The Kennedy Curse in Pictures -- It's Hard to Deny It's Real Now (PHOTOS)

Mary Kennedy Robert F Kennedy Jr.There's no question the death of Mary Richardson Kennedy is tragic. The estranged wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was just 52 years old, and she left behind young children with her apparent suicide. But all this talk of the Kennedy curse tends to make me a little uncomfortable.

Are we talking about a loss of life because we're saddened by tragedy? Or are people so hellbent on proving some sort of superstitious hocus pocus that they'll grasp at any straw? Is there really a Kennedy curse?

I wasn't convinced. So I went poking through the history of the Kennedy clan.

More from The Stir: Mary Richardson Kennedy's Suicide Makes a Legacy of Loss Even More Tragic (VIDEO)

And I hate to say it, but there might be something to this whole "curse" thing after all. Young deaths. Criminal scandals. Folks with tangential relations getting caught up in painful incidents?

It's all there in black and white and sometimes color photographs. Mary Kennedy's death is yet another sad story in a list of sad stories.

Take a look and be honest, do you think the Kennedys are cursed?


Image via Getty Images

  • President John F. Kennedy's Assassination

    1

    President John F. Kennedy Jr. was just 46 years old on the fateful Friday, November 22, 1963, when Lee Harvey Oswald shot him in Dallas, Texas. The assassination left a nation without its 35th president. But it also left the Kennedy family without a brother, a husband, a father.

  • Joseph P. Kennedy Jr.

    2

    Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. was the elder brother of President JFK, the oldest child of Joseph and Rose Kennedy. But his life was cut short at just 29 years old when the bomber he was flying as pilot for the US Navy blew up over the English Channel.

    The family would lose another child in their 20s years later: Kathleen Kennedy was the second daughter of Rose and Joseph Kennedy, the sister of the president. But hers was a short and traumatic life too. Married to William “Billy” Cavendish, the Marquess of Hartington, a member of the British Army, she became a widow shortly after her wedding when he died in combat. Four years later, the Kennedy sister known as "Kick" was dead too, at age 28, in a plane crash.

  • William Kennedy Smith Rape Charge

    3

    William Kennedy Smith, son of the president's sister Jean Kennedy Smith and husband Stephen, faced scandal in the early 1990s when he was charged with rape. The charge, of which he was acquitted, related to an incident in a bar in Florida in 1991. Smith had been at the establishment with his uncle, Senator Ted Kennedy, and cousin Patrick Kennedy at the time.

  • Robert F. Kennedy Assassination

    4

    Robert F. Kennedy followed his brother the president to Washington to take on the job of attorney general. And after the president was assassinated, RFK ran for Senate, then attempted to take his place in the White House. But it wasn't to be. During his campaign he too was assassinated. A man named Sirhan Sirhan shot RFK in Los Angeles on June 6, 1968. Bobby was just 42.

    That was far from the end of tragedy for his part of the family. David Kennedy, Bobby and Ethel's son, would later die at 28 in Palm Beach, Florida of a drug overdose. His brother Michael would follow in 1997. The 39-year-old crashed into a tree during a skiing accident.

  • Ted Kennedy

    5

    Although he would go on to become the liberal lion of the United States Senate, the president's youngest brother Edward Kennedy had his own tangles over the years.

    Critically injured in plane crash June 19, 1964, Teddy recovered and returned to life in the Senate, where he'd been elected to fill brother John's seat. But then came the fateful night that would ruin his chance at the presidency. In July 1969, Teddy was involved in a car crash on Chappaquiddick in Massachusetts. His passenger, campaign aide Mary Jo Kopechne, drowned, and he pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of the accident involving personal injury with a two-month suspended sentence and one-year probation.

  • Death of John F. Kennedy Jr. & Carolyn Bessette Kennedy

    6

    He was the little boy who brought a nation to tears as he saluted his daddy's casket, and John F. Kennedy Jr. was just 38 years old when the plane he was piloting went down in the Atlantic Ocean on its way to Martha's Vineyard for a Kennedy family wedding in 1999. The crash also claimed the lives of Kennedy's wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and sister-in-law Lauren Bessette.

     

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