Dorothy Mae Kilgallen (July 3, 1913 – November 8, 1965) was an American journalist and television game show panelist. She started her career early as a reporter for the Hearst Corporation's New York Evening Journal after spending only two semesters at The College of New Rochelle in New Rochelle, New York. In 1936, she began her newspaper column, The Voice of Broadway, which was eventually syndicated to over 146 papers. She became a regular panelist on the television game show What's My Line? in 1950.Kilgallen's columns featured mostly show business news and gossip, but also ventured into other topics like politics and organized crime. She wrote front-page articles on events such as the Sam Sheppard trial and later the John F. Kennedy assassination, becoming the only reporter to interview Jack Ruby, Lee Harvey Oswald's killer, out of earshot of sheriffs' deputies. The circumstances of Kilgallen's death have been the subject of conspiracy theories. Because the cause of her death was officially ruled as "undetermined," and because she openly criticized U.S. government agencies as far back as 1959, some[who?] believe that Kilgallen was actually murdered in order to silence her.Born in Chicago, Kilgallen was the daughter of Hearst newspaperman James Lawrence Kilgallen (1888–1982) and his wife Mae Ahern. The family moved from Chicago to Wyoming, Indiana, and back to Chicago before finally settling in New York City. Dorothy's sister Eleanor, six years her junior, became a casting agent for movies and television shows. After two semesters at The College of New Rochelle, Dorothy Kilgallen dropped out to take a job as a reporter for the New York Evening Journal, which was owned and operated by the Hearst Corporation. She was Roman Catholic.In 1936, Kilgallen competed with two other New York newspaper reporters in a race around the world using only means of transportation available to the general public. She was the only female contestant and she came in second. She described the event in her book Girl Around The World and penned the screenplay for a 1937 movie, Fly Away Baby, starring Glenda Farrell, as the Kilgallen-inspired character. During a stint living in Hollywood in 1936 and 1937, Kilgallen wrote a daily column that could only be read in New York that nonetheless provoked a libel suit from Constance Bennett, "who in the early thirties had been the highest paid performer in motion pictures," according to a Kilgallen biography, "but who was [in 1937] experiencing a temporary decline in popular appeal."Back in New York in 1938, Kilgallen began writing a daily column, the Voice of Broadway, for Hearst's New York Journal American, which the corporation created by merging the Evening Journal with the American. The column, which she wrote until her death in 1965, featured mostly New York show business news and gossip, but also ventured into other topics like politics and organized crime. The column was eventually syndicated to 146 papers via King Features Syndicate.In April 1940, Kilgallen married Richard Kollmar (1910-1971) who had starred in the musicals Knickerbocker Holiday and Too Many Girls. Beginning in April 1945, Kilgallen co-hosted a WOR-AM radio talk show, Breakfast With Dorothy and Dick, with Kollmar from their 16-room apartment at 630 Park Avenue. The show followed them when they purchased a Georgian brownstone at 45 East 68th Street in 1952. The radio program, which like Kilgallen's newspaper column mixed entertainment with serious issues, remained on the air until 1963.In 1950, Kilgallen became a panelist on the American television game show What's My Line?, which aired on the CBS television network from 1950 to 1967. She remained on the show for 15 years until her death. Fellow panelist Bennett Cerf claimed that, unlike the rest of the panel's priority on getting a laugh and entertaining the audience, Kilgallen's main interest was guessing the right answers. She would also, according to Cerf, milk her time on camera by asking more questions than necessary, the answers to which she knew to be affirmative.Cerf described Kilgallen as an outsider among her castmates for two reasons: The first being her political point of view, that of a "Hearst girl," differed from the others', and the second being that information elicited during dressing-room conversations would subsequently appear in Kilgallen's gossip column. Cerf, speaking for his fellow panelists, panel moderator and himself in an audio-tape-recorded interview at Columbia University two years and two months after Kilgallen's death, said, "We didn't like that."Kilgallen was among the notables on the guest list who attended the coronation of Queen Elizabeth, in 1953. Kilgallen's articles won her a Pulitzer Prize nomination during this era.In 1958, Kilgallen and her husband Kollmar, along with Albert W. Selden, co-produced a musical on Broadway entitled The Body Beautiful. Kilgallen and her fellow panelists made mention of the show on various episodes of What's My Line? during this time period. On one episode, a cast