Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods
Dominick Dunne
The Killing Of William Woodward Jr.
The Killing Of William Woodward Jr.
In his 1985 roman a clef, The Two Mrs. Grenvilles, Dominick Dunne related the story of the homicide of William Woodward that rocked high society. Woodward was blasted by his wife Ann Woodward with both barrels of a shotgun while he walked naked through his mansion. The scandalous killing, dubbed the "shooting of the century" by Life magazine, was a tragedy that pained the family long after the official investigation ended. While working on his fictional account of the Woodward tragedy, Dominick Dunne befriended Woody Woodward, William's son, who had dropped out of the public eye. The men were close enough that when Woody asked Dominick not to use the Woodward name when publicizing the book, Dunne agreed.

Photo: 20th March 1955: Guests at the Palm Beach Polo Club in Florida, (from left) Ann Woodward, William Woodward Junior (behind), Mrs Sanford, Mrs Pansa, Charles Wacker and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. (Photo by Bert Morgan/Keystone/Getty Images)

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