The Early Dominick Dunne

by Hanna Rosin

So much of what Dunne did in his later life seemed like a parody of Hollywood tabloid crime writing. Here is a clip from the first story he ever wrote, an amazing account in Vanity Fair of his daughter's murder trial.

At first I did not realize the person on the bed was Dominique. There were tubes in her everywhere, and the life-support system caused her to breathe in and out with a grotesque jerking movement that seemed a parody of life. Her eyes were open, massively enlarged, staring sightlessly up at the ceiling. Her beautiful hair had been shaved off. A large bolt had been screwed into her skull to relieve the pressure on her brain. Her neck was purpled and swollen; vividly visible on it were the marks of the massive hands of the man who had strangled her. It was nearly impossible to look at her, but also impossible to look away.