November 23, 1959 - November 4, 1982
Dominique Dunne was the daughter of
Dunne, the writer (and friend of everybody).
He's probably most famous for his true crime reports (O.J., The Menendie, Phil
Vanity Fair, and his "rent a gob" reports on any show that will give
him a second of airtime. I liked him. A lot. Although he lives in New York now,
he epitomized LA to me. Dominick died in 2009.
people remember Dominique as the older sister in the first Poltergeist film.
Dominique was living in a
sweet home on Rangely in West Hollywood. In
1982, she was dating an abusive dick-brained psychopath named John Thomas
Photo by Brian Donnelly
He was a chef at Ma
that people were arare that he and Dominique had an abusive relationship. She
had enough of his shit, and broke up with him.
wasn't having it.
On October 30th, of 1982 -
he shows up at her house to attempt reconciliation.
lines for the show V with an actor named David Packer. Sweeney comes
knock knock knockin'. Dominique opens the door, tells Packer to stay
inside, and she heads out to talk the lunatic down. While outside - the
shit got real.
Now Packer is often blamed for not going to
Dominique's rescue, but how was he to know? Wasn't his issue, and none of
his business. Jobeth Williams really threw him under a bus in one of those
E! shows. Ultimately, how was he to know? Packer was scared shitless
of Sweeney and I don't blame him. This makes no sense: Packer called
the police but was told that the crime was occurring outside their
jurisdiction This makes no sense. He made a phone call to a friend
saying something like - If I end up dead, the killer is Sweeney.
Photo by Brian Donnelly
Eventually Packer did open the
door and found Sweeney in the driveway kneeling over Dominiques limp body. After 4.5
minutes of strangling her in her driveway, he looked at Packer and said,
"I killed my girlfriend." 911 was called.
Dominique was rushed to Cedars Sinai where she remained in a coma for 6 days.
images were shown during the trial.
At 11am on November 4, they pulled the plug. God, she was only 22
years old. Strangulation is listed as the official cause of death.
organs were harvested per her mother's request.
The funeral was held at Westwood Catholic
Church. So many people attended, one person commented, "What did they
do, call Universal Casting?" to which Dominique's pal Gloria Gifford
commented, "No, many people loved Dominique." Miguel Ferrer was
one of the pallbearers. Carrie Fisher was there. George Clooney was
a friend as well. George went to acting school with Dominique.
Back to dick-brained
Sweeney. So they arrest him, and he confessed. Open
and shut? No way.
He was charged with murder and assault. He attempted suicide
with a disposable razor. After a year of trial etc, he was convicted of assault
and unintentional manslaughter. RIIIIIIGHT. He was given a six-year prison sentence. SIX YEARS! I
guess being around a dick-brain rubbed off. The poor Dunne family. Again,
thanks to Findadeath.com friend Kieran Smith for this info: Sweeney was
sentenced to 6, but was let out in 2 1/2 years.
According to Dominick, Dominique's father,
after the sentencing the Judge Burton Katz thanked the jury on behalf of both
families. Dominick stood up and screamed, "don't thank them for our
family." and said "you withheld important information from the
jury." Dominick claims credit for destroying the Judge's career.
Upon his release,
Sweeney now goes by the name John Patrick Maura. I understand he's a chef
Dominique's mother set up a grievance support
group called, "Justice for Victims of Homicide." On the nights
that Sweeney worked, Dominique's brother Griffin and other friends and group
members would hand out papers in front of the restaurant that stated, "The
hands that will prepare your meal tonight also murdered Dominique
Dunne." Sweeney was instantly fired and moved to the
Northwest. He changed his name to John Maura. I hear he is back in
To learn more about Dominique and her life, go to this
George Clooney was deposed at the trial regarding Sweeney's stalking patterns.