28 April 2017

Published April 26, 2017 by rochellewisoff

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THOUGHTS ON WORD COUNT. It can be painful to slaughter darlings and the writer may think, “Impossible. My story won’t have the same impact without those 50 extra words.” Surprise! 99.9% of the time it’s not only possible, but preferable. That’s what this exercise is about. Learning to say more with less. Take a second look before posting. Start with adverbs and passive voice. Instead of “I was running as quickly as I could…” try “I rushed…” THINK ABOUT IT.


The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit. 


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Genre: Historical Friction

Word Count: 100


            Every Sunday night I watched the popular game show with my family.     

            Typically, the announcer would first introduce, “…the popular columnist whose Voice of Broadway appears in newspapers coast to coast…”

            Miss Kilgallen floated to her seat and introduced the next panelist. “And to my left…”

            Whether blindfolded or not, she had a knack for sussing out a person’s identity or occupation. Why not? Her connections to prominent government officials and movie stars were legendary.

            Sadly, she died of an accidental overdose in November 1965.

            The show went on.

            Fifty years later the question looms unanswered. Who murdered Dorothy Kilgallen?  




Was it an accident or was it murder?

92 comments on “28 April 2017

    • Dear Neel,

      It always interests me that the personalities we consider ‘world famous’ really aren’t. I was unaware of this bit of mystery in history until recently. Thank you for your lovely comment/compliment.




  • An interesting story based on the mystery of her death, Rochelle. I remember that show. I’ve heard it can be dangerous to know too much about some famous and powerful people. The ordinary person has no idea the intrigue happening in the world among the rich and famous. Good writing as always. —- Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Suzanne,

      I think to those of us of a ‘certain age’ What’s My Line was a permanent fixture for 17 years. (Beginning 3 years before I was born). Thank you for reading and, as always, leaving such a nice comment.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Oh, my! I hadn’t thought about that show in decades! As usual, you picqued my interest, Making me want to know “the rest of the story”.
    I have a new career suggestions for you: Writing the articles they print on book covers telling what a fascinating book you’re holding! Yours would be much more interesting & concise than most!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Frances,

      I’ll take your career suggestion under advisement.

      I really didn’t know anything about the mystery or conspiracy theory until recently. I loved the show as a child. Note: It aired 3 years before you or I were born. Thank you.




  • She was really good. I think she even guessed Colonel Sanders. By 1965, America had already been treated to the Warren Commission and was apt to speculate that the official story was not entirely truthful. Thanks for the prompt and the story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Josh.

      Confession. I’ve been binge watching the show on YouTube. That’s how I came to notice the theory that Dorothy Kilgallen was murdered. From the interviews with her makeup artist, I lean toward believing the murder theory. A lot of shadiness enshrouds that era…not to mention 1965 wasn’t all that far from the McCarthy era. “O beautiful for spacious skies…”

      Thank you for coming by.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Never heard of this person before. Interesting. Methinks I need to go out and see if I can find the book… that is, once I have functional wheels to do so. Loved your story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jelli,

      My you’ve had some week, my friend. ❤ Happy you took some time to read my little story. I'm thinking that book could be a good one to read, now that my appetite has been duly whetted. Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m reading a book by Tami Hoag at the moment (title escapes me) but the lead female is a woman with PTSD and Brain Injury, and the way Ms. Hoag writes her story she puts to words the difficulties of daily life that I’ve been unable to put to words for years. And, she does it sooo very well. “Cold, Cold heart” that’s the title, I think.


  • I vaguely remember the “What’s My Line?” show, though no one was an avid watcher in my home, that I can remember. How you pull up these little snippets is just beyond me!
    Now I want to learn even more about her!

    Liked by 2 people

  • Wow. I wasn’t a fan of the show, but it was so popular everyone knew who she was…in the day. I didn’t even know she was an investigative reporter. Her ties with the President Kennedy assasination investigation are completely new to me as well. So much intrigue and substantial evidence sure leads to her murder theory. Well done M’luv, and another very interesting history lesson of a possible cold case murder.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jan,

      Why doesn’t it surprise me that you weren’t a fan of the show. It was a Sunday night ritual in our house. 😉 As a kid I really had no clue about her ties or death. This is all new stuff to me…but oh so fascinating. Thank you.




    • Dear Sandra,

      Of course I had to look up Lady Isobel. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been binge watching the old shows. During the Queen’s coronation, two of the American panelists, Dorothy Kilgallen and Arlene Francis went overseas for the occasion. Arlene and Barbara Kelly changed places as panelists for each other’s show. As always, I’m pleased to direct you down Memory Lane. 😉 Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • This is fascinating, Rochelle – and not a little unnerving. Although I’m often sceptical when it comes to conspiracy theories (I do not think Elvis faked his own death and is flipping burgers in the Mid West, neither do I think Princess Diana was killed on the orders of Prince Phillip!) Dorothy’s death certainly sounds more than a little suspicious. The 1960s were a rocky time for the world, filled with unrest and (as many would have seen it with the civil rights movement) huge rifts in society and sometimes all those with power want is to make problems go away.
    Chilling and fascinating, Rochelle. I’m surprised no onw has made a film about it. Thanks so much for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Magaly,

      Always happy to nudge…or noodge, as it were. 😉 Her face was part of most Sunday nights in our house. The rest of the story I only recently read about. I fear this is one of those cold cases that will remain in the supposition department. Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane, Rochelle. I used to watch this show every week and haven’t thought it for a long time, until today.

