Friday, August 17, 2018

Chappaquiddick Ted Kennedy Statement Analyzed

The following is analysis of the handwritten statement made by Ted Kennedy following the car accident on Chappaquiddick Island bridge. 

The methodology is Statement Analysis.  For training in deception detection please visit Hyatt Analysis Services

I. Statement 

"On July 18, 1969, at approximately 11:15 PM in Chappaquiddick, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, I was driving my car on Main Street on my way to getthe ferry back to Edgartown. I was unfamiliar with the road and turned right onto Dike Road, instead of bearing hard left on Main Street. After proceeding for approximately one-half mile on Dike Road I descended a hill and came upon a narrow bridge. 

The car went off the side of the bridge. There was one passenger with me, one Miss Mary _____ a former secretary of my brother Sen. Robert Kennedy. The car turned over and sank into the water and landed with the roof resting on the bottom. I attempted to open the door and the window of the car but have no recollection of how I got out of the car. I came to the surface and then repeatedly dove down to the car in an attempt to see if the passenger was still in the car.

 I was unsuccessful in the attempt. I was exhausted and in a state of shock. I recall walking back to where my friends were eating. There was a car parked in front of the cottage and I climbed into the back seat. I then asked for someone to bring me back to Edgartown. I remember walking around for a period of time and then going back to my hotel room. When I fully realized what had happened this morning, I immediately contacted the police."

II.  Statement With Analysis & Emphasis Added

"On July 18, 1969, at approximately 11:15 PM in Chappaquiddick, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts,Iwas dr     driving my car on Main Street on my way to get the ferry back to Edgartown. 

1.    The statement does not begin with the pronoun, “I” indicating a psychological refusal to commit to what follows. 
2.    Elements time and location 
3.    Formal intro (even the state is spelled out) 
4.    Note that this slows down the pace
5.    I drove”but “I was driving”

was unfamiliar with the road and turned right onto Dike Road,instead of bearing hard left on Main Street. 

The Rule of the Negative – that which is reported “in the negative” is elevated in importance (sensitivity) –it is doubled; he wrote what he did not “know” and what he did not choose to do.  

Please note:  “bearing hard left” uses “bearing” and “hard” demonstrating incongruence. Was the subject speeding at this point?  And/or
Was he distracted driving due to the physical presence of the victim?
Please consider the impact of alcohol in the above.  

He is deceptive about ignorance of the road. 
He is withholding information about where he just was, and who he was with.

Statement Analysis:  Subject's verbalized perception of reality is not reality. This is the subject's perception as put into his own vocabulary: 

At this point, he is “alone” in the car. 

 The victim is not referenced. 

unfamiliar”: consider possibility that the victim was an “unknown” to him, regarding his intentions of driving the car with her.  That he leaves her out of the statement to this point is remarkable. 

After proceeding for approximately one-half mile on Dike Road descended a hill and came upon a narrow bridge.

a.    After” TL (skips something in time) 
b.    proceeding” ; he is not “driving” but “proceeding”  We need to explore what he was doing at this point. 
c.    The victim is not here.  She does not exist in his verbalized perception of reality.  What has caused this?  It can be many things, from her death to even a refusal of sexual activity to shame to, to victim blaming, to fear of consequence….  

He has not “depersonalized” the victim:  he never allowed her, linguistically to reach existence at this point of the statement.   In the subject’s verbalized perception of reality, the victim does not exist. Even in murder cases, we expect depersonalization; not outright avoidance. 

In his mind, she is not one to be depersonalized; she doesn't exist. 

After proceeding for approximately one-half mile on Dike Road descended a hill and came upon a narrow bridge.

Question:  What did the subject do?
Answer: he “descended a hill” and he “came upona narrow bridge”

He “descended” and he “came” should cause us to wonder if the subject engaged or attempted to engage in sexual activity in the car with the victim. 

story telling
Slowing of the pace 

"came upon" is passive in Statement Analysis. This means he is removing himself from the responsibility of what happened.