member of the ill-fated musical (a well-built young man, billed as a "chorus boy" in the episode) appeared as a contestant and stumped the panel.Kilgallen and the Kennedy assassinationKilgallen conducted an interview with Jack Ruby inside the Dallas courthouse where he was tried for the shooting death of Lee Harvey Oswald, although she never revealed the subject of their conversation. Approximately four or five months later, she obtained a copy of Ruby's testimony to the Warren Commission, which was published on the front pages of the Journal American, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Seattle Post Intelligencer and other newspapers. Most of that testimony did not become officially available to the public until the commission released its 26 volumes in 1964.Regarding the assassination, Kilgallen wrote, "That story isn't going to die as long as there's a real reporter alive, and there are a lot of them alive." She had a history of government criticism, suggesting in 1959 that the CIA recruited members of the Mafia to assassinate Fidel Castro (which many years later was proven to be the case). By the time of the assassination, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover had been keeping a file on the "flighty and irresponsible" columnist (his words about her preserved in his own handwriting) for 25 years.The FBI never determined who had given the columnist a transcript of Jack Ruby's testimony to the Warren Commission. The agency abandoned, in September 1964, all attempts to identify this source. The attempts had included sending two FBI agents to her home, where Kilgallen told them she would not identify the source under any circumstances.On November 8, 1965, Kilgallen was found dead on the third floor of her five-story brownstone, just 12 hours after she appeared, live, on What's My Line?. Her hairdresser, Marc Sinclaire, found her body when he arrived that morning to style her hair. He said decades later that she always slept on the fifth floor, adding that on November 8 he used his key to the brownstone and went directly to the third floor where he always did her hair near her large wardrobe closet. She had apparently succumbed to a fatal combination of alcohol and barbiturates, possibly concurrent with a heart attack. It is not known whether the death was a suicide or an accidental overdose, although the amount of barbiturate in her system "could well have been accidental," according to medical examiner James Luke. Dorothy Kilgallen was interred in a modest grave at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, New York.The footstone of Dorothy Kilgallen in Gate of Heaven CemeteryKilgallen and Arlene Francis appeared as Joan Crawford impostors on an episode of the daytime version of To Tell The Truth that was videotaped on November 2, 1965 and broadcast six days later while United Press International broke the news about Kilgallen's death. CBS News immediately noticed the report on its UPI machine from the Teletype Corporation. Anchor Douglas Edwards announced it during the five-minute live newscast he regularly did promptly after the closing credits of To Tell The Truth. He clarified for viewers that the preceding broadcast on which they had seen Kilgallen had been "prerecorded." Kilgallen's appearance on this game show episode has been lost because of wiping. The CBS Afternoon News with Douglas Edwards was not preserved, either.Because of her open criticism of the Warren Commission and other US government entities, and her association with Jack Ruby and a 1964 private interview with him, Ramparts (magazine) speculated that she was murdered by members of the same alleged conspiracy against JFK. The February 1967 edition of Cosmopolitan, then edited by Helen Gurley Brown, reprinted the Ramparts article. Kilgallen's claims that she was under surveillance led to a theory that she might have been murdered. She had reportedly told a few friends after her Ruby interview that she was "about to blow the JFK case sky high." Throughout her career she consistently refused to identify any of her sources whenever a government agency questioned her, and that might have posed a threat to the alleged JFK conspirators.Kilgallen's autopsy did not suggest evidence of homicide.. On the death certificate, however, medical examiner Luke typed "circumstances undetermined" underneath his notation "acute ethanol and barbiturate intoxication." Luke spent 45 minutes at the death scene, according to Kilgallen's Washington Post obituary. The medical examiner's office documented that he had spent an hour and five minutes there. Another medical examiner named Dominick DiMaio signed the death certificate, typing below his signature that he was doing this "for James Luke." Referring to Kilgallen's death certificate, DiMaio said in a 1995 interview quoted in Midwest Today magazine, "I wasn't stationed in Manhattan [where Kilgallen died]. I was in Brooklyn. Are you sure I signed it? I don't see how the hell I could have signed it in the first place. You got me.
