New York Times, January 1, 1972
HOLLYWOOD, Dec 31 (AP) — Peter Duel, a television actor, was found fatally shot today in his Hollywood Hills home, the police said. Capt. F.L. Brittell of the Hollywood police said Mr. Duel might have committed suicide. But an associate said that the 31-year-old actor had been cheerful in a full day of performing yesterday.
“He filmed an episode and he was due on the set at 8 o’clock this morning to wrap it up,” said Allan Cahan, the unit publicist for Alias Smith and Jones, a comedy Western series in which the actor costarred.
“I spent Christmas day with him, too,” Mr. Cahan said. “He was fine, in good spirits.”
The police said that a girlfriend, Dianne Ray, 29, was at Mr. Duel’s home when he died. She told them she had been invited to watch the latest episode of Alias Smith and Jones with him last night. After midnight, she said, the actor went into another room saying, “I’ll see you later.”
She said she then heard a shot. The police said that Mr. Duel died of a single head wound. A handgun was found near the body. They said another spent bullet found in the house turned out to be a week old.