 The carwent off the side of the bridge.

The “event” (Form) begins. 

We now see the engagement of the psychological Passive voice. This is where one is now detached from the burden of responsibility and reflects more than just a noted passivity; but a state of mind. 

He  came upon” a “narrow bridge” and then the car went off the side of the bridge.  

"Came upon" is also the language of narrative or "story telling."

The car went off”removes responsibility of driving and who caused it. In fact, it does not state that he went off the bridge with the car. 

The passenger, Mary Jo, does not exist in Ted Kennedy's verbalized perception of reality to this point. 

 One may interpret that the “narrow bridge” is blamed but he does not state anything like this: he may expect his audience to assume or interpret.  We cannot say that the narrow bridge caused him to lose control because he has not told us that. 

We wonder what else caused him to lose control, that he conceals via his psychological passive voice. 

PL Profile:  entitlement to due privilege, wealth status. He does not face consequences as others do.  

There is, to this point, in his statement: 

a.     No driver
b.    No personal responsibility 
c.    No victim 

 There was one passenger with meone Miss Mary _____ a former secretary of my brother Sen. Robert Kennedy. 

Miss Mary ____”. ISI = negative relationship in the statement 

“my brother Sen. Robert Kennedy”  CSI = good relationship in the statement

Q. Who is “Miss Mary”? 

A.  “Miss Mary” is a person who was “with”him, (distance) who is “one passenger” (before name), who has a name, and who’s position is no longer related to his brother; the victim is a “former secretary” of his brother. 

The victim, previously non-existent, is:

1.     “one passenger”  We wonder what other passengers he has had. 
2.    “one passenger” who was “with” him; unnecessary self reference
3.    She is “one Miss Mary___”; were there other “ones” ? Consider the reputation of the Kennedys “sharing” women.  
4.    There is no possessive pronoun linking the subject to the victim; therefore, in the subject’s verbalized perception of what happened, the victim has no connection to him. 
5.    The social introduction minimizes her, indicates a problematic relationship in this statement, which suggests that there may have some struggle, resistance, disagreement, between.  (tension) 
6.    The Linguistic Disposition, weighted by context, is stronglynegative. 
7.    This suggests that the subject not only blames the car, but via the Negative Linguistic Disposition, he may be blaming the victim.  

The car turned over and sank into the waterand landed with the roof resting on the bottom. 

resting”is to slow down time.  It is also an inanimate object being given a human condition.  We are now concerned about this human connection between the author and the car that went over the bridge. 

One of the accusations was that he let the victim drown, deliberately, to save face as a "future" leader or even president of the United States. 

This is very soft language: “turned over” and “resting”; it not only denotes time (resting) but is not fitting for violent accident where one has lost control of his car. 

"Resting" is often used in 
"at rest" to describe a dead person. 

Please take careful note that in Ted Kennedy's perception: 

The victim was “not” in the car until “the car went off the side of the bridge”   It is only here that the subject is no longer alone. This is not only deception via withholding information, but it is to classify the victim as non existent; not depersonalized, but less than de personalized. 

In his verbalized perception of the event, he was alone in the car until it went over the side of the bridge. The victim, compared to the subject, is “nothing, nobody, non-entity.”

attempted to open the door and the window of the car but have no recollectionof how I got out of the car. 

In an open statement, he tells us what he does not remember.  Deception Indicated.

I attempted to open” is reliable on its form. 
“I attempted to open the door and the window” is specific and reliable on its form.
He then refutes, or minimizes by comparison, his reliable statement, with the word “but.”
He then offers what he does not remember, in an open statement. 
The incongruence between specific attempts and lack of memory is duly noted. 

Question:  Why is the subject deceptive about what happened here?

We note that the subject possesses a need to employ deception at this point of the event. 

He is deceptive about the time period when he was down in the water with the non-existent and now “one passenger”, the victim. 

He has a distinct negative linguistic disposition towards the victim. 
His social introduction reveals a negative relationship during this car ride. 

