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1960s / Was Dorothy Kilgallen Murdered
Here's one for you conspiracy theorists to ponder: Was newspaper columnist Dorothy Kilgallen murdered? Famous for her role as a permanent panelist on the CBS show What's My Line? and for her Voice of Broadway entertainment/gossip column in the New York Journal American, Kilgallen often covered major news events--especially murder trials. She reported on the Sam Sheppard murder trial and the Lindbergh kidnapping case, among others. She also expressed serious doubts about the Warren Commission's investigation of JFK's murder. Kilgallen interviewed Jack Ruby in prison shortly before her death on November 8, 1965. Just hours after she had appeared live and quite chipper on What's My Line? from 10:30 to 11 p.m., the 52-year-old Kilgallen was found dead in her Manhattan home, fully clothed, sitting up on a bed in which she did not sleep still wearing the makeup and false eyelashes she had on the previous night. (Dorothy always removed her false eyelashes before retiring for the night.) A book she had finished reading months ago was on her bed. She needed glasses to read but her spectacles were nowhere near her. Although alcohol and barbiturates were found in her blood stream and a mysterious pink liquid in her stomach, Kilgallen's official cause of death was listed as undetermined. At least three different people in the household claim to have been the first to discover Dorothy dead on the bed: Her secretary, her hairdresser, and her maid. Reports of the time when Dorothy's body was discovered vary wildly--anywhere from about 10:30 a.m. to about 3 p.m. The coroner who did the paperwork was responsible for autopsies in Brooklyn--not Manhattan. Kilgallen's notes from her interview with Jack Ruby were never found--leading conspiracy theorists to wonder whether she had been silenced.