DUEL DEATH CLASSED AS SUICIDE
San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle, January 2, 1972
HOLLYWOOD (UPI) — The death of Pete Duel, a happy-go-lucky television star found shot to death with his own handgun, was listed yesterday by the coroner’s office as “consistent with a self-inflicted type of wound.”
Services for Duel, who starred in the television series Alias Smith and Jones, were to be held here today with interment later at his hometown of Penfield, N.Y.
Duel’s body was found early Friday after Dianne Ray, a secretary, called police. She told police she and the 31-year-old bachelor had watched television, then she retired to a bedroom after midnight.
She said Duel came into the room, took a pistol from a drawer and said, “I’ll see you later” as he walked out.
A short time later she heard a shot and found the actor’s body lying next to a Christmas tree in the living room of his rustic two-bedroom home. A snubnose .38-caliber revolver was at his feet, police said.
Deputy County Coroner David Katsuyama said the bullet entered the right side of Duel’s head, penetrated his brain and exited from the left side.
Police said Miss Ray and the actor’s brother, Geoffrey, 27, also an actor, reported Duel was despondent over a drinking problem. He had entered a guilty plea last June to a felony drunk driving charge.
Alan Cahan, publicist for the television series said Duel was “an intense kind of guy. I saw him Christmas and he was excited because a TV movie for the educational channel he did was a success. His series had been renewed. He didn’t seem unhappy.”