Did our subject allow the victim to remain un-rescued?

came to the surface and then repeatedly dove down to the car in an attemptto seeif the passenger was still in the car. 

“and then” is not“and” (one continual action) but a temp. lac. that exposes a passing of time. 

He did not “dive down” to “Maryjo” but to “the car” (not person)

“in attempt to see” is not “to see”, but to take one step away from commitment.

"I came to the surface" is to continue his "passive voice" in which, in spite of the pronoun 
"I" does not tell us that he swam to the surface or even that he does not know.  This is story telling and removing himself from all responsibility.  It is a priority.  (note its repetition = importance) 

Next:  note “to see” is to explain why he dove down from the surface is unnecessary for any type of rescue.  It is unnecessary to explain why, in an open statement, he went to “attempt to see” and not to rescue. This is very sensitive to him and raises the question as to “why” he went down to the car.  It suggests a different motive.

The subject gave reliable information on how he dealt with the car, refuted it, and now wants the audience to interpret his words as if he did not know where she was.  Deception Indicated.  

Question: Who is the victim?
Answer: the passenger” 

Since the subject has identified the victim by name, this is to “depersonalize” his victim. This is found in murder statements. 

Previously, she did not even exist in his statement. 

When he finally identified her, it was in an incomplete social introduction, yet placed next to a complete social introduction (brother), including his brother's prominent title.

 The Linguistic Disposition towards her was very negative. 

Prior to this, we had 

a.  depersonalization; and prior to depersonalization

b.  non-existence 

This is unusual and may indicate some element of premeditation within him. 

He is deceptive about his actions towards her, and here he has depersonalized her into “the passenger.”  This is consistent with homicide; not with an accident. 

was unsuccessful in the attempt

“the attempt” is to remove or distance himself from his actions, and to continue to depersonalize the victim. 

Note the narcissistic  focus upon self.  The victim did not exist at first, but when she did, she was “one passenger with me” which puts the focus on self. Next note that the victim died but the concern is for self: 

I was exhausted and in a state of shock. 

Note the emphasis upon self and the clarity of his descriptions, yet the assertion of the “state of shock” is incongruent. 

Others may argue how he knows he was in a "state of shock" but suffice for now, in Statement Analysis, this is considered "artificial editing" into an account of what happened.  

He is deceptive. 

Let his language guide you: 

He was “unsuccessful”, not in saving the victim, but in “the attempt” and here he tells us why, without being asked, why he was unsuccessful.  This is a “hina clause” and indicates an extreme level of sensitivity.  This indicates the need to explain why, and continues to press upon other motive. Even in this, it takes effort (in recall) to express concern for self, where no such concern is expressed for “the passenger.” (victim). 

I recall walking back to where my friends were eating. 

In an open statement, he can only tell what he recalls; this is an indication that he is concealing information. 
“eating”: for someone “in shock” this is an incongruent point of detail
Unnamed friends are given a personal pronoun connection; whereas the victim was depersonalized

The subject has given verbal indicators of contempt for his victim.  He is stating that he is in shock, yet tells us what “my friends” were doing.  “Eating” is to sustain life. Please note that he did not dive to Mary Jo, but to “the car.” He gave no details about the victim, but has cared enough to tell us that his friends were “eating.” The act of eating (mouth) in his language should cause for exploration of possible drug use by the “friends” and subject. 

There was a carparked in front of the cottage and I climbed into the back seat. 

Who owned this car? 
“The” cottage is not “a” cottage; showing recognition (while in “shock”). 

He was in "shock" but can describe his entrance into the specific location of the car. 

then asked for someone to bring me back to Edgartown. 

He has “climbed into the back seat” of a car.  He did not get in the car, but “climbed” and gives the specific location of where he climbed. 

“Then” is to skip over time. 

We know from his statement that he had interaction with “friends” who were “eating” and he asked to bring “me” (himself) to a location.  His concern is for himself.  The victim did not exist in his account until she was “over the bridge”, and then she was depersonalized.  This is consistent with homicide. 

