We all like a good mystery. It is a popular form of entertainment, with dozens of shows broadcast daily detailing unsolved mysteries. Thousands of mystery books, both fiction and nonfiction, are released every year. Media eats up good mysteries, like the recent missing Malaysia Airlines plane, because people watch. Mysteries attract us because we like the unknown and we are all naturally curious.
In the entertainment industry, the drama of a good mystery is even more intensified. Celebrities are part of our every day lives, making them almost feel like friends or acquaintances. When someone in a book or a TV docudrama disappears, it feels impersonal, but we still love to watch to find out the gritty details. When a celebrity mysteriously dies, we sometimes feel like we have lost a loved one. The death of celebrity can shake some to their core. Why was the person killed? Who would do such a horrible thing? We feel like the celebrity has been cut down too soon and yanked from our lives. None of us like the feeling of not having closure on a celebrity’s life. We want all their lives to end neatly wrapped-up, with plenty of notice.
In our search to find celebrity mystery deaths, we have discovered very quickly that celebrities seem to die frequently under strange circumstances. We have narrowed the list down to the top ten biggest mysteries as indicated by our research. You may already be familiar with some of these cases, but why not let your curiosity get the better of you and read on. You might discover something new..
10. Michael Jackson
The King of Pop died in 2009 of acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication, suffering from cardiac arrest. Conrad Murray, Jackson’s personal physician, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter later that year and served four years in prison. Is this really what happened? Many people questioned whether Jackson was murdered outright because of the level of drugs found in his system. Conspiracy theorists, on the other hand, claimed that the whole thing was faked as too many inconsistencies existed about the story of Jackson’s death. For example, the timing of the news media’s announcement of Jackson’s death did not coincide with how deaths are usually announced. How did the media know about more about his death than the hospital that delivered the news?
9. Bob Crane
This Hogan Heroes star was found bludgeoned to death in his Scottsdale apartment in 1978. Investigators believed the weapon used was a camera tripod with a electrical cord found around Crane’s neck. In 1994, John Henry Carpenter went on trial for Crane’s Murder. Carpenter was Crane’s drinking buddy and wingman. Carpenter and Crane seduced women and then videotaped them (some say without the women knowledge). According to reports, Crane ended his friendship with Carpenter the night before he was found dead. Blood and brain tissue was found in Carpenter’s car which lead to his murder charge and trial. Carpenter was found not guilty by the jury and Crane’s murder remains unsolved.
8. Elizabeth Short
Nicknamed The Black Dahila, Elizabeth Short was one taken advantage of by the media for her very gruesome death, she was found cut in half at a LA park. At the time of the murder, Elizabeth Short was living in the LA area working as a waitress with hopes of making it big as an actress. Her body was found on January 15, 1947, completely drained of blood and scrubbed clean. There was only one witness to the murder and he could only identify a black sedan at the scene. Many false leads lead to a very frustrated LA police force and resulted in the longest unsolved murder in the city’s history. In 2013, the case reemerged on the headlines as a new suspect was identified in a San Bernardino Sun newspaper article.
7. George Reeves
George Reeves was known best as Superman in the 1950s television series Adventures of Superman. His death in 1959, at age 45, was ruled a suicide by authorities, but there was a large debate on the true circumstances surrounding his death. Many claimed that Reeves was not the suicidal type and it might been a hit from one of Reeves’ old flames. Another claim was that it was an accidental shooting by his girlfriend. The whole drama was portrayed in the 2006 movie Hollywoodland with Ben Affleck playing the part of Reeves.
6. Thomas H. Ince
Thomas H. Ince was a pioneer silent film actor, producer, director and screenwriter. He was known as the “Father of the Western”, making over 600 films, inventing many of the modern moviemaking techniques in the process. Ince’s death was more famous than his actual accomplishments. Ince was attending a party on William Randolph Hearst’s boat, when he became ill. He died a few days later in the hospital with heart failure as the official cause. However, many felt it was more sinister with Hearst catching Charlie Chaplin with his mistriess, Marion Davies. When Ince heard shouting from down below, he went to investigate and was shot by Hearst in the process. Chaplin claimed otherwise and the debate continued on the actual cause of Ince’s death.
5. Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee revolutionized the kung fu movie for the world. He used true technique in his movies to bring a sense of realism never before seen. In May 1973, Lee experienced seizures and headaches while doing studio work in Hong Kong, earning him a trip to the hospital. Later that year, the symptoms resurfaced while visiting the home of a fellow actor. In an attempt to help, the actor gave Lee a dose of Equagesic, a prescription pain reliever. Lee laid down to take a nap and never woke up. He was only 32 at the time so an autopsy was ordered. The official cause of death was an allergic reaction to Equagesic, stopping his heart. However, many believe that Lee was killed by the Triads in retaliation for the Kung Fu secrets revealed in his movies. One more theory was that Lee had a curse leveled against his family which lead to his death (and the death of his son years later).
4. Tupac Shakur
Also known as 2pac, Tupac Shakur was one of the best selling recording artists of all time with over 75 million albums being sold. His music was appealing to large numbers as it spoke of the struggles facing the inner city. His family was heavily involved in the Black Panthers, which was also reflected in his rap lyrics. In 1996, Shakur was shot in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas. He died six days later due to complications from the gunshot wounds. No one solved the mystery of the killers, but there were rumors that it was a retaliation for earlier incident Shakur was involved in. It was also premised that Notorious B.I.G. was involved in the shooting because he was in a East Cost- West Coast rivarly with Shakur at the time.
3. Natalie Wood
Natalie Wood was one of the most successful young actresses to hit hollywood in the 1960s with three Oscar nominations before the age of 25. During her last film, Brainstorm in 1983, she went on a boat ride with her husband, Robert Wagner and Brainstorm co-star Chirstopher Walken. Dennis Draven was the boat captain. The morning after the boat party, Wood’s body was found a mile away from the boat. No one claimed to have known how Wood ended up in the water. The death was classified as accidental because there were drugs and large amount of alcohol in her body at the time of death. In 2012, Draven came forward to NBC news to admit that he lied about the night and implied she was murdered. Audio recordings found later that year seemed to back Draven’s story. The cause of death was changed from accidental to “drowning and other undetermined factors” by the official coroner in 2012 with a 10 page supplemental added to the police report claiming unknown reasons for the bruises found on Woods arms.
2. The Notorious B.I.G.
Christopher George Latore Wallace was a East Coast rapper from Brooklyn who hit it big in 1996 when West Coast hip hop music was in the mainstream. While on a visit to the West Coast to promote his upcoming album, Life After Death, Wallace was gunned down at an intersection by an unknown assailant. His autopsy report indicated that he had been hit four times with only one of them being fatal, tearing into several vital organs including his lung. The case was unsolved, although there were several theories on who killed Wallace. One theory is that Wallace’s murder was connected to Shakur’s death, with a paid assassin being the shooter in both cases. Another theory has a record company concocting the whole scheme and made it look like it was as a result of a rivalry between the East Coast and West Coast hip hop scenes.
1. Marilyn Monroe
The sex goddess was the only celebrity to make every list we examined. Her death in 1962 sent ripples throughout the world into every living room. Monroe made her fortune with multiple marriages and movie stardom. Her last years were marked with illness, bad habits and a reputation of being difficult to work with. Monroe was found dead at her home with a large dose of chloral hydrate and Nembutal in her system. Her death was ruled a suicide, but many believed that the 36 year old was killed by a jealous person from high up in the government or even a Mafia hit. Either way, no celebrity death was more shocking than the sexiest woman to ever live dying so unexpectedly.