May 21, 2024 | Eul Basa

The Most Infamous Unsolved Celebrity Mysteries

The dark side of Hollywood

Celebrities are fascinating enough on their own—but when tragedy befalls a beloved actor or musician, it becomes a worldwide frenzy. Click next to read about the most mind-boggling celebrity mysteries in history.

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Marilyn Monroe

A fallen star

Marilyn Monroe, a Hollywood legend, died at 36 from acute barbiturate poisoning. Controversy surrounds her death due to mishandling of evidence, discrepancies in witness statements, and lack of clarity in the LAPD investigation, leading to speculation and rumors.

Actress Marilyn Monroe poses for a portrait laying on the grass in 1954Baron, Getty Images

Marilyn Monroe

Still no answers

Monroe's ties to JFK and RFK fuel suspicions of her having confidential details or affairs that could endanger them. Accusations of silencing her for political reasons persist, leaving her death shrouded in mystery.

Marilyn Monroe, Photoplay - 1953Studio publicity still, Wikimedia Commons

Natalie Wood

Murky waters

Actress Natalie Wood, known for "Rebel Without a Cause" and "West Side Story," died at 43 on November 29, 1981 after a boating trip to Catalina Island. Her body was found the next morning, floating in the water on the island.

Natalie Wood 1961 Splendor In The GrassWarner Bros., Wikimedia Commons

Natalie Wood

Person of interest

Natalie Wood's death is plagued with conflicting accounts from witnesses, which include her husband Robert Wagner as well as Christopher Walken. Speculation about foul play and cover-ups have persisted for years. The case was reopened in 2011, with Wagner named a "person of interest" in 2018, but the full truth remains unclear.

Natalie Wood in yellow toponeredsf1, Flickr

Thelma Todd

A suffocating reality

Thelma Todd, a Hollywood actress, was found dead in her convertible in a garage in Pacific Palisades in 1935. She died from carbon monoxide poisoning wearing diamond jewelry, an evening gown, and a mink coat at just 29 years old. Her body was discovered by her maid, 24 hours later.

Thelma Todd in whiteHarold Dean Carsey, Wikimedia Commons 

Thelma Todd

A secret extortion?

The death of Thelma Todd in Hollywood remains a mystery, with conflicting theories and speculation. She attended a party the night before her death and was found the next morning in her car, leading to suspicions of foul play despite initial beliefs of suicide. Newspapers alleged that she was being extorted for $10,000.

Thelma Todd, Film Actress in fur coatUniversity of Washington, Wikimedia Commons

Tupac Shakur

East vs. West

Tupac Shakur's death in 1996 was connected to a previous assassination attempt in 1994. He accused Sean Combs and Christopher Wallace of orchestrating the attack, sparking the East Coast vs. West Coast rivalry in hip-hop. During a fight in Las Vegas, Shakur was shot and later died from his injuries.

Portrait of rapper Tupac Shakur (2Pac)Mitchell Gerber, Getty Images

Tupac Shakur

Dead or alive

After the death of Tupac Shakur, several conspiracy theories emerged, with accusations about his killer and rumors suggesting he might still be alive. His murder coincided with a dispute with rapper Notorious B.I.G., leading to increased speculation.

Screenshot of Tupac Shakur looking at side.Columbia, Poetic Justice (1993)

Elvis Presley

King of Rock and Roll

Elvis Presley's sudden death at 42 shocked fans and devastated his family in 1977. He was found on his bathroom floor at Graceland, with his pajamas down. His family kept quiet about the autopsy results for 50 years. In his final decade, his health declined significantly.

Elvis Presley runs a comb through his famous tresses.Bettmann, Getty Images

Elvis Presley

A darker truth

Elvis Presley's death was officially attributed to a heart attack—but there were many uncertainties and discrepancies. Mainly, reports suggest health issues and prescription drug abuse before his passing, fueling speculation of excessive medication and possible foul play.

American singer Elvis Presley performing on tourSunset Boulevard, Getty Images

Elizabeth Short

The Black Dahlia

On January 15, 1947 at 10 am, Betty Bersinger came across a mannequin on Norton Avenue in Los Angeles. only, it wasn't a mannequin—she soon realized it was Elizabeth Short, the Black Dahlia. Bersinger, a housewife, quickly alerted the authorities about the gruesome discovery.

 Studio headshot portrait of American actress Elizabeth ShortArchive Photos, Getty Images

Elizabeth Short

Clues in clippings

An unidentified manila envelope addressed to Los Angeles newspapers contained a message using cut-out newspaper clippings, claiming to be the possessions of Elizabeth Short. The envelope contained Short's birth certificate, business cards, photos, names, and an address book, all wiped with gasoline. Despite investigating men from the address book and suspects with medical backgrounds, authorities made no progress in solving the case.

