"I had a crush on Pete Duel, was devastated by his death on New Years Eve
I still have a suitcase full of Pete Duel stuff I collected, even after all these years I still can't bare to throw it way"
"Pete's death had a huge impact on me, which has been with me ever since. It is a marvellous show and the world lost someone special the day Pete died"
"Omigod I'm normal after all- there are others like me who pine for Pete. Thanks for keeping the show alive."
I don't know if you remember Alias Smith & Jones, but I just loved it as a kid. Somewhere along the line my mother told me that 'Hannibal Hayes' (Pete Duel) had shot himself because of an argument with his girlfriend. Like so many other things since then, I never thought to question it because I 'bought' that explanation 37 years ago.
I'm not exactly sure why Pete Duel came to mind again. It was something to do with my post on Twinsel Town - perhaps the sound of his name that fitted so perfectly into that 'twinning' theme - 'Duel' or Dual. I wondered about continuing that post in the same vein, but got pulled in a different direction. Like the quotes shown above, I too have always held something unsettled in me regarding the 'unacceptableness' of this man's death - perhaps it is too easy to buy into an actor's character, but for me this man was too full of life. I have since read that Pete Duel was far more serious than the character he played, with a passion for nature & conservation.
Because he came to my attention I decided to look at the circumstances surrounding his death. I very quickly got the wtf feeling. He 'apparently' committed suicide on the 31st December 1971, under a christmas tree.
"When I was 10 my favourite show was Alias Smith & Jones. On December 31st 1971 the star of the show committed suicide by blowing his own head off under the Christmas tree, As a child this made me think why would someone do this at such a special time? It still bothers me today"
"On the Thursday night he died, he and his girlfriend, Diane Rey had watched his weekly show. Ms. Rey went off to bed in the house they shared while Mr. Duel stayed up to watch the LA Lakers battle the Seattle Supersonics in basketball. Sometime after midnight, he came into the bedroom, picked up his .38 revolver and told Ms. Rey he "would see her later." Then he walked back into the living room. Minutes later, Rey heard a shot and found Duel dead in the living room."
"No note was found and Mr. Duel had called his answering service that very evening to schedule a wakeup call at 6:30 A.M for an 8 o'clock studio call"
I had no desire to go prying into this man's death but felt it important to take a look at his death certificate - in the top right hand corner of the death certificate we find a cluster of familiar numbers
Date of death - December 31, 1971.
Time: 01 33
Filming had just been completed of the 33rd episode.
There's no way all this would slip past questioning minds these days, but back then we were learning how to 'buy' what we were told.
From wiki: "Alias Smith and Jones began with a made-for-TV movie of the previous year called The Young Country, about con artists in the Old West... Roger Davis starred as Stephen Foster Moody, and Pete Duel had the secondary but significant role of Honest John Smith" ...well who can pass up an opportunity to check up on a name like that (go on just take a quick peek)
Interestingly, in AS & J - Pete Duel still retains the name 'Smith' as his alias, though this time he is Joshua Smith
Looking at other tv programmes that he appeared in in 1971 we find;
-A Passing of Torches (1971-Marcus Welby MD)
A quick search reveals that to 'pass the torch' is - "to relinquish (responsibilities, for example) to another or others"
"Torches are an emblem of the Passion and the Betrayal. They were carried by troops, led by Judas Iscariot, as they came to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane"
-"The Name of the Game" - The Savage Eye (1971)
- "The Merv Griffin Show" .... as Himself (1 episode, 1971) - Episode dated 3 December (so just a few weeks before he died).
"In symbolism, the griffin combines the symbolic qualities of two solar creatures, the lion and the eagle. It is the king of birds and lord of the air united with the king of beasts and lord of the earth. Griffins are a symbol of the sun, wisdom, vengeance, strength, and salvation...The griffin was also an embodiment of Nemesis, the goddess of vengeance and retribution, and turned her wheel of fortune.
The griffin's dual nature led it to be associated with Jesus Christ, God and man, king of heaven and earth. The eagle half of the griffin signified Christ's divinity and the lion half represented his humanity. During the Middle Ages, griffins were symbols of Christ's resurrection."
Pete Duel's death occurred on 31st December (1971) - New Year's Eve - the final day of the Gregorian year. If you are not familiar with this date it is because you have no doubt spent your life in a hut on the moon. This is one of the biggest 'created' times in our lives - here is a link I made earlier, a quick scroll down gives all moon hut dwellers an insight into the orchestrated hype that surrounds this time.
"The largest events in the world are focused on:
Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo
Valparaiso "last year...more than two million visitors witness the largest fireworks in a natural setting ... a total of more than 21 kilometers of fireworks on the bay, from the commercial port city of Valparaiso to Concon, Chile"."
In this modern world of ours we have found we need to blow a hole into next year (& God know's what else) with colourful explosive pyrotechnic devices at this time.
Blowing open the 'Gates of Janus' in Sydney Harbour last year.
A little further info for visiting moon dwellers.
"New Year's Day is the first day of the new year. On the modern Gregorian calendar, it is celebrated on January 1, as it was also in ancient Rome (though other dates were also used in Rome). In all countries using the Gregorian calendar, except for Israel, it is a public holiday, often celebrated with fireworks at the stroke of midnight as the new year starts.
