Murder is always a very serious issue, no matter who has lost their life or committed the crime, or how “deserving” the victim was. It can be tough to find out that some of the people who are such a prominent part of pop and political culture have been involved in murders. This is especially true for individuals who have gone on to make a positive impact in their communities and in the world.
These 10 celebrities have unfortunately been linked to violent and tragic deaths, and had a hand in ending someone else’s life. While many of these incidents have proven to be unintentional, the murders have often been the result of negligence or self-defense. No matter the case, the circumstances surrounding a life lost are undoubtedly painful to recount for everyone involved, including the families of the victims. The strength and resilience that many of these famous figures have shown after such tragedy is astounding. The mental implications of taking another life, especially when the act is not in complete malice, can be jarring to say the least. But these celebrities have miraculously found a way to make notable and valuable contributions to society, even after the most dire circumstances.
10. Keith Moon
Keith Moon was the drummer for the English rock band, The Who. Moon accidentally killed his friend and bodyguard, Neil Boland, after a drunken night at a bar. Moon ran over Boland with his car, because he didn’t see him in the street when he was leaving the bar. Accounts of the incident reveal that Moon was trying to get away from patrons who were harassing him, which could be why he didn’t realize that Boland was in the street. The death was ruled an accident in court, and haunted Keith Moon until his own death in 1978. Moon overdosed on clomethiazole, a drug that was given to him to treat his alcohol addiction.
9. Charles S. Dutton
Charles Dutton is an actor who is perhaps best known for his starring role in the 1990s sitcom Roc, in which he played a devoted husband, respected member of the community and responsible son and older brother. Dutton even attended the Yale School of Drama. But before his impressive acting career, he got into a violent altercation with another man at the age of 17. Dutton killed the man, and was convicted of manslaughter. He spent 7 years behind bars because of the incident. These days, Charles Dutton can be seen in several family-friendly made-for-TV films, in which he often plays a father figure.
8. Johnny Lewis
In 2012, the Sons of Anarchy actor broke into the home of an 81-year-old woman in his neighborhood. He ransacked the home and killed the woman and her pet cat.
Witnesses to the incident state that Lewis fled the home, assaulted a neighbor in his attempt to escape, and came back to the woman’s home later. While there, he either fell or jumped from the roof to his death. His autopsy confirmed there were no drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of the incident. Lewis grew up in Scientology, and worked for Narconon, the drug rehabilitation program for the Church of Scientology.
7. Michael Jace
Michael Jace, an actor on the popular police-themed series The Shield, was arrested in May 2014 for the murder of his wife, April Jace. Neighbors heard the shots fired in the Jace home and called 911. Michael Jace also called 911 to report that his wife had been murdered. It is believed that a domestic violence dispute led to Mrs. Jace’s brutal death. The couple’s two children were in the home at the time of the murder, and were taken into custody by California’s Department of Children’s Services. Michael Jace’s bond was set at $2 million after he was booked on a homicide charge.
6. Rebecca Gayheart
Rebecca Gayheart is known as the “Noxema Girl,” and her ads for the company made the skin care cream quite popular with young girls and women. She is also known for being married to handsome doctor-on-TV actor Eric Dane. But the model and actress’ life was turned upside down when she hit a 9-year-old child with her car. Later, the young boy died from his injuries. Gayheart was accused of vehicular manslaughter, and pled no contest. It is also alleged that her license was suspended for a year, and within that year, she got into another accident with a rental car, in which the car flipped over.
5. Matthew Broderick
The actor, singer and director, who is married to Sarah Jessica Parker, had a rather catastrophic experience when his fame was still new. Matthew Broderick is perhaps best known for his starring role in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, in which he starred with his then-girlfriend Jennifer Gray. When the two were vacationing in Ireland in 1987, Broderick, who was driving the wrong way on the road, struck two passengers head-on. The accident killed both passengers in the car Broderick hit. Gray stated that this had a devastating effect on her. She didn’t feel comfortable being so celebrated in Hollywood after the tragedy, and at 27, she made the decision to leave the business for quite some time.
4. Don King
Don King is well into his 80s now, and the boxing promoter has had a reputation for being anything but a sweet old man. King was actually involved in two murders. The first murder he committed was in self defense, when a man was trying to break into his gambling operation. The second murder got King a second degree murder charge, when he stomped an employee of his to death because the man owed him money. A total of $600, to be exact. Many assert that the murder is quite hypocritical of King, since he is known for cheating his unassuming clients out of millions.
3. Former First Lady Laura Bush
The wife of former president George W. Bush, was involved in a car accident when she was 17 that claimed the life of one of her friends. She and a girlfriend were on their way to a drive-in movie when Bush failed to stop at a stop sign. She ran into classmate Mike Douglas’ car. Bush shared the story with the New York Times, stating that she was praying throughout the accident that the person in the other car was still alive. She admits that she and her girlfriend were talking in the car, which contributed to her distraction, but also states that the road was dark and the stop sign was small. The former first lady also admits to feeling tremendous guilt over the incident for years, and did not attend the funeral for Douglas because her parents thought it was best that she didn’t go.
The award-winning singer was involved in a freeway pile-up in California in 2006. This caused the death of Awaite Aboudihaj. Even though the vehicle in front of Brandy already hit Aboudihaj before the star hit the rear bumper of the car, witnesses state that Brandy took responsibility for the incident. Brandy admitted that she “should have stopped,” and the chilling incident contributed to her time out of the spotlight for a few years. Several accounts have confirmed Brandy’s guilt and hurt over the incident. The star has since returned to Hollywood with a role on the BET series The Game, and is said to be working on new music.
1. Bruce Jenner
The former athlete, public speaker and ex-husband of Kris Jenner, was involved in a car accident in Malibu in February 2015. Jenner hit the back of a car while riding in his SUV, causing the car to go into oncoming traffic, where the vehicle was hit by a Hummer. The driver of the car Jenner rear-ended was killed, and several other people involved in the accident were badly injured. Bruce Jenner agreed to take a blood alcohol test, which confirmed that he was not drinking at the time of the accident. He claims he was speeding because he was being chased by the paparazzi, but police don’t feel this is a true statement.
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