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Episode 452: Doris Duke and the Murder of Eddie Tirella

1 Jam, 33 Menit

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20 April 2023

On a cold October afternoon in 1966, billionaire heiress Doris Duke returned to her palatial Newport estate in the company of friend and interior decorator Eduardo Tirella, stopping her car just outside the large iron gate that barred entrance to the driveway. Having offered to open the gate, he stepped out of the car and walked toward the gate, when the car began rolling forward, knocking Eduardo to the ground and crushing him under the two-ton weight of Duke’s station wagon. Within four days of Tirella’s death, the Newport Police had closed the case, calling it an “unfortunate accident,” but the residents of Newport, Rhode Island weren’t as convinced.  Thank you so much to the remarkable David White for research assistance! References Duca, Rob. 2021. "Newport police closed Doris Duke case, again." Newport This Week, November 24. Duke, Pony, and Jason Thomas. 1996. Too Rich: The Family Secrets of Doris Duke. New York, NY: Harper Collins. Lance, Peter. 2021. Homicide at Rough Point: The Untold Story of How Doris Duke, the Richest Woman In America, Got Away with Murder. Auburn, NH: Tenacity Media. —. 2021. The triple 'murder' of Eduardo Tirella, gay confidant of Doris Duke. November 29. —. 2021. "The Doris Duke Cold Case Reopens: The Only Known Eyewitness Speaks for the First Time." Vanity Fair, August 5. Mansfield, Stephanie. 1992. The Richest Girl in the World: The Extravagant Life and Fast Times of Doris Duke. New York, NY: G.P. Putnam & Sons. New York Times. 1964. "Divorce suit filed against Doris Duke." New York Times, January 11: 14. —. 1935. "Doris Duke is wed to J.H.R. Cromwell." New York Times, February 14: 23. —. 1966. "Duke estate death ruled an accident." New York Times, October 12: 25. Newport Daily News. 1967. "Crash victim's kin asks $2.5 million of Doris Duke." Newport Daily News, December 8: 1. —. 1966. "Death of Miss Duke's friend ruled 'unfortunate accident'." Newport Daily News, October 10: 1. —. 1966. "Doris Duke kills friend in crash." Newport Daily News, October 8: 1. —. 1966. "Press blasts police chief Radice on handling public information." Newport Daily News, November 3: 1. Schwarz, Ted, and Tom Rybak. 1997. Trust No One: The Glamorous Life and Bizarre Death of Doris Duke. New York, NY: St. Martin's Press. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at


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