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Manhattan DA Opens Investigation Into Death Of Reporter In Regard To JFK Assassination

Updated on March 2, 2017
President John F. Kennedy with reporter Dorothy Kilgallen
President John F. Kennedy with reporter Dorothy Kilgallen

Was Dorothy Kilgallen Killed To Stop Story About JFK Murder?

The Manhattan District Attorney's Office has re-opened the investigation into the alleged murder of reporter Dorothy Kilgallen fifty-one years ago, according to a recent article in the New York Post. A new book which delves into her death, inspired the DA to take a serious look at the circumstances of Kilgallen's untimely death before she could finish her article. Kilgallen was investigating the JFK assassination at the time of her unexpected death.

Did reporter know too much?

The shocking development comes in the wake of a recent book "The Reporter Who Knew Too Much." The hypothesis of the new book is that the celebrity reporter was murdered to terminate her dogged pursuit of a Mafia don connected to President John F. Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald. Kilgallen was not only a reporter, but also a star of the hit television series "What's My Line?"

DA's Office: Evidence Overlooked 51 years ago

A spokesperson for the Manhattan DA's Office said evidence had reportedly been overlooked during the initial investigation more than half a century ago. Joan Vollero, a spokeswoman for the office, said a staffer has read the book by Mark Shaw and reviewed a letter from him. Witnesses and new leads were overlooked when Kilgallen, 52, died suddenly on Nov. 8, 1965.

Mark Shaw: Victims Have Rights

Shaw said, "Victims have rights whether their name is Dorothy Kilgallen or Dorothy Doe, and Kilgallen was denied her justice in 1965. That's why I'm fighting for her."

Kilgallen, who wrote a popular column for the New York Journal-American, was the only reporter ever to interview Jack Ruby, who shot Oswald, and published Ruby's closed-door testimony to the Warren Commission before its official release. She had antagonized a wide range of people from Frank Sinatra to J.Edgar Hoover, FBI Director.

The Plot Deepens

The case becomes only more suspicious with the passage of time. She was found dead in her Manhattan apartment, naked under a robe and still in make-up. The medical examiner ruled it an accidental mix of booze and sleeping pills. But Shaw contends Kilgallen was drugged. He refers to a powdery residue on a glass by the bed, and records obtained from the National Archives showing two other drugs in her system.

Shaw is firm in his new contentions, saying, "There was no evidencee that Kilallen was a drug abuser. Despite the odd death scene and heavy doses, there was no investigation."

Former Medical Examiner toxicologist Dr. Stephen Goldner told Shaw the Mafia controlled the Brooklyn ME's Office at the time, which strangely conducted the autopsy despite the fact her death occurred in Manhattan.

Jim Marrs Hinted Kilgallen Death Related To JFK

Long before the recent book by Shaw came out, author Jim Marrs thought the reporter's suspicious death was connected to her probe of the Kennedy assassination. Marrs said, "Whatever information Kilgallen learned and from whatever source, many researchers believe it brought about her strange death. She told attorney Mark Lane. ""They've killed the President and the government is not prepared to tell us the truth".......and that she planned to "break the case." To other friends she said, "This has to be a conspiracy!..."

Night Before Her Death

In his new book, Shaw discloses that on the night before her death, Kilgallen, who was a star panelist on the hit TV game show "What's My Line?", correctly guessed the occupation of a mystery guest; a woman who sold dynamite. However, behind the scenes she was delving ever deeper in the murder of the President, according to the New York Post.

Shaw makes the contention that the star reporter was a murder victim. He theorizes it was probably orchestrated by New Orleans Mafia don Carlos Marcello, who feared he would be implicated as being the architect of of the assassinations of both Kennedy and convicted assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. The book is published by Post Hill Press/Simon & Schuster. How ironic is it that the story Kilgallen likely lost her life trying to tell, is only now being told by Shaw more than half a century later?

Oliver Stone Movie Close To Truth

The 1991 Oliver Stone movie "JFK" came close to revealing the truth. Stone's film hinted at the possibility New Orleans don Carlos Marcello orchestrated Kennedy's death when it followed District Attorney Jim Garrison's investigation. However, Garrison dismissed Marcello as a suspect, because he didn't have Kilgallen's research, according to Shaw.

Ironically, Kilgallen died weeks before a planned second trip to New Orleans to meet with a secret informant, telling a friend it was "cloak and daggerish."

She confided to her lawyer, "I'm going to break the real story and have the biggest scoop of the century."

She probably would have, had she not died when she did.

'The Killers Won'

Shaw says after completing his book, "The killers won, because she was eliminated and erased from any historical record about the JFK assassination. Her JFK book was never published."

