Born in Santa Monica, California and the daughter of the writer and investigate journalist Dominick Dunne and his ranching heiress wife Ellen Griffin Dunne, Dominique Dunne would likely have become an acting great.
Her early credits included Shadow Riders, V and Poltergeist. Described as “vivacious and strong”, Colorado State University educated Dunne’s life was cut short when her “unhealthy relationship with an unstable man” – a “pasty skinned chef [who had worked with Wolfgang Puck] with a terrible temper” named John Sweeney – ended with her being strangled for 4-6 minutes outside their West Hollywood home on 30th October 1982.
After what was described as a trial that showed “life is cheap” where even the judge later commented of it: “Justice was not done”, Sweeney was pathetically only convicted of manslaughter and a separate misdemeanor assault. He was jailed to the outrage of many for only 6.5 years in 1983 and served just three.
Dominique Dunne’s headstone was captioned: “Loved by all” and though John Sweeney changed his name to “John Maura” and moved to the Pacific Northwest to resume his career as a high-powered chef, he most certainly cannot lay claim to anyone describing him in any way similar: Some 500 are currently members of a Facebook group demanding this vile murderer be returned to prison.
Watch Dominique Dunne: The Complete Story:
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I have seen most of the vid. Terrible tragedy that really was avoidable. Sometimes outgoing and successful women get caught in a cyclical trap of abuse from their partners, entering into a rollercoaster world of ecstatic highs and deep lows. They somehow think the risk is worth taking and carry on regardless, never realising the true danger they are exposed to on a daily basis. I think that is what happened here. Really sad. Send the monster back to jail.
I disagree. Dominique did all she could to get away. The letter she sent shows that. Her reaction to the Halloween mask shows that. Her reaction when he came to her house shows that. If the friend who was there had done something instead of hiding indoors and then running away then perhaps this may have ended differently. Either way, the real issue here is that justice was NOT served. Even the judge admitted it (but only at the end when faced with outrage). The jury should have seen the evidence regarding previous assaults by John Sweeney. May he (John Sweeney/John Maura) rot in hell.