8 Celebrities Whose Deaths Remain a Mystery: Natalie Wood, Marilyn Monroe and More

hollywoods most mysterious deaths
Source: MEGA

May 24 2024, Published 12:05 a.m. ET

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Brian Jones

brian jones
Source: MEGA

Brian Jones was the founder and original leader of The Rolling Stones.

On July 2, 1969, The Rolling Stones co-founder Brian Jones was found dead in his Hartfield, East Sussex home's swimming pool weeks after announcing he decided to leave the band. The authorities quickly ruled his death as an accidental drowning.

The musician was 27 at the time.

The coroner updated the verdict and stated that Jones drowned while under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

Local cab driver Joan Fitzsimons, who was reportedly at Jones' house on the night of his passing, was brutally attacked after telling her friends she would tell the true story of the rocker's death to the media. She was also the girlfriend of Frank Thorogood, the alleged suspect in the fatal drowning, who had been living at the guitarist's home for some renovations.

They reportedly had a dispute over financial issues on the day of the alleged accident.

However, Sussex Police determined the attack had nothing to do with Jones' death.

The authorities closed the investigation, but the police reviewed them when new information emerged.

"No such report has been received since 2010 and no new evidence has emerged to suggest that the coroner's original verdict of 'death by misadventure' was incorrect. The case has not been reopened and there are no plans for that to happen," the authorities said in a 2019 statement.

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David Carradine

david carradine
Source: MEGA

David Carradine's death became the subject of conspiracy theories.

A Bangkok hotel staff discovered Kill Bill star David Carradine naked and dangled from a cord inside his room's closet. Tim Johnson told The Washington Post that Thai police were looking into whether it was an accident as investigators assumed he "most likely died of asphyxiation, possibly when an auto-erotic s-- game went wrong."

New York-based medical examiner Dr. Michael Baden determined during a private autopsy that the Kung Fu star died from asphyxiation.

"He didn't die of natural causes, and he didn't die of suicidal causes from the nature of the ligatures around the body, so that leaves some kind of accidental death," Baden continued.

Before his death, Carradine said in a 2004 interview that he considered shooting himself. He also created the song "Big Mack Truck," which had lyrics about a man thinking about walking into traffic to end his life.

Johnny Stompanato

johnny stompanato
Source: MEGA

Johnny Stompanato was dating Lana Turner at the time.

On the night of April 4, 1958, Johnny Stompanato died after getting stabbed in the abdomen using a butcher knife. Lana Turner and Stephen Crane's daughter, Cheryl Crane, reportedly admitted to stabbing the fatal wounds because she wanted to protect her mother from the Hollywood legend, per The Los Angeles Times.

Decades after Johnny's death, journalist Casey Sherman pointed their fingers at Lana and wrote in his book A Murder in Hollywood: The Untold Story of Tinseltown's Most Shocking Crime that the late Imitation of Life star might be the perpetrator of the tragic 1958 death.

"I strongly believe Lana Turner killed Johnny Stompanato, but I think she did so in the ultimate attempts to protect her family, her mother and her daughter," he wrote. "I think when Johnny Stompanato threatened to kill Cheryl, as you read about in the book, and kill Mildred, Lana was painted into a corner and Lana had to fight back."

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JonBenét Ramsey

jonbenet ramsey
Source: MEGA

She was only 6 at the time of her death.

27 years ago, child beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey was killed in the basement of her family's Colorado home. Her parents, John and Patricia, and her older brother, Burke, were the only people confirmed to be present at the scene.

The matriarch reportedly found the ransom note before realizing her daughter was missing. However, investigators thought the note was unusual.

Retired detective Fred Patterson of the Boulder Police Department explained, per CNN, "Number one, the length of the note was very long, three pages. "I've seen and worked a number of kidnappings for the FBI and most of the notes are very short, they're very terse, very succinct and they give very specific instructions, almost like bullet points."

He added that he had never encountered a ransom kidnapping case that asked for a specific amount of money — $118,000 in this case.

Some still argued that an intruder might be the killer, but it remained unsolved even after the reinvigoration of the investigation in 2022.

"The amount of DNA evidence available for analysis is extremely small and complex. The sample could, in whole or in part, be consumed by DNA testing," Boulder police and district attorney wrote in a statement.

The message continued, "In collaboration with the CBI and the FBI, there have been several discussions with private DNA labs about the viability of continued testing of DNA recovered from the crime scene and genetic genealogy analysis ... Whenever there is a proven technology that can reliably test forensic samples consistent with the samples available in this case, additional analysis will be conducted."

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Marilyn Monroe

marilyn monroe
Source: MEGA

The Kennedys were also linked to Marilyn Monroe's death.

Marilyn Monroe's death on August 4, 1962, was ruled as something caused by an overdose and a probable suicide. Initial reports determined she consumed a lethal dose of Nembutal and chloral hydrate.

Although the police confirmed her cause of death, theories about the Kennedy family and the CIA's alleged involvement dominated the newspapers.

Her death became the subject of the Netflix documentary The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes, which dug into the rumors and inconsistencies in the probe.

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Natalie Wood

natalie wood
Source: MEGA

Natalie Wood's death was reportedly not an accident.

The investigation and ruling regarding Natalie Wood's death were filled with ambiguities that led to speculations she did not die by accident on November 29, 1981.

The Miracle on 34th Street actress spent her last days aboard Splendour, a 55-foot yacht on the southwest coast of Los Angeles, Calif. to enjoy a weekend after Thanksgiving. The yacht set sail to Catalina Island as Wood traveled with Christopher Walken and the captain, Dennis Davern, hours before she went missing.

The Coast Guard was only informed about Wood's status in the wee hours of November 29, 1981. They found her body floating about a mile away from the yacht, with bruises on her arms and lower legs and a cut on her cheek.

The authorities ruled her death an accidental drowning, while the coroner concluded that she had been drinking when she slipped, fell and drowned.

Three decades after the loss, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department reopened the investigation in 2011. Captain Christopher Bergner of the homicide department held a press conference years later confirming that new witnesses with relevant information came forward to share what they knew about Wood's last hours.

Wagner was soon named a person of interest as the sources said he had an argument with Wood before she went missing.

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Tupac Shakur

tupac shakur
Source: MEGA

Duan Davis was charged with murder decades after the killing of Tupac Shakur.

Tupac Shakur was riding a BMW being driven by Death Row Records founder Marion "Suge" Knight on the night of September 7, 1996, when a white Cadillac pulled up next to them at a red light near the Las Vegas Strip. The suspects then showered them with gunfire, killing the "California Love" rapper a week after the shooting.

Decades after the killing, the court ordered the arrest of Davis, the only surviving suspect in the murder case. While he was not the accused gunman, he was reportedly the suspects' ringleader.

"Duane Davis was the shot caller for this group of individuals that committed this crime. And he orchestrated the plan that was carried out," Las Vegas police homicide lieutenant Jason Johansson said.

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William Desmond Taylor

william desmond taylor
Source: David Tomaseti/Unsplash

William Desmond Taylor notably directed over 50 silent films.

Famed film director William Desmond Taylor was discovered dead in his Los Angeles bungalow on February 1, 1922. Police received a call about a "natural death," but they found the filmmaker with a gunshot wound in his back while lying on the living room floor.

A number of suspects were named after Taylor's passing, including actress Mary Miles Minter, actress Mabel Normand, Edward Sands and Henry Peavey. But decades after the killing, the murder has yet to be solved.


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