In an open statement, one can only tell us what they remember. When they tell us what they do not remember, in an open statement, deception is present. 

remember walking around for a period of time and then going back to my hotel room. 

a.    “remember” in an open statement is unnecessary; a person can only tell us what they remember. 
b.    “for a period of time” is made more sensitive by:
c.    “and then”, the skipping over of time. 

When I fully realized what had happened this morning, I immediately contacted the police."

a.    “fully” makes “realized” sensitive.  To “realize” is to process over time. This is consistent with his above delays of time.  It indicates deliberation of waiting. 
b.    What would cause a subject to come to “full” realization?
c.    The language of trauma (“shock”) is inconsistent with his recall of detail. 
d.    “Immediately” is an unnecessary word that seeks to rebut “delay”, which is not known to be accused (in an open statement).  

It is as if to say "I realized" but I did not "fully realize."

This is what clever lying looks like. 

Analysis Conclusion:

The subject is “deception indicated” regarding what happened during the car ride, when he drove off the bridge, when he was in the water, and in the events that took place after. 

a.     The subject has depersonalized the victim, consistent with both contempt and in homicide statements. 
b.     The subject indicated a distinctly negative relationship with the victim 
c.     The subject is deceptive about any rescue effort of the victim
d.     The subject may have attempted to stop the victim from getting out of the vehicle. 
e.     The subject is deliberate in shifting blame to the vehicle, and indicates contempt for the victim. 
f.      The subject is concealing the activities in the car that may have caused the accident. This could include sexual activity, substance abuse and possible resistance by his victim. In his linguistic disposition, she at first did not exist. Then she was a person, female, with full name. Then she was reduced to a “former” secretary.  Then she became a gender neutral passenger.  This suggests possible need to “defeminize”her, which further affirms the possibility of sexual interest. His need to remove her gender is noted. 
g.     The subject did not attempt to free the victim from the car. 
h.     The subject was not truthful about the passing of time. 
i.      The subject was deceptive about his state of “shock” 
j.      The subject shows a strong priority upon “self”; concern only for self
k.     The subject deliberately delayed reporting the accident 
l.      The subject’s language confirms his self awareness in delay of reporting 
m.   The subject depersonalized the victim, while giving strong favorable disposition towards his brother, who was not involved. The subject shows a stronger linguistic connection to anonymous “friends” than for the victim. 
n.     The subject indicates empathy only for self. There is no empathy for his victim. 
o.     The subject shows a dominant personality trait of self-absorption, ease with deception and low personal responsibility. 
p. The subject conceals much about his victim.  His language may indicate sexual abuse or assault of the victim prior to her death. The denial of her existence with several references noted.  
q. The depersonalization of a victim is associated with murder, often with a very personal emotion of hatred, rage, resentment, etc, by the killer. 


Anonymous said...

Finally, some light,
an out loud voice..

Anonymous said...

He never ascribes "life" to his "passenger". They did not talk to each other, or communicate in any other way. In his verbalized perception of reality, she was never alive in the car. Could she have been killed prior to the car going in the water?

Anonymous said...

His family is not proud of this, but Ted Kennedy was a huge fan of Chappaquiddick jokes. He always told friends to make sure they let him know when they heard a new one.

One of his particular favorites involved one of his nieces going to his mother Rose and saying "Grandma, I'm sorry to tell you this, but Jackie has died." And Rose says "That's awful. Was Teddy driving?"

Jackie died nearly 25 years after Chappaquiddick. And Rose soon after.

Hey Jude said...

" I was unsuccessful in the attempt." If he dove down 'repeatedly' he should have been unsuccessful in his 'attempts' - he doesn't say 'my attempt' - if I had dove down repeatedly, I'd say "my attempts", not "the attempt".

I think "one Miss Mary" is formal, and is sometimes used of a person who is annoying to the speaker - it can sound condescending and sarcastic, like something a prosecutor might say of an inconvenient witness.


Was he in the car went it went into the river? He doesn't say that he was.

Anonymous said...

