Dorothy Kilgallen Mystery / John Lennon & the Beatles

Dorothy Kilgallen Mystery / John Lennon & the Beatles


HostGeorge Noory

GuestsMark Shaw, Jude Southerland Kessler

A former criminal defense attorney and legal analyst for CNN, ESPN and USA Today, Mark Shaw is an investigative reporter and the author of 25 books. In the first half, he discussed the suspicious 1965 death of reporter and TV star, Dorothy Kilgallen. His new book, to be published in early 2021, will be called "Collateral Damage" and explore the connections between Kilgallen and Marilyn Monroe's deaths and the JFK assassination. The untimely demise of the two women shared a striking number of similarities, he remarked, including botched autopsies, involvement with powerful men who became enemies, and possibly staged deaths. Monroe was said to be on the verge of exposing her relationships with the Kennedys before her death, while Kilgallen had a book contract in place that would reveal truths about the JFK assassination. He added that both women were inaccurately disparaged after they died-- it was said Dorothy had a drug and alcohol problem, and Monroe had made previous suicide attempts.

When Kilgallen was discovered dead in her townhouse, the autopsy cited an overdose of barbiturates and alcohol but also mentioned "circumstances undetermined." Yet, there was never any police investigation, Shaw pointed out. Further, in a glass found in her bedroom, a toxicologist discovered phenobarbital remnants, which suggested that she may have been dosed or poisoned by someone emptying capsules into her drink. This, and the fact that her body had been moved to a different room in the townhouse, led Shaw to conclude that it was not an accidental death or suicide, but rather murder.


Author and historian Jude Southerland Kessler has spent her entire life preparing to write or researching/writing her myth-busting John Lennon series of books. In the latter half, she spoke about the historical importance of the Beatles, how they got their start, why they were such a phenomenon in the 1960s, and Lennon and McCartney's complicated relationship that led to their break-up. The band was not an overnight success, she noted, as aside from Ringo, the members had joined the group back in the late 1950s. Stuart Sutcliffe, one of the original members, came up with the Beatles' name, inspired by Buddy Holly's band, the Crickets.

The early version of the Beatles that played in Hamburg clubs from 1960 to 1962 really coalesced their sound together, Kessler observed, and brought them to the attention of manager Brian Epstein. In 1964, the Beatles first toured in the US, appeared on the Ed Sullivan TV show, and became a huge sensation. One often overlooked aspect of Lennon's life was that he was a talented writer and voracious reader. He was forever in a state of flux, Kessler commented, and had he not been killed at age 40, "I think the future would have been wide open for John," as he was not beholden to any fixed ideas. After Epstein's death in 1967, Lennon and McCartney couldn't work as well together, she detailed, and they battled over new management, and the "Sergeant Pepper" recording. Though Lennon wanted to leave, McCartney convinced him to stay with the band to record "Let it Be," their final album.

News segment guests: Howard Bloom, Mish Shedlock




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