Suspicious celebrity deaths
6.2 01. Albert Dekker
Found in the bathroom of his apartment "hanging by his neck at the end of a rope that was tied to a shower curtain rod. The rope, knotted tightly around his neck, was also wrapped around both of his legs and around one of his arms. His hands were bound with a pair of handcuffs, and two hyperdermic needles were stuck in his body." The coroner recorded his death as an "accident."
9.3 02. Amelia Earhart
The aviatrix stole America's heart as she crisscrossed the Atlantic and became the first woman to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross. But when she attempted to circumnavigate the globe with navigator Fred Noonan, her plane disappeared mysteriously somewhere over the Pacific. All attempts to find her came to naught and she was declared legally dead in January 1939. But seeing as what goes up must come down, rumors persist, even now... Were the flying duo spying on Imperial Japan at the behest of FDR and then executed when they crashed on Japanese-occupied Saipan? One former Marine claims to have found Earhart's briefcase in Saipan; another to have decoded a Japanese cable that purportedly reveals the capture and destruction of Earhart's plane.
7.5 03. Brandon Lee
The son of the greatest martial artist of all time, Brandon Lee, just like his father, met an untimely death. In 1994, while filiming the movie The Crow, Lee was shot by a gun that was supposed to be a harmless prop. Instead, a bullet was lodged in the revolver. When the trigger was pulled - as written in the script - the reverberation of the blanks cause the bullet to propel, ultimatley shooting Lee in the abdomen. Despite a five hour attempt to save him, Lee was pronouced dead at the age of 28. The footage of his fictional-turned-real death scene was destroyed but the movie was eventually finished. Some people suspect that Lee was a victim of foul play; the freak accident that claimed his life just seemed a little too far fetched. Others, however, believe that his death was part of the Bruce Lee curse. Bruce Lee also died young, suffering from brain swelling at the age of 32.
8.3 04. Brian Jones
The coroner's report read "death by misadventure" on Jones's death certificate. The Rolling Stones' guitarist was found on the bottom of his pool on July 3, 1969, his heart and liver enlarged from years of abuse. However, Frank Thorogood, a construction worker employed on Jones's estate, was rumored to have killed Jones after a dispute, a secret Thorogood may have taken to his grave when he died in 1993.
6.9 05. George Reeves
George was living in Los Angeles in a home that was bought for him by Toni Mannix, the wife of MGM studio executive Eddie Mannix, a man with dubious mob connections. Reeves had been receiving death threats. Three days before his marriage to showgirl Lenore Lemmon, the couple and a house guest were drinking. Around one, two neighbors also dropped in for drinks, which angered Reeves because it was late. He stormed up to his room and a few minutes later a shot sounded from the bedroom.
Reeves was discovered lying dead on his bed. No suicide note was found. Reeves was known to play Russian Roulette, and some believed the blank in his gun had been purposefully replaced with a real bullet. No charges were ever brought against anyone, but many suspected Toni had hired a hit man to kill him for the money he surprisingly left to her.
7.7 06. Jean Seberg
Actress Jean Seberg got her first big break in 1957 after winning the coveted role of St. Joan. The international star had attempted suicide several times before, once by trying to throw herself on train tracks. She was known to have a severe drug and alcohol problem. She even left a suicide note. So why was the verdict of suicide even questioned?
Jean’s decomposing, naked body was found lying on the back seat of her car. Though an autopsy determined she had overdosed on pills and alcohol, ex-huband Romain Gary insisted foul play. A suitcase found at Jean’s apartment held her driver’s license, (earlier reported missing), money and her eyeglasses. Though the alcohol level in her bloodstream was extremely high, no liquor bottles were found in her car. The mystery surrounding her death was never solved.
8.1 07. Jim Morrison
Substance abuses were part of the rock and roll world, Jim Morrison seemed to go behind normal exploits taking his own band members with him on the enlighten hazy self medicating walks on the wild side. Years of a turbulent relationship with long-termed girlfriend Pamela Courson and a need to get his out of control life back on track saw him moved to Paris for a fresh start, March 71. He died on July 3, 1971, at age 27, and was found in his bathtub by Courson. The immediate speculation as to the cause of death followed. The common and accepted belief was that of overdose. The fact there was never an autopsy performed left no real opportunity to neither confirm nor determine the cause of death ever. The lack of an official autopsy left many questions unanswered and provided justifiable grounds for speculation and rumor.
7.6 08. John Belushi
He died on March 5, 1982, at age 33 in a hotel room at the Chateau Marmont on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. The cause of death was substance abuse related. The questions after his death lead to a woman name Cathy Smith. On the night of his death, he was with friends Robin Williams and Robert De Niro who later left, leaving Belushi with Smith. While the findings were disputed, it was officially ruled a drug-related accident. Smith was later prosecuted for her involvement in his death and served 18 months behind bar.
7.7 09. Kurt Cobain
Nirvana's lead singer was found dead in his Seattle home on April 5, 1994, the victim of an apparent self-inflicted shotgun blast to the head. However, to many of Cobain's friends and family, a few things just didn't add up. The amount of heroin in his system would render nearly anyone unable to operate a firearm, if not unconscious. His final note brings up suicide only in the last few lines, in handwriting that is markedly different than the writing preceding it. And perhaps most damningly of all, there were no gunpowder burns or residue found on Kurt's hands.