The only reason a person would encourage jokes about being such a poor driver that a passenger was killed, would be to encourage their reputation as a very bad driver versus something much worse. Logically, this incident should have caused him great shame and guilt. Unless he thought it better to be a “bad” driver than to have the reputation of a being a murderer. This statement analysis actually leans toward a murderer who was alone in a car with a dead person of no consequence , got out at the top of a hill, then let the car “ descend the hill” until it drove off a bridge, faking a car accident. I agree with the above that he should have made multiple “attempt(s).” Also the story goes blank and he does not state how he got out of the car himself— perhaps he was never in the car to begin with. Climbing in a back seat/ hiding place at “the” cottage seems to be an attempt at alibi if he was there all along, taking a nap, in the car in the yard, nowhere near the car accident. Wow. This is a very damning analysis.

Unknown said...

When I fully realized what had happened this morning, I immediately contacted the police."

Shouldn't it be "AFTER I fully realized"?

VLW said...

Funny, your posting this analysis just now. A couple of weeks ago I bought some old newspapers at an estate sale, and one of them has the Chappaquiddick incident on the front page. It's been on my mind since then. Dark, dark situation! Money and privilege can certainly get one through some sticky situations unscathed. Such a shame for victim Mary Jo Kopechne and her family.

Violet said...


Can you please do an analysis of Chris Watts, the man who killed his pregnant wife and two young daughters a few days ago? It is very interesting to watch him give the video, and then know he confessed the next day.

Here is the unedited video:

Thank you!

Violet said...

Another interview with Chris Watts

Anonymous said...

Do we know if he was drunk or otherwise impaired?

"I climbed into the back seat." Did he try to do that with Mary Jo first?

Anonymous said...

bearing hard left
descended a hill
narrow bridge
roof resting on the bottom.

Was Kennedy being administered (or administering) some type of "pleasure" while driving?

Dave said...

That is a brilliant deduction, anon, based on...nothing!

New England Water Blog said...

Let us not forget that he infamously named his dog Splash. I've been over that bridge and driven that route. I was unfamiliar with it as are many visitors but only that driver managed to kill Mary Jo Kopechne on it. What a lowlife scumbag that driver was...

LuciaD said...

His lack of self awareness is also noted. He didn't even bother to feign any sorrow or devastation over her death!

Hey Jude said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

He never said anything about attempting a rescue. He said he was attempting to see if someone was still in the car...

Anonymous said...

There is a full discussion of this case in thr comments of the previous post, including Peter's comment.


John Mc Gowan said...

"The act of eating (mouth) in his language should cause for exploration of possible drug use by the “friends” and subject."


could you elaborate on this please, iv'e never seen this (The act of eating) crop up in SA before.


Stuart said...

John, I'm also curious

MsGvious said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bobcat said...

I am also curious about eating.

Might the mouth be in the subject's mind if the victim had been smothered or suffered other mouth injuries?

MsGvious said...

Hi Peter

Thanks for posting.

I second John mcgowan's request regarding statement analysis of mouth & eating.

(Transcript) Ted Kennedy's Address to the People of Massachusetts on Chappaquiddick:

(Full Video) Ted Kennedy's Address to the People of Massachusetts on Chappaquiddick:

John Mc Gowan said...

Chappaquiddick Cover Up: An Interview of Diver John Farrar

An interview of John Farrar, the first man to find the body of Mary Jo Kopechne by Mayor Sam Yorty on KGBS Radio in Los Angeles from 1972.

Very revealing

Unknown said...

For the first time ever I have taken the time to read up about what the case entailed. She took off with him but left her purse and hotel key at the party? I thought he was giving her a rid back to her place. She wasn't wearing underwear when she was found and blood on her shirt was inconsistent with the accident?

This sounds like there were 2 potential crime scenes.

LuciaD said...

Reading his statement is actually upsetting.So much is left out and so very cold. But I suppose he already had legal advice to give up
Very little information, and to admit no responsibility.

Weiner said...

