Dominick Dunne died today at 83.  Dunne became a vocal critic of the justice system after his daughter’s killer was sentenced to a mere six and a half years for her murder — and served less than five.  Dunne’s daughter, Dominique, was only 22 years old when she was killed.

After burying his only daughter, Dunne lived another 26 years.  He used those years to expose the ways crime victims are denied justice in America.  In doing so, he was considered a traitor or hysteric by many in the elite circles he moved in, where killers are showered with PEN grants and praise, and victims are considered bourgeois, vengeful, and, worst of all, déclassé.

Dunne stayed in the room, even when he was rubbing shoulders with people like Norman Mailer and Susan Sarandon, who named her son after unrepentant spree killer Jack Abbott (Sarandon attended Abbott’s trial and {content corrected} called Abbott a genius; Mailer had used his celebrity to get Abbott released prior to his last murder, even though Abbott promised him that if he did, he would kill again).

It must have cost Dunne a lot to stay in the room with people like that.  We’re all lucky he did.

Dominick Dunne       Dominique Dunne, murdered at 22

Jack Henry Robbins, named after killer Jack Henry Abbott, with his mother, who named him.

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