Slate‘s Details On Dominick Dunne/Anthony Pellicano

The Anthony Pellicano case has been extensively covered in our Los Angeles sister blog. To wit: Pellicano, one of the most high-profile (and powerful) PIs in Los Angeles, was arrested in 2006 on wiretapping and racketeering charges. It’s alleged that the “P.I. to the Stars” routinely tapped phones, threatened journalists and engaged in similar behavior throughout his career.

But an interesting sidebar was discovered by NPR correspondent Kim Masters for Slate. It turns out Vanity Fair writer Dominick Dunne had tried to hire Pellicano in the early 1980s to put a contract out on John Thomas Sweeney, who killed daughter Dominique Dunne:

“I was nuts at that time with rage and hate that the guy who strangled my daughter for five minutes until she was dead got out in two and a half years,” Dunne says. “I truly went through a period of wanting to hire somebody. I know, it seems absurd now. … But I worshiped my daughter. I just became obsessed with this guy getting out of prison. I wanted harm to come to him.” … Dunne — who says visiting Pellicano’s office was like being in a B movie — found the private eye to have a sympathetic ear. He had followed his daughter’s case. “He understood my feelings,” Dunne says. “He said something to the effect of, ‘Dominick, you don’t want to do this.’ He was so kind to me. … I was willing to be talked out of it.”

While Dunne’s involvement with Pellicano has been public knowledge, this was one of the first times he discussed specifics. Sweeney, who was dating Dominique Dunne, went to prison for only two and a half years.