The author is now calling on the Manhattan District Attorney's Office to resurrect and fully investigate the Kilgallen case. Shaw makes the valid point that, "Murder is murder whether it happened five days or 50 years ago. Victims have rights, and Dorothy was denied hers because there was no investigation.

Although she will never be known as the person who solved the Kennedy Murder, she is famous for her role on "What's My Line?" which aired during the '60s. The CBS show was watched by an estimated 25 million each Sunday night. Millenials who never heard of Kilgallen, can findd her on YouTube. Episodes of the show are still popular there.

Kilgallen was an icon as her Voice of Broadway column for the New York Journal-American was syndicated to 200 papers nationwide. She also made her name by covering high profile murder trials including the case of Dr. Sam Sheppard, who denied killing his pregnant wife. He inspired the hit TV series "The Fugitive." Sheppard was originally convicted of his wife's murder, but later was freed when his conviction was reversed partly because of what the U.S. Supreme Court called "the circus like atmosphere" of his trial. F. Lee Bailley also made his name defending Sheppard.

Kilgallen's Role In Sam Sheppard Reversal

Killgallen wielded enormous power in those days. She was a major force in causing the conviction of Dr. Sam Sheppard's case to be reversed. When the trial started, Judge Edward Blythin called her into his chambers to get her autograph and unwisely blabbed, "It's an open and shut case. He's guilty as hell."

When the journalist shared this information with newly-hired Bailey, he realized he had powerful evidence for his appeal. Bailey, who was not part of the defense at the jury trial, came on board to handle the appeal.

Kilgallen was much more than an extraordinary reporter. She was part of the celebrity clique herself. Her husband Richard Kollmar, and she, hosted parties with guests ranging from Beatle George Harrison and actress Jayne Mansfield, mother of the current star of "Law And Order SVU".

Kilgallen Ridiculed Warren Commission Report

Kilgallen referred to the Warren Commission's conclusion that Oswald acted alone. She then launched her own probe. While compiling a thick file of evidence, interviews and notes, she thought she would protect herself by always keeping it close or under lock and key. Unfortunately, such precautions evidently weren't enough to save her life. She was on the verge of proposing her belief others recruited Oswald to take the life of the President.

Kilgallen Files Disappear After Death

Remarkably, the reporter's closely guarded files mysteriously disappeared after her death. What happened to them? Shaw has his own theory, saying, "Whoever decided to silence Dorothy, I believe, took that file and burned it," Shaw says.

Shaw composed a letter to the DA citing new evidence. This evidence reveals the presence of additional barbiturates in her system-Tuinal and Nembutal--not just the earlier-reported Seconal, a sleeping pill for which she had a prescription. The tests also revealed a powder residue on a glass found at her bedside, suggesting that someone opened capsules and poured drugs into her drink," the author suggests.

Justice Delayed, Justice Denied?

One of the favorite expressions heard in the various hallways of courthouses and other places today is, "Justice delayed, is justice denied." To a certain extent that is true. All those people who knew Dorothy who have died during the past 50 years have been denied justice since they may not have received the full truth behind her death. And the perpetrator/perpetrators may have escaped justice because they're likely now no longer on the face of the earth. However, it is definitely worthwhile to find out the truth no matter how long it takes so that it may be inscribed in the books of history and law and the hearts of descendants of the victims. In this case, all American citizens have that right also as our President was murdered.

New Book Says Dorothy Kilgallen Killed

Author Shaw writes new book alleging reporter murdered because of Kennedy investigation.
Author Shaw writes new book alleging reporter murdered because of Kennedy investigation.

Was Dorothy Kilgallen Victim Of Mob Hit?

Reporter Dorothy Kilgallen alleged to be victim of Mob hit.
Reporter Dorothy Kilgallen alleged to be victim of Mob hit.


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    • lions44 profile image

      CJ Kelly 

      23 months ago from Auburn, WA

      Always been fascinated by the Killgalen case. My dad mentioned it frequently. I know she talked to Jack Ruby shortly before he died of cancer. After looking at it for years, I've always thought it was accidental. But there were lots of other people who knew both Oswald and Ruby, then mysteriously got killed (I think one of Ruby's dancers too).

      I always split the JFK assassination into two parts: the shooting, which Oswald committed w/o a doubt, and then the shooting of Oswald and Jack Ruby, which I cannot fully explain. Why did Ruby kill Oswald? Was it out of patriotism? I find that hard to believe. Strip club owners usually don't have high ideals. But then I realize, why would the mob hire such a fool like Oswald to do anything?

      In the end, he was just a weirdo trying to be famous. A man was seen in the window (and heard). Ruby wanted to be legit. A sad but all too common story.

      Love the topic. Thx.


    • lovemychris profile image

      Leslie McCowen 

      23 months ago from Cape Cod, USA

      love these type of hubs. very interesting and well written. 2 thumbs up!


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