Dominick Dunne's mesmerizing tales of justice denied and justice affirmed.
For more than two decades, Vanity Fair published Dominick Dunne’s brilliant, revelatory chronicles of the most famous crimes, trials, and punishments of our time. Whether writing of Claus von Bülow’s romp through two trials; the Los Angeles media frenzy surrounding O.J. Simpson; the death by fire of multibillionaire banker Edmond Safra; or the Greenwich, Connecticut, murder of Martha Moxley and the indictment—decades later—of Michael Skakel, Dominick Dunne tells it honestly and tells it from his unique perspective. His search for the truth is relentless.
Dunne, the bespectacled crime reporter for Vanity Fair who has long specialized in the sins of high society, is not a spectacular writer. He is, however, a master storyteller, particularly in his ability to place telling details. As is evident in this collection of high-profile reportage that spans more than two decades, Dunne is famously connected, an adept listener and sometimes plain lucky. That combination makes reading even his dispatches on the O.J. Simpson trial feel fresh. Here, Dunne documents how that saga burrowed deep into the consciousness of Los Angeles. He incorporates into the narrative snatches of overheard conversations, answering machine messages, courtroom chatter, anonymous letters, even death threats and street dialogue: "You're the first white person to give me money since the verdict," a black panhandler is quoted as saying. Dunne further chronicles the murder cases of such figures as the Menendez brothers, Claus von B low, social climber Wayne Lonergan and Christopher Moseley, the husband of Lisa du Pont. The common thread running through this collection is the notion of the trial being the last business of the victim's life, something this author knows all too well: in 1981, Dunne's daughter, Dominique, was murdered by her estranged boyfriend. He opens Justice with a moving account of that trial, describing the helplessness, rage and degradation that often envelop loved ones. Of course, the misdeeds of the elite make inherently good copy, but it's reassuring to know that someone like Dunne is out there keeping his ears pricked in those upper echelons, letting us know when its members have flown too close to the sun.