T-R reporter provides facts for political ‘whodunit’ thriller

T-R PHOTO BY MIKE DONAHEY Times-Republican reporter Sara Jordan-Heintz of Marshalltown with “The Reporter Who Knew Too Much,” by Mark Shaw. The book explores the mysterious death of “What’s My Line?” television celebrity and journalist Dorothy Kilgallen. Jordan-Heintz was interviewed by Shaw, and is referenced or quoted numerous times in his book. Jordan-Heintz, at age 16, wrote a Midwest Today magazine article called “Who Killed Dorothy Kilgallen?”

Times-Republican Features Reporter Sara Jordan-Heintz, 26, has added another accomplishment to her resume.

The popular staff writer, who contributes significantly to monthly publications “Marshalltimes” and “Past Times” can rightfully put another feather in her cap.

Information from her Midwest Today magazine article she started writing at age 16, and completed at 17, has been used in a newly released book, “The Reporter Who Knew Too Much” by author/attorney Mark Shaw.

The book is a “whodunit” murder mystery which includes the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Frank Sinatra, J. Edgar Hoover, Mafia gang leaders, and more.

The book’s central question: “Was ‘What’s My Line?’ television celebrity, media icon, and Pulitzer Prize-nominated investigative reporter Dorothy Kilgallen murdered in November 1965, because she knew too much about JFK’s assassination?”

Kilgallen, was much, much more than a witty panelist on “What’s My Line?”

She was doggedly pursuing facts about the assassination.

Kilgallen was the only journalist, then with the New York Journal-American, to interview Jack Ruby – Lee Harvey Oswald’s killer.

Shaw is a former CNN, ESPN, and USA Today legal analyst, who with fresh information, attempts to strip the bark of the mystery surrounding Kilgallen’s mysterious death.

Her official cause of death, reported as an overdose of barbiturates combined with alcohol, has always been suspect since no investigation occurred despite the death scene having been staged.

“Who Killed Dorothy Kilgallen?” was the title of then 17-year-old Sara Jordan’s article in her parents’ magazine, Midwest Today.

It contained important new information about Kilgallen’s death, including exclusive interviews with people close to her who were never questioned by the police, and who have never spoken out publicly before.

She credits much of the notoriety which came out of the article to her father and magazine publisher, Larry Jordan, who helped her put together the article.

Now, ten years later, Jordan-Heintz is taking time to evaluate what she wrote as well as new material in Shaw’s book.

She came back to two hairdressers who Kilgallen confided in.

“They felt they had the inside scoop on Kilgallen’s life,” Jordan-Heintz said. “They went on camera to say: ‘We knew she was investigating, she made mysterious trips to New Orleans. Their conclusion was Kilgallen believed there was an organized crime element to JFK’s assassination. Kilgallen believed Ruby was recruited to kill Oswald; she was writing about that in her columns. There is a paper trail on her suspicions … There were eyewitnesses who saw Kilgallen at the Regency Hotel in New York City the night before her death with a man who is a person of interest in her death,” said Jordan-Heintz.

Regardless, Jordan-Heintz hopes Shaw’s book, or perhaps other investigations, will lead authorities to Kilgallen’s killer, and importantly, why she was killed.

“Justice is a big rug,” said Kilgallen. “When you pull it out from under one man, a lot of others fall, too.”