'Kennedy curse' strikes again? RFK's granddaughter dies at 22

The Kennedy family announces the death of Saoirse Kennedy Hill, the granddaughter of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy.

Sara Rubenstein,

John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy

The granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy, Saoirse Kennedy Hill, died on Thursday at the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, according to a spokesperson for the Kennedy family.

Although the family's statement didn't list the cause of death, it's believed that Saoirse died from a drug overdose. According to a Fox News report, Hill had written about her problem with depression in a student newspaper in 2016, saying that "someone I knew and loved broke serious sexual boundaries with me," and wrote she had attempted suicide in the past.

Saoirse was the daughter of Courtney Kennedy Hill, who was one of Robert Kennedy's 11 children.

"Our hearts are shattered by the loss of our beloved Saoirse," the family statement said. "Her life was filled with hope, promise and love. She cared deeply about friends and family, especially her mother Courtney, her father Paul, her stepmother Stephanie, and her grandmother Ethel."

The latest tragedy in the Kennedy family was widely reported with the words "Kennedy curse" in the title of the reports, referring to the multiple tragedies that have struck the famous and powerful family for generations. Many people think that the "Kennedy curse" is just a way of referring to the family's long series of unfortunate assassinations, accidents, suicides and drug overdoses but some believe that an actual curse did take place.

In the religious Jewish world, some believe that the "Kennedy curse" began when the patriarch of the family, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., refused Rabbi Aharon Kotler's request to help save Europeans Jews from certain death at the hands of the Nazis. Some say that Rabbi Kotler asked Kennedy to let in a boat full of Jews to the US, the SS St. Louis, and when Kennedy refused, the boat was forced to return to Nazi Europe where all the Jews died. The story goes that not only did Kennedy refuse to help but he was rude to the rabbi and publicly humiliated him. The rabbi subsequently cursed him that his family would suffer from a series of unnatural deaths - "misa meshuna." A "misa meshuna" is the Talmudic term for an unnatural death - a life cut short due to an accident or other unfortunate event rather than a natural death from old age.

Others argue that Joe Kennedy was well-known for engaging in legal and ruthless business dealing and was tyrannical to his children and unfaithful to his wife. It's also well-known that Joseph's son, President John F. Kennedy, was unfaithful to his wife as well and didn't let the presidency stop him from engaging in multiple affairs and would even bring women along with him on his political trips abroad. Another son, Senator Ted Kennedy pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident after crashing his car in a river. He failed to summon help until the morning and meanwhile, his female passenger died. Is it possible that the "Kennedy curse" is the natural result of generations of immoral and callous behavior?

What is definitely known is the series of misfortunes that befell the Kennedy family beginning from the World War II era. In 1944, Joseph's oldest son and namesake, Joseph Kennedy Jr. died in a plane crash on a secret mission during World War II at the age of 29. In 1948, Joseph's daughter Kathleen was killed in a plane crash at the age of 29. In 1961, Joseph Kennedy suffered a severe stroke which robbed him of his ability to speak but he lived to see the death of two more of his children in his lifetime and the disgrace of his son Ted Kennedy. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, Senator Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1968, and Ted Kennedy, the only one of his four sons who died a natural death, was publicly disgraced in 1969.

The following is a partial list of the misfortunes of the Kennedy family:

In 1948, Joseph's daughter, Kathleen Kennedy Cavendish, was killed in a plane crash at the age of 29.
In 1961, Joseph Kennedy suffered a stroke and lost his ability to speak.
In 1963, John F. Kennedy was assassinated at the age of 46.
In 1968, Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated at the age of 42.In 1973, Joseph P. Kennedy II was driving a Jeep which crashed and left a passenger paralyzed.
In 1984, David A. Kennedy, Robert's son, died of a drug overdose at the age of 29.
In 1997, Michael Kennedy, another one of Robert's sons, died in a skiing accident on a ski slope in Aspen, Colorado at the age of 39. Earlier that year he was accused of having an affair with his children's 14-year-old baby sitter.
In 1999, John F. Kennedy Jr. was killed in a plane crash together with his wife and sister-in-law.
In 2011, Kara Kennedy, Ted Kennedy's daughter, died from a heart attack during a workout at a health club at age 51.
In 2012, Mary Richardson Kennedy, the estranged wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., was found dead behind a barn on her property in what appeared to be a suicide.