Since there have been celebrities there have been “Killer Celebs.” I mean, all you need to think about is good ol’ Brutus sticking the knife in his BFF Caesar, am I right? Brutus was a well-known dude, a famous guy, a winner. And he didn’t hesitate to get his hands red when he went into killer mode. It was just one more example of one celeb killing another.
Now I’m not saying that all killer celebs mean to kill their victims. Or that all killer celebs only kill other celebs. That would mean there was a serious amount of psychos out there in La-La-Land. It would also mean that there wasn’t enough money in the world to lure sane people like you and I into the world of celebrity, knowing that all the other celebrities out there were measuring the size of your skull and sharpening their butcher’s knives.
Nah, most of the killer celebs on this list probably didn’t actually mean to off some poor unsuspecting soul. Whether it was bad luck, bad judgement or just plain old bad juju, their most infamous moment sort of just happened. Notice I said most of these stars didn’t mean to do what they did. If you’re paying attention, that means you know as well as I do that some of them actually did. And that’s the scary part, isn’t it. Here you’ve got a person with all the fame, fortune and glory one could ever hope for and they still behaved like a gangbanger on a bender. Makes you feel real good about our most famous folk, don’t it? Here’s a tip- the next time you’re on the red carpet, you just might want to watch your back. I’m just sayin’.
15 Aaron Hernandez
So Johnny Lewis may have just straight-up gone nuts but I’d still rather have faced him than this guy. Aaron Hernandez was once considered one of the great prospects in the National Football League, a star tight end for the New England Patriots who, along with Rob Gronkowski, was going to redefine the position. Well, Gronk has certainly done that (and redefined partying!) but Hernandez has, unfortunately for his victims, redefined what it means to be an evil NFL player. Forget OJ and Ray Lewis, Hernandez was convicted of first degree murder in 2015 for the killing of a semi-pro football player who was supposedly his friend. He is serving life without parole for the murder. But wait, that’s not all. He has also been indicted for a double-murder in Boston in 2012, and accused of multiple shootings in a few different cities in Florida as far back as 2007. Hernandez is very obviously a very bad guy and I for one am quite content to let him rot where he is.
14 Oscar Pistorius
This celeb killer is kind of tough to stomach, as Oscar Pistorius was such an inspiration to so many. I’m sure you remember his story; he was the Olympic runner with the prosthetic legs. Not the Para-Olympics runner- the real Olympics runner. People flocked to see him race and he seemed to serve as a role model of hope and hard work. Except… Except Pistorius was subject to violent fits of rage and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine's Day 2013, when he claimed he thought there was an intruder in his house and shot at her four times. He was convicted of South Africa’s equivalent to manslaughter and is serving six years, although there are tons of people who remain furious that he got such a light sentence. I guess Oscar couldn’t quite outrun the law on this one.
13 Ray Lewis
Good old Ray Lewis; future NFL Hall of Famer, ESPN MNF analyst, fierce but respected competitor and all-around good guy, am I right? Well…maybe so and maybe not. You see Ray, the former linchpin of the dominant Baltimore Raven’s defense, was once charged with a double homicide. It all went down on the eve of the 2000 Super Bowl in Atlanta, when Lewis and some friends were on their way to Lewis’s limo after exiting a nightclub. They got into some kind of street brawl with another group and when the smoke had cleared, two men were lying on the ground stabbed to death. The cops investigated and, almost two weeks after the incident charged Lewis and his friends. Lewis spent two-weeks in jail before he plea bargained and testified against his buds. He was held to a lesser charge of obstructing justice after the plea bargain. Here’s the thing, though- they never found the white suit Lewis was wearing. There was blood from one of the victims in his limo. He ratted out his friends for a dropped charge. Ray Lewis may or may not be a celebrity killer but I’m sure not getting in any limos with him after a night of drinking.
12 Matthew Broderick
Alright, so Matthew Broderick most definitely did kill someone, even if he didn’t really mean to. Who knew that the star of Ferris Bueller could be so naughty? The story was this: Broderick was vacationing in Ireland and was driving when he swerved into the wrong lane and smashed head on into an oncoming vehicle, killing a 30-year-old woman and her mother. Broderick himself spent four weeks “in hospital” (as they say over there) and had no memory of the accident. His girlfriend of the time, the ever-famous Jennifer Grey was not seriously injured. It was later determined that Broderick was not drunk at the time, just a seriously bad driver. So, he didn’t mean to do it and he has apologized and all but Matthew Broderick is a two-time killer. The worst part about the whole thing is that he essentially got the equivalent of a speeding ticket for the whole incident. Don’t drive with Matthew Broderick in Ireland.
