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Publisher's Summary

And on its surface, the Chappaquiddick Incident (as it has infamously become known) was a simple but tragic traffic accident. However, its political fallout caused it to become the most speculated-upon car accident until Princess Diana's fatal ride, some 28 years later: Was Kennedy drunk? Was he trying to conceal an affair by deliberately killing Kopechne? Why did he wait for so long before reporting the accident? And who else was involved?

Olsen tells the tale with as much detail as was made available to him. Though there is apparently only a single living eye-witness to the accident (Kennedy himself, who described having the "sensation of drowning" on live television a week later), Olsen tracks down the incongruous statements made by others who were indirectly involved and comes to a potential conclusion which would be difficult to refute. There is no legal evidence of this conclusion, of course, but his alternate explanation of events turns much of the circumstantial evidence into a logic-of-sorts. And his presentation thereof causes one to reflect seriously on the nature of the official record of events as told through Kennedy's lips.

©2014 Jack Olsen (P)2015 Gregg Olsen

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Ray
  • West Deptford, NJ, United States
  • 08-14-15

BRIDGE TO POSSIBLE UNDERSTANDING

I found this book to be much more engaging than did some reviewers. I had lived during the Chappaquiddick bridge incident. As I listened to Jack Olsen's account, I learned new details and was reminded of facts I had forgotten. I found the narrative engaging and easy to understand. I feel that the book is well balanced and well researched. I especially liked the conjecture (at the end) of the author as to the truth of what had happened. His speculation makes great sense, however since the death of Ted Kennedy, it is unlikely to be acknowledged, even if true.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Interesting Take on an Old Mystery

Jack Olsen examines the circumstances surrounding the incident that undoubtedly ended Ted Kennedy's run for the White House just as he was putting on his track shoes.
Olsen provides thoughtful, reasonable speculation on the events that led to the drowning death of Mary Jo Kopechne, suggesting an explanation that is far less salacious than any of the wild theories that abounded at the time.
The narrator's frequent mispronunciation of ordinary words such as "similar", (not "simular") is a sizeable distraction. And leave the accent to the natives.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Carol
  • Belle river, ON, Canada
  • 01-06-17

Not a true crime book

This book, though a crime that went unpunished isn't written or told as a crime book. you'll learn quite a bit about Martha Vineyard you'll learn about the Kennedy boys and how they love to party and how people felt about them but very little is told about the True Crime very disappointed in this book I shall return it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Ignore the negative reviews....

of "Bor-ing!" and that the book is largely speculation. It certainly is NOT boring. It is just that many readers now need a mutilated female corpse doused in body fluids to be entertained by true crime. You won't get that with Olsen. What you will get is thoughtful investigation and insight. And as to speculation: what else can one do in this case? But there is empty speculation, and there is speculation that might led to a break in a case. Olsen's is the latter sort. Give this book a chance, and disengage your need for gore, and you will discover a new take on an old murder.

10 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Narration Kills It For Me

I'm halfway through this book and while I LOVE Jack Olsen's work (I've listened to many of his previous books) this narrator makes it tough to like this one. His narration is choppy so much that I can tell when he paused mid sentence and came back later due to the quality and his tone of voice. It's hard to describe but once he did it with a word. For instance take the words "coffee cup". When this narrator says it it would sound like, "coffee (pause) CUP!"

Another time he raised the inflection of his voice for a word like he wasn't finished speaking but it was the last word in the sentence. That threw me off for a second. Kind of like he read the sentence and thought there was another word after it but had to edit it out at that second word so the first one sounded like it wasn't the final word.

The narrator does have a sing-song way of reading that is appropriate for some areas of this book but confusing in other areas. The narrator isn't the worst I've listened to but he's far from the best. I wish they would've paid Kevin Pierce to narrate this one, he's done many of Jack's books and he's by far the BEST narrator on earth.

The content of the book seems rather dry but I can't tell if it's because I keep zoning out with this guy's narration or if the writing (Sorry Jack Olsen's estate!) is lacking - which would be a first with my experience with Jack Olsen stories.

Overall, I'm slowly making my way through this book. I'm already familiar with the basic details of this case but I'm determined to listen all the way through. Wish me luck!