It was Ted Kennedy, and you have to ask if he was drunk?

New England Water Blog said...

The questions about eating and drugs reminds me of a quote I heard that said something to the effect that most bad situations usually involve someone putting something in their mouth.

Unknown said...

What exactly was the reason Mary Jo's family was against exhuming the body and investigating this further? The payment from Ted Kennedy was so minimal, it strikes me as an insult. Were they such die-hard Kennedy supporters/Democrats that they were willing to let it go for a greater cause?

Unknown said...

Since her underwear was missing, her hotel keys and purse left in the house and she had blood on her shirt and face which didn't come from the accident at the lake, I cannot rule out the possibility that sexual and physical assault took place at the house and that she was dragged into the car against her will for the purpose of killing her and making it look like an accident.

Is there anything in his language which would support or go against such a possibility?

John Mc Gowan said...


Boyfriend Of Missing Phoenix Teen Kiera Bergman Refuses Polygraph Test: Exclusive
Jon-Christopher Clark said the so-called lie detector tests are not admissible in court and he didn’t want an "interpretation on my feelings."

The boyfriend of missing Arizona teenager Kiera Bergman said Friday that he has refused an offer by Phoenix police to take a polygraph test.

“I didn’t want to do anything that would give the indication I was hiding anything but also didn’t want anything on the record that would have them say I was doing anything or had any part in this,” Jon-Christopher Clark, 23, told HuffPost.

“I told them I would not like a lie detector test because, ‘One, they are not admissible in court, and two, whatever you guys gather from that is basically your interpretation on my feelings,’” Clark added. “So I didn’t want [investigators] to pretty much gather [their] conclusions off of something that is not guaranteed.”

But Clark said investigators didn’t give him a choice when they picked him up at a hotel on Monday morning and took him to the police station for questioning, “I just really felt like they were treating me like a suspect.”

Clark, who said he’s been dating Bergman since December, has consistently denied he had anything to do with her disappearance, and he has not been named as a suspect or person of interest by police. Contacted by HuffPost on Friday, Phoenix police would say only that the case remains “an active missing person investigation.”

While it’s not unusual for investigators to request a significant other to come in and speak with them during a missing person investigation, Clark claimed that he wasn’t given the opportunity before being “abruptly surrounded by 20 tactical officers” while checking out of a local hotel.

“They handcuffed me, put me in back of a car and, when we got to the interview room, [they] handcuffed me to a table the entire time,” Clark said.

Bergman, 19, vanished without a trace from her Phoenix apartment on Aug. 4. According to her roommate, Destiny Hall-Chand, the two had been working at a Glendale furniture retailer that morning. Bergman, Hall-Chand told police, became noticeably upset and left work early.

Clark said he picked Bergman up from work and took her back to the apartment, where he also lived. He claimed they got into an argument over finances. Bergman mistakenly thought Clark was leaving Phoenix, where the two had moved together from San Diego, for a job in Texas. The last contact Clark said he had with Bergman was when she walked out of the house around 1 p.m.

“When she left there was no immediate concern because we have had arguments in past where either me or her have left for an hour or a couple at a time to go clear our head,” he said. “I didn’t really find it unusual until she wasn’t in contact with me.”

Bergman was not at the apartment when Hall-Chand arrived after work. Hall-Chand, a former classmate of Bergman’s, told police she texted her roommate several times. Bergman eventually responded, saying she was going to go out with a man she’d recently met.

Bergman’s father, Chris Bragg, said he and his wife did not discover she was missing until Aug. 6, when they received a phone call from Hall-Chand.

“Around noon she called my wife and told her what was going on and asked if they should report Kiera missing, and my wife said, ‘Absolutely,’” Bragg said in a Friday interview with HuffPost.


John Mc Gowan said...


Clark said he did not learn of the text message his girlfriend allegedly sent to Hall-Chand until they were on the phone with police.

“I didn’t know anything about that,” he said, saying Hall-Chand had denied speaking with Bergman. Clark said Hall-Chand’s boyfriend has “cut off all communication” between them.

