigation by the Bedford Police Department with assistance from the Westchester County Medical Examiner's Office.  An autopsy on Mary Kennedy's body will be performed on Thursday.

Mary Kennedy appeared to have hung herself, a family member told ABC News.

Mary Kennedy was Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s second wife and the couple had four children together. The couple was married for 16 years before a divorce filing in 2010.

"Mary inspired our family with her kindness, her love, her gentle soul and generous spirit," Kennedy Jr.'s family said in a prepared statement. "Mary was a genius at friendship, a tremendously gifted architect and a pioneer and relentless advocate of green design who enhanced her cutting edge, energy efficient creations with exquisite taste and style. She applied her talent, energy and passion which were both brilliant and abundant, to advocacy for treatment and finding a cure for food allergies and asthma. She was an instrumental co-founder and driving force of the Food Allergy Initiative to which contributions may be made in her name."

Kennedy Jr. is the son of former Sen. Robert Kennedy and the nephew of President John F. Kennedy.

In 2010, Kennedy Jr. filed for divorce, according to the Journal News in White Plains, N.Y., a day after Bedford police responded to the Kennedy home for a "domestic incident" during which Mary Kennedy allegedly was intoxicated.

Three days later, Mary Kennedy was stopped outside of a school after she steered her Volvo station wagon over a curb, according to the Journal News. She was charged with driving while intoxicated after her blood alcohol level was reported to be 0.11 percent, above the legal limit of 0.08 percent. She pleaded guilty to driving while impaired, the paper reported, and her license was suspended.

The next month, August 2010, she was arrested again for driving under the influence of drugs.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Surveillance Video Shows RFK’s Son in Scuffle With Nurses

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Surveillance video shows Douglas Kennedy, the son of Robert F. Kennedy, who was arrested on misdemeanor charges of child endangerment and harassment relating to a Jan. 7 scuffle in the maternity unit of Northern Westchester Hospital, in a violent scuffle with two nurses.

Two nurses allege Kennedy twisted one’s wrist and kicked the other while they tried to prevent him from taking his two-day old son outside.

Kennedy says he was trying to take his son, Beau, out for some fresh air, when nurses tried to stop him.

On the surveillance video, you see Kennedy lift his leg and a nurse fall backwards on the floor.

In court documents obtained by ABC News, nurse Cari Luciano claims Kennedy attacked her.

“As my hand touched the shoulders of the baby, Douglas Kennedy, raised his right foot, and with tremendous force, kicked me in the left side of my pelvic area,” Luciano said, according to the documents.

The nurse claims she called two alerts: code pink, child abduction in progress, and code purple, a combative party.

“These charges are absurd,” Kennedy and his wife, Molly said in a statement. “It is sickening to think that our simple desire to take our son outside for fresh air has been warped into a charge of child endangerment.”

Kennedy was accompanied by a family friend, Dr. Timothy Haydock, who was also an on-duty doctor at the hospital, during the Jan. 7 skirmish.

“I witnessed the incident and I can state unequivocally that the nurses were the only aggressors,” Haydock said.

The two men stopped by the nurses’ station with Kennedy’s newborn son, who was bundled in blankets and wearing a hat, before heading toward the elevators, where the incident was captured on surveillance video.

“Everything was calm and civil. He didn’t run out with the baby,” Kennedy’s attorney, Robert Gottlieb, told

Gottlieb said a nurse came onto the scene “acting aggressively” and “yelling.” She prevented Kennedy from using the elevator, so he headed toward the stairs and tried to open the door while holding his baby.

“Another other nurse now lunges to grab the child from his arms. Douglas lifts his knee and pushes her away, only to protect his newborn son and to prevent her from grabbing the child from him,” Gottlieb said.

After other personnel arrived, Kennedy returned the baby to his room.

Gottlieb said his client received a letter from a lawyer on Jan. 23.

“It’s clear what this is all about. They’re looking to cash in,” he said. “Now we’ll deal with the criminal charges.”

Kennedy was arrested Thursday by Mount Kisco, N.Y., police.

A message left for Northern Westchester Hospital and the nurses’ lawyer was not returned.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


RFK’s Assassin: I Was Brainwashed

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- A lawyer for Sirhan Sirhan, the confessed assassin of Robert F. Kennedy, plans to present new evidence at a parole board hearing suggesting that he did not act alone, was potentially brainwashed and cannot remember anything about the 43-year-old shooting.

"There is no question he was hypno-programmed," lawyer William F. Pepper told "He was set up. He was used. He was manipulated."

Sirhan will appear before a California parole board on Wednesday for the 14th time since his May 1969 sentencing. It is the first time he will be represented by Pepper.

Pepper plans to introduce new evidence that suggests there was a second gunman who fatally shot RFK in the kitchen of a Los Angeles hotel, following his victory in the 1968 California presidential primary.

Pepper says he believes he knows who ordered Sirhan to shoot Kennedy, but won't yet say who it is. He said in addition to the parole hearing, he is preparing an appeal.

The image of Sirhan sitting in a California prison cell in 2011 regretting a crime he does not remember does not jibe with a defiant Sirhan sitting in a California courtroom in 1969. At his trial, Sirhan confessed to the crime and declared he had committed it "with 20 years of malice aforethought."

Kennedy, then a U.S. senator from New York, was making his way through the Ambassador Hotel’s kitchen on June 14, 1968, soon after winning the Democratic primary. Sirhan entered the kitchen, fired on Kennedy and was soon subdued as bodyguards smashed his hand against a steam table. Sirhan continued to fire, emptying all the bullets in his pistol from his immobilized hand as bullets ricocheted around the kitchen. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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