An odd line in the Times obit of Dominick Dunne seems to suggest that the late writer's family wanted to delay the announcement of his death in order to make sure it wasn't overshadowed.

The cause was bladder cancer, a family spokesman said. The spokesman had initially declined to confirm the death, saying the family had hoped to wait a day before making an announcement so that Mr. Dunne's obituary would not be obscured by the coverage of Senator Edward M. Kennedy's death.

Yes, but his own magazine had an obituary and a tribute up yesterday before 5 p.m.. Not confirming it at that point would seem to be a bit futile.

Still, no one wants to die right after a Kennedy. We suspect there may be as many as four celebrities who are dead right now but refuse to admit it. (Has anyone heard from Gore Vidal lately? There's someone whose pride would cause him to die on a slow news week.)

Dominick Dunne's People Waited So He Wouldn't Be Overshadowed By Ted Kennedy [Notas/Guanabee]

Update: New York Social Diary reported Dunne's passing a little after 3 p.m. yesterday, followed by the Observer and Huffington Post. We're told nearly everyone who knew the news early yesterday was "sworn to 'secrecy.'" VF may have meant to comply with the family's wishes and hold the announcement for a while, but once the news was out on the internet that probably wasn't a option.