1966 death of Doris Duke employee an accident, review finds | National News

“To that end, it would be imprudent to either reclassify this incident or to offer any further commentary beyond our official opinion. Accordingly, as we have previously articulated, it remains the opinion of the Newport Police Department that there is not sufficient evidence to draw any firm conclusions as to the motivations of Ms. Duke,” the statement said.

Lance, in a telephone interview Tuesday, called the findings of the police review “absurd.”

In a statement, he said that as the author of several books critical of the FBI on counterterrorism and organized crime, “I have never seen such an abdication by a law enforcement agency of its responsibility to tell the truth about a known criminal act.”

Duke inherited her money from her father, James Duke, president of the American Tobacco Co. and co-founder of the company known today as Duke Energy. Duke University in North Carolina is named for her family.

Tirella had worked as a designer for Duke for several years. On the day of the death, the pair were taking the car to look at an artifact, according to Lance’s book. But Duke was furious at Tirella for telling her that he was leaving to become a set designer in Hollywood, Lance said in the book.

Police conducted a brief interview with Duke several days after Tirella’s death at which point investigators took her at her word that it was an accident.

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