JFK JR.: The life and death of America's reluctant prince


spaminator
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JFK JR.: The life and death of America's reluctant prince
Brad Hunter
Published:
July 13, 2019
Updated:
July 13, 2019 12:19 PM EDT
John F.Kennedy Jr. salutes his father goodbye in 1963. He too lost his life tragically young,20 years ago this week. GETTY IMAGES
He was the sad little boy in the smart blue coat, red shoes and the iconic, heartbreaking salute.
He was a true American prince and the world watched him grow into a devastatingly handsome, charming young man.
And in an instant, it was over in a backwash of tears — and questions.
Many expected JFK Jr.to follow in the footsteps of his beloved father. GETTY IMAGES
It’s been 20 years since John F. Kennedy Jr. was killed, along with his wife and her sister in a horrific plane crash in the murky skies off the shores of Martha’s Vineyard.
JFK Jr.’s tragic death was another chapter in the sad, long cursed history of the fabled Boston clan who sacrificed its sons to serving America.
His father, U.S. President John F. Kennedy and his uncle, Robert F. Kennedy, were both mowed down by assassin’s bullets.
Another uncle was killed in the war.
JFK Jr. and his bride of three years Carolyn Bessette in 1999 just months before they were both killed in a tragic plane crash. GETTY IMAGES
The New York tabloids had been printing whispers from friends and insiders that JFK Jr.’s three-year-old marriage to publicist Carolyn Bessette was unravelling.
Both Kennedy — who reluctantly lived in the limelight his whole life — and his slender 33-year-old bride felt trapped by their fame.
Pals said he was known to unwind with an occasional joint and his daily ritual of a single cigarette at night.
On the other hand, Bessette was dealing with a darker drug.
“Carolyn had become more and more dependent on cocaine,” Kennedy insider Steven M. Gillon told Extra, adding that the young woman felt “hunted” and trapped.”
But neither was ready to throw in the towel on the marriage.
Kennedy had struggled to find himself since he was a child.
Whatever he did was in the public eye.
His mother, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, battled similar anxieties.
After a privileged private education that concluded at posh Phillips Academy Andover, he went to Brown and later graduated from New York University’s law school.
But he failed his bar exams twice, sparking the classic New York Post headline HUNK FLUNKS.
He eventually passed and was hired as an assistant district attorney in Manhattan.
In 1995, with a pal, he launched political magazine George. And he met Bessette.
Carolyn Bessette struggled to adjust to life in the limelight. GETTY IMAGES
Poor Bessette, unused to the paparazzi and being in the public eye bristled at her new life and quickly earned a reputation as an Ice Princess who had stolen America’s favourite son.
“She had this amazing sense of humour, really sharp and funny,” one friend told Town and Country magazine.
“All the things you don’t see in a picture.”
By the summer of 1999, the pair were feeling the pressures of work and the monumental decision on whether to start a family.
It was reported that the couple had been unfaithful.
Maybe they would decamp from the Big Apple and start a family?
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Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts has long been the playground of northeastern elite, including a number of presidents, titans of industry and the showbiz icons.
It also doubled as a summer camp for the Kennedys for nearly a century.
When JFK Jr.’s cousin Rory Kennedy planned her wedding for July 17, 1999, the whole clan was expected to be there.
JFK Jr. had a privileged upbringing but was beloved for being down to earth. GETTY IMAGESThe political scion had been obsessed with planes and flying since he was a boy, recalling to pals the excitement of seeing his father get out of a helicopter on the White House lawn.
After Jackie died in 1994, JFK Jr. pursued his passion with a vengeance, receiving his pilot’s license in April 1998.
“He literally wanted an escape from being on the ground, where the pressures on him were so immense,” friend Gary Ginsburg told Vanity Fair.
“It was a psychological escape for him.”
On the weekend of the wedding, the 38-year-old made the fatal decision to fly solo to the Vineyard where he would drop off his wife’s sister, Lauren, before continuing on to Hyannis Port.
Two tragic Kennedys. GETTY IMAGES
Things between the couple were rocky, punctuated by frequent meltdowns and reportedly escalating drug use on Bessette’s part.
On July 14, JFK Jr., Bessette and her sister met for lunch and tried to clear the air.
It was Lauren who wanted John to fly to Massachusetts that weekend.
Carolyn Bessette was reluctant and her heart wasn’t into putting on a facade that all was well in the marriage.
According to Vanity Fair, that night he told a pal: “I want to have kids but whenever I raise the subject with Carolyn, she turns away and refuses to have sex with me. It’s not just sex, it’s become impossible to talk to her about anything.”
He told co-workers that he would be flying with an instructor. He lied and refused assistance that night.
The plan had been to take off between 5:30 and 6 p.m. making navigation easier in daylight. Traffic and a tardy Carolyn Bessette altered that.
The Piper Saratoga took off from New Jersey’s Essex County Airport at 8:39 p.m. on July 16, 1999.
Over Long Island Sound, there was a thick haze and visibility was limited, it was hot, humid and dark.
More experienced fliers had begged off taking to the skies that evening.
In the final desperate 20 minutes southeast of Martha’s Vineyard, the scion was having a tough time finding his bearings and his plane was rapidly descending.
And then silence.
Investigators concluded Kennedy fell victim to “spatial disorientation”.
The small plane had gone nose-first into the water.
All three were dead on impact.
The story of John F. Kennedy had ended as it had begun: with a nation weeping for its lost promise.
http://torontosun.com/news/world/jfk...luctant-prince
 
spaminator
#2
The Last Days of JFK Jr.
01:20:44 | 01/03/19 | NR | CC
A picture of John F. Kennedy Jr. you've never seen before - new interviews, rare video, intimate new details.
http://abc.go.com/movies-and-special...days-of-jfk-jr