"Fireworks (devices) take many forms to produce the four primary effects: noise, light, smoke, and floating materials (confetti for example). They may be designed to burn with colored flames and sparks. Displays are common throughout the world and are the focal point of many cultural and religious celebrations ...Fireworks were originally invented by the Ancient Chinese for entertainment purposes, as a natural extension of the Chinese invention of gunpowder"
New Years Eve 1971, gun powder blows a hole through the skull of Pete Duel.
"In Roman mythology, Janus (or Ianus) was the god of gates, doors, doorways, beginnings and endings. His most prominent remnants in modern culture are his namesakes: the month of January, which begins the new year, and the janitor, who is a caretaker of doors and halls."
"He was considered to be the "god of the gods" and guarded all kinds of doors and gates. This god was also invoked at the beginning of sacrifices and is therefore thought to have had something to do with beginnings in general"
"According to Macrobius and Cicero, Janus and Jana are a pair of divinities, worshipped as the sun and moon, whence they were regarded as the highest of the gods, and received their sacrifices before all the others. Janus and Janua are variant forms of Dianus and Diana" - his girlfriend Diana lives & Pete dies.
Images of Janus are easy to recognise - he is depicted with two heads looking in opposite directions - Pete Duels exits this world by blasting a 'gateway' through his head.
This article is a dip into something much bigger - however it was always my intention to post what I could on the day of Pete Duels death. I found the following snippet & link which widens this theme for me - however I am limited with time at the present & so post simply for your perusal & interest.
"Let us look now at the esoteric symbolism of Janus, especially in connection to arcane Christian Mysteries. A curious document expressly representing Christ in the form of Janus shows a cartouche painted on a detached page of a fifteen century manuscript found at Luchon, in France. This painting ends the leaf for the month of January in the prefatory calendar of the book. At the summit of the medallion is the monogram "I.H.S" (for Hiesou, Greek for "Jesus") surmounted by a heart.
The rest of the medallion features a bust of Janus and his dual function in the harmonization and blending of his/her dual nature. The two faces represent a male and female; they both share one crowned head, which we will discuss later on. The male figure holds a scepter in his hand and his female counterpart holds a key." Full article link follows if you are interested -
"The Gregorian calendar is the most widely used calendar in the world today. It was first proposed by the Calabrian doctor Aloysius Lilius, and decreed by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom it was named, on 24 February 1582 by the papal bull Intergravissimas..."
Pete Duel was born on 24th February (1940) "
...The intercalary day in a leap year is known as a leap day. Since Roman times 24 February (bissextile) was counted as the leap day, but now 29 February is regarded as the leap day in most countries."
I apologise if this tale is a little meandering, there is a wider theme that will be looked at in the next part. At the moment I am writing this on New Years Eve. I do not know if & why Pete Duel killed himself, but trails lead in many directions. I do not know if sacrifices are hand picked, if the key is to be found in the numbers or stars of their birth, if nasty secret societies need to feed their agendas or some kind of dimensional energies are at work. However when looking at the circumstances leading up to & surrounding the death of this man, I do not feel the element of free will.
A few weeks ago I happened upon a DVD of the first series of AS & J, after a certain amount of umming & ahhing (well research can be bloody expensive) I bought the set & have been been making my way through them ever since.
The introduction which I remembered word perfect from childhood tells us that neither of the outlaws ever shot anyone. Incidentally this beginning is narrated by Roger Davis, the actor who replaced Pete Duel in the show & who had starred with him in the original movie The Young Country.
Thus far there has been an episode where we are told a 17 year old girl committed suicide - the story turns out to be fabricated - 17 reversed gives 71 (the year of his death) plus perhaps the message that there was no suicide.
Another episode is entitled "The Man who murdered himself" - a really poor excuse for a storyline with a search for the remains of a mythical race of 7 foot Indians - bones are eventually found in a cave & Hannibal Heyes (Pete Duel) is requested to lie down beside them to gauge their height - I found this image & the episode's title very disturbing.
The 12th episode is entitled "The Fifth Victim" in which Pete Duel is shot in the head. In this episode, unless my maths is worse than I thought, only 4 people are shot, 3 are killed plus Hannibal Heyes (Duel) is wounded but pulls through, so who I wondered was the 5th victim?
Pete Duel came from a very long line of doctors & it was thought he would follow in the family footsteps, instead he became an actor - not an easy career choice however "On his arrival in Hollywood in the mid-1960s, he struck pay dirt almost immediately in semi-heavy roles." For Pete Duel the doors swung open very easily.
I shall leave this article here for now. For this part I'm trying to draw attention to the timing of his death & why that might have been. We are right on the cusp of yet another year & all the hype, drama & heightened tensions of that event makes me wonder very much about the timing & details of an event from 37 years ago & just how much effect it had on the psyche of the people of that time. My feelings & research & the words & feelings of others suggest that even though many years have passed the events surrounding this man's leave-taking require an honest gaze.
In the meantime & on the anniversary of his death I offer these words & intent "Go with Love, Peter Deuel"
c.1432, "otherwise called," from L. form of alius "at another time, in another way," from alius "(an)other," from PIE *al- "beyond" (cf. Skt. anya "other, different," Avestan anya-, Armenian ail, Gk. allos "another," Goth. aljis "other," O.E. elles "otherwise, else"). The noun meaning "assumed name" is first recorded 1605.