FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Prove JFK Jr. And His Wife Are Still Alive?

Ryan King | Contributor

A photo shared on Instagram claims to show John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, allegedly proving the couple is still alive.

Verdict: False

The photo appears to have been doctored to make the couple look older. Both John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife died in a plane crash in 1999.

Fact Check:

John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy and his sister-in-law Lauren Bessette died in a plane crash off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard in July 1999, The Washington Post reported. Authorities recovered their bodies, which were subsequently cremated and buried at sea, according to CNN.

The Instagram post shows a screen grab of a Telegram post that includes an image of an older couple that bears a resemblance to the late John F. Kennedy Jr. and his late wife. “JFK Jr. & The Kenney’s R Alive,” reads text below the image, implying the photo shows John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife alive. (RELATED: No, JFK Jr. Did Not Fake His Death And Plan For Qanon)

A reverse image search, however, reveals the picture of the couple appears to have been doctored. The original can be found on Getty Images and shows a noticeably younger couple. “John F. Kennedy Jr & Carolyn Bessette during ‘Brite Night Whitney’ Annual Fundraising Gala at Whitney Museum in New York City, New York, United States,” reads the image’s caption. The photo is dated to March 9, 1999.

It appears that whoever created the altered image simply aged the faces of John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy to make it look as if they lived to reach an older age than they did.

Conspiracy theories suggesting John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife are alive have circulated the internet for years, The Washington Post reported. One of the dominant theories stems from the QAnon conspiracy theory and alleges that John F. Kennedy Jr. faked his death and went into hiding but will soon return to help former President Donald Trump defeat an evil cabal of elites, according to the Independent.

There is no evidence to support those claims. Numerous media outlets corroborated the reporting that John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife died in 1999 and that their bodies were recovered, including The New York Times, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe and others. In April, Check Your Fact debunked a viral claim that alleged John F. Kennedy Jr. had faked his death.

Ryan King