University Archives

Lot 139

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John F. Kennedy, Jr. Signed Legal Contract Requiring Private Investigator

A legal contract signed by John F. Kennedy, Jr. (1960-1999) as "J Kennedy," eighteen months before his death in a plane crash. Provenance: From the collection of Ron Hoskins, assassinologist.

The lot is comprised of:

1. A 1p letter signed by client John F. Kennedy, Jr. as "J Kennedy" at lower right and by attorney Kevin J. Hynes as "Kevin J. Hynes" at lower left. The letter, printed on "The Law Offices of / Kevin J. Hynes / 111 Broadway, 17th Floor / New York, N.Y. 10006" letterhead, is dated January 27, 1998 and stipulated the terms of a business arrangement. Near fine. 8.5" x 11."

Hynes wrote in part: "I am happy to assist you in the matter which we have discussed…I will oversee and direct this entire operation with your input and cooperation. In return, you will pay me at a reduced hourly rate of $150 per billable hour. In addition, you will be responsible for all of the investigatory services and business expenses associated with this endeavor…"

2. A photocopy of a $3,500 check issued by John F. Kennedy, Jr. to Kevin Hynes. Inscribed presumably by Hynes or a legal assistant at top as "Retainer rec'd / 1/26/98."

3. The actual check tear-off receipt corresponding to this $3,500 check, #5163.

What did this "Personal and Confidential" legal matter entail exactly? What "investigatory services" did John F. Kennedy, Jr. require in the months preceding his death? Did this matter relate to Kennedy's tumultuous marriage to Carolyn Bessette Kennedy (1966-1999)? His magazine "George," established in 1995 and already facing financial difficulties?

Kevin J. Hynes was a close friend of Kennedy's who would serve as an usher at his memorial service in July 1999.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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November 11, 2020, 10:30 AM EST

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From: To: Increments:
$0 $99 $10
$100 $299 $20
$300 $499 $25
$500 $999 $50
$1,000 $1,999 $100
$2,000 $2,999 $200
$3,000 $4,999 $250
$5,000 $9,999 $500
$10,000 $19,999 $1,000
$20,000 $49,999 $2,500
$50,000 + $5,000