After the death of his brothers, Ted Kennedy lived in constant fear that he’d be assassinated as well—and with good reason. The FBI has just released 2,352 pages from its files on Kennedy, and they’re dominated by death threats, both from anonymous enemies and groups like the Ku Klux Klan or the Minutemen, MSNBC reports. Many are written in the same hand, and postmarked from Boston. “They’re going to shoot my ass off the way they shot off Bobby’s,” Kennedy once remarked.
“Don’t run for President or Vice President or you will be shot dead too,” read one succinct note. Letters to the same effect were also sent to Bobby Kennedy’s widow, and to Kennedy’s father Joseph. One tried to extort money from Joseph, with the writer claiming to be a professional assassin who’d been offered $500,000 to kill Ted. “The only method of saving your son is by outbidding the proposed deal,” he wrote, but the letter wasn’t seen until after its supposed deadline.