University Archives

Lot 140

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Martha's Vineyard Rental Contract for the Week John F. Kennedy, Jr. Died, Reserved by JFK, Jr.'s Friend Who Would Later Serve as Usher at His Memorial Service

A rental agreement for a house in Martha's Vineyard reserved for the week that John F. Kennedy, Jr. (1960-1999) died, signed by his close friend Kevin J. Hynes, who would later serve as usher at JFK, Jr.'s memorial service a few days later. Kennedy was a frequent visitor to the island who often stayed at Red Gate Farm, his mother's estate in Aquinnah, Massachusetts. He died in a plane crash several miles off the western coast of Martha's Vineyard on July 16, 1999. Provenance: From the collection of Ron Hoskins, assassinologist.

The lot is comprised of:

1. A 3pp partly printed and partly handwritten "Rental Agreement between Landlord and Tenant" co-signed by landlord Arlene Pailler on April 23, 1999 and by tenant Kevin J. Hynes on April 30, 1999 on the last page. Hynes agreed to rent 11 Canonicus Drive in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, listed elsewhere as a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom 955-square-feet cottage built in 1940, between Sunday, July 11, 1999 - Sunday, July 18, 1999 for $1,300.

2. A photocopy of a street map of Oak Bluffs, showing the rental property and local landmarks, along with handwritten directions to the ferry dock. Oak Bluffs is located approximately 19 miles northwest of Aquinnah, where Jackie Kennedy's estate Red Gate Farm is located. (In June 2019, Red Gate Farm, a 6,000+-square-foot shingled complex abutting an 340-acre oceanfront property, was listed for sale for $65 million.)

John K. Kennedy, Jr.'s close friend, New York lawyer Kevin J. Hynes, reserved the vacation bungalow in Oak Bluffs the week JFK, Jr. was due to the island. It is unknown whether the two friends were planning on meeting up that weekend since JFK, Jr. was slated to attend his cousin Rory's wedding on Saturday, July 17th in Hyannis Port, located just 40 miles to the northeast of the island.

On July 16, 1999, JFK, Jr., along with his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy (1966-1999) and sister-in-law Lauren Bessette (1964-1999), departed Essex County Airport in New Jersey for Martha's Vineyard. Kennedy had planned on dropping off Lauren, who was to stay on the island, possibly at Red Gate Farm, but instead, JFK, Jr's plane crashed nearly nose first into the Atlantic Ocean about 7 miles west of the western coast of Martha's Vineyard just over 1 hour after take-off. All aboard died upon impact. Experts concluded that nighttime flying conditions and possible haze caused spatial disorientation. Some suspect that marital stress, business problems, or lack of sleep could have also impacted the pilot's performance.

On July 17th, Rory Kennedy, family members, and some of the 275 invited guests and 30-person wedding party prayed and waited for news under the massive white wedding tent at the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port instead of celebrating. JFK, Jr.'s plane wreckage was discovered on July 19th and divers recovered the bodies two days later.

Kevin J. Hynes would serve as an usher at John F. Kennedy, Jr.'s New York City memorial service on July 23, 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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11 de novembro de 2020 10:30 EST

Wilton, CT, US

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Bid Increments
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