Special Collections and Archives

Leo Damore papers

Special Collections and Archives

Leo Damore papers

Leo Damore papers

Finding Aid

Prepared by Ron Antonucci, December 1995; Updated February 2015

Inclusive Dates: 1969-1993
Extent: 18.3 cubic feetn (52 document cases, 1 record storage box)
Physical Location: Storage

This collection is housed in a climate-controlled environment off site and requires at least up to three weeks for retrieval. Please call or email the department with requests for this material prior to planning your visit.

Scope and Content Leo Damore's papers and records were donated to the Department of Special Collections and Archives of Kent State University in November 1993. The author of five books, Damore's donation contains research materials, notes, transcripts, documents and correspondence pertaining to four of them.

The bulk of the material consists of newspaper clippings and notes recorded by Damore during his research on the individual books. The highlights of the collection include typescripts of the books with Damore's marginal notes and the collected evidence and transcripts of interviews relating to the Antone Costa case (IN HIS GARDEN) and the Chappaquidick incident (SENATORIAL PRIVILEGE). Damore often utilized the verso of a draft page from one book to type or take notes for another book making it difficult for both the researcher and the archivist to discern what belonged with what. Damore was able to acquire photographs and documents previously unavailable to reporters and chroniclers.

Some of the materials in this collection, such as autopsy reports and photographs, are graphic in nature.

Biographical Note Leo Damore was born in 1929 in Ontario, Canada, and moved to North Tonawanda, New York, with his family. He was graduated from Kent State University in 1952. During his years on the campus, he was a prominent writer for the Chestnut Burr and the Daily Kent Stater.

He was working for The Cape Cod News in July 1969 when the incident involving Senator Edward Kennedy and the death of Mary Jo Kopechne at Chappaquidick occurred. Damore, who had a reputation as a dogged, thorough reporter, was able to obtain interviews and investigatory materials from police and court officials which he would use in his New York Times bestseller, SENATORIAL PRIVILEGE. That manuscript was initially rejected by Random House, which had paid him a sizeable advance. Claiming that the publisher was bowing to pressure from the Kennedy family, the issue went to court. Damore was able to reach a settlement with Random House and the book was finally published by Regnery Gateway in 1983.


Damore committed suicide in October 1995.

Book: The Crime of Dorothy Sheridan- 1978

Box 1

  1. "Legal documents, motions, autopsy report, Indictment." Notes.
  2. "Legal background/cases cited." Notes.
  3. "Pretrial." Notes, clippings.
  4. "Trial." Notes, book proposal,
  5. "Post trial and Appeal." Notes, clippings.

Box 2

  1. Background clippings, notes.
  2. Notes, file copy of F.I. Broadhurst, reporter for Cape Cod Standard Times.
  3. "Bibliography."
  4. Notes, clippings.
  5. Notes.
  6. Notes.

Box 3

  1. "Dorothy Sheridan Personal." Notes, clip.
  2. "Christian Science." Booklets, periodicals, clippings, notes.
  3. Background clippings and notes.
  4. Background clippings.
  5. Legal background, clippings, notes.
  6. "General Background stuff."
  7. "Harwich." Clips, notes, booklet.
  8. Background, correspondence, clippings.

Box 4

  1. "Version 1" of the manuscript, with prospectus, outline, appendix to new edition.

Box 5

  1. Typescript draft, with notes.

Box 6

  1. Manuscript version, with notes.

Book: Senatorial Privilege - 1988

Box 7

  1. Note: the contents of box 7 were deaccessioned, August 2011.
    (Note: This box was comprised of newspaper clipping scrapbooks on loan to Damore during the writing of this book and were subsequently returned to their original owner.)

Box 8

  1. Kopechne inquest transcripts with Damore marginal notes.

Box 9

  1. Investigatory notes, documents, clippings.
  2. Plaintiff brief.
  3. Court briefs.
  4. "Documents." Correspondence, notes.
  5. Investigatory and court documents.

Box 10

  1. Pre-inquest hearing.
  2. Kopechne hearing, 10/20/69 transcript.
  3. Background research.

Box 11 (files as chronologically arranged by Damore)

  1. "Preinquest August." (1969) Clips, notes.
  2. "Preinquest Sept." (1969) Clips, notes.
  3. "Oct OK/Endnotes." (1969) Clips, notes.
  4. "Nov--OK notes." (1969) Clips, notes.
  5. "January----Inquest OK/Notes." (1970) Clips, notes.
  6. "Post Inquest 1970." Clips, notes.
  7. "1971 OK for notes." Clips, notes.
  8. "1973--OK for notes." Clips, notes.
  9. "1974---OK for notes." Clips, notes.
  10. "1975 OK for notes." Clips, notes.
  11. "1976 OK for notes." Clips, notes, wire reports.