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  • Sharon
  • United States
  • 04-22-16

meh...

Finished the book simply because I had nothing better to do. Story and narrator leave something to be desired.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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BOR-ING!

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Maybe, MAYBE someone who has never learned anything about the Kennedys, and who is extremely easy to entertain. I mean extremely easy. But it is not a sure thing that there is such a reader/listener.

Would you ever listen to anything by Jack Olsen again?

Jack Olsen is right at the top of my fave authors. BUT....

Would you be willing to try another one of Kevin Sidenstricker’s performances?

The narrator is OK. I've heard better, I've heard worse. Rather boringly read... sing-song. But in his defense, sing-song is the flavor of what he is reading.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Major disappointment.

Any additional comments?

I am only 3 hours into this audiobook, and I am having major difficulty sticking with it. I have already given it up twice, due to terminal boredom, but then went back to it thinking maybe I haven't given it a fair trial yet. I am still in that stage.<br/><br/>But this is the absolute BORINGEST writing I have encountered yet, as far as Kennedy doings are concerned! There is always something fascinating about the lives and doings of any of Teddy's generation of Kennedys, but this book either hasn't happened on anything or else, and I think this is more likely the case, the book is written in such a bland, saccharine manner that anything remotely interesting has been sanitized and bleached out so much that the reader is left with a bunch of fluff that is next to impossible to stick with.<br/><br/>Let's face it - we all have learned so much about the various members of this family - maybe we already know too much to digest this cotton candy, which I believe is one of the earlier books on the Kennedys. Maybe at the time Olsen wrote this book, we were still in the stage of just not dealing with celebrities in their full humanity. You had to be polite and not expose bad things. Just guessing what would be the reason for writing such a deadly quiet book about such fascinating people. For example, the well known skirt chasing carried on by the Kennedy brothers is touched on in this book in the cutest, lightest, non-judgmental manner imaginable, as if this penchant is just some harmless personality tendency. Not necessarily related to adultery, lying, etc., - the REAL seamy side of such things. It doesn't come out and say that anything untoward ever happened. Just "flirtation", etc. That was a major tipoff to me that maybe this book never was going to get interesting - never going to delve any deeper into the whole bridge incident, either. <br/><br/>But mind you, I am NOT looking for scandalous stuff, not at all. All that has been thoroughly aired elsewhere by now. I am just looking for indications that this writing is based on the well researched facts of reality that characterizes Olsen's many excellent true crime books. It has certainly been a rude awakening that this book is so opposite to that.<br/><br/>Actually, my disappointment is really my fault for not thoroughly reading the reviews before buying it. If I had given proper attention to the ultimate finding of the book that probably, Teddy wasn't even in the car that fell off the bridge at all, I probably would have suspected that the whole book was going to be just this pretty, watercolor portrait (with very dilute colors) and that would be all I was going to get. But again, there is ALWAYS something fascinating to be learned about this amazing family, and most of us of a certain age probably harbor remnants of a curiosity about what actually did happen during this incident....so I took the plunge.<br/><br/>So, I am SLOGGING through these horribly hollow, bland, non-informative chapters, but I cannot be sure I will ever reach the end of the book. I am already shopping for something that might hold interest better. I won't return this because I think it is my own fault for falling for the title and not giving due diligence before getting this book.Sorry for taking so many words to say what maybe I should have left expressed in one word - BORING!. I am not known for an economy of words. I'm working on that...

4 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark Lynch
  • 10-26-17

Interesting theory on the Chappaquiddick incident

This is an enjoyable book that puts forward an interesting and plausible theory on what really happened the night of Ted Kennedy's fatal Chappaquiddick car accident. That said its very generous towards the Senator and the very inept Police investigation that followed. Because of this lack of a proper investigation (not even a post mortem on the poor victim) the truth of what really happened that night will forever be unknown. The tiny local one man and his dog police department never really stood a chance once the Democratic party political machine in Massachusetts got into full swing and full cover up mode. Did the Senator in a panicked attempt to avoid a political sexual scandal inadvertently put himself behind the wheel of a car involved in a fatal accident? The author offers an interesting theory but omits much of the really negative background noise. Although Ted Kennedy's court trial is covered the inquest hearing is omitted. All said this was still an enjoyable book.