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Thread: The Most Mysterious Hollywood Deaths

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    Default The Most Mysterious Hollywood Deaths

    In 1981, Natalie Wood's mystery-shrouded death caused a media frenzy. In 2011, the tragedy made headlines again on November 17 as the Los Angeles sheriff's department reopened her case. NewsFeed rounded up several more unresolved or otherwise eerie Hollywood deaths






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    Natalie Wood






    Late actress Natalie Wood and her husband Robert Wagner at the London premiere of The Godfather


    The mystery surrounding Wood’s death from drowning near Catalina Island has not dissipated even after 30 years. Wood was on an anchored yacht the night of November 29, 1981 with her husband Robert Wagner and a skipper when she took a fatal fall off of the boat. The official theory is that Wood either tried to leave the yacht or to secure a dinghy when she accidentally slipped and fell overboard. A woman on a nearby yacht said she heard calls for help at around midnight that were answered by someone else who said, “Take it easy. We’ll be over to get you.” ”It was laid back,” the witness recalled. “There was no urgency or immediacy in their shouts.”
    The reportedly cavalier attitude toward her situation has often been attributed to the large amount of alcohol Wood and her husband drank that evening. While it has never been proven that the woman calling for help was, indeed, Natalie Wood, no other person has ever been identified or come forward as having called out for help on that night. An investigation by the Los Angeles County coroner included a report that Wood’s fingernail scratches had been found on the side of the rubber dinghy indicating she was trying to get in.





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    Bob Crane





    Hogan's Heroes star Bob Crane, who was murdered in 1978 in a still-unresolved case

    Crane was the star of the popular 1960′s sitcom Hogan’s Heroes and had a short-lived eponymous series in 1975.

    He faced waning success following the cancellation of Heroes in 1971, and unfortunately remains known mostly because of his gruesome, unresolved 1978 murder.

    Crane, a photography enthusiast and reputed sex addict, had been friends with John Carpenter, a videographer at Sony, for several years. In later years, Carpenter photographed some of Crane’s sexual escapades with various women.

    In 1978, the year that Crane was starring in and directing a play in Scottsdale, he allegedly called Carpenter to tell him that their friendship was over. The following day, Crane was discovered bludgeoned to death with a weapon that was never found (but was believed to be a camera tripod) in a Scottsdale apartment building.

    DNA testing did not exist at the time, so the blood later found in Carpenter’s impounded car could not be identified. Other suspicious factors included the multiple phone calls Carpenter had made to the apartment and his seeming lack of surprise to find that the police were there that evening.

    Due to insufficient evidence, Maricopa County Attorney Charles F. Hyder declined to file charges. The case was reopened in 1990 and Carpenter went on trial in 1994, where he was not found guilty. He maintained his innocence until his death on September 4, 1998, and the murder remains officially unsolved. However, authorities continue to believe that he was the killer, and no other serious suspect has ever been mentioned in the case.






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    Tupac Shakur/Notorious B.I.G.





    The Notorious B.I.G. aka CHRISTOPHER WALLACE and Tupac Shakur aka 2PAC, 2002.

    Though the suspected connections between the two biggest rap murders have largely proved inconclusive, the hazy details of each case are too conspicuous to ignore.

    Shakur was killed in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas on September 7, 1996; Biggie was killed by an unknown assailant March 9, 1997, in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles. Because of the acrimony between the two, the similarities in the cases, and the fact that the murders occurred at the height of the East Coast/West Coast hip-hop feud, there was speculation from the outset about the possibility of each having a hand in the other’s death. Biggie, as well as his family, relatives, and associates, vehemently denied all accusations.

    In 2002, the LA Times published a story by Chuck Philips, who claimed to have uncovered evidence implicating Biggie, in addition to Anderson and the Southside Crips, in the attack on Tupac. The story was later revealed to be fraudulent.

    To this day, the details of each murder are largely rumors and no one has been arrested in connection with either of the cases.






