Dominick Dunne

Somewhere underneath all of the coverage of Senator Kennedy’s death are the notices that writer/celebrity chronicler/victim’s advocate Dominick Dunne died this week.

Dunne is the reason I started subscribing to Vanity Fair (although I still haven’t caught up from all of my back issues from last semester). His writing was just far enough above Joe Gossipcolumnist that I didn’t feel bad reading it. The novels are brain-candy, but the celebrity trial stuff was good.

For example:

Most of America came to know him from the O.J. trial. He was. Obsessed. With the O.J. trial. In the aftermath, when people were trying to figure out how O.J. might actually be innocent of the crimes, a theory went around that O.J. didn’t do it, but his son Jason did. The theory explained a lot of stuff like why O.J. was acting guilty if he wasn’t guilty (because he knew something and/or covered up something) and why there was blood somewhere and maybe even some DNA stuff. O.J. didn’t tell the truth about what he knew in order to protect his kid. When Dunne was asked to comment, he said something like:

It isn’t a bad theory; it might explain a lot of things. But personally, I don’t buy it. I watched O.J. Simpson’s every move for months and it is my opinion that he is far too selfish to risk going to prison for the rest of his life to protect one of his children. I think he would have done anything to save his own skin.

What made Dunne good is that he paid attention, he talked to people and he made no bones about the fact that he was on a side. His daughter’s murder made him a victim’s advocate. He wrote a column and gave his opinion. Sometimes, like in the case of Gary Condit, it got him into trouble. Sometimes the “dishing” got to be a bit much. But he wrote with a lot of heart – affection for the people he met and liked and venom for those he truly considered to be the bad guys.

And now with are left with TMZ. Sad day.

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