Unsolved Hollywood Deaths
With Netflix’s recent rebooted version of Unsolved Mysteries, it got us thinking about the many deaths of some of our favorite starlets who have gone unresolved. There’s nothing quite like a Hollywood “Whodunnit!”
It’s the curious elements of a murder case that truly fascinates true-crime obsessives. Some even have particularly violent, gruesome, and disturbing details.
What’s even more unsettling is that some deaths remain unsolved, meaning that the perpetrator has disappeared into the night after the act was finished.
So we wanted to look into some of these cases to see if there’s some big conspiracy at work or if these 10 famous people were the consequence of pure dumb luck!
Keep reading to see which unsolved Hollywood deaths we’re talking about!
Unsolved Hollywood Death: Brittany Murphy
Actress Brittany Murphy died on December 20th, 2009, at 32, after battling flu-like symptoms for many days. The Los Angeles coroner stated that the likely cause of death was pneumonia, iron deficiency, and drug intoxication.
Murphy’s husband, Simon Monjack, passed away in the same home six months later. Officially, Monjack and Murphy succumbed to pneumonia and anemia, which some still find a bizarre coincidence.
Originally, her death had been ruled an accident, but family members became suspicious when her husband died under virtually the same circumstances. So WAS it murder, or maybe a murder followed by a suicide?
Murphy’s father claims that an independent toxicologist found evidence that she had been poisoned with some sort of arsenic.
Still, the police have never re-opened her case, which continues to confuse many who doubt that this healthy young actress died of natural causes.
So what are YOUR thoughts? Was this unsolved Hollywood death an accident?
Unsolved Hollywood Death: Bob Crane
The star of the 1960s TV sitcom Hogan’s Heroes was found brutally murdered in his Scottsdale, Arizona, apartment in 1978. Bob Crane was found battered to death with an electrical cord tied around his neck.
His death came as a surprise, as did the following sordid revelations about his life, including his apparent intercourse addiction. In this unsolved Hollywood death, the primary suspect was John Carpenter, a friend of Bob’s who was in town to visit him.
Carpenter’s car was seized and searched by the police, who found blood streaks that matched Crane’s blood type. However, the evidence was insufficient for the jury to convict Carpenter in his 1994 trial. He was acquitted and maintained his innocence until his death.
Because Carpenter was always the sole suspect and died in 1998, Crane’s death will most likely never be solved. Bob Crane’s murder is still unsolved.
Unsolved Hollywood Death: Tupac Shakur
In 1996, rap superstar Tupac Shakur passed away in Las Vegas a few days after a drive-by shooting that happened while he was leaving a boxing event. He was waiting at a red light in a car when he was shot four times, one bullet hitting his left lung.
Apparently, Orlando Anderson, a rival gang member, had been the one who fired the fatal shots after Shakur attacked him in a fight a couple of hours earlier. However, Anderson was only questioned about the incident once, and nobody was ever charged.
But reportedly, this story starts with a failed attempt on his life two years earlier, in which Tupac blamed producer Sean Combs and rival rapper Christopher Wallace. Wallace was murdered six months later in LA.
There haven’t been any arrests made in either case, and Shakur’s murder is one of the strangest unsolved cases in Nevada.
Unsolved Hollywood Death: Thelma Todd
Actress Thelma Todd passed away from carbon monoxide poisoning in 1935, when she was 29 years old. She was found slouched over her steering wheel of a Lincoln.
However, the engine wasn’t running, and Todd’s throat showed signs of something like a pipe or hose had been forced into her mouth by an attacker.
Suspects included her ex-husband and current lover: notorious gangster Lucky Luciano. According to the L.A. Times, she received several notes demanding she pays $10,000 or be killed in the weeks before her death.
The grand jury that set out to investigate was unable to come to any type of conclusion, remaining split between people who believed she’d been murdered and those who thought she’d died accidentally.
If you’re finding this list of unsolved Hollywood deaths interesting and you’re as fascinated with “Old Hollywood” as much as we are, check this out!
Unsolved Hollywood Death: George Reeves
In 1959, actor George Reeves, who had played Superman in the tv series Adventures of Superman, died of a gun wound to the head at the ripe old age of 45.
Though it was originally thought that he had killed himself, the lack of any gunpowder on his hands suggests that he may have been murdered. But, the gun had been oiled too recently to be able to retain fingerprints.
