View Full Version : Dominick Dunne dead at 83

August 26th, 2009, 06:55 PM
From the LA TIMES:
Dominick Dunne dead at age 83 (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/comments_blog/2009/08/dominick-dunne-dead-at-age-83.html)

August 26, 2009 | 3:09 pm
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c630a53ef0120a521fc6d970b-800wi (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c630a53ef0120a521fc6d970b-pi)Dominick Dunne, author, Vanity Fair reporter and former Hollywood producer, died today at his New York City home at age 83, Vanity Fair has announced.
Dunne famously covered such trials as Claus von Bulow, the Menendez brothers and O.J. Simpson, and he hosted the program "Power, Privilege and Justice" on Court TV. He became a celebrity in his own right, causing many to question his motives in covering sensational cases. "O.J. Simpson improved my social position," he once told USA Today. From The Times' obituary (http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-dominick-dunne27-2009aug27,0,7000992.story):
Like Truman Capote, another social chronicler, Dunne often bit the well-manicured hands that fed him. A friend of Alfred and Betsy Bloomingdale of the department store fortune, he turned Alfred's relationship with his mistress, Vicki Morgan, into a roman a clef, "An Inconvenient Woman" (1990). Similarly, Dunne, who had been a guest at the 1950 wedding of Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Skakel, turned his theories about the culpability of Ethel's nephew, Michael Skakel, in a long-unsolved murder into another novel, "A Season in Purgatory" (1993). Skakel ultimately was tried and convicted. His cousin, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., blamed Dunne for the conviction and told talk show host Larry King that the writer was "not a journalist. He's a gossip columnist."

If, as Capote said, all literature is gossip, Dunne was a believer. He loved to "dish," giving rumor equal time with news in his Vanity Fair reports (http://www.vanityfair.com/magazine/bios/dominick_dunne/search?contributorName=Dominick%20Dunne). His story on the Edmond Safra murder, for instance, was an engrossing brew of fact and rank speculation as only Dunne could produce. He repeated hearsay and used unnamed sources liberally, such as a "well-connected woman once married to a prominent figure in the film world" or "a waiter serving me risotto" at a dinner party. Dunne had everyone whispering in his ear.