Author talk with Peter Lance via Zoom
Tuesday, April 20, 2021 6:30 p.m.
Homicide at Rough Point
In the fall of 1966, Eduardo Tirella, close confidant of billionaire Doris Duke, informed the possessive and vindictive heiress that he was leaving her employ as chief designer and art curator to return to Hollywood where his career as a set designer was just catching fire. Minutes later, she crushed him to death under the wheels of a two-ton station wagon as they were leaving Rough Point, her Bellevue Avenue estate in Newport, RI, the storied resort.
In a murderous quid-pro-quo, the local police quickly ruled the incident "an unfortunate accident" and Doris began giving a fortune to Newport, restoring 70 colonial-era homes that quickly turned it into a tourist Mecca. In 2018, Lance, who started his career as a cub reporter for The Newport Daily News eight months after Tirella's death, began a re-examination of the case and proved that the mercurial tobacco heiress got away with murder.
In a riveting, doggedly researched book with 105 illustrations -- including never-before seen forensic files -- Lance, a five-time Emmy winner, rewrites history and finally restores the reputation of Eduardo Tirella, a gay Renaissance man and war hero whom Duke went to great lengths to erase from the history of her troubled life.