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.
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