Markham and Kennedy cousin Joseph Gargan drove to the crash scene that night with the senator.
Markham later testified that the two dove into the waters numerous times in an unsuccessful attempt to locate Kopechne, who’d been a campaign worker for Kennedy’s older brother, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, before his assassination the previous year.
Gargan testified he’d urged Ted Kennedy to report the crash to police, but the senator didn’t. The following day, Markham went with Kennedy to provide a statement to police on Martha’s Vineyard.
Kennedy pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and received a suspended sentence of two months in jail. He was never indicted, but the incident mars his legacy.
A graduate of Villanova University and the Boston University School of Law, Markham was appointed a federal prosecutor in 1964 by Robert F. Kennedy, who was U.S. attorney general at the time.
He became U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts in 1966 at the age of 36 after his predecessor, W. Arthur Garrity Jr., was tapped to become a federal judge.