8 Odd Details About The Deaths Of JFK Jr. And Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy

Why there are so many questions about JFK Jr.'s death.

JFK Jr. and Carolyn. mark reinstein / Shutterstock

The deaths of John F Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy have raised quite a few questions, even to this day.

The couple died tragically (along with Carolyn's sister Lauren) in a plane crash on July 16, 1999. JFK Jr. was piloting the single-engine plane that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean near Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

The circumstances surrounding the flight were questionable as JFK Jr. had only 300 hours of flying experience when he took off from the Essex County airport in New Jersey on that cloudy, moonless night.


One of his flight instructors offered to accompany him, but Kennedy turned the offer down saying he “wanted to do it alone.”

Unfortunately, that mistake caused him, his wife and sister-in-law their lives. 

To this day, some still believe various theories that argue he could still be alive, mostly based on the mysterious circumstances surrounding the plane crash and what happened after. 

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Here are 8 odd details about the deaths of JFK Jr. and his wife, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy: 

1JFK Jr.'s autopsy is full of holes.

JFK Jr and Carolyn Bessette-kennedy Kichigin / Shutterstock

The coroner’s report for JFK Jr.’s autopsy has quite a few omissions that could explain the story of his death. The autopsy is very confusing, even to the investigating team. 

Jeff Guzzetti, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board was part of the team investigating the circumstances around the plane crash, and he said on Episode 12 of the “Fatal Voyage: The Death of JFK Jr.” podcast, “their work was meticulous — and exhaustive,” which was the opposite of the report completed by medical examiners at the time.

The coroner’s report is very simple, a mere one-page autopsy report suggesting an actual proper procedural autopsy was never completed.

The simple coroner's report also confirmed JFK Jr. was dead, but added nothing more. Colin McLaren, the host of the podcast is also an ex-homicide detective and mentioned that it sounds like a flimsy excuse and rush job for a coroner’s report because "that’s because it was."

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2The Kennedy Family wasn't concerned with the questionable investigation.

JFK Jr. and Carolyn Kennedy family Rob Crandall / Shutterstock

The Kennedy family allegedly accepted the report and didn't dive in deeper to have a more clear answer as to what happened in the crash and the condition of their bodies.

Many suggest this may be due to what is known as the Kennedy curse.

There is a long list of Kennedys that have either been severely injured or died prematurely. The so-called curse started in 1948 with Rosemary Kennedy's secret lobotomy all the way through to 2019 with Saoirse Roisin Kennedy Hill's overdose.

Over the years, 11 young or middle-aged Kennedys have died or experienced tragic accidents.

In JFK Jr.'s case, the tragic accident that led to his death was very sudden, as was the time between their deaths and the funeral.

The bodies of JFK Jr., Carolyn, and Lauren were recovered just five days after the crash, examined in one afternoon, and then cremated the same day on July 21, 1999. The coroner did report that all three victims "died instantly" and died from "multiple traumatic injuries".

The process was so sudden that by the day after the bodies were found, their ashes were scattered at sea.

Why would the family do that so quick and not question enough or ask for a more detailed autopsy?

Forensic examiner Cyril Wecht even recalled that the family requested that autopsies not be done in the first place. Maybe it's because they didn't want any information about JFK Jr. that the public didn't know of getting out and potentially corrupting the family, such as the depression, drugs, and violence problems the married couple allegedly faced.

RELATED: Lisa Bessette Lost Her Twin, Younger Sister And Brother-In-Law In Crash That Killed JFK Jr. 20 Years Ago — Where Is She Today?


3There was crucial information missing in the toxicology report.

JFK Jr. and Carolyn toxicology report Sharaf Maksumov / Shutterstock

The toxicology report of JFK Jr. and his wife was missing quite a bit of information. The bodies of the couple were at the bottom of the ocean for four days after the crash.

The toxicologist report stated that JFK Jr. did not have drugs, alcohol or even prescription medication in his system, despite a recent foot injury. 