Bragg said he was told Hall-Chand and Clark called police together, but Clark left before the police showed up, “which was odd,” he said. Clark acknowledged he left before police arrived, saying he was “staying with a friend” at the time and was unable to connect with investigators until they picked him up Monday.

“They served a search warrant on my phone, car, the place I was staying at and talked to all my friends and family,” he said. “DNA was one of the stipulations of the court order, so they took my DNA ― did swabs, all kinds of fingerprints, my wrists, hands, everything ― and took numerous pictures of me and my tattoos.”

Clark said he fully cooperated with police, except for agreeing to take a so-called lie detector test, and he did not request an attorney.

Clark and Bragg both told HuffPost they did not get along, even before Bergman’s disappearance, which heightened tensions. Bragg said Clark sent him a Facebook message on Tuesday in which the boyfriend threatened to “kick my teeth in.” Clark admitted sending the message to Bragg and provided HuffPost with screenshots of the conversation.

Bragg said Hall-Chand had not been in communication with his family since last Saturday, when she let them inside the apartment she shared with their daughter and Clark. HuffPost was unable to contact Hall-Chand.

During the tour of his daughter’s apartment last week, Bragg said, his daughter’s bedroom was the only room in the home where it was apparent crime scene technicians had removed items.

“The bedding was stripped off the bed ― taken as evidence ― but aside from that, it looked like a college kids’ apartment,” he said. “It didn’t have a whole lot of furniture and wasn’t really nice.”

Bragg also alleged that authorities told him investigators had found some of his daughter’s personal belongings in an unusual place.

“Her ID for work, her purse with her wallet, ID and credit cards, was found thrown in the back of her closet,” he said. “That is strange. What woman throws her purse in the back of her closet?”

Authorities on Friday would not confirm or deny that Bergman’s personal items were found in a closet.

Bragg described his daughter’s disappearance as “devastating” and said he hopes guilt will eventually provoke someone to come forward.

“We just want her back,” he said. “Please, just call the police. A piece of our heart is missing, and without it we don’t feel whole. It’s heartbreaking. Please, somebody, say something.”

The family has started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for travel and search expenses. As of Friday, the campaign had raised more than $15,000. Friends and family members are also posting updates on Facebook. They are encouraging everyone to share Bergman’s story using the tag #bringkierahome.

Kiera Bergman is a black woman, 5 feet, 3 inches, and 145 pounds. Anyone with any information is asked to call the Phoenix Police Department’s Missing Persons Unit at (602) 534-2121.

sonjay said...

Mike Dammann asked, "What exactly was the reason Mary Jo's family was against exhuming the body and investigating this further? The payment from Ted Kennedy was so minimal, it strikes me as an insult."

My theory on that (and it's just a theory) is two-fold:

#1, the money would have been the equivalent of nearly a million in today's dollars. Remember, this happened 50 years ago. That was a LOT of money back then.

And #2, they were devout Catholics. I believe that they either knew or suspected that Mary Jo had been having an affair with Kennedy, and that she may possibly have been pregnant. An affair has never been proven to my knowledge, but rumors of an affair were rife at the time. There's a good chance they preferred to let their good Catholic daughter stay buried without having her reputation destroyed, rather than allow an exhumation and second autopsy and possibly see not only proof that she had been having an affair and was pregnant but also to see that information headlined around the world.

The thought of such public shaming of their daughter, and by extension themselves, may have simply been too much for them to contemplate.

That's my theory, anyway. I have no evidence it's correct. But I think it's plausible, and even understandable from their perspective.

M said...

Very thoughtful possible explanation, sonjay, I think it is a plausible one too.

Also, her family would have been going against the powerful Kennedy clan.

Derek Durante said...

handwritten statement made by Ted Kennedy

It’s worth noting that Kennedy dictated the statement to aide Paul Markham, who wrote it out. Markham had previously served as US Atty from Massachusetts.

ima.grandma said...

Add me as another supporter for John’s request re: mouth/eating and possible drug abuse. It’s a new indicator for me to read.

