Biography, Autobiography, Memoir discussion

Bios/Memoirs About A Family Curse?

Comments Showing 1-16 of 16 (16 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Fishface (last edited Oct 05, 2018 01:50PM) (new)

Fishface | 1746 comments This morning I stumbled across a news article saying that Lynn Havenga, bitterly divorced from South African murderer "Boetie Boer" (Stewart Wilken) even before he killed their daughter Wuane, was found dead. Someone had bashed her head in with a brick. Boetie was long since in prison for a string of murders, so it couldn't have been him.

It made me think of what I read in The Psychopath Inside: A Neuroscientist's Personal Journey into the Dark Side of the Brain, about how murderous tendencies can literally run in families because of a genetic pattern of brain function that paves the way for criminal behavior. He found this out because murder runs in his own family.

And then there's Jim Larson, the guy who lost his sister to one serial killer and his wife to another:
And then there's this terrible story:
And this:
And this atrocious story:

It's one thing when your family is plagued by drunken violence, which can be interrupted. And if you keep marrying the same kind of handsome good-for-nothing over and over, hey, that's a habit you can break, not a real curse. But the Lynn Havengas of the world seem almost to violate the laws of nature, as if they were born with cosmic bullseyes on their backs. My ex killed our daughter along with a string of other people, and next thing I know I'm lying dead in an alley with a skull fracture myself.

Has anyone found a memoir or bio about what seems to be an actual family curse of some sort?

message 2: by Selina (new)

Selina (literatelibrarian) | 2636 comments People say the Kennedys are cursed. I dont know if thats true but a number of them died violently or young in tragic circumstances.
I know that if a family is involved in groups like the Mafia, Triads, Freemasons etc there are curses and oaths passed down the generations.

message 4: by Fishface (new)

Fishface | 1746 comments Great, thanks! I should have known there'd be a book on their curse...

message 5: by Selina (new)

Selina (literatelibrarian) | 2636 comments There's also the Grimaldis curse, the royal family of Monaco.

Try this book The Royal House of Monaco: Dynasty of Glamour, Tragedy and Scandal

message 6: by Selina (new)

Selina (literatelibrarian) | 2636 comments I've been reading too many books about Jacqueline Kennedy lately.

Some things I found that make me wonder if she became cursed too. She lost her husband, and two children, (one stillbirth, another born but died a few days later) and then her brother in law.

Then she married Onassis who was like the Kennedys arch enemy. Because he was richer? I dont know. But there is one conspiracy theory that says Onassis was behind the Kennedy assasinations, because he wanted to marry Jacqueline, after her sister refused.

There might be some truth in this. His son also died tragically. And then John jr and his wife died in plane crash. The only survivor is Caroline Kennedy. Apparently she has gone into politics now.

Caroline has also authored several books including this one The Right to Privacy as a co-author.

This made me think am I being nosy reading all these bios about someone who really wanted to be left alone, who was a private person, but paradoxically sought publicity where people did invade her privacy. I dont think Mrs Kennedy ever wanted her dirty laundry splashed all over the front page she was constantly covering for her husband, but is this a noble thing to do, cover up for people who cheat and lie? Or should they be exposed for all the world to see?

Perhaps it is better to look away after all nobody wants to see everyone naked unless you are a naturist or something. Or a voyeur pornographer.

message 7: by Fishface (new)

Fishface | 1746 comments Well, in Jackie's day, if a husband was cheating, or the kids were all in trouble with the law, it was assumed to be 100% the wife and mother's fault. I can see her not wanting to have that kind of dirty laundry on display.

If Jackie and Aristotle had both lost children, that would be an enormous piece of common ground right there. Maybe all he had to do to win her over was not grill her about it the way the press people tried to do every chance they got.

message 8: by Selina (last edited Sep 15, 2018 12:15AM) (new)

Selina (literatelibrarian) | 2636 comments I think Aristotle's son died but that was after he married Jackie.
I dont really know what else they had in common, he was rich and she liked to spend money.

She did claim that it was to protect her children that she married him, but her children werent whisked away to Greece, they just went to boarding schools in the US and were looked after by nannies. I guess he had bodyguards and such and a private island, and a yacht, and pots of money...but he was old enough to be her dad...?!

I dont think you can blame the wife if the husband is cheating. That just makes no sense. People ought to own up to their own faults, not take the blame for others.

message 9: by Selina (last edited Oct 04, 2018 03:17AM) (new)

Selina (literatelibrarian) | 2636 comments The Kennedy Curse is a bit overwhelming. I was reading The Good Son: JFK Jr. and the Mother He Loved by Christopher Andersen and trying not to keep a running count of all the funerals of the Kennedy's and their associates.

