People in the public eye are prone to making mistakes - incidents of celebrities, public figures and politicians doing or saying something they shouldn't are extremely common. However, there are a number of influential people in recent history who have had the spotlight trained on them for the worst possible reason. These people, all from different walks of life and with different talents, are accused of being murderers. The reasons why are varied; some are accused of murder in cold blood or of being mentally unstable. Others have claimed that the murder they have been charged with was accidental. Whatever the situation, the fact remains that these people are public figures who appear to have lost their way in some form or another.
The most shocking aspect of all these cases is just how tragic the circumstances are - not least for those who lost their lives, but to a lesser extent for the accused killers whose lives were irreversibly altered. It is extraordinarily difficult to restart one's career after the storm of media-coverage following an alleged murder. For those who were murdered, an untold amount of grief was caused for loved ones and lives were unjustly cut short but a sad reality of high-profile murder cases is that the well-known killer often takes most of the media attention, while the victim can be easily forgotten in the media circus that follows these incidents.
Take a look at our list of 5 Influential People Charged with Murder to see some of the most recent of high-profile murder cases. The circumstances surrounding each of these cases are extremely diverse, and facts should be considered carefully.
5 Lane Garrison
After Lane Garrison landed a major role in Prison Break, one of the most popular TV series of all time, it seemed like he was about to become one of the most promising young actors alive today. His role as David 'Tweener' Apolskis was a huge break for Garrison, who had not done much acting work up to that point. However, in a shocking twist of fate, Garrison was to wind up in prison, just like the character he portrayed in the hit show.
4 Phil Spector
Phil Spector was one of the most influential people in the music industry. Spector was an acclaimed record producer and songwriter, who worked with some of the biggest names in music. Spector's clientele included Tina Turner, The Ramones and the Beatles - he produced their 'Let It Be album', which was the Beatles's final offering to their fans. Spector was hugely repeated within the industry. In 1989, he was added to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a non-performer for his services to the industry.
3 Johnny Lewis
Johnny Lewis, like Lane Garrison, was another young actor on the rise whose future looked bright. Lewis had landed a major role in Sons of Anarchy, in which his acting was met with critical acclaim. He also starred in the OC and The Runaways. Lewis was a rising star in Hollywood, who even dated Katy Perry for a year back in 2005. However, things were about to go wrong for Lewis.
2 Sid Vicious
Sid Vicious was the bass player and singer of the Sex Pistols, one of the most iconic bands of all time. Leading the punk movement, Vicious was extremely popular with teenagers and adults worldwide. Infamous for his grungy fashion sense and heavy drug use, Vicious was a controversial cultural icon and remains so to this day. Vicious' relationship with Nancy Spungen, however, would not experience such longevity.
1 Oscar Pistorius
Oscar Pistorius is a South-African athlete, famous for his sprint-running abilities despite being an amputee. When Pistorius was a baby, his legs were amputated below the knee. Pistorius became a Paralympic champion in his early 20's, and eventually progressed into races with non-amputees. Pistorius won a world track medal at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics, the first amputee in history to achieve this title. However, things did not stay rosy for the young athlete.
On Valentine's Day 2013, his South-African model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was found shot dead in his luxury home in Pretoria. Pistorius, now on trial for the murder, claims that he believed Steenkamp, who was in the bathroom, was an intruder, and the shots fired through the bathroom door were intended not for this intruder. The trail, which as of today is ongoing, has received massive media coverage worldwide. So far, it seems that the reality of what has happened has affected Pistorius greatly. It was reported that when Steenkamp's injuries were read out in court, Pistorius began vomiting uncontrollably. At the time of writing no verdict had been reached, so time will tell whether the shooting is deemed intentional murder or a tragic accident.
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