Nic said...

The car turned over and sank into the water and landed with the roof resting on the bottom. I attempted to open the door and the window of the car but have no recollection of how I got out of the car.

I noted the dropped pronoun. I thought why can't he remember "how" he got out of the car? Why was "getting out of the car" sensitive? What did he have to do for he, himself, to get out of the car that he cannot "recall" doing?

M said...


The Vatican statement

says they "showed no care for the little ones"....

ripe for SA

The reported pervasive systematic horrific abuse was (is) much worse than showing no care, this is minimizing language

and they were (are) children, not "little ones".

From this, I'd be concerned that abuse is still taking place.

rjb said...

M -- "Little ones" could also be a scriptural reference. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all contain Christ's admonition that it is better to have a millstone tied around one's neck and be drowned in the ocean than to cause one of "these little ones" who believes to stumble.

Anonymous said...

in your "Analysis Conclusion", you refer to Mary Jo as "a victim" or "the victim" 10 times. At three other times, you refer to Mary Jo as "his victim". The use of "his victim" seems to draw a definite conclusion while using "the victim" leaves room for other causes. Why the difference?

Anonymous said...


Soaked to the skin from diving into the water, Mr. Kennedy walked back to town? In squishy shoes? Got into someone's car? Then walked around some more? Dripping wet from head to foot?

Sounds like maybe he wasn't even in the car at all -- just saying what someone else told him to say.

Or maybe he was also an inebriated, zonked out passenger in the car and someone else drove -- pulled him out before the car went into the water.

Was he set-up to take a fall?

Was he tasked with covering up someone else's crime? (Mary Jo was merely used 'trash' that someone had to get rid of??? The words sure don't personalize or humanize her in any way.)

He sure seemed confident he would face no legal consequences.

His statement sure makes me wonder about the possibility of involvement by others or of people in the background pulling Mr. Kennedy's strings.

Anonymous said...

M wrote

The Vatican statement

says they "showed no care for the little ones"....

ripe for SA

The reported pervasive systematic horrific abuse was (is) much worse than showing no care, this is minimizing language

This phenomenon of the church hierarchy operating as a pedophile ring is a glimpse of what hell looks like. Sinister, systematic evil. Even marking the victims by giving them a cross to wear, so that other pedo priests would see them as easy prey. And somehow, it all went undetected! Thousands of children raped and blamed for being raped or disbelieved, or both. Who would ever believe back then that a priest would molest a child? It must just be the evil crazy child telling stories. Who can believe people would treat those children that way and not believe them and not protect them???

I can believe it. I am an adult who tells the truth about an evil man raping me when I was 4 yrs old and the brave man who saved me. I am disbelieved, mocked and I know people think I am crazy, yet I am telling the truth.

Those who look good are sometimes evil, and those "crucified" (executed) for being allegedly evil are sometimes good and INNOCENT. No matter what it looks like on the surface. Evil can make things appear on the surface VERY different from what things actually are. And sometimes what people have lived through sounds so unbelievable it will never be believed. If all those priests operated in secrecy, undetected, and all the children were not believed or told they were crazy to say such things about a priest, I know how those children feel.

What I lived through will never be believed. Yet it is true.

Evil is very clever in how it operates, and in its ability to scapegoat and cause disbelief. That much I know.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

This is a fair criticism.

My bias entered due to the repeated analysis. Having brought several teams through it, by the time I posted it, the conclusion leaked through.

I compliment your attention to detail. In an official report, this would be red flagged. It only belongs in the conclusion


Unknown said...

"That's my theory, anyway. I have no evidence it's correct. But I think it's plausible, and even understandable from their perspective."

I can see that in a case where they believe her death was an accident. But what if they actually had reason to suspect murder?

Kittens and Sunshine said...

No, he was not. A documentary done after showed what I believe conclusibelc that he wasn't aware of the accident until the morning. This explanation also makes his statement make sense. I wish everyone could watch it. YouTube, btw.