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    Princess Diana





    Princess Diana nearly two months before her death

    Perhaps it’s fitting that one of the most famous icons of the 20th century also had one of the most controversial deaths. Princess Di was only 36 when she was killed in the August 31, 1997 limousine crash in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris which also killed her boyfriend Dodi Al-Fayed and their driver. The cause of the crash was not so cut-and-dry, though. Initially, paparazzi following the limo in hot pursuit were blamed for making the driver, Henri Paul, lose control. A subsequent judicial investigation found that Paul was actually intoxicated and under the influence of an anti-depressant and an anti-psychotic at the time of the crash.

    Repeated inquests and conspiracy theories have maintained the mystery surrounding Diana’s death. In February 1998, Dodi’s father, Mohamed Al-Fayed claimed that the crash was a result of a conspiracy. He later contended that the crash was orchestrated by MI6 on the instructions of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. These claims were dismissed by a French judicial investigation that concluded in 2006.

    An inquest into the deaths of Diana and Dodi began in 2007. In 2008, the jury released an official statement that Diana and Dodi were unlawfully killed by the grossly negligent driving of chauffeur Henri Paul and the paparazzi. The jury named the intoxication of the driver and the victims’ decisions to not wear seat-belts as contributing factors to their deaths. Additionally, the limo had been traveling at over twice the legal speed limit of that particular section of road and had long since left the paparazzi vehicles far behind by the time the accident occurred.

    No amount of legal conclusions will curb public interest in the late Princess’ untimely death, though. The most recent related documentary, Unlawful Killing, was released this year.






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    Michael Jackson





    Jackson in London less than four months before his mysterious death

    The recent trial of Jackson’s doctor Conrad Murray nearly eclipsed the tragic and shady events that transpired alongside the King of Pop’s death.

    Jackson had displayed various signs of health in the days leading up to his June 25, 2009 death as he rehearsed for his “This Is It” concert series. Murray found his body, still warm, that afternoon and reportedly had a bizarre reaction and made some strange requests instead of seeming shocked or upset. Jackson soon died after experiencing full cardiac arrest.

    Words like “propofol” and “demerol” filled stories that speculated about the real cause of Jackson’s death and whether or not Murray, who was Jackson’s personal physician, was culpable in his death. Murray had administered the heavy sedatives that Jackson took as his health declined in his final months and years.

    Murray was ultimately found guilty of involuntary manslaughter on November 7, 2011.






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    Yvette Vickers





    Actress and former Playboy centerfold Yvette Vickers roughly three years before her mysterious death

    Vickers was an actress, singer and one-time Playboy centerfold. Her film appearances were mostly inconsequential–an uncredited part in Sunset Boulevard and a supporting role in Attack of the 50-Foot Woman were among her movie credits. But Vickers’ eerie death eclipses her semi-prominent career.

    Vickers’ mummified body was found inside her Los Angeles home on April 27, 2011 after a neighbor became concerned after noticing a large pile of yellowing mail in her mailbox as well as spider webs across her front door. Authorities indicated that her mummified body suggested Vickers could have been dead for nearly a year; the exact date of her death is unknown. The Los Angeles County coroner’s department confirmed that Vickers had died from heart failure. The 82-year-old was known to be reclusive and had not been seen in public for some time before her passing.






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    Anneka Di Lorenzo





    Anneka di Lorenzo, April 1980.

    Di Lorezno, a 58-year-old former model and B-list actress, once aspired to be known as “the sexiest woman in the world.” The actress was also Penthouse magazine’s “Pet Of The Year” for 1975-76, though she experienced mental health problems and paranoia following her film career. Yet nothing could have predicted her perplexing death.

    A body later identified as Di Lorezno’s washed up on the shore of Camp Pendleton, a Marine Corps base north of San Diego in January. Her corpse was reportedly so slim and youthful-looking that investigators initially assumed she was a teenager. The remains displayed signs of a broken neck and back, which left clues to what caused her otherwise-inconclusive death.

    “The main unanswered question that we have is how she got from her vehicle to the water,” Navy special agent Rachel McGranaghan told the San Diego Union-Tribune after details emerged that Di Lorenzo had parked her car at a vista overlooking the ocean shortly before she died. “We know her life ended in the water, in some circumstance, we just don’t know how.”






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