The 13 Most Fascinating Unsolved Hollywood Murders People
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The 13 Most Fascinating Unsolved Hollywood Murders

A list of unsolved Hollywood homicides and show business crimes, along with the stories, theories and mysteries behind them. Hollywood is a place of glamour (if you take classic movies as documentaries), and it can be a dangerous place if you're famous, partying too hard, becoming insanely depressed, or caught up with the "wrong" crowd.

People in LA with power and money tend to (sometimes appropriately) think that they're above the law, and often act accordingly.

And most times, the rich, famous, and well-known will do anything, even kill, to protect their reputations and careers. There have been many murders in Hollywood, most of which have been solved, but there are some famous Los Angeles crimes that remain complete mysteries, with an intriguing cast of suspects and multiple motives... but no answers. These are the thirteen most fascinating unsolved murders of actors, actresses, and celebrities.

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  1. 9

    Who was he?
    Crane, born in 1928, was an actor known for starring in the popular TV series "Hogan's Heroes" from 1965 to 1971. Crane was a successful actor but his personal life included womanizing and a predilection for sexual indiscretion. He had started recording and photographing his sexual encounters with help from his friend, John Carpenter, a salesman who provided Crane with recording equipment.

    The Case
    Crane was found murdered on June 29, 1978. He had been beaten to death while sleeping in a Scottsdale, Arizona hotel room. The killer wrapped an electric cord around Crane's neck after he was dead.

    Theories for Crane's death included a jealous spouse or boyfriend attacking Crane (which put the suspect list in the 100s) or someone seeking revenge for being recorded without his or her consent. Carpenter was another suspect; besides providing Crane with recording devices, he had also participated in at least one three-way with the actor. People had observed tension between the friends right before the murder.

    Where the Case Stands Today
    No concrete evidence linked Carpenter to the crime until 1992, when the police found an expert to testify that a photographed spot on Carpenter's rental car was actually brain matter. Carpenter was tried for the crime, but his defense stated that there was no way to be sure what the photograph showed. Carpenter was eventually acquitted and maintained he was innocent until his 1998 death.

    Biography: Bob Crane
    IMDB: Bob Crane Biography
    How Did Bob Crane Die?

  2. 11

    Christa Helm

    Who was she?
    Helm was a party girl who wanted to be an actress. She enjoyed meeting, and hooking up with, Hollywood stars and players as she waited for her big break.

    The Case
    Helm was beaten and stabbed to death on February 12, 1977. The crime happened outside her agent's West Hollywood home.

    Helm allegedly kept a sex diary and recordings of her meetings with powerful people in Hollywood; someone may have killed her to keep these materials and their contents secret. The police never found Helm's diary. With the number of lovers, both male and female, that Helm had, jealousy was another possible motive. Or Helm could have simply been the victim of a random crime.

    Where the Case Stands Today
    The police interviewed Helm's friends and acquaintances but with no physical evidence and no sign of the missing diary, they never had any promising leads.

    48 Hours: Christa Helms Murder
    The Unsolved Murder of a Hollywood Starlet

  3. 5

    Who was he?
    Reeves was an actor best known for playing Superman in the 1950s TV show.

    The Case
    Reeves died of a gunshot wound to the head on June 16, 1959. He was in his Benedict Canyon home at the time, as were his fiancée Leonore Lemmon and three other guests.

    Although ruled a suicide, the fact that the others in the house waited to call the police and that stray bullet cases were found by the body led some to believe Reeves was a victim of homicide, not suicide. He had been having an affair with Toni Mannix, the wife of an MGM executive. One theory holds that the jilted Toni had Reeves killed, another that the cuckolded husband, Eddie Mannix, used his underworld ties to have Reeves killed.

    Where the Case Stands Today
    In 1999, a Hollywood publicist, Edward Lozzi, claimed Toni Mannix confessed to killing Reeves. However, no proof was offered or found, so the case remains an official suicide.

    IMDB: George Reeves Biography
    On This Day
    Wikipedia: George Reeves

  4. 13

    Who was he?
    Stompanato was involved with the actress Lana Turner, in a relationship that had a history of violence. He was also a gangster who worked as an enforcer for Mickey Cohen.

    The Case
    Stompanato died of a knife wound on April 4, 1958 at Lana Turner's home.

    Turner's daughter, Cheryl Crane, who was 14 years old at the time, confessed to the crime. Crane stated she had picked up a knife to protect her mother during an argument with Stompanato. As there were no fingerprints on the knife, many people believed Turner had stabbed Stompanato, either during a violent confrontation or because she wanted to end the relationship. Crane may have taken the blame for the crime to protect her mother, and because she faced a much lighter penalty as a minor.

    Where the Case Stands Today
    Crane confessed to the crime, and no evidence appeared that disputed her version of events, so the case went to trial. Crane was found to have committed justifiable homicide to protect herself and her mother.

    The Goddess and the Gangster
    Crime Library: Lana Turner
    Wikipedia: Johnny Stompanato

  5. 4

    Who was she?
    Monroe, born Norma Jeane Mortenson, was a famous actress, known for her roles in movies such as Some Like It Hot and for her relationships with powerful men of the day, from Arthur Miller to Joe DiMaggio to JFK.

    The Case
    On August 4, 1962, the 36-year-old Monroe died in her Brentwood home. Her housekeeper and psychiatrist discovered Monroe naked in bed with an empty bottle of sleeping pills nearby.

    Before her death, Monroe had been hospitalized for psychiatric problems and was receiving long-term psychiatric care. Her death was ruled a probable suicide. But many believe Monroe was murdered, possibly to make sure she wouldn't talk about her liaisons with both JFK and his brother, Robert. Although Monroe's affair with JFK had been talked about in Hollywood for some time, her birthday serenade of the President in April 1962 made more people aware of the connection.

    Where the Case Stands Today
    Although rumors and speculation continue, there is no more definitive answer now about Monroe's death than in the 1960s.

    Crime Library: Marilyn Monroe
    On This Day: Monroe found dead

  6. 1

    Who was she?
    43-year-old Wood was a successful actress, known for her roles in West Side Story and Rebel Without a Cause. Wood was married to the actor Robert Wagner at the time of her death. The two had a long-term, tempestuous relationship, having divorced in 1957 and remarried in 1972.

    The Case
    On the morning of November 28, 1981, Wood's body was found floating in a Catalina Island cove. The night before, Wood had been on a nearby yacht with her husband, Robert Wagner, and their friend, actor Christopher Walken.

    In the aftermath of her death, authorities concluded that Wood had gone at night to take a dinghy to the dock, and simply slipped into the water. However, Wood and Wagner were seen fighting the night she disappeared, possibly about her closeness to Walken. Wood also had a lifelong fear of water, making the idea of her taking a small boat alone, as Wagner contended, difficult to believe. The boat's captain, Dennis Davern, wrote in a 2010 book that he believed Wagner was responsible for Wood's death, and that Wagner didn't search diligently for Wood when she was missing.

    Where the Case Stands Today
    For 30 years, Wood was classified as a victim of accidental drowning. However, Wood's case was reopened by the LAPD in November 2011. Davern now says he lied to investigators during the original investigation. Police have currently said that neither Walken nor Wagner is a suspect in their new investigation.

    Captain Says Wagner Responsible for Wood's Death
    Wikipedia: Natalie Wood
    Was Natalie Wood's Death Foul Play?
    Developments in Wood Investigation
    Police Say Wagner Not a Suspect

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