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JFK Jr Drinking at Time of Crash

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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LONG GONE John F. Kennedy Jr. Followers of the Kennedy family saga will be interested to learn of a revelation uncovered by Pulitzer Prize nominee C. David Heymann in his new book American Legacy: The Story of John and Caroline Kennedy (on stands tomorrow). According to the book, JFK Jr. was drunk the night of the fatal plane crash that killed him, his wife Carolyn, and her sister Lauren Bessette just off Hyannis Port in 1999.

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Businessman Roy Stoppard apparently bumped into Kennedy at Jack's Friendly Service Station just before the doomed flight and tells Heymann that one of Kennedy's bags "contained what looked like a bottle of white wine.... On close examination I could see that the bottle had been opened, because the seal was broken and the cork had been jammed back into place."

Heymann also gets toxicologist James C. Gariott, M.D., on record as saying an analysis of Kennedy's remains suggest Kennedy had "two to three glasses of wine imbibed in quick succession." Gariott also notes that "Kennedy's alcohol reading was twice the legal level established by FAA regulations as the standard for licensed commercial airline pilots."

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