Please print this letter for me. It probably won't mean anything to anyone else but it has made me feel a little better:
Well, you have claimed another victim. It was in the person of Peter Duel. When I knew Pete in 1965 & 66, he was happy to have gotten his series Love On A Rooftop. He was finally able to do some of the things he had wanted to do. Pete did not let the fame go to his head. He dressed the way he wanted in levis and sweatshirts. He drove a beat up Toyota jeep and it made him happy. What happened to the happiness Pete had then? What kind of pressure made him feel he couldn't face another day? I have to believe that someday Pete will be born again in another time and place. I only hope he finds happiness the next time around.
Mrs. Pamela S. M****** San Diego, Calif.
If you read what Pete told us just before his death (see page 12) you'll see that he hoped so, too.
When I found out Pete Duel died I was really upset. It was like a friend of mind died. What will happen to the show now? Will it stay on or off? My deepest sympathies to Pete's entire family.
Our sympathies to Pete's family also.
The answers to your questions about the show appear in Televisionary
on page 38.
Attached are two newspaper clippings which relate the tragic death of Mr. Pete Duel. One states a neighbor found Mr. Duel slumped in a small parked car outside his home fatally shot. No gun was mentioned. The article, submitted from Hollywood by UPI, stated police felt it was possible homicide. The second clipping (from Hollywoodno byline) stated he left his girl friend after viewing the latest episode of Alias Smith & Jones and walked into another room at which time his girl friend heard a shot. He was found, according to this article, lying beside a Christmas tree and a hand gun was nearby.
If Mr. Duel could be as depressed as the one clipping states (and yet all the people interviewed claimed he was in such good spirits) he must have been an exceptional actor indeed. But I have yet to hear of anyone who could act so well as to convince a neighbor and police that he was possibly murdered in a parked car outside his home and also commit suicide inside his home within the hearing of his girl friend.
I think this should be looked into.
Sue Ann C****
I called UPI to check this out for
you and they referred me to our local City News Service, which
referred me to the Associated Press who said they'd never heard
the report on Pete's being found in a car and that their reports
had all come directly from the police. When I called Los Angeles
Police Sgt. Dan Cook (who worked the case) he, too, had never
heard the car report. "We originally thought it might be
homicide," he told me, "because a second bullet had
been fired. But our investigation revealed it had been fired one
week earlier. The official coroner s finding was that the
wound was consistent with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.' There
was no skullduggery. We investigated every aspect of the case."
Sgt. Cook also said interviews with Pete's girl friend, brother
Geoffrey and others revealed that while Pete had never threatened
to kill himself, he had been very depressed. As to the
erroneous report you read of Pete being found in a car--none of
the news agencies will own up to it. But I can assure you of this:
it was erroneous! (For more on Pete turn to our interview
with him on page 12.)
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