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DOMINICK DUNNE, A TOUGH MAN FOR TOUGH TIMES
HIS FIRST EXCLUSIVE LIFE STORY

JH: When you and I were first talking about the Moxley case, you were objective about it. But did you find yourself investing more into A Season in Purgatory than any other book because you had in common with Dorothy Moxley that dark dayóOctober 30ówhen both Dominique and Martha were killed years apart?

DD: Iím not sure about that...if I invested more. I honestly donít know that. But an interesting thing happened just this very week. A book came out on the 1980s by Patrick McMullen, and they had a launch at a gallery in Greenwich Village. They asked five writers to read something from the 1980s. Well I kindaí fudged, but I read the long murder scene from A Season in Purgatory. I gotta tell you, I had that room silent. I mean...because I donít just read. I act out the parts. I get into it. Thatís a powerful scene, something I share with Mrs. Moxley.

JH: Of all the books youíve written, whatís your favorite?

DD: Well, theyíre like your kids. Itís very hard to say. I have huge affection for The Two Mrs. Grenvilles, because that really established me. But I think the very first story, An Inconvenient Woman, is a really good story.

JH: Which one was the most fun to write?

DD: I donít know.

JH: I hear that you said youíre not going to cover any more trials. Is that true?

DD: Oh yeah. Covering trials was bulls---. I think maybe I meant it at the time, but there are two I want to do badly. Iím gonna do Phil Spector. I also kind of know him. Iím going to do Robert Blake. I used to see himÖI never knew him really, but I used to see him at Natalie Woodsí because they were friendsóshe was a great friend of my wife. And she and Blake were child actors, so they knew each other all their lives.

Heís a strange guy. When I was in Monte Carlo covering another trial, Robert Blake, through a publicist, got a hold of me and wanted me to do a jailhouse interview with him. And I declined saying that I am by nature pro prosecution and I didnít feel right doing an interview with him. But that woman he's accused of killing was a woman who was waiting to be killed. I mean, this is not one of lifeís great tragedies.

JH: Iím intrigued. No interest in the Peterson case?

DD: I donít want to do Scott Peterson because thereís just too much out there, but it is a case that has mesmerized the nation.

JH: Why doesnít the press focus on all the other people who, like Laci Peterson, are missing. Why so much focus on just Laci?

DD: Well, some cases catch on, some donít. You know I donít think the Dru [Sjodin] case is gonna ever be what the Laci case is, because the alleged killer is just this little, awful guy. At least Scott Peterson is good looking and a cad. Heís a cad! And heís double dealing on everybody. Heís got the mistress, and heís also cheating on the mistress.

JH: But now itís my understanding that the mistress is pregnant.

DD: By somebody else. Itís a gorgeous bunch.

JH: So if you cover the Phil Spector and other murder trials, will novels come from them?

DD: Well, who knows? Iím getting old.

JH: It's hard for me to think of you as being old. Youíre not ready for the long nap.

DD: Oh, no. No. No. No.

JH: So youíll continue with novels on some of the cases making headlines today?

DD: Oh yeah, yeah. This Spector is a fascinating man. You know, the victim, a beautiful woman...and she was beautiful...would never shoot herself in the face. It doesnít work that way.

JH: That's for certain. Thank so much for inviting us into your world, Nick. You are an inspiration to more people than you know. You've fought hard and emerged on top. I hope we'll see many more novels to come. Yours is a truly remarkable life.

DD: Thank you for letting me to tell my story.

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