Black Dahlia  Elizabeth Short in dressclamshack, Flickr

Brittany Murphy


Actress Brittany Murphy, known for roles in "Clueless" and "8 Mile," passed away on December 20, 2009, at 32 from pneumonia, with iron-deficiency anemia and drug intoxication as contributors. Controversy surrounds her death, with questions about prescription drugs she was taking for various health problems prior to her passing.

Brittany Murphy during Brittany Murphy Visits MTVs Theo Wargo, Getty Images

Brittany Murphy

All too sudden

Brittany Murphy's death, along with her husband Simon Monjack's, raised suspicion due to its suddenness and unclear circumstances. Despite officials attributing her death to natural causes, conspiracy theories and unanswered questions persist.

Brittany Murphy during IFP Independent Spirit AwardsJeff Kravitz, Getty Images


Gone too soon

Emerging R&B star and actress Aaliyah tragically died in a plane crash on August 25, 2001, at 22. The small Cessna 402B she was on crashed after takeoff from the Bahamas, killing all nine on board. Overloading and pilot error were determined as the causes of the accident.

Aaliyah performing at KMEL 106 Summer JamTim Mosenfelder, Getty Images


A dire fate

Doubts have surfaced about Aaliyah's tragic death due to questionable pilot behavior, safety procedures, and false documents. Rumors suggest her management team may have influenced the ill-fated flight.

Actress AALIYAH at the MTV Movie Awards in Los AngelesFeatureflash Photo Agency, Shutterstock

George Reeves

Fallen from grace

George Reeves, known for portraying Superman in the 1950s TV series, died on June 16, 1959, at 45. His death was ruled a suicide by gunshot—but many fans believe that the details do not add up.

Grayscale Photo of the actor George ReevesBettmann, Getty Images

George Reeves

The truth unknown

Doubts regarding George Reeves' death arise from discrepancies in witness accounts. Some believe he was murdered due to his connections or personal conflicts, while others suggest accidental self-harm or a staged suicide. Despite investigations, the truth remains unknown.

Grayscale Portrait photo of the Actor George ReevesJohn Springer Collection, Getty Images

Joan Rivers

In the OR

Joan Rivers, a renowned comedian, actress, and TV host, passed away at 81 on September 4, 2014 after complications during an endoscopy in NYC. Despite efforts at Mount Sinai Hospital, she never regained consciousness due to hypoxic brain damage from lack of oxygen. Concerns arose about her care.

Promotional portrait of American comedian and actor Joan Rivers, 1980s.Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Joan Rivers

Suspicious care

Questions about Joan Rivers' death stem from doubts about the medical care she received and the procedures during her endoscopy. Accusations of malpractice sparked investigations and legal action. Lingering uncertainties and unresolved questions continue to fuel interest about her passing.

Joan Rivers from the film Larry Busacca, Getty Images

Johnny Stompanato

Family affair

Johnny Stompanato, connected to the mafia, was killed at 32 on April 4, 1958, while in a relationship with actress Lana Turner. Turner's daughter, Cheryl Crane, confessed to the murder, claiming self-defense from Stompanato's abuse. Crane was acquitted after a highly publicized trial.

Grayscale Photo of Lana Turner, Johnny Stompanato, And Cheryl CraneUnknown Author, Wikimedia Commons

Johnny Stompanato

A turn of events

The suspicious circumstances of Johnny Stompanato's death, tied to Lana Turner and his shady associations, have fueled speculation. Theories range from planned retaliation to silencing due to criminal links. Although legally settled, the situation still does not sit well with many conspiracy theorists.

Grayscale Photo of Lana Turner and Johnny Stompanato hugging each otherUnknown Author, Wikimedia Commons

Bruce Lee

A bad reaction

Famed martial artist and actor Bruce Lee passed away on July 20, 1973, at 32 in Hong Kong during the filming of "Enter the Dragon." He took a painkiller for a headache, then slept, failing to wake up. Resuscitation proved useless, confirming his death from a cerebral edema caused by an allergic reaction to the medication.

Grayscale Portrait Photo of the Actor Photo Bruce LeeNational General Pictures, Wikimedia Commons

Bruce Lee

Something sinister

Bruce Lee's death is surrounded by suspicions of foul play and malicious schemes related to his success. Despite official reports citing natural causes, fans remain intrigued by the mysterious circumstances of his passing.

Grayscale Portrait Photo of the Actor Bruce LeeABC Television, Wikimedia Commons

Notorious B.I.G.

Notoriously confusing

Los Angeles County's coroner office released The Notorious B.I.G.'s autopsy findings 15+ years after his fatal shooting. The 23-page report reveals new details of his unsolved murder. Biggie Smalls, 24, was shot leaving a music event in 1997. He suffered four gunshot wounds, including a fatal one that struck his right hip and other vital organs.