Box 12 (files as chronologically arranged by Damore)

  1. "1978--OK for Chapter notes." Clip.
  2. "1979--OK for Chapter notes." Clips, notes.
  3. "1980--OK for Chapter notes." Clips, notes, ephemera.
  4. "1981--OK for Chp notes." Clips.
  5. "1982 Chapter notes OK." Clips, notes.
  6. "1983 OK for Chp notes." Clips, notes.
  7. "'84 OK Chap notes." Clips.
  8. "1985 OK for Chapter notes." Clips.
  9. (1988) Clips.
  10. (1989) Clips.

Box 13

  1. "Ted Kennedy/Pre-Background 1962-1969." Clips, notes.
  2. "Background" on Kennedy campaigns.
  3. "Background politics -- Jim with JFK and RFK and Mary Jo Kopechne." Notes.
  4. Correspondence, notes, manuscript pages.
  5. Miscellaneous notes.
  6. "Appendix." Notes.
  7. "Arena." Notes.
  8. "Dinis Background." Notes, correspondence.
  9. "McLaughlin Background and Correspondence." Clips, notes.
  10. "Background/Elliott Richardson." Clips, notes.
  11. "Background/Politics Jim Smith (O'Donnell)."
  12. "Jimmy Smith Interview." Notes, 1968-69 memo book.

Box 14

  1. Chief Arena interview notes.
  2. Joseph Gargan interview notes, correspondence, section of manuscript.
  3. "Jim Smith" interview notes.
  4. Photos, documents, correspondence.
  5. "Documents." Correspondence, notes, clippings.
  6. Miscellaneous interviews and tape transcripts, notes.
  7. Motor Vehicle Registrar correspondence, notes.

Box 15

  1. 1969 clippings.
  2. Inquest, miscellaneous clippings.
  3. "Background Chappy publicity to 1972." Clips.
  4. "Law and Medical."
  5. "Future Interview Questions."
  6. Miscellaneous clippings, notes.
  7. Miscellaneous correspondence, clippings, notes.
  8. Miscellaneous notes.
  9. Tangential clippings, miscellaneous research materials.

Box 16

  1. Miscellaneous clippings.
  2. Miscellaneous clippings.
  3. Miscellaneous clippings.

Box 17

  1. "Used notes."

Box 18

  1. Miscellaneous notes and correspondence.
  2. Legal, permissions regarding manuscript.
  3. "Photo research."
  4. Photos.
  5. Page proofs, correspondence.

Box 19

  1. Early draft of manuscript.

Box 20

  1. Draft pages with notes.

Box 21

  1. Typescript with notes, Pages 1-637.

Box 22

  1. Manuscript.

Box 23

  1. Typescript, from Title page thru page 600.

Box 24

  1. Typescript, page 601-1173.

Box 25

  1. 2 copies of galleys.

Box 26

  1. Reviews, clippings.
  2. "Recent Chap mention" -- Reviews
Book: The Cape Cod Years of John F. Kennedy - 1967

Box 27

  1. Manuscript with marginal notes.

Box 28

  1. Clips.
  2. "Original photos."
  3. "Photos as they appear in the book."
  4. Photos, negatives.
  5. Photos.
Book: In His Garden - 1981

Box 29

  1. Investigator's notebooks; correspondence, reports, clippings.
  2. Police report, warrant.
  3. "#52 Photo Wysocki." (No photo therein) Death certificates, notes.
  4. 2 investigator's notebooks.
  5. "Police Investigation/Reports-Autopsy Reports."
  6. "#41 Antone Costa Records of Witnesses."
  7. "#39 Costa Autopsy Reports."
  8. Investigative report.
  9. Inventories of victims' pocketbooks.
  10. Ballistics report.
  11. "#49 Antone Costa Dental Charts." (Contains those of the victims.)
  12. Costa's hospital records.
  13. Damore files, as found: transcripts, reports.

Box 30

  1. 7 investigator's "working notebooks."
  2. "Subpoena."
  3. "Part 1." Medical examiner's report, notes.
  4. "Additional Police." Documents, reports, correspondence.
  5. List of witnesses.
  6. Statements of girls' boyfriends.
  7. Witness interview: Primitivo Africa.
  8. Victims' fingerprint report.
  9. "Costa/Journals letters, memos doops." Police reports, documents, psychological reports, notes.
  10. Victims' personal effects found near gravesite.
  11. Automobile body material chips.
  12. Burlington, Vermont, police file on Costa.
  13. Costa's job application from Massacheusetts General Hospital.
  14. "Part II used notes." Police, court documents, witness interviews, clippings, notes.
  15. "Walpole/(PostTrial)" Transcripts, corrspondence, notes.