Jackie is forever credited with being a good mother although much credit goes to the two nannies that helped bring John and Caroline up. She did try to stop John from getting his pilots licence as she had a premonition that he would die in a plane crash (as did Aristotle's son) but after Jackie's death John went and got it anyway. His wife Carolyn did not want him to fly either. Aristotle branded Jackie 'the widow' and his daughter called her 'the black widow'. Another thing I didn't know was that Bobby Kennedy and Jackie had an affair, he was running for president and got shot, and she had to go through it all over again. Then Teddy Kennedy's political career got scuttled, and John Jr was actually going to run. He could have been mayor of NYC if he wanted he was so popular.

It's so eerie that many of the Kennedy's had tragic and violent deaths...John was a daredevil though and most of the Kennedy's lived like there was no tomorrow.

message 10: by Erin (new)

Erin  | 33 comments The Kennedys are a big family and they're rich so they live different lives then most people so obviously they die different than most people.

I come from a big family so its pretty common for me to have to go to 3 or 4 funerals a year. Also Cancer & Car crashes kill most of my family.

Is my family cursed?

message 11: by Selina (new)

Selina (literatelibrarian) | 2636 comments Did they die young? I think its more tragic when people die before their time.
I dont know if that means they are cursed because the Kennedys were blessed in other ways i.e wealth and power, but maybe that was a two-edged sword.

Well two Kennedy brothers were murdered, would you not say thats a curse. Or just coincidence. I can only think of one member of my extended family that was murdered, I didnt know him though, he was a distant uncle.

Maybe the book about it will explain it.

message 12: by Selina (new)

Selina (literatelibrarian) | 2636 comments Got round to reading this The Kennedy Curse: Why Tragedy Has Haunted America's First Family for 150 Years

I skipped a few chapters though because some of the Kennedys I have no clue about and dont really interest me even though they died tragically or violently too. But it did list all the people that were cursed in this book and it was a loooong list of tragedies, scandal and misdeamnours.

It gives the background to when the first Kennedy emigrated from famine stricken Ireland to Boston shores, one became mayor and from then generations of Kennedys have pursued power and politics. They made their money from liquor and marrying up in society. Then it shows their flaws, most often shown in reckless questionable behaviour and overwhelming hubris that led to their doom.

John jrs story opens and closes the book. Basically he ignored his mothers warnings, was flying with a broken ankle. no insurance, and not enough experience. After all this I find it hard to empathise with Kennedys ethos to be courageous when it just looks like recklessness and trying to prove they are more macho than anyone else. The author (who was a close friend of Jackie) writes that its just narcissism. Which I often keep coming across in my readings.

message 13: by Koren (last edited Oct 21, 2018 11:00AM) (new)

Koren  (koren56) | 3116 comments Mod
Erin wrote: "The Kennedys are a big family and they're rich so they live different lives then most people so obviously they die different than most people.

I come from a big family so its pretty common for me..."

Erin, I was going to say what you said. My husband comes from a large family and so it seems like we go to funerals a lot. Matter of fact, we are going to one for his brother in law on Tues. This guy's daughter died a year ago from cancer almost to the day her father died. My husband has 3 sisters that have passed from natural causes, 3 bro in law from natural causes and 3 nephews, 2 in car accidents and one from suicide. A curse? I dont think so. Just the way it goes in large families.

message 14: by Selina (new)

Selina (literatelibrarian) | 2636 comments Regarding Kennedys I think its more than just natural attrition going on with them though. Because their deaths also involved other people like Teddy's girlfriend at chappadicquick (spelling?) and John jr with his wife and sister-in law, JFKs assasination others got hurt as well and the killer also was killed. And RFKs funeral people enroute on the train died. With all those deaths the victims were just on the cusp of being elected or re-elected for political offices.

But yes they are a large family. But it was the Kennedys themselves that attributed those things to a curse, so they actually did believe it was one. I mean everyone dies, theres no escaping this earth without dying. Its just when people die before their time and when its as fishface said, violating the laws of nature.

I think the book I read tried to explain what this curse was in his own way as a family trait of recklessness and narcissim. But usually a curse is more than that its extreme punishment for disobeying God and it has to be pronounced in someone, and the descendants will bear the iniquities of their ancestors. If you think of John Jrs story, somehow you might agree that is was inevitable given a pattern of recklessness in his family line. When Jackie died he went against everything she warned him not to do and reaped the consequences. But not only that brought his wife and sister in law down with him.

message 15: by Koren (new)

Koren  (koren56) | 3116 comments Mod
Selina wrote: "Regarding Kennedys I think its more than just natural attrition going on with them though. Because their deaths also involved other people like Teddy's girlfriend at chappadicquick (spelling?) and ..."

Interesting perspective. I have not heard of people on RFK's funeral train dying.

Would it be mean of me to say I wish someone would put a curse on our current president?

message 16: by Fishface (new)

Fishface | 1746 comments It is possible to put a curse on a curse?

back to top