8.1 010. Marilyn Monroe
Just after midnight on August 6, 1962, Marilyn's housekeeper became worried after seeing her still form through her lighted bedroom window. She phoned physician Dr. Greenson, who broke in to find Marilyn unconscious. Marilyn was lying naked, face-down on the bed, arm reaching for the telephone. An empty bottle of sleeping pills was by the bed and 10-14 more bottles were on the nightstand. Though the official verdict was a lethal overdose, questions concerning her romantic intrigues with the Kennedys, both John and Robert, led many to still believe her suicide was staged, the result of a secret conspiracy.
7.4 011. Michael Jackson
In the midst of preparing for his first live concert in more than a decade, Michael Jackson suffered a massive fatal cardiac arrest on June 25, 2009. Given the way the King of Pop lived his life, few were surprised that the details of his death would also be somewhat bizarre. The autopsy discovered that Jackson's body was riddled with scars and puncture wounds that spoke of the multitudes of prescription drugs that he was abusing. Though the Los Angeles coroner's department determined that it was Jackson's overuse of the extraordinarily powerful prescription sedative propofol that killed him, some have suggested that Jackson may have faked his death to both duck out of his physically demanding concerts and escape his mounting multi-million dollar debts.
8.1 012. Natalie Wood
The day after Thanksgiving, Wood, Wagner and Walken went to Catalina Island for the weekend and on the night of November 28th, the Wagners' yacht (Splendour) was anchored in Isthmus Cove. Also on board was the boat's skipper, Dennis Davern, who had worked for the couple for many years. Wood apparently either tried to leave the yacht or secure a dinghy from banging against the hull when she accidentally slipped and fell overboard. A woman on a nearby yacht said she heard calls for help at around midnight. The cries lasted for about 15 minutes and were answered by someone else who said, "Take it easy. We'll be over to get you". "It was laid back," the witness recalled. "There was no urgency or immediacy in their shouts". There was much partying going on in the area, though, and it should be stressed that it has never been proven that the women calling for help was, indeed, Natalie Wood. An investigation by Los Angeles County coroner Thomas Noguchi resulted in an official verdict of accidental drowning. Noguchi concluded Wood had drunk "seven or eight" glasses of wine and was intoxicated when she died. There were marks and bruises on her body which Noguchi speculated could have been received as a result of her fall. Noguchi later wrote that had Wood not been intoxicated, she likely would have realized her heavy down-filled coat and wool sweater were pulling her underwater and would have removed them. Noguchi also wrote that he found Wood's fingernail scratches on the side of the rubber dinghy indicating she was trying to get in.
7.4 013. Princess Diana
On 31 August 1997, Diana died in a car crash in the Pont de l'Alma road tunnel in Paris along with her then boyfriend, Dodi Al-Fayed and the acting security manager of the Hôtel Ritz Paris, Henri Paul, who was their chauffeur.
The initial French judicial investigation concluded that the accident was caused by Henri Paul's drunken loss of control. From February 1999, Dodi's father, Mohamed Al-Fayed (the owner of the Paris Ritz, for which Paul had worked) maintained that the crash had been planned, accusing MI6 as well as Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Inquests in London during 2004 and 2007 finally attributed the accident to grossly negligent driving by Henri Paul and the pursuing paparazzi. The following day Al-Fayed announced he would end his 10-year campaign for the sake of the late Princess of Wales' children.
6.9 014. Sid Vicious
On 12 October 1978, the bassist for the seminal punk band Sex Pistols awoke in his Chelsea Hotel room to find his girlfriend Nancy Spungen dead from a knife wound. Vicious would alternately claim tearful responsibility for her murder, that he had no recollection of the night and that they had a suicide pact. Many believe that Spungen, a heroin addict who was desperately hunting that night for a drug fix, may have been killed by a drug deal gone wrong and that Vicious may have been unconscious during the murder. Vicious died of a drug overdose less than four months later, leading some to speculate that the dealer who stabbed Spungen supplied Vicious with enough drugs to be sure he never did get his story straight.
7.7 015. Thelma Todd
On the morning of December 16, 1935, Todd was found in her car in the garage a block away from her club. The cops ruled the death as a suicide. Which makes sense.
Except for the fact that her face was beaten in.
Oh, and the fact that her shoes were dirt free. Normally not a strange thing, but considering the fact that she would have had to walk down a long flight of outdoor stairs and across a dirt floor to get to her car, is strange. There was also a smudged handprint on her car, and it wasn’t hers.
She’d also had an argument with gangster Lucky Luciano about the gambling in her club. He wanted her to allow illegal gambling in her establishment. Todd responded “over my dead body.”
6 016. William Desmond Taylor
At 7:30 a.m. on the morning of February 2, 1922, the body of William Desmond Taylor was found inside his bungalow at the Alvarado Court Apartments, 404-B South Alvarado Street, in the Westlake Park area of downtown Los Angeles, California, which was then known as a trendy and affluent neighbourhood.
A crowd gathered inside and someone identifying himself as a doctor stepped forward, made a cursory examination of the body, declared the victim had died of a stomach hemorrhage and was never seen again, perhaps owing to his own embarrassment, because when doubts later arose, the body was rolled over and it was discovered the 49-year-old film director had been shot in the back.
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