'The Kennedys — After Camelot' Leaves JFK's Fate Mysterious

Reelz Channel

The Reelz mini-series The Kennedys — After Camelot is the network's sequel to The Kennedys and continues the dramatization of the real-life of the storied political American family. This next chapter began with Bobby Kennedy's assassination, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and the conclusion, airing Sunday night, also follows John Kennedy, Jr. (played by Brett Donahue). So, what happened to John Kennedy, Jr. in real life? In 1999, Kennedy, his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and her sister Lauren Bessette died in a plane crash on a flight headed to Martha's Vineyard piloted by John. According to Time magazine, John allegedly planned to drop off Lauren in Martha's Vineyard and then he and Carolyn would continue on to Hyannis Port, Mass., to attend his cousin Rory Kennedy's wedding that weekend.

Time reported that the flight took off from Essex County Airport in Caldwell, N.J. on 8:38 pm ET on July 16, 1999 and radar records showed that Kennedy's plane began to descend at 700 feet per minute, which could have either been a sign of distress — or a sign that Kennedy was perhaps trying to fly around limited visibility. After five days of searching for any survivors, the New York Times reported that John, Carolyn, and Lauren's bodies were found inside the shattered plane, which had sunk to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

Nearly 10 years later, the book American Legacy: The Story of John and Caroline Kennedy by John Heymann detailed that Kennedy had been allegedly warned about the dense haze and fog forming on the East Coast by a fellow pilot, according to the New York Post. But since there were no survivors from the crash, it's hard to know what exactly happened in John, Carolyn, and Lauren's final moments. Several publications and books have speculated about it, but the plane's black box — also known as the in-flight recorder — had been shattered when the plane was found, according to the NY Post.

So, while we know some parts of John Kennedy, Jr.'s fate, many of the details of his death may never be known.