Katisha, did you catch the interview with Parnau on Coast to Coast AM? If not, here it is:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LW639X43 ... re=related
Dorothy Kilgallen The Reporter Had Many Sources:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_28bt0g ... re=related
The Lonesome Death of Dorothy Kilgallen :When her hairdresser found her she was propped up in bed, still wearing her make-up, false eyelashes, false hairpiece, and earrings. And one more thing--dead to this world. Her hairdresser and friend Marc Sinclaire, found this odd, as she would normally never go to bed in this condition. But that was not the only strange thing her hairdresser noticed when he found the body. Dorothy was not wearing her regular pajamas, but instead a blue matching peignoir and robe. A book was on her bed, a book she had finished reading two weeks earlier. Her reading glasses, which she needed, were nowhere nearby. She was found in the third floor bedroom of the townhouse. She always slept in the fifth floor bedroom. Her husband, Richard Kollmar was asleep in the fourth story of the townhouse. He gave inconsistent accounts of what happened that night. He claimed that Dorothy arrived home at 11:30 p.m., in good spirits, and went off to write her column. But those who saw her in the Regency lounge reported her being there far past midnight 2 a.m. Later, when asked by friends about Dorothy’s JFK investigation, he replied, “I'm afraid that will have to go to the grave with me." And it did when Kollmar died of a drug overdose in 1971.Later, it would be discovered that her JFK file that she had been compiling for years would go missing.Today, Dorothy Kilgallen’s name will go unrecognized by the current generation but she was at one time one of the first of a new bread of celebrity journalists. By the mid-50s, she was the most famous journalist in America, made even more apparent by her 15-year stint as a panelist on the popular CBS show, What’s My Line. The events surrounding her untimely and mysterious death have become intertwined with the lore of the Kennedy assassination. She would be one of many suspicious deaths in the case. She started her career in journalism at the age of 17 covering crime stories and earned a reputation of good, thorough reporter--someone that left no stone unturned. By 1950 her column was running in 146 papers, and reaping 20 million readers. Kilgallen’s style was a mixture of gossip, movie star news, and politics. As time went on her reporting got closer to heart of power in this country. She was one of the first reporters to imply, which we now know to be true, that the CIA was working with the mob to assassinate Fidel Castro. Declassified documents show that the FBI was monitoring Kilgallen’s activities since the 1930s while the CIA closely watched her travels overseas. Devastated by the news of John Kennedy’s death (of whom she met on a White House tour with her son), Kilgallen increasingly turned her attention, and her impressive crime investigation skills, to the assassination of the president. Dorothy Kilgallen quickly made a name for herself as one of the first (and few) people in the mainstream press to question the Warren Commission report. Kilgallen pulled no punches as she wrote the first article on the FBI’s intimidation of witnesses, interviewed Acquilla Clemons a witness to the shooting of Officer J. D. Tippit whom the Warren Commission never questioned (Clemons claimed to see two men at the scene of the murder—none matching Oswald’s description), and was successful in interviewing key figures such as Jack Ruby.Kilgallen’s death has many mysterious elements to it. The autopsy showed her to be in overall good health, but tests found her to be over the legal limit for alcohol consumption. The cause of death would be ruled as "acute ethanol and barbiturate intoxication, circumstances undetermined." In an odd turn of events, Dr. James Luke, a New York City medical examiner that did the autopsy, did not sign the death certificate. It was signed by another physician, Dr. Dominick DiMaio, who when questioned, did not know why his name was appeared on the certificate, nor was he working out of Manhattan at the time.In 1968 a test using a new process determined from saved tissue samples, proved that Dorothy Kilgallen died of fatal mix of three barbiturates: secobarbital, amobarbital, and pentobarbital. Kilgallen was not known as a drug user. She was spotted at the Regency hotel, chatting with a stranger in a booth. Perhaps a source? Did this man slip a mickey in her drink? Her favorite drink included the ingredient, quinine, which can be used to mask the taste of barbiturates. The Regency was seven blocks from her home and it is unknown how she got to the townhouse or what transpired during this time. She apparently was not among friends in her final hours.In 1975, Dorothy's son Dickie, was contacted by the FBI concerning his mother's JFK papers. He told them the notes were still missing. Notice that the FBI was interested in the papers at this late date, after they had long decided that Oswald was the murderer of the president. Why would they be so interested now? When those who go to murder, and desire to make the victim’s death appear as a suicide, they all have one thing working against them. They can never know enough about the intended victim’s personal habits. In this case, if Dorothy Kilgallen’s death was a murder, the killers were not aware of her favorite bedroom, her sleep attire, her need for reading glasses, or for that matter, the book by her side was one that she had already read.So was she murdered? Like so many tragic happenings like this the evidence for a murder is circumstantial. If she was murdered, we’ll never know the names of the people who did it. They are forever outside of our knowledge and justice system. Sometimes the bad guys win. But, to answer the question, yes I do believe she was murdered. She knew too much and most likely ticked off too many powerful people. Of course, there is no way to prove a thing. However, her JFK file remains missing. In closing, here is a quote from the FBI’s FOIA section on Dorothy Kilgallen:“Ms. Kilgallen and Director Hoover corresponded with each other. Miss Kilgallen printed information in her column several times about cases involving the FBI, none of which were true. Dorothy Kilgallen died in November 1965, from alcohol and barbiturates
by kenmurray » Wed Sep 01, 2010 7:28 am The only reporter ever to interview Jack Ruby. She is on the list of mysterious deaths in the JFK case:http://www.midtod.com/new/articles/7_14_07_Dorothy.html