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Judge Petitioned to Allow Dorothy Kilgallen’s Body to Be Exhumed to Solve Murder Mystery

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By: David Ben Hooren

On Nov. 8, 1965, newspaper columnist and TV star Dorothy Kilgallen was found dead in her Manhattan apartment, at the age of 52. She made her regular appearance as a panelist on the TV game show “What’s My Line?”, and later that evening she was found dead, lying naked under a robe and still wearing make-up. The medical examiner decided that it must have been a tragic accidental mix of alcohol and sleeping pills. She was buried at the Gates of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne.

Last week, roughly 54 years later, author Mark Shaw filed a petition in Westchester Supreme Court to disinter Kilgallen’s body from the Cemetery, and to let him exhume her body for DNA evidence. The author of “The Reporter Who Knew Too Much” and “Denial of Justice,” Shaw investigated Kilgallen’s mysterious death and came up with an alternate theory. To prove his notion, he is requesting permission to test her body for DNA evidence. As reported by the NY Post, Shaw also wants the court to allow him to get a DNA sample from retired journalist Ron Pataky, who is now 84, to “establish his probable complicity in her death.” Pataky has admitted that he was “the last person to see her alive”.

“Examining the remains will, under the direction of nationally-known forensic expert Dr. Cyril Wecht, permit a DNA sample to be extracted from the body of a true patriot, denied justice from 1965 when she died up to this very day, for comparison’s sake with the man who most likely killed her, as noted below,” reads the introduction passage of the court document submitted by Shaw.

As per the court petition, as well as his books, Shaw believes that she was drugged and that the death was no accident. He maintains that Pataky was helping Kilgallen’s enemies, which included Mafia boss Carlos Marcello, who wanted the reporter dead to silence her ongoing investigation into the JFK assassination. Shaw believes the DNA tests may show that Kilgallen and Pataky had physical contact before she died suddenly. Shaw has served the petition to exhume Kilgallen to her three children, and Pataky, any of whom may object.

Before her death Kilgallen had interviewed Jack Ruby and had decided that she had cracked the case on JFK’s assassination. Her research, which she never got to publish, included a strong link between Lee Harvey Oswald, Ruby and Marcello.

In the petition, Shaw appeals to the court to allow the DNA tests, providing the following as his first reason for the request: “Pataky’s admissions to two close relatives of his being the last person to see Kilgallen alive, apparently by meeting her at the Regency Hotel bar a few blocks from her East 68th Street townhouse during the wee hours of November 8, 1965, and then accompanying her to her townhouse hours before Kilgallen was found dead in a bedroom she never slept in with her false eyelashes, makeup, and hairpiece still in place. In what surely amounted to a staged death scene, she was also wearing bedclothes she never wore, and a book she had already read was upside down on her lap with reading glasses nowhere to be found. Missing was Kilgallen’s JFK assassination investigation file which contained all of her notes about the president’s death, including those from her interviews with Jack Ruby at his trial. It has never been found.”

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