One of the more offbeat tales in a new book written by Jackie Kennedy’s former personal assistant involves a play date between John F. Kennedy Jr. and Robert Chambers, who went on to become the infamous “Preppy Killer.”
In Kathy McKeon’s “Jackie’s Girl: My Life with the Kennedy Family,” she writes that John-John was set up on a play date with the son of a nurse who came to stay with him when Jackie was away and he was sick with bronchitis.
It was an ill-fated plan, as the kindergarten-age son was much younger than John. Despite the nurse’s aggressive efforts to engineer another visit, the family never saw the boy again. At least not until years later, when he showed up on the evening news after killing an 18-year-old girl in Central Park during what he claimed at the time was “rough sex.”
Becoming Jackie’s assistant was an unlikely turn of events for author McKeon. When John F. Kennedy was assassinated, she was an 18-year-old living in a stone cottage in rural Ireland, huddling around a battery-operated radio with her family of 10 to listen to the President’s funeral. Less than a year later, newly arrived in New York City, she showed up for a job interview on Fifth Ave. and 85th St. and was hired on the spot.
McKeon spent 13 years working for Kennedy after scoring the interview through a cop cousin who’d befriended a Secret Service agent assigned to the former First Lady. She moved in to the apartment and became a virtual family member, helping to raise John-John and Caroline, traveling with the family and summering on Cape Cod.
She had a close relationship with the Kennedy kids. She comforted them on the night “Uncle Bobby” was assassinated in 1968. She was sent to console Caroline after Jackie had told her daughter she was marrying shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, and Caroline had taken to her bed in tears.
The book comes out on June 6.