When it comes to celebrity deaths, there is no doubt that many of them seem to be under strange circumstances. These deaths range from assassinations to overdoses and it is no easy task to try and analyse the demise of these tragic stars. There exist numerous amounts of conspiracy theories regarding the deaths on this list. This is no surprise given some of the unusual ways in which the investigations of these stars were carried out. Many questions, even now, are left unanswered and it will become clear how the mystery of these deaths are just as puzzling today as when they initially occurred.
Conspiracies surrounding the deaths range from government plots to suicides to homicides. Many believe there are stronger influences behind these stars passing and look beyond what they are told. Unfortunately, we will never really understand what exactly happened to these stars; nevertheless, this list will examine the 15 most puzzling deaths and examine the most likely causes and most probable theories for their passing.
15. Michael Jackson
The highly publicized death of Michael Jackson brought to the forefront many startling inconsistencies in the legendary singer’s death. Jackson was discovered on June 25th 2009 by his personal physician Conrad Murray, who claimed that Jackson was not breathing and unresponsive to attempts at resuscitation. After an ambulance was called Jackson was rushed to a nearby hospital but was tragically pronounced dead. There a number of strange circumstances surrounding the death as Jackson had a fatal dosage of propofol and anti-anxiety drug benzodiazepine in his system. This later caused universal uproar as the drugs had actually been provided by Murray, the same hired doctor that had found Jackson. It is still unclear why the singer had consumed such high levels of medication; theories range from assisted suicide to murder. However, although the death was most likely accidental, it did lead to Murray spending two years in prison for involuntary manslaughter.
14. Jim Morrison
Doors frontman Jim Morrison was found dead in a Paris bathtub on the morning of July 3rd 1971; he was 27 years old at the time. The mystery surrounding Morrison’s death is that no one is quite sure what happened to the singer as strangely an autopsy was never carried out. At the time, Morrison’s girlfriend Pamela Courson stated that Morrison had died of what she believed to be a fatal heroin overdose; she believed the overdoes was accidental and that the singer had mistaken the heroin as cocaine. However, although Morrison is assumed to have died of a heart attack there is no way to know as his body remained with Courson in the apartment until she had him buried in a Paris graveyard three days later. There is something unnerving about this as Courson had lied to the American Embassy by stating that Morrison had no immediate family, in this way Morrison was ensured a quick burial. It is said there was not even a priest present at the funeral and to add further suspicion it it still unknown which doctor attended to Morrison as Courson claims she can’t remember his name.
13. Bruce Lee
It was on May 10th 1973 that Bruce Lee first collapsed during filming of Enter the Dragon. The star was rushed to hospital as he started to suffer from severe headaches and seizures. However, upon arrival that star was diagnosed with cerebral edema and doctors were successful in attempts to reduce the swelling on the Kung Fu legend’s brain. Unfortunately, just over one month later on July 20th, Lee once again started to suffer a headache. The action star was given a medication called Equagesic by co-star Betty Ting Pei; the pill contained the tranquilizer meprobamate and aspirin. After Lee was later unable to be woken from a nap a doctor was called but tragically attempts to resuscitate the star were to no avail. At the time of Lee’s death, the media went into frenzy about his untimely demise. Numerous theories were thrown around including an underground society known as the Triads placing a curse on Lee. The star’s official cause of death is labelled as “death but misadventure” as the drug supplied by Ting is said to have had a fatal reaction with Lee’s cerebral edema.
12. Brittany Murphy
Investigations into Brittany Murphy’s tragic death on the 20th of December 2009 have definitely left people with more questions than answers. Murphy collapsed in the bathroom of her Los Angeles home she shared with husband Simon Monjack on the morning of December 20th; although the star was rushed to a nearby hospital she was pronounced dead after suffering a cardiac arrest. Murphy was just 32 years old when the incident occurred. At the time the actress’s death was written off as being from natural causes due to a combination of pneumonia, anaemia and prescription drugs. However, in the years since Murphy’s death there have been an array of conspiracies come to the surface especially considering the fact that Monjack, the actresses husband died in a very similar fashion to his wife just five months later. Along with this a lab report was commissioned by Murphy’s father in 2013 which showed high levels of ‘heavy metals’ in the star’s body which he believed may have been an indication of foul play.
