The “psychological detective story attempting to uncover the mystery of why” John F. Kennedy, Jr., died presented by Final 24 is at odds with the story our favorite conspiracy theorist, John Hankey, offers in The Assassination of JFK Jr. John F Kennedy, Jr.: His Final Hours is a calm retelling of the events that led to Kennedy’s 1999 death (and that of his wife and sister-in-law) mixed with enough sensationalism to make it dishy.
There is a respectful biographical overview of Kennedy’s life, from birth in the White House through a childhood marked by assassination and loss, and ending with his death at sea. Some of the more “scandalous” aspects of his relationship with wife Carolyn Bessette are also included, along with details of how he wanted to be an actor and his mother, Jacqueline Onassis, insisted on law school. For the most part, the reports about various episodes in which John and Carolyn were involved are dismissed.
There is nothing in this Final 24 profile that was unknown or little known. Kennedy was “America’s Favorite Son,” and lived most of his life in the headlines. His death was also covered non-stop from the moment it was discovered that his plane had not landed as planned on Martha’s Vineyard through the search and recovery of the bodies, and on into the funeral.
The infamous “Kennedy Curse” is mentioned several times, the concept of which seems ridiculous. What family does not endure tragedies? Perhaps they are not as well publicized as a celebrity’s’, but a multitude of families have suffered as many losses (or more) than the Kennedys. The difference is that when celebrities who seem larger than life suffer, it is so public that the suffering, too, is larger than life (or death).
John F Kennedy, Jr.: His Final Hours includes interviews with a number of Kennedy associates, but—as should be expected—none with family members. Fond memories and emotions are expressed, but there is no new insight into Kennedy or his death.
According to Final 24, the accident that took the life of Kennedy, wife Carolyn, and sister-in-law Lauren Bessette was due to some poor decision-making by Kennedy. He was tired, stressed, and—finally—disoriented. These are the factors that contributed to the plane crash; there is no mention of George W. or Prescott Bush, Nazis, or Manchurian candidates. The dramatization of the final moments aboard the plane is somewhat lurid and disturbing.
Who knows? Maybe John Hankey is right and the facts don’t add up, and there was more to these deaths than a tragic accident. John F Kennedy, Jr.: His Final Hours documents facts that do add up, and provides a nostalgic look backwards at Camelot and the only non-actor ever named “Sexiest Man Alive” by People Magazine.
There are no bonus features included with John F Kennedy, Jr.: His Final Hours. Release date: October 29, 2010.