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14 Chilling Hollywood Deaths That Are As Intriguing As They Are Creepy

Hollywood whodunnit.

1. Albert Dekker

Twentieth Century Fox

Albert Dekker was a famous actor known for Kiss Me Deadly. In 1968, after going missing for a few days, his fiancé found him naked and kneeling in his bathroom tub. He was bound by chains, and a noose was wrapped around his neck and hung from a curtain rod. Hypodermic needles were stuck in both of his arms, and slurs were written all over his body with red lipstick. The police ruled it a suicide, which the coroner and press rejected. No further investigation was done, and the official ruling was an "accidental death from auto-erotic asphyxiation." No suspects were found.

2. Bob Crane

Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Bob Crane was found bludgeoned to death with an electrical cord tied around his neck in his apartment in Scottsdale, Arizona. The primary suspect in his murder was John Carpenter, a "friend" of Crane's who was in town to meet him. Carpenter's car was seized and searched by police, who noted blood smears that matched Crane's blood type. However, Carpenter was acquitted and maintained his innocence until his death four years later. Crane's murder is still unsolved.

3. Tupac Shakur

Death Row Records

The famous hip-hop artist was murdered in Las Vegas in 1996. He was waiting in a car at a red light when he was shot four times, with one bullet hitting his left lung. A 2002 Los Angeles Times published report titled Who Killed Tupac Shakur? claimed that Orlando Anderson, a member of a rival gang, had fired the fatal shots after Shakur had attacked him in a brawl a few hours earlier. However, Anderson was only questioned once, and nobody was ever charged. Many believe that his murder was linked to the murder of the Notorious B.I.G., who was killed six months later.

4. George Reeves

Hulton Archive / Getty Images

The actor from the 1950s TV show Superman died due to a bullet in the head. Though it was originally thought he had killed himself the lack of gunpowder on his hands suggest that he may have been murdered. However, the gun had been oiled too recently for it to retain fingerprints. Friends of Reeves have said that they didn't think that he would kill himself. Some say that his ex-lover, Toni Mannix, is to blame. A publicist claimed that Mannix later confessed to the murder, though that claim has been refuted.

5. Bruce Lee

RR Auctions / Via

Bruce Lee complained of a bad headache, took aspirin, and lay down for a nap. He never woke up. He was rushed to the hospital and declared dead on July 20, 1973. While his death was ruled as "death by misadventure" and the official cause of death was an allergic reaction to aspirin, Lee's youth and fame were the fuel for several conspiracy theories. One theory is that Lee died at the hand of the Chinese Triads, who were angered when Lee "refused to pay them for protection." Another theory is that the Lee family had a death curse put on them.

6. Brandon Lee

Crowvision Inc.

A curse on the Lee family sounds completely insane, but Lee's son, Brandon, died under strange circumstances as well. During production of the action thriller The Crow, Brandon was set to film a scene where he gets shot with a prop gun. However, the prop gun was prepared incorrectly, and Brandon Lee was fatally wounded. He later died in surgery. The rumor of the "Lee curse" was reignited. Believers of the curse also cite that 1) Bruce Lee's final movie, The Game of Death, shows his character shot by a prop gun like Brandon was in real life, and 2) Bruce Lee's Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story shows a scene where a demon battles Bruce, then tries to take Brandon, "foretelling" the unfortunate demise of the famous star's son. Both movies were filmed while Brandon was alive, making them scary coincidences in the story of his death.

7. Elvis Presley


Elvis Presley died in his bathroom in 1977. However, the medical malpractice that surrounds his case disputes the cause of death. During the autopsy, Dr. Jerry Francisco determined that the cause of death was cardiac arrhythmia. Francisco claimed that drugs had not been involved in Presley's death, despite the fact that the toxicology report had not come back when he made that claim. When the toxicology reports came back and noted high levels of painkillers, Presley's primary care physician, Dr. George Nichopoulos, was accused of overprescribing pills to Presley. He was ultimately exonerated from criminal liability. In addition, there have been conspiracies that Presley is still alive, in witness protection, and was hidden by the FBI. People even claim to have seen him since his death.