Box 31

  1. "Arraignment and pretrial Hearings on Motions." Transcripts, documents, notes.
  2. "Checked Transcripts." Notes.
  3. "Unused notes---Drugs and Chronology." Notes, clippings.
  4. "Part IV used notes." Legal documents, transcripts, psychological report, notes.
  5. "Afterward used." Correspondence, transcripts, notes.
  6. "Agenda Register Legal Expense List."
  7. "Part IV used notes." Transcripts, correspondence, notes.
  8. "Part 4/outakes---unused notes." Correspondence, legal papers, clip, notes.

Box 32

  1. "Used Police notes/Part 1 OK." Correspondence.
  2. "Drugs." Addendum to Damore's prospectus for the book; clippings, notes.
  3. "Galleys." Notes, clippings (apparently used to check against publisher's galleys.)
  4. "Zimmerman." (polygraph examiner) 1 copy of "The Polygraph in Court." Correspondence, clippings, notes.
  5. "Miscellaneous/Expenses Book and Articles." Clips, investigatory documents, notes.
  6. 1 copy of the Cape Cod Register for Thursday, April 5, 1979.
  7. Background clippings, notes.
  8. Clips.
  9. Clips from "Inside Detective."
  10. "Press/Radio/TV Trial OK." Clips.

Box 33

  1. Costa's writings/letters/notes.
  2. "Hole #2 Walsh Wysocki" (includes autopsy photographs)
  3. "#54 Photos Hole #2 Walsh Wysocki" (includes autopsy photographs)
  4. "Antone Costa copy"/Witness interviews transcripts.

Box 34

  1. Witness interviews transcripts.
  2. Transcripts/reports/trial notes/correspondence.
  3. Police reports/evidence/correspondence/trial notes/clippings.

Box 35

  1. "Motions--Answers" Transcript of initial Costa interview.
  2. "#59 Photo--VW. Burlington Pol Sta" Contains evidence inventories.
  3. Case history/transcripts of interviews.
  4. Investigator's interviews, "statement of Facts" (found loose in collection).
  5. "Pretrial Motions--Agenda"
  6. "Motions" Correspondence/documents.
  7. Interviews transcripts (as found).
  8. Court transcripts/documents (as found).

Box 36

  1. Transcripts of defense team interviews with Costa, others.

Box 37

  1. Evidence found in auto glovecompartment, eg., chewing gum, matches, magic marker.
  2. Misc. stray papers, notes, photo, etc.
  3. Interview transcripts (partial), notes (loose, as found).
  4. Stray papers, documents, notes, etc.
  5. Typescripts of "Investigator's attempt at a "novel on case."

Box 38

  1. Two small padlocks, one with keys; 4" candle.
  2. "Antone Costa tapes---w/lawyers and Zimmerman." 28 reels audio tape; 1 cassette.

Box 39

  1. "Part 1/used notes ok".
  2. "Part II unused notes."
  3. "Part III used notes." Contains police investigatory correspondence and documents.
  4. "Part III used notes."
  5. "Afterward/General notes used and checked."
  6. "General notes used."
  7. "Used notes."

Box 40: Contains loose items/personal effects found in Antone Costa's apartment: matches, eyeglasses, papers, wristband, notebooks, etc.

  1. Papers from Costa's wallet and wastebasket.
  2. Costa's auto registration, DMV papers.

Box 41: Typescript of a "novel" by Antone Costa aka A. Charles Costa.

Boxes 42 and 43: Trial transcripts.

Box 44

  1. "Afterward/Post-trial motions, etc."
  2. Editorial correspondence.
  3. Reviews, clippings, ads for book.
  4. Miscellaneous author's revisions.
  5. Early draft with handwritten notes.
  6. Publisher's page proofs.

Box 45

  1. Incomplete typescript.

Box 46

  1. Draft, pp. 1-230.
  2. Draft, pp. 1012-1480.

Box 47

  1. Draft, pp. 130-843 with notes in pencil.

Box 48

  1. Draft, pp. 844-1480 with notes in pencil.

Box 49

  1. 2nd draft, title page through p. 624.

Box 50

  1. 2nd draft, pp., 625-1253.

Box 51

  1. Final draft, title page through p. 712.

Box 52

  1. Final draft, pp. 713-1482.

Box 53: 8 blueprint-style topographical maps.


Box 54: Contains stray papers, misc., and unidentified materials. One copy of "The Housewife's Handbook on Selective Promiscuity."

  1. Stray and/or unidentifiable papers.
  2. Damore columns from the Cape Cod News.
  3. Portions of an apparently unpublished Damore manuscript.
  4. Correspondence: Copy of letter from Leo Damore to Audrey and Irwin Bierhans: March 22, 1990. [donated by the Bierhans]