What killed Kennedy’s granddaughter
Saoirse Kennedy Hill, the 22-year-old granddaughter of assassinated presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, died of an accidental drug overdose, according to a newly issued death certificate.
WCVB-TV reported that a toxicology test found methadone, fluoxetine, norfluoxetine, diazepam, nordiazepam and alcohol in her system.
Fluoxetine is an antidepressant, and diazepam is used to treat anxiety and alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Hill was found unresponsive at a home at the Kennedys historic compound on Cape Cod on August 1. She was pronounced dead at Cape Cod Hospital.
Our hearts are shattered by the loss of our beloved Saoirse," the Kennedy family said in a statement to The New York Times at the time. "Her life was filled with hope, promise and love."
Hill was scheduled to start her senior year at Boston College. She was the only daughter of Robert and Ethel Kennedy's fifth child, Courtney, and Paul Michael Hill.
Belfast-born Paul Hill was one of the Guildford Four, the group that was wrongfully convicted of the 1972 Guildford IRA pub bombings.
He was wrongfully imprisoned for 15 years and was released in 1989.
In 1993, he married Courtney Kennedy on a boat in the Aegean Sea after they were reportedly introduced by Ethel Kennedy.
Saoirse Kennedy Hill had written frankly and publicly about her struggles with mental health and a suicide attempt while in high school.
She previously attended the private preparatory school Deerfield Academy, where she once wrote an op-ed about her battles.
"My depression took root in the beginning of my middle school years and will be with me for the rest of my life," she wrote in the February 2016 article. "Although I was mostly a happy child, I suffered bouts of deep sadness that felt like a heavy boulder on my chest. These bouts would come and go, but they did not outwardly affect me until I was a new sophomore at Deerfield."
Kennedy Hill revealed in the op-ed that someone she "knew and loved broke serious sexual boundaries" with her before her junior year of high school. "I did the worst thing a victim can do, and I pretended it hadn't happened. This all became too much, and I attempted to take my own life," she wrote.
"We are all either struggling or know someone who is battling an illness," she wrote. "Let's come together to make our community more inclusive and comfortable."
Tragedy has struck the Kennedy family countless times through the years. RFK and President John F. Kennedy were assassinated, their brother Joseph Kennedy Jr. was killed during World War II and their sister Kathleen Cavendish died in a plane crash. Two of JFK's three children with wife Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, John F. Kennedy Jr. and Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, also met untimely deaths.