11 Caitlyn Jenner
So our friend Caitlyn (nee Bruce), was never charged in the incident that made her a killer but it was still another shocking development in a life that appears to be dedicated to shocking developments. In 2015 Jenner was driving her SUV when she rear-ended another car and sent it flying into oncoming traffic. The other car then hit a Hummer and the driver of the car Caitlyn originally hit died. There were seven other injuries so it sounds like quite the accident. Jenner wasn't drunk and wasn't speeding- she claimed she was trying to get away from the press but there's never been any confirmation of that. She may not have meant to and who knows why Caitlyn Jenner hit the other car but she is, unfortunately, a celebrity killer.
10 Robert Blake
Blake’s case is one of the most infamous in celebrity history. Blake himself was basically Hollywood royalty. He had had such a long and illustrious career that he was actually in the Our Gang series of movies- you know which movies I’m talking about, the ones with Stymie, Buckwheat, Pete the Dog and all that, otherwise known as the “Little Rascals.” Mickey Rooney and Shirley Temple couldn’t make the cut but old Robert sure did. As an adult he later won an Emmy for his titular role in the successful TV detective show Baretta. But, of course, you want to know what he did. Well, Robert was accused of murdering his “Trophy” wife by shooting her while she sat in their car outside of a restaurant. He was actually acquitted of the murder charge in a very strange criminal trial but very shortly thereafter was found guilty in a civil suit of intentionally murdering her. He was ordered to pay her family $30 million in restitution, so you can be the judge on this one.
9 9. Laura Bush
Here’s another case where you shouldn’t trust certain celebrities behind the wheel of a car. The former First Lady, who has always seemed so nice and sweet and normal, unlike some of the freaks who advised her husband during his presidency, had herself one very bad night way back in high school. This all went down in 1963, when a very young future Mrs. Bush, Laura Welch, ran a stop sign on the way to a party and plowed head-on into another car, throwing the occupant from his car and killing him. The eventual First Lady only had minor injuries, as did the friend riding in her car. The night had been clear, there was little traffic, she was not speeding, and the girls were not drunk- but Laura Bush still killed a guy. The worst part of it all is that it was one of her own classmates and a good friend of hers. That’s just brutal for everyone involved.
8 William S. Burroughs
There are certain celebs whom you just know are going to do something terrible sooner or later. Williams S. Burroughs an infamous member of the “Beat Generation” of writers (and friends with Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, among others) was a strange dude who wrote even stranger novels- if you don’t believe me, try to read his most famous work, Naked Lunch. Go on, I dare you, you’ll just love it. Burroughs was also super into mescaline, peyote, cocaine, heroin, and just about anything else he could get his hands on. So is it any wonder that, during a party in Mexico City in 1951, Burroughs managed to shoot his wife Joan in the head? And I haven’t even told you the best part yet. Burroughs didn’t shoot her in a drunken argument or anything like that. They were at a party and the two of them decided to play “William Tell.” That’s right- this guy shot and killed his wife over the world’s worst idea ever.
7 Ted Kennedy
Here’s another one that boggles the mind from the wayback machine of celebrity killers. Ted Kennedy was one of the great political figures of the 20th century, a famous and effective senator for decades, and a one-time presidential candidate and, of course, the youngest of the three star-crossed Kennedy brothers who dominated American politics from the 60s into the 90s. He was also a killer. In 1969 Kennedy was driving home from a party on Chappaquiddick Island, a fancy getaway near Martha’s Vineyard, when his car went off a bridge and into the water. Kennedy got out but his passenger, a 28-year-old woman, never made it back to the surface. There are a lot of people who, to this day, believe the senator was covering up the fact that he was actually having an affair with the woman in his car by not reporting the accident until almost 10 hours later, among other weird, inexplicable decisions he made that night. The most damning one being swimming back to his hotel after the accident and pretending to be awakened by a “disturbance” at the hotel- can you say alibi, kids?
