When a mother of four children goes out and hangs herself in the barn, you can be fairly sure that she is trying to make a statement.
Men tend to use more violent and more definitive ways to commit suicide: guns, asphyxiation, and hanging. Women tend to use pills or other methods of self-poisoning. When women try to commit suicide they often leave open the possibility that they will be rescued. Link here.
In the manner she chose to die, Mary Richardson was trying to say something. Now we are left to ask whether anyone will hear it.
Understand her situation: a woman who is about to lose everything… her home, her children, her sanity and her dignity… has nothing left to lose.
Attacked and harassed by her estranged husband through the court system, she sees no way out. Since she is being sued for non-payment of debts, it is reasonable to assume that her husband has refused to pay her bills. Now she suffers the indignity of seeing her estranged husband out in public with his new girlfriend and her children. In addition, her husband is suing for sole custody of her children. She is trying to fight him in a courtroom where he, seemingly, has all the power.
She has nothing left to lose.
If she wants to makes statement with her death, they clearly the statement is about her husband. The manner of her death is one thing he cannot control. With her dying breath she wants to curse him.
She does not want to be rescued at the last minute and then institutionalized under her husband’s control.
But who is going to hear her?
She could not get a fair hearing in court. Can she get a fair hearing in the media? When the object of your curse is a Kennedy you must realize that the Kennedy family is the best in the world at crisis management.
It has certainly had a lot of practice.
Watch the scene unfold. The press is being filled with accounts showing Robert Kennedy, Jr., as the grieving widower, a man who had tried valiantly to save his wife, but who lost out to her depression.
Now the man who wanted to take away her children wants to welcome her back into the capacious bosom of the Kennedy family. He will allow her to be buried at the Kennedy compound in Hyannisport.
Hearing this, Mary Richardson Kennedy’s siblings were horrified. They went to court yesterday, in a gruesome battle for their sister’s corpse.
The NewYork Post reported:
A bitter family feud between Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and his dead wife’s family exploded yesterday with Mary’s siblings going to court to block her estranged husband from claiming her body just hours before her scheduled wake.
Sources said the siblings were outraged that Kennedy planned on having the troubled architect — who killed herself on Wednesday — buried in Hyannisport, Mass., the heart of Kennedy Country.
Mary’s family, the Richardsons, hired her divorce lawyer, Patricia Hennessey, to try to convince a judge to let them take control of her body, citing the couple’s years-long separation and hotly contested divorce case, sources said.
Her brother took the matter to court:
Richardson’s lawyer brother, Thomas Richardson, had quietly filed the emergency petition on Thursday to get possession of his sister’s body.
The family was upset about how she’d been treated by Kennedy, both during their 16-year marriage and their divorce proceedings.
Mary, who had battled depression and alcohol abuse, had suspected him of cheating on her during their marriage.
And despite his having filed for divorce two years ago, she’d been mortified to see pictures of him stepping out publicly with “Curb Your Enthusiasm” actress Cheryl Hines.
Their divorce case had also gotten nastier in recent months — he’d slapped her with several restraining orders and had her found in contempt of court and had reportedly wrested custody of their four children away from her.
An anonymous friend of Mary Richardson Kennedy declared that she had been “tortured” by Robert Kennedy:
“She has known the Kennedy family for 30 years, yet even she could not believe the lies he said against her in court to take away the children,” said a friend who asked not be identified. “It was so cruel.”
She described Mary as having been “psychologically tortured.”
As you might have guess, in court yesterday Robert Kennedy won. The case has been sealed, but the Post reported on the outcome:
After a daylong closed-door hearing in Westchester Supreme Court attended by Kennedy, two of his teenaged children and Richardson’s sisters and brother, a judge awarded the house and custody of the body to Kennedy.
“Bobby won the rights to the house, to Mary’s body, to have the wake in the house, and to bury Mary in Hyannisport,” a source said of the sealed proceeding.
I suspect that the story is not over yet.