1966 Doris Duke employee dies in accident, review finds – action news jax
Newport, Rhode Island City Manager supports the City Police Department’s review of the 1966 death of an employee of wealthy heiress Doris Duke who discovered – as the original investigation – that it was an accident.
Police opened the examination of Eduardo Tirella’s death in July after a witness who had never spoken to the police came forward after reading the book “Homicide at Rough Point” by Peter Lance. The author and journalist who grew up in Newport suggested that Duke, who died in 1993, acted with intent when she hit Tirella with a car in his mansion.
This witness, Bob Walker, 68, was a 13-year-old newspaper delivery boy at the time who was the first on the scene, and his account differed from the official versions of what happened.
But while Detective Jacque Wuest, who conducted the review, found Walker to be “credible,” she concluded in a statement last week: “There is no new evidence that would change the previous conclusion in this case. , nor any new evidence that merits further examination.
Tuesday’s statement from City Manager Joseph Nicholson Jr.’s office backed police, saying “at this time, we cannot ascribe any definitive motive or intent to Ms. Duke.”
“To that end, it would be unwise to reclassify this incident or offer any other comment beyond our official opinion. As a result, as we have already explained, the Newport Police Department is still of the opinion that there is insufficient evidence to draw firm conclusions as to Ms. Duke’s motives, ”the statement said.
Lance, in a telephone interview on Tuesday, called the findings of the police review “absurd.”
In a statement, he said that as the author of several FBI critical books on combating terrorism and organized crime, “I have never seen such an abdication by a law enforcement agency. of his responsibility to tell the truth about a known criminal act “.
Duke inherited his money from his father, James Duke, president of American Tobacco Co. and co-founder of the company known today as Duke Energy. Duke University in North Carolina is named after his family.
Tirella had worked as a designer for Duke for several years. On the day of the death, the couple were in the car to look at an artifact, according to Lance’s book. But Duke was furious with Tirella for telling him he was leaving to become a decorator in Hollywood, Lance said in the book.
Police held a brief interview with Duke several days after Tirella’s death, at which point investigators took her at her word that it was an accident.
Duke had a huge influence in the city in 1966, and apparently still, Lance said.
“What this actually means is that Doris Duke, who died in 1993 at the age of 80, still wields enormous influence over the current administration of the town of Newport,” he said. .
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