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The Details of These Celebrity Deaths Are Still a Bit Murky

Brittany Murphy

Brittany Murphy

Brittany Murphy was really still at the beginning of her life and career when she tragically died at age 32. The actress was famous for roles in projects like King of the Hill, Girl Interrupted, and Clueless. 

The official cause of death was reported as pneumonia that led to heart failure, but some family members think something more sinister is going on. Only six months later, Murphy’s husband died of the same causes, leading Murphy’s father to suspect poisoning. 

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Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe’s official cause of death was “probable” suicide by barbituates. However, some think that this starlet didn’t take her own life, but rather was killed for political motivations.

It’s no secret that Monroe was, let’s say, “close” with several Kennedy men, including JFK. Some conspiracy theorists proposed that her overdose was forced because she knew political dirt on the Kennedys. 

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Natalie Wood

Natalie Wood

When actress Natalie Wood was found drowned in 1981, authorities thought it was simply a tragic accident. Wood had been drinking that night, and there was genuinely no suspicion of foul play. However, that all changed eventually. 

Bruises on Wood’s body led police to rethink their hypothesis. While no charges have ever been brought, it’s widely believed that Wood’s husband, Robert Wagner, was responsible for her death. At this point, it’s unlikely new evidence will be uncovered so we can know for sure what happened to the star. 

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Thelma Todd

Thelma Todd

Most people these days might not recognize the name Thelma Todd, but in the 30s, she was a star of the big screen, often referred to lovingly as “Hot Toddy.” That’s why it was such a shock to fans when she suddenly died of carbon monoxide poisoning in her car at the age of 29. 

While all outward signs pointed to suicide, investigators noticed that there were signs of trauma in Todd’s throat, like the pipe had been forced in there against her will. Coupled with the fact that she received extortion letters the week before, the police began looking for a killer. However, a grand jury was never able to indict anyone on the charges of her murder. 

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Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee was largely responsible for getting Westerners interested in martial arts and martial arts movies. However, his promising career was cut short when he died of swelling of the brain at age 32.

While there has never been any confirmed reason to disbelieve his diagnosis, his death certainly got the rumor mill running. Because he was young and in peak physical form, fans had a hard time believing he could die of a physical condition--so conspiracies that ranged from Triad violence to family curses flourished. 

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George Reeves

George Reeves

Many actors have played Superman over the years, but only one has the distinction of playing him first--George Reeves. Unfortunately, a year after The Adventures of Superman left the air, Reeves committed suicide. 

However, not everyone believed the official story. Unusual details at the crime scene (like multiple bullet casings despite the one shot Reeves allegedly fired) and issues in his personal life have led some to speculate that he was murdered. 

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Bob Crane

Bob Crane

Bob Crane left fans laughing until they cried when he portrayed the title role in the TV show Hogan’s Heroes. His lovable on-screen personality made his violent murder that much more shocking to the public. 

While Crane’s friend John Carpenter was brought up on charges of his murder in the 90s, he was found not guilty due to a lack of evidence. With Carpenter now dead, it’s unlikely that we’ll ever know the full story of Crane’s murder. 

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Virginia Rappe

Virginia Rappe

Virginia Rappe was famous as a star of the silent film era, but it was her murder that would move her from fame into infamy. She was found screaming at a party in a bedroom with other actor Fatty Arbuckle. 

Rappe died three days later and allegedly said, “He did this to me,” (referencing Arbuckle) at the party. Despite three trials, Arbuckle was never convicted of her murder officially, but public opinion had already decided he did it. 

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Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix

When Jimi Hendrix died in a London at age 27, the world thought it was just another young talent who burned out too quickly. However, some at the time suspected foul play--and they still do. 

There had always been lingering questions about Hendrix’s death, but in 2009 a man claimed that Hendrix’s manager, James Wright, murdered him. He said Wright had confessed the deed to him and that he did it because he was worried Hendrix was about to drop him as a manager. 

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David Carradine

David Carradine

David Carradine first found fame as an actor in the 70s, but he’s most widely remembered for his role in the Kill Bill films of the 2000s. When he was found hanging in a hotel closet, suicide was the obvious explanation. 

However, as the investigation into his death continued, investigators became convinced that Carradine’s death was actually accidental. They believe that Carradine was attempting to engage in autoerotic asphyxiation and unfortunately made some sort of fatal error in the process. 

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Elizabeth Short

Elizabeth Short

Elizabeth Short was an aspiring actress who didn’t have the opportunity to make her mark on Hollywood. However, her unsolved murder continues to chill the city to this day. 

Better know in the media as the “Black Dahlia”, Short’s body was found in a parking lot mutilated and drained of blood. It would go on to become one of the most famous murder cases in American history, but due to a lack of eyewitnesses, no one was ever convicted or even charged with the crime. 

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Tupac

Tupac

After rapper Tupac Shakur was killed in a drive-by shooting, the world was sure his rival, Biggie Smalls, was behind it. However, Smalls was killed in a drive-by shooting just a few months later, so we may never really know what happened. 

No charges have ever been brought for Tupac’s murder, leading to some pretty crazy speculation by the public. This includes conspiracy theories that Tupac’s death was staged and the rapper is still alive to this day. 

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Jack Nance

Jack Nance

Jack Nance was most famous for his roles in David Lynch projects--like Twin Peaks and Eraserhead. Friends were concerned when Nance showed up to lunch with a black eye, and the next day he was dead. 

Nance never revealed who it was that punched him, only stating that he thought he got what he deserved. Investigators concluded that Nance died from injuries related to the punch, but his attacker has never been found. 

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Jill Dando

Jill Dando

Jill Dando was the host of Crimewatch--one of Britain’s most popular true crime TV shows. So it’s a little more than creepy that Dando would ultimately be the subject of one of the country’s most infamous unsolved murders. 

Dando was just about to enter her home in 1999 when she was shot in the head by an unknown assailant. A neighbor was charged with the crimes, but he was never convicted--and in fact, he successfully sued several British newspapers for libel. To this day, no one is sure who killed Jill Dando. 

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Princess Diana

Princess Diana

Princess Diana of Wales was tragically killed in an automobile accident while trying to flee the paparazzi. However, some people think her death was less than accidental. 

After she divorced Prince Charles, Diana voiced worries that people might try to hurt her, and she specifically referenced a staged car crash. Considering that one of the drivers in the accident was never found, these conspiracy theories about the People’s Princess have only grown. 

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