In a strange twist of one celebrity having more fame than another, the family of writer Dominick Dunne tried to hide his death from the media so his death wouldn’t be overshadowed by the demise of Senator Ted Kennedy:

The Vanity Fair journalist and novelist Dominick Dunne has died from cancer at 83. It transpires that he passed away on Wednesday just when the world’s media were scrabbling to cover the death of Edward Kennedy. Because they did not want his obituaries to be overshadowed by the senator’s death, Dunne’s family tried to keep his death a secret, with a spokesman initially refusing to confirm it.

Hiding a death is almost as bad as abandoning a life; and across the arc of his being, Dominick threw away his early human value as a movie producer to booze and drugs and later regained his humanity in the savage death of his daughter and his fight for revenge against that injustice.

Most of us will remember Dominick Dunne for his daily coverage of the O.J. Simpson trial.  Dominick had been through such a court circus before and he knew, as we all knew, that justice would not be done and O.J. would walk more because of the color of his skin than the darkness of his deeds.

As we are left in the wake of Dominick’s death, we are made bitter by the paranoid translucence of his family — hoping one death wouldn’t trump another’s
— and we begin to get a sense of the valueless family void that formed the early Dominick before he found his own way and shattered the brittle chattel that bound him.