Dominick Dunne, hailed by the Cambridge History of Law in America as “one of the nation’s premier popular chroniclers of notorious criminal trials and lawsuits involving celebrities,” died Wednesday of bladder cancer in New York. He was 83. Dunne was a bestselling novelist and Vanity Fair writer who chronicled the misdeeds of the rich and famous with wicked glee — most memorably in his highly personal accounts of the trials of Claus von Bulow, the Menendez brothers and O.J. Simpson, says the Los Angeles Times.
Covering the last Simpson trial capped an extraordinary career that had bloomed from tragedy. Dunne was a television and film producer for two decades until drugs and alcohol ruined him. He had started life over as a writer when his daughter, Dominique, was slain in 1982. Dunne wrote an article for Vanity Fair magazine that raged at the injustice of the crime and the leniency of the killer’s punishment. The story propelled its author into a new career reporting from the intersection of celebrity, society and scandal. He wrote a column, “Dominick Dunne’s Diary” and hosted a Court TV program, “Power, Privilege and Justice.”