11. Jimi Hendrix
Rock icon Jimi Hendrix passed away on September 18th 1970 when he was just 27 years old. Hendrix is said to have died in his sleep in the apartment of his girlfriend Monika Dannemann after choking on his own vomit due consuming 18 times the recommend dosage of Barbiturates mixed with red wine. Even though, in the days leading up to his death Hendrix is said to have been in both poor mental and physical health, there are still a larger number of people who believe something about the icon’s death just doesn’t add up. One particular flaw in the death is Dannemann’s claims that after finding Hendrix struggling to breathe she called an ambulance and accompanied her boyfriend to the hospital where he died enroute. However, this was not the case as ambulance workers later clarified that when they arrived at the apartment there was nobody present except for Hendrix’s dead body on the bed. Dannemann’s statement is said to have changed numerous times throughout questioning.
10. Bob Marley
Bob Marley died on May 11th 1981 from a malignant form of melanoma. The strange circumstances surrounding Marley’s death are got to do with the manner in which the reggae legends illness was discovered. After Marley injured his toe whilst playing football, a doctor was called and is said to have administered the singer with an unknown injection to the toe. Many people, even today, still hold the view that this may have been an attempt on the singer’s life and the reason his illness began. However, it has been since claimed that the toe injury was not caused by the football game but was instead an injury of the pre-existing melanoma that Marley was suffering from. There is further controversy surrounding the death as although it was recommended by medical experts that Marley should have the toe amputated, he refused due to his Religious beliefs; the melanoma eventually spread to the legends lungs and brains and he passed away at the age of 36.
9. Heath Ledger
Heath Ledger was discovered dead by his housekeeper on January 22nd 2008. He was just 28 years old. The main mystery surrounding Ledger’s death is whether or not it was a suicide. The actor was discovered on the floor of his Manhattan apartment surrounding by many pills, some of which were prescribed to the star and some which were not. Many conspiracy theorists hold that the actor had become overly invested in his role as The Joker in The Dark Knight and that he became unable to separate from his character, driving him to madness. However, this is a reach as there was no suicide note left by the star and he was known to have consumed large quantities of drugs in the past. However there still remains a large amount of mystery when it comes to analysing Ledger’s death and no one has since been able to determine the actor’s state of mind in the days and hours leading up to his tragic passing.
8. Natalie Wood
Actress Natalie Wood passed away on November 29th 1981 in what was ruled as an accidental death caused by hypothermia and drowning. Wood is said to have fell into the water while on about trip with her husband Robert Wagner, her Brainstorm co-star Christopher Walken and the boat’s captain. There is huge controversy surrounding Wood’s death as all the other passengers on the boat claim to have not seen Wood fall into the water. During the time of the death Wood’s is said to have had a blood alcohol level of 0.14 percent (twice the legal driving limit) along with motion sickness medication and painkillers. Despite this being a likely cause for Wood’s going overboard the yacht, many details don’t add up as although the actress is said to have died around 12.am, alarms were not raised till 90 minutes later. Along with this Wood is said to have untied the Dinghy in the yacht, which left many questioning where exactly the star was attempting to go? Or better yet why? To add further suspicion, the actress’s body was found a mile away from the boat and she had been dressed only in a night-gown.
7. Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe’s death which occurred on August 5th 1962 is one of, if not the most publicised and speculated celebrity deaths in history. Monroe died of a barbiturates overdose when she was just 36 years old. Although the Hollywood icon had suffered from substance abuse along with mental health issues in the years leading up to her death, it is still widely considered that there is something strange about Monroe’s passing. Monroe was discovered deceased in her bedroom by her housekeeper and psychiatrist at 3 am on August 5th; her death was ruled a suicide due to the huge quantity on barbiturates ingested by the actress. Nevertheless, in the years following Monroe’s death many conspiracies have been brought forward including the death being an accidental overdose, another involving the Kennedy brothers and one containing mob boss Sam Giancana.
6. John Lennon
John Lennon was assassinated by ‘Born Again Christian’ Mark David Chapman outside ‘The Dakota’ apartment building in New York on December 8th 1980. The murder of Lennon remains a great mystery as many can’t understand the circumstances that led Chapman to aim a gun at The Beatles legend and shoot five times. Many believe the facts don’t add up and that Lennon’s death must be part one something greater; one conspiracy includes the notion of a plot being formed by the CIA to take Lennon out and that Chapman had been programmed by the secret service. The circumstances are even stranger as when Chapman was arrested he was carrying a copy of ‘The Catcher in The Rye’ and claimed he was basing his actions of the books protagonist.
5. Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on the 4th of April 1964 by James Earl Ray at The Lorraine Motel in Memphis. The Civil Rights activist had received many death threats throughout his career, however King accepted this risk and did not believe it should stop his quest for equal rights. King was shot as he stood on the balcony of his room with a single bullet that blasted through his cheek causing a fatal injury. In the last 50 years King’s death has become the subject of numerous conspiracy theories; was Ray simply racist or was there something shadier at play? There exist theories that the government may have been have been involved as well as a theory that revolves around findings of pieces of paper found in Ray’s car with the words ‘Raul’ written on it.
4. Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley passed away in the bathroom of his Graceland Mansion on August 16th 1977 at the age of 42. The King of Rock and Roll is said to have suffered a heart attack, however, it was later revealed that Presley had several pharmaceutical drugs in his system at the time of his death; among this was 10 times the recommended level of codeine. This sent the world and media into a frenzy of accusations including claims that Presley had been murdered. At the time of Elvis’s demise, he was in terrible condition health-wise; The King is said to have weighed 350 pounds and to have been virtually bed ridden. Despite this Presley’s sudden passing still leaves people questioning if the death was a suicide, a homicide or a tragic accident.
3. Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain’s body was discovered by electrician Gary Smith on April 8th 1994; Smith had been installing a security system around the premises of Cobain’s Seattle home when he saw what he first thought was a mannequin through the window of the living space that lay atop the Nirvana singers garage. The singer is said to have barricaded himself in the garage on April 5th before writing a one page ‘suicide note’ addressed to his imaginary childhood friend ‘Boddah.’ Cobain injected himself with a mixture of Valium and Heroin before lying on the ground, placing one end of his shotgun between his feet and the other in his mouth and pulling the trigger. The main reason there exists so many conspiracies about this death are the huge inconsistencies that occurred in the examination following the discovery of Cobain’s body; not only was the shotgun not examined by Seattle police until one month later, there were also smudged fingerprints on the rifle that left some experts claiming it had been wiped down. Many also claim that the note written by Cobain is not actually a suicide note but rather a statement regarding his retiring from the music business. Tom Grant, a PI, who had actually been hired by Courtney Love in an attempt to track down her husband in the days leading up to his death is the main advocate for the conspiracy that Cobain’s death was a homicide rather than suicide; Grant’s theory is built up of several strong components and he has released a plenitude of material to back up his claims.
2. The Black Dahlia
Aspiring actress Elizabeth Short’s brutal death that occurred in Los Angeles in 1947 is one of the most publicized and notorious murder investigations in history. Although Short was not as famous as others on the list, her death is perhaps the most mysterious of all. ‘The Black Dahlia’ was found in a vacant parking lot in two separate pieces; her body had been wiped down and posed with her arms and legs in a certain position. Over the years numerous men and women have come forward claiming to either be or have information about Short’s killer, however none of these suspects turned out to be the killer. There also exists theories that Short’s murder may have been linked to the ‘Cleveland Torso Murders.’ There have been numerous fictional depictions and books written about Short’s tragic demise, nevertheless, the case still remains as mysterious as when the murder first occurred.
1. Princess Diana
There is an endless number of conspiracy theories surrounding Princess Diana’s death which occurred after a devastating car accident on August 31st 1997. Mohammad Al-Fayed, the father of Diana’s boyfriend Dodi who was also lost his life in the fatal crash holds that his son and Diana were both murdered; Fayad led a police investigation in 2004 which ended up looking into a staggering 175 conspiracy claims. One of the leading reasons people believe that Diana’s death may not have been an accident is that it is alleged she may have been pregnant with Jodi’s child and the couple were rumoured to be engaged. The idea that a mixed race child would be a sibling of the future King of England was not met well and Fayad holds this as the main reason a plot may have been made against the life of Diana and Jodi. Others hold that the paparazzi chasing Diana’s car are to blame for the incident. A further theory discusses the presence of two black cars present at the scene that were never tracked down.