6 Snoop Dogg
Snoop Dogg is one of everybody’s favorite harmless, old school rappers, am I right? The guy coaches youth football after all - who cares if he’s covered by a perpetual haze of smoke. On the other hand, Snoop is also a killer. Maybe. In 1996 the hip-hop superstar was acquitted of multiple murder and manslaughter charges in the shooting death of a presumed bad-ass gang member. Snoop seems like a pretty mild-mannered guy but apparently (allegedly) he may have gotten into a bit of a turf war with the guy who ended up dead. During Snoop’s case there were all kinds of accusations and counter accusations of people on both sides throwing gang signs at each other, verbally sparring, and chasing each other down streets and into parks to continue the conflict. The victim was shot by Snoop’s bodyguard but whether Snoop himself told his guy to do anything, had anything to do with the arguments preceding the shooting, or was really involved, has always been a somewhat murky proposition. For me, “Doggystyle” may just have a different meaning than Snoop originally intended.
5 O.J. Simpson
Ladies and Gentlemen, here he is the most infamous of all celebrity killers, O.J.! Now, granted, O.J. was acquitted of the charges of murder leveled against him for the stabbing deaths of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman, but c’mon now- there’s not a single person on the face of the planet who doesn’t know in their heart of hearts he did it. The civil suit was more successful, as O.J. was ordered to pay over $32 million to the victims’ two families. OJ’s was the “Trial of the Century” and involved more famous people (like the “First Kardashian,” Robert Sr.), more famous episodes (the world’s slowest car chase), more famous quotes (“If it doesn’t fit you must acquit”) and more famous weirdness (O.J.’s vow to find the killers! On the golf course, apparently) than any trial before or since. For those who care, O.J. finally went to jail in 2008 for the equally weird case against him that he stole sports memorabilia at gunpoint from a bunch of guys in Vegas.
4 Vince Neil
When you spend your formative adult years drinking every glass, can, or bottle of booze that comes your way, shooting up, snorting, and smoking every drug that comes your way and basically behaving as if you were a cocaine werewolf on a perpetually mindless bender, then you might just find yourself “accidentally” killing someone. Such is the story of past, present and future Motley Crue frontman Vince Neil. In 1984, when the Crue was at the peak of their early popularity (and ridiculously excessive excess), Neil drove his car into another one (sound familiar, celebs?) after losing control. His good friend Razzle, the drummer for up and coming band Hanoi Rocks, was killed instantly. The people in the other car- seriously injured. And Vince, you ask? Not a scratch. The dude blew about 10 times the legal blood alcohol limit (OK, OK, it was only three times) and had to pay a fine of almost $3 million as well as serve some minimal jail time (15 days!??!) and do community service. He seems contrite nowadays but I’m not getting in any cars with him ever.
3 Phil Spector
Here’s a celeb who for sure was a bad guy. The great Phil Spector, an absolutely legendary producer in the music industry, was considered one of the all-time most awesome Rock & Roll guys. Ever heard of Let it Be? Phil Spector. Imagine? Phil Spector. The Ramones? Phil Spector again. Except Phil Spector, legendary producer was also Phil Spector, a legendary drunk who liked to pull guns on the ladies. Or at least that’s what came out at his trial in 2003 after he was arrested for shooting an actress, Lana Clarkson, in his home in California. He was convicted in 2009 after endless trials. So I guess now he’s just Phil Spector, legendary prisoner. He’s due for release sometime after his 88th birthday. I hope they keep the booze away from his homecoming party.
2 Johnny Lewis
The past few killer celebs have been in the serious “bad dude” category and this entry isn’t going change that. Johnny Lewis was best known for starring in the first couple of seasons of Sons of Anarchy, before both his addiction and mental health issues began to drag him down. Unfortunately they brought someone else down as well. In 2012, Lewis attacked an 81-year-old lady after breaking into her home and killed her. Then he killed her cat. Then he ran around the property, jumped the fence a few times and finally either fell or jumped off the roof of her house, killing himself in the process. Johnny Lewis was a truly weird celebrity murderer who probably suffered from far worse mental illness than even that which he had already been diagnosed with.
1 Fatty Arbuckle
Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, the silent film star (he was in the legendary Keystone Kops series of movies), was known to enjoy a good time and, on Labor Day weekend, he supposedly got a young starlet drunk at a huge party he was holding in a hotel in San Francisco and then raped and killed her. He killed her by crushing her with his monstrous weight during the rape. Maybe. Or maybe Fatty was completely innocent. They held three different trials trying to convict him and he never was but rather was acquitted of all charges. His Hollywood career, however, was totally over, as he was blacklisted for years. We may never know for certain whether Fatty Arbuckle was a murderer or not but we do know now that celebrities are just as capable of being one as regular people, don’t we?
Sources: history, grantland, latimes, ibtimes