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Was Reporter And TV Star’s Death Accidental Or Was She Murdered? Author Asks Judge To Exhume Her Body

Dorothy Kilgallen died while investigating the Kennedy assassination, but author Mark Shaw doesn't buy the official story.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt
Dorothy Kilgallen, Reporter

An author who’s published multiple books regarding the death of reporter and TV star Dorothy Kilgallen has asked a judge for permission to exhume her body in an effort to gather DNA evidence to prove what he believes may have been foul play.

Mark Shaw, author of “The Reporter Who Knew Too Much” and “Denial of Justice,” filed his request with Westchester Supreme Court in New York last week, the New York Post reports.

Kilgallen, a newspaper reporter known for her coverage of entertainment, crime, and politics, was found dead in her Manhattan townhome in 1965 at the age of 52, with the official cause of death being listed as accidental overdose of alcohol and barbiturates.

However, Shaw has made clear his suspicions regarding the manner of Kilgallen’s death, and reiterated his contention that the legendary reporter did not die by accident, but was killed because of her work investigating the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Shaw believes that she did not die by taking “one barbiturate but was poisoned with a combination of three dangerous barbiturates in 1965 following her exhaustive 18-month investigation of the JFK assassination,” his petition, filed Wednesday, reads.

In addition to exhuming Kilgallen’s body, Shaw has asked the court to obtain a DNA sample from former journalist Ron Pataky, whom Shaw believes may have killed her.

Pataky, 84, previously admitted to being the last person to see Kilgallen alive, Shaw claimed. He believes that obtaining a DNA sample from Pataky will show his “probable complicity in her death.”

Shaw claimed in his books that Pataky, who was allegedly in a covert relationship with Kilgallen, was working on behalf of either the FBI or the mafia, if not both, and was ordered to spy on Kilgallen, who was in the midst of investigating the Kennedy assassination, the Palo Alto Daily Post reports.

In addition to her work as a reporter, which garnered her national attention, Kilgallen also rose to fame as a panelist on the much-loved game show, “What’s My Line?” She was laid to rest at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, New York. She is survived by her three children, any of whom have the right, along with Pataky, to object to Shaw’s request, according to the Post.

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