Getting Away with Murder

Hosted byIan Punnett

Getting Away with Murder

About the show

Award-winning crime journalist Peter Lance joined host Ian Punnett (Twitter) to discuss his latest book, Homicide at Rough Point, which provides new details regarding the brutal 1966 death of interior designer and war hero Eduardo Tirella. Lance argued Tirella was murdered by billionaire Doris Duke and the evidence covered up by local law enforcement. Lance provided a brief history of Newport, Rhode Island, where Duke's family and other members of America's wealthy aristocracy resided. "The rules didn't apply to them," he commented.

According to Lance, Duke had been kept isolated by her father and became famously paranoid. She was vindictive and possessive, and had a voracious sexual appetite, he added. Lance shared an account of her relationship with long-term boyfriend and jazz musician, Joe Castro, who one night in 1963 had joked about her piano playing ability. Duke slashed his arm with a chef's knife causing an injury that required 150 stitches, he reported. Castro sued her so Duke hired lawyers and an ex-FBI agent to essentially kidnap Castro to get him to drop the suit, Lance added, pointing out Duke often used such tactics to clean up her messes.

Tirella worked as Duke's principle designer and curated every piece of art she purchased, Lance continued, noting he became a close companion who traveled with Duke and lived at all of her estates. On the day of Tirella's tragic death, he told Duke he was leaving her and the two got into a fight before departing by car to make a pick-up. Official reports record Duke accidentally struck Tirella with the car as he was opening the gate. A new forensic analysis, however, suggests Duke hit Tirella with the car, crashed through the gates as he was attached to the hood, and then crushed him when he fell off, Lance reported, noting blood and skin were found in the street. Duke hired people to sanitize the record of the incident, but admitted to her next lover she had killed Tirella on purpose, he revealed.

Laws of Fashion

For centuries, clothing has been a wearable status symbol, a weapon in struggles for social change; and dress codes, a way to maintain political control. During the first hour, law professor and cultural critic Richard Thompson Ford delved into the history of the laws of fashion. Ford defined fashion as any clothing that conveys information, such as personality, status, or power. He outlined changes in fashion in America during the revolutionary period, noting how men in particular cast off the sumptuous clothing and wig styles of British aristocracy in favor of a more streamlined look as they moved toward democracy. Ford also reflected on fashion changes which occur after pandemics. "It wouldn't surprise me at all if you got some real showy fashion coming out at the end of the [COVID-19] pandemic," he said.

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