8. Brittany Murphy

Michael Buckner / Getty Images

Brittany Murphy died in her home on Dec. 20, 2009. The Los Angeles County coroner stated that the cause of death was pneumonia, iron-deficiency, and drug intoxication. Six months later, Murphy's husband, Simon Monjack died in the same home. Officially, both Monjack and Murphy died of pneumonia and anemia, which some still find a strange coincidence.

9. Bobby Fuller


Bobby Fuller was a singer who died at the age of 23 in a car outside his apartment. He was covered in gasoline and bruises. Though it was initially thought that he had killed himself, when his body was found, he was in an "advanced state of rigor mortis," suggesting that he had been dead for a while (despite the fact that the car hadn't been in the lot for more than half an hour). Some conspiracists say that the mob is to blame, while others are convinced LSD played a role. Many still speculate about the circumstances surrounding his death.

10. Jimmy Hoffa

Mpi / Getty Images

Jimmy Hoffa, a labor union leader, was declared dead due to absentia (the absence of any evidence that a person is still alive) in 1982, seven years after he mysteriously went missing. Hoffa was at the Red Fox restaurant in Bloomfield Township, Michigan, where he was to meet two mob leaders: Anthony Giacalone and Anthony Provenzano. When the mob leaders were late, Hoffa called his wife and told him he'd wait five more minutes. That was the last time they spoke, and she reported him missing later that day. His car was found unlocked with no clues as to what happened to him. The mob leaders he said he was meeting weren't in the area at the time and denied meeting him that day. His disappearance is still a mystery to this day.

11. Natalie Wood

Archive Photos / Getty Images

Known for her role in movies such as West Side Story and Rebel Without a Cause, Natalie Wood drowned in 1981 off the coast of Catalina Island in California while spending the weekend on a yacht with her husband, Robert Wagner; actor Christopher Walken; and the boat's captain. The death was classified as an "accidental drowning." Over the years, the police have looked into the tumultuous relationship Wagner had with Wood to try to piece together what happened that night, though Wagner refused to talk to investigators. Just this year, Wagner was named a person of interest in the case.

12. Peter Ivers

Wounded Bird Records

The famous musician was found bludgeoned to death by a hammer in his Los Angeles apartment in 1983. When the LAPD was sent to his apartment, the officers neglected to secure the area. Therefore, people came to Ivers' apartment to look for themselves. They tampered with potential evidence, making it hard for the police to conduct a proper investigation. Nobody was tried for the murder due to the lack of evidence and the tampering of the crime scene.

13. William Desmond Taylor

Exhibitors Herald / Via

Taylor was a director during the silent film era. On Feb. 2, 1922, police went to Taylor's house and discovered him on the floor of his living room with a bullet in the back. Two women romantically linked to Taylor were suspects in his killing. Mabel Normand was the first of interest, but she was sent to a sanatorium where she was treated and later died from tuberculosis. The other was Mary Minter, a teenage actress who had worked with Taylor and fallen in love with him. A love note from Minter to Taylor was discovered at the crime scene along with Minter's nightgown in the bedroom. Minter's mother had a history of threatening directors who made passes at Minter. Though Minter and her mother were both at Taylor's house on the night of his death, the case is officially unsolved.

14. Marilyn Monroe

Baron / Stringer / Getty

Marilyn Monroe makes this list because of the conspiracy surrounding her death. It was ultimately ruled that she died from a self-administered drug overdose. However, many theories surrounding her death include the speculation that she was murdered because she was planning on going public about an alleged affair she was having with JFK. Other theories claim that her death was staged or that she was killed by the mafia.


The first item in this post originally included a photo of Burt Lancaster and mistakenly identified him as Albert Dekker.


In #6, Brandon Lee was killed after being shot with a prop gun that was improperly prepared. An earlier version of this post mischaracterized the type of ammunition.