Even though Reeve’s death was ruled as a suicide, many people believe that he was either killed or he was the victim of an accidental shooting, mainly because the gunshot wound happened during a social visit between Reeves and some friends and his fiancé.
But no one could, or would, ever say. Friends of Reeves have said that they didn’t think he would ever kill himself. Some even say that his ex-lover, Toni Mannix, is to blame. A publicist said that Mannix later confessed to the murder, though later denied that claim.
Unsolved Hollywood Death: Elizabeth Short
Even though this case isn’t about some HUGE Hollywood actress, this young girl’s case has become so famous that she may as well have been!
The body of the 22-year-old aspiring actress Elizabeth Short was found brutally slain on January 15, 1947, in an empty lot near Leimert Park in LA, California. Her body was cut up in half, drained of blood, and stripped of all evidence.
The only witness was of little to no help, stating only to have seen a black sedan parked on the spot. Despite the many theories, allegations, and leads, the killer was never found over the years.
Nowadays, the Black Dahlia murder, as the case has become known, remains one of the oldest unsolved Hollywood deaths in Los Angeles and the city’s most famous.
Unsolved Hollywood Death: Natalie Wood
On November 29th, 1981, movie star Natalie Wood, known for her role in “West Side Story” and “Rebel Without a Cause,” had drowned while on a boating trip with husband, Robert Wagner, and actor Christopher Walken.
Wagner reported Wood missing after a night of drinking on the boat, and Wood’s body was found a few hours later floating face-down in the water. She was wearing a down jacket, flannel nightgown, and socks.
Wood’s death was ruled accidental at first, but bruises on her body led police to consider Wagner as the prime suspect. Wood’s sister and the yacht’s captain recently appeared on the Dr. Phil Show, and they claimed Wagner murdered the starlet.
To add fuel to the conspiracy fire, in 2012, the LA Sheriff’s Department changed the cause of her death to “drowning plus ‘undetermined factors.” The trouble is that the evidence is insufficient to even support an arrest, and the mystery remains unsolved.
Over time, police looked into the tumultuous relationship Wagner had with his wife to try piecing together what could’ve happened that night, but Wagner has refused to talk to investigators. Just this year, he was finally named a person of interest in the case.
Unsolved Hollywood Death: Marilyn Monroe
In August 1962, the world was shocked when Marilyn Monroe was found unconscious in her home in LA at the age of 36. The cause was an overdose that was ruled a probable suicide.
That led many to doubt that the beautiful star, rumored to have been involved in affairs with John F. Kennedy and his brother, had taken her own life.
Conspiracy theorists have long been suspecting that Monroe was killed by being forced to take the drugs that ultimately ended her to keep her from saying anything about the Kennedy family.
Other ideas claim that her death was staged or that the mafia killed her. The CIA retains the files on Monroe’s death, and it is unlikely anyone will ever know what truly happened with this unsolved Hollywood death.
Unsolved Hollywood Death: Bruce And Brandon Lee
Bruce Lee was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead on July 20th, 1973. One night, he complained of a horrible headache, took some aspirin, and laid down… He never woke up.
Even though his death had been ruled as “death by misadventure” and the official cause was an allergic reaction to aspirin, Bruce’s youth and fame were fueled by a few conspiracy theories.
One is that he passed away at the hand of the Chinese Triads, who were mad because Lee refused to pay them for protection. Another view is that the entire family had a death curse on them.
Now, we realize that a curse on the Lee family sounds utterly nuts, but that leads us to Lee’s son, Brandon. He died under strange circumstances too. While filming the action packed thriller “The Crow,” Brandon was about to film a scene where he gets shot with a prop gun.
But, the prop gun wasn’t prepared incorrectly, and Brandon Lee was fatally injured and died later in surgery. So, the rumor of the “Lee curse” was reignited.
Believers of the curse also cite that in Bruce Lee’s final movie, The Game of Death, his character is shot by a prop gun just like Brandon was in real life.
Bruce Lee’s Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story has a scene where a demon battles Bruce, and then tries to take Brandon, “foretelling” the unfortunate demise of the star’s son.
Both movies were filmed while Brandon was still alive, making them creepy coincidences in the story of his death.
Despite the mysterious circumstances of these lives, the one thing they do have in common is that they will all be missed! What do you think about all of these unsolved Hollywood deaths?
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