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.
The List
  1. 6
    Who was she?
    Born in 1906, Todd was a successful film actress who worked during the 1920s and 1930s. She appeared in Marx Brothers hits such as Horse Feathers and Monkey Business.

    The Case
    Todd had opened a restaurant called Thelma Todd's Sidewalk Cafe and lived in an apartment above it. On December 16, 1935, she was found inside her car, which was parked near her restaurant. It was determined that she had died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

    Although first considered a case of accidental poisoning, the death was ruled a suicide; Todd had been experiencing financial difficulties. But blood spots found in the car and on Todd's face led some to believe she had been killed. She had just divorced a man whom she'd accused of spousal abuse, and some speculated the bad feelings from the split led her ex-husband, Pat DeCicco, to kill her.

    Where the Case Stands Today
    Todd's body was cremated, so no thorough autopsy was ever carried out. The case remains an official suicide, with no new evidence to support the theory of murder.

    Wikipedia: Thelma Todd
    The Mysterious Death of Thelma Todd

  2. 7
    Who was he?
    Taylor was a successful silent film director, who debuted with The Awakening in 1914 and worked in Hollywood until his 1922 murder.

    The Case
    Taylor's corpse was found in his bungalow on the morning of February 2, 1922. He had been shot in the back. He had last been seen by his friend Mabel Normand the night before. After she left him at approximately 7:45pm, anyone could have entered his house and shot him. After Taylor's body was found, a crowd gathered in the house before the police arrived, making evidence collection nearly impossible.

    His former and current valets were initially suspected, but the fact that Taylor still had his diamond ring and cash in his wallet made people discount the idea of robbery. Taylor had been helping his friend Normand with her cocaine addiction and working with law enforcement to catch her drug dealers, which may have made the criminals target him. The actress Mary Miles Minter had an unrequited crush on Taylor, which made her and her mother suspects as well.

    Where the Case Stands Today
    An actress named Margaret Gibson confessed to the murder in 1964, but no corroborating evidence was ever found. Taylor's murder remains unsolved, and at this late date it is unlikely that the killer will ever be known.

    Crime Library: William Desmond Taylor
    IMDB: William Desmond Taylor Biography
    Wikipedia: William Desmond Taylor
    LAist: Who Killed William Desmond Taylor?

  3. 8
    Who was she?
    Chasen was a well-known Hollywood publicist. At 64, she had had a long career in Hollywood, and was known for helping the films she publicized win Oscars.

    The Case
    Chasen was returning home from the world premiere for Burlesque on November 16, 2010, when she was shot multiple times in her car in Beverly Hills. She died at the scene of the shooting.

    Police believe Chasen was shot in a robbery attempt that went wrong. But Chasen's purse was left at the scene. The main suspect, Harold Martin Smith, killed himself in 2010 when police tried to search his apartment building, leaving many unanswered questions. Smith had bragged that he had been paid $10,000 to kill Chasen. But some believe the murder was a professional drive-by shooting that Smith had little to do with, as his only means of getting around L.A. was a bicycle.

    Where the Case Stands Today
    Smith used the same gun to kill himself that Chasen had been shot with and left no clues as to who, if anyone, may have hired him.

    Man in Inquiry Shoots Self
    Chasen Death: One Year Later
    Chasen Death Looks Professional
    Chasen Murder Solved?

  4. 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?

  5. 10
    Who was he?
    Ivers was a talented musician who wrote the song "In Heaven (The Lady in the Radiator Song)" for David Lynch's Eraserhead. He also hosted New Wave Theatre, a variety show which featured punk and New Wave acts. He was good friends with Lynch, Harold Ramis, The Pixies, John Lithgow, and many other stars.

    The Case
    Ivers was bludgeoned to death in his apartment in 1983. A large group of friends gathered in his apartment soon after his death, and may have unintentionally destroyed evidence by doing so.

    Although some of Ivers' friends believe that someone who knew Ivers from New Wave Theatre may have been the killer, there was no evidence tying anyone to the crime. Ivers knew a large group of people, which gave the police a large pool of potential suspects. More prosaically, it could have simply been a robbery gone wrong.

    Where the Case Stands Today
    Sadly, the case remains unsolved and officially is still under investigation.

    Murder in Six Degrees
    Unraveling the Life and Death of a New Wave Pioneer
    Rediscovering Peter Ivers
    Wikipedia: Peter Ivers
    Wikipedia: New Wave Theatre

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