    Happy Friday to you and the Fictioneers,

    Liked by 1 person

  • Oh, that’s fascinating and intriguing. I never heard of her but you drew me right in. And, we had a show like this in Germany in the late sixties/early seventies. Like most shows, the idea was ‘nicked’ from American shows. Four people guessed a stranger’s profession based on a hand movement. The longer they had to guess, the more money the guest took home (it was a ridiculously low amount). In the end they were blindfolded and guessed a celebrity. I loved that show, it was funny at the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Maddie Blythe,

    You would make a good panelist on “To Tell The Truth,” whereas I’m more suited for “To Twist Alternative Facts.” Orsen Bean was my favorite panelist, and I believe Kent was particularly fond of him as well.

    Can you imagine what “Queen for A Day” would be like if they remade it now? Ah, TV’s Golden Age.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Carl,

      I’m also a fan of Mr. Bean. I loved him on “To Tell the Truth.” I’m chuckling as I imagine “Queen for a Day” in the 21st century. Television was something quite different back in those days. Afraid these days my favorite TV channel is ‘off.’ Thank you for tuning in this week. Now a word from our sponsor.


      Maddie Blythe


  • Dear Rochelle,

    I’ve never heard of her, but then I probably wouldn’t have done so living in the UK. We didn’t have so many US imports on the TV in those days, if any. In fact, I’m not sure I even watched much telly then.

    I do love conspiracy theories though. Have you ever looked at all videos on YouTube about UFOs and extra terrestrials? They’re so entertaining and some of them are quite creepy D:

    Yet again, you’ve rooted out a historical gem for our entertainment. The story certainly has sufficient potential for a novel. It might be a bit dangerous to write it as non-fiction, in case the author was taken out by assassins fearing she might unearth some dark secrets!

    Loved our chat yesterday 🙂

    All best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sarah,

      Our Skype chats are getting to be something of a habit, aren’t they? I like that.

      It seems that the Beatles bridged the gap between our countries. 😀 After that came the “British Invasion.” I’m forever grateful for that. At that time I had a pen pal in Cardiff. I don’t even remember her name now.

      Dorothy Kilgallen and another panel member, Arlene Francis attended the Queen’s coronation. The American and British “What’s My Line” shows exchanged panel members for a week as well. Miss Francis for Barbara Kelly.

      Dorothy Kilgallen’s life would make for an interesting novel. Not sure I’m the one to write that one. At any rate I’m glad you liked my story. Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

      • Dear Rochelle,
        Long may it last that the Americans and British stay pals and continue to make cultural exchanges 🙂
        The advent of the Beatles was a defining moment for the music scene. They were so fresh and different.
        I just had to pay tribute to them with Sergeant Salt and His Mercenary Lurcher Band in my Noah novel. Okay, the Lurchers weren’t musical but they stepped right off the “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover” in their military outfits and there were a few hidden jokes aimed at parents and grandparents who enjoy reading children’s books!
        All best wishes,


  • Wow, I used to watch the show but I don’t really remember her death. Guess I was too involved with toddlers and the imminent birth of my oldest daughter. Even if she was right, it wouldn’t take a mobster to squash the story. The powers that be wanted a nice neat answer in a hurry, not a dirty deal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear April,

      I really don’t remember her death. I think by 1965 I’d lost interest in the show. That’s when I was entering my teens and was much more interested in the Beatles than Dorothy Kilgallen. Thank you for coming by to read and comment. 😀




  • The reporter who knew too much is it? So sad for her. Truth can be dangerous, it seems. And yes, I totally agree with what you’ve written about the word limit. Apart from coming up with a story, the fun lies in packing the scene and the emotions into a 100 words. Working with a word limit makes us write better, I feel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Liz,

      Those obscure stories are out there for the taking. 😉 As for the post-mortem…I think they did but found what they were ‘supposed to.’ Overdose of barbiturates. I truly believe there’s more to the story. Thank you.




    • Dear Eric,

      My parents loved the show so it was on every Sunday night. I’ve been binge watching them on You Tube. They were really good shows. So now I’m more intrigued by Ms. Kilgallen than ever as I revisit. She was a presence. Many thanks for your kind words.



      Liked by 1 person

  • So many unsolved crimes, and so many consipracy theories… A fascinating topic. I had never heard of Dorothy K. or the programme.
    It’s a very beautiful and suggestive picture, I still have no idea where it will take Alice this week:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Luccia,

      If you had heard of the show, you’d have been more likely to know the names Betty Kelly and Isobel Barnett who were two of the British version panelists. 😉 Thank you for tuning into the purple channel.



      Liked by 1 person

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