Ex-homicide detective Colin McLaren explains the samples that were pulled to run the toxicology report were subsequently spoiled, and JFK Jr.’s body was cremated quickly, indicating the truth could have been intentionally hidden.

RELATED: Inside JFK’s Intimate Relationship With Gay Best Friend Who Had His Own Room In The White House


4The weather was good, despite conflicting reports.

JFK Jr. and Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy pilot Maksim Denisenko / Shutterstock

It is uncertain how JFK Jr. could be allowed to fly the Piper Saratoga II alone as he had only been practicing on it for 11 weeks. Like the Piper Malibu, it is a single-engine, retractable-gear, high-performance airplane. He was still getting used to it and, so far, all flights had been with an instructor and he only had 300 hours of flying experience.

He also allegedly took off from the Essex County airport in New Jersey to Martha's Vineyard for his cousin's wedding on a cloudy moonless night, however, according to UsWeekly's interview with John Hankey, writer, and director of the Kennedy documentary "Dark Legacy," there were no clouds.

In a public report from a man who studied the air conditions that fateful evening, there was allegedly no rain or fog. "It was fine. And in fact, people on the ground confirm this … So we can rule out any bad weather. There were no conditions that could have caused disorientation.”

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5The National Traffic Safety Board found lots of issues involving the legality of JFK Jr. flying the plane.

JFK Jr. and Carolyn plane papi8888 / Shutterstock

According to the official accident report issued by the Nation Traffic Safety Board, there were a lot of rules and steps that JFK Jr. bypassed. Despite his high celebrity and political status, it is concerning he was able to fly a plane in the first place. 

Some evidence that the NTSB brought up in the case after his death was that there was no record that existed of JFK Jr. being a pilot, no record of a pilot using the airplane’s registration number, and no evidence of JFK Jr. receiving a weather briefing or filing a flight plan with any FAA FSS (Flight Service Station) for the flight in which he died in.

There also was no radio transmission during the flight as the last time he had contact with anyone on the ground was when the Saratoga tower cleared him for takeoff at 8:38 p.m.

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6Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy had a premonition two weeks before the crash.

JFK Jr. and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy John Mathew Smith, CC BY 2.0 / Wikimedia Commons

Two weeks before the accident, Bessette-Kennedy allegedly pulled aside their longtime friend and pilot, Barry Stott, on the airport tarmac and said, “I’m secretly terrified of flying with John because he’s so easily distracted.”

She then expressed her concern about her husband's recklessness saying, “he doesn’t seem to take it seriously enough.”

Bessette-Kennedy trusted Scott as he ran an air charter service based at Martha’s Vineyard airport and piloted many flights with JFK Jr. while others were on board.

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7Some alleged witnesses say they saw the plane explode in the sky.

JFK Jr. and Carolyn bomb Fer Gregory / Shutterstock

A theory claims that there was an explosive expert that was paid to plant a bomb on the plane that was set to go off as the plane descended to Martha's Vineyard, and that there was an "unusual broad debris field" as well.

According to author John Koerner, he found witnesses who can attest to seeing an explosion in the sky where the plane would have been at the time.

But why would anyone want to assassinate JFK Jr.? Well, at the time, JFK Jr. was reportedly “obsessed” with finding out who killed his father, John F. Kennedy.

According to reporter Leon Wagner, JFK Jr. was set to use his own money to reopen the investigation of his father's assassination, but after his own death, that never came to fruition.

RELATED: 11 Things You Didn't Know About JFK's Love Life


8The Pentagon took over reporting after news broke of JFK Jr.'s death.

JFK Jr. and Carolyn pentagon Ivan Cholakov / Shutterstock

The same day that bodies were found and the news of the crash was reported, the Pentagon took over the reporting. 

According to Hankey in his interview with UsWeekly, that's a screaming sign: “They’re the military taking over the reporting, and in their taking over the reporting, they announced that there was no flight instructor on the plane. Well, they had no way of knowing so soon.”

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Megan Hatch is a writer at YourTango who covers news & entertainment, love & relationships, and internet culture. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.