Dominick Dunne (1925-2009)

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Dominick Dunne, who died today as the age of 83, covered some of the most famous trials of our time–Claus von Bulow, William Kennedy Smith, the Menendez brothers, Michael Skakel, Phil Spector–as a correspondent for Vanity Fair magazine.

It was the 1995 trial of O. J. Simpson, the former football star charged with stabbing to death his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her male friend Ronald Goldman, that brought Dunne to media spotlight. Dunne was convinced of Simpson’s guilt and appeared regularly on television to comment on the trial’s many twists. When the jury acquitted Simpson on all counts, Dunne could be seen in the courtroom on live TV looking stunned, his mouth agape. It was something personally affronting to this man who started covering trials only in his 50s, through personal tragedy — his daughter’s murder.

The iconic image of Dunne during O. J. Simpson verdict was one of the most indelible images of the trial: the petite, gray-haired 69-year old with his jaw literally dropped to his striped silk tie, mouth still agape as he looked around him at the weeping Goldmans on one side, the rejoicing Simpsons on another, the stone-faced Browns behind him. Half-an-hour later, Dunne staggered into the CBS booth for a brief chat with Dan Rather, and he continued his fight against O. J. Simpson. When Simpson was again on trial on charges of kidnapping and armed robbery in 2008, 82-year old Dunne traveled to Las Vegas to cover the trial and wrote a bellicose article for Vanity Fair.

In the following video, Dunne’s stunned expression can be seen after 1 min 50 sec mark.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLia4r0G63k&hl=en&fs=1&color1=0xe1600f&color2=0xfebd01&border=1]

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