Portrait Photo of The Notorious B.I.G.Duy Nguyen, Flickr

Notorious B.I.G.

Shady detective work

Russell Poole, a detective with the LAPD, investigated The Notorious B.I.G.'s murder and implicated Suge Knight. He left the department in 1999 and continued to research the case until his death in 2015. His work inspired the movie "City of Lies." Greg Kading also investigated the case with a team from 2006 to 2009, but was removed due to allegations of misleading statements. Kading has gained notoriety for his involvement.

Grayscale Portrait Photo of The Notorious B.I.G.Flickr, Takeshi

Bob Crane

All-American tragedy

"Bob Crane, 'Hogan's Heroes' actor, was found dead in Scottsdale home on June 29, 1978. Police found he suffered from blunt force trauma to head and an electrical cord around neck. Shocking news and scandalous revelations followed.

Bob Crane  in costume in a studio portrait, against a black backgroundSilver Screen Collection, Getty Images

Bob Crane

Foul play

Bob Crane's mysterious death, possibly linked to his involvement in illicit activities, remains unsolved despite extensive investigations. With no murder weapon found and no signs of forced entry, it is believed Crane knew his killer.

Bob Crane in suit and glasses looking at leftRon Galella Collection, Getty Images

Virginia Rappe

Actor's quarrel

Virginia Rappe, famous for Paradise Garden in 1917, died in a scandal involving actor Roscoe Arbuckle. Despite Paramount paying him $3 million that year, their legacy is now overshadowed by controversy surrounding Rappe's tragic death.

Virginia Rappe in blackLibrary of Congress, Wikimedia Commons

Virginia Rappe

Party gone wrong

Rappe fell ill at a party hosted by Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle in San Francisco. She passed due to a ruptured bladder and peritonitis. Rappe's death led to a high-profile trial of Arbuckle for her alleged murder, attracting sensational media coverage and marking the beginning of significant controversy in Hollywood.

Grayscale Portrait Photo of model and silent film actress Virginia RappeLCCN, Wikimedia Commons

Whitney Houston

The end of "The Voice"

Whitney Houston, a legendary singer and actress, tragically passed away at 48 on February 11, 2012. Discovered unconscious in a hotel bathtub the night before the Grammys, her death was ruled accidental drowning, with heart disease and substance use contributing.

Grayscale Photo of Whitney Houston performing on a stageDavid Corio, Getty Images

Whitney Houston

A short-lived comeback

Houston's security and supervision are questioned due to her history of substance abuse and the music industry's pressures. Allegations of foul play and conspiracies suggest possible intentional harm or involvement in a secret agenda.

Whitney Houston at the Songwriters Hall of Fame 32nd Annual AwardsScott Gries, Getty Images

Michael Jackson

The King of Pop

Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, died at 50 in Los Angeles on June 25, 2009. Dr. Conrad Murray, his personal doctor, administered propofol and benzodiazepine for Jackson's sleep issues, causing his death. Controversy and investigations arose regarding his medical treatment and his doctor's actions.

Portrait Photo of Michael Jackson wearing a brown shirtJim McCrary, Getty Images

Michael Jackson

Doctor's orders

People think others in Michael Jackson's circle should be blamed for his death, along with Dr. Conrad Murray. Some suggest Jackson's death was planned for his money, or foul play due to his wealth and influence.

Michael Jackson performs on stage during is Phil Walter, Getty Images

Princess Diana

The People's Princess

Princess Diana, the beloved "People's Princess," tragically died in a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997, at the age of 36. Alongside her companion Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul, their car hit a pillar in the Pont de l'Alma tunnel. The world mourned the loss of Diana, known for her charity work and captivating presence.

Princess Diana Facts Diana, Princess of Wales gives a speechAnwar Hussein, Getty Images

Princess Diana

A world in mourning

Claims suggest Diana's death was not accidental, but a planned scheme. Suspicions point to influential figures, possibly involving the British royal family. Concerns also arise over paparazzi behavior on the fatal night.

The Prince and Princess of Wales attend a welcome ceremony in TorontoPrincess Diana Archive, Getty Images

President John F. Kennedy

Eagle down

On November 22, 1963, President JFK was assassinated in Dallas, Texas while riding in a car with his wife and Governor Connally. Shot from the Texas School Book Depository, Kennedy was fatally wounded. Despite medical efforts, he was pronounced dead at Parkland Memorial Hospital, leading to worldwide mourning.

President John F. Kennedy in suitU.S. Embassy New Delhi, Flickr

President John F. Kennedy

Inconclusive findings

The Warren Commission found that Kennedy was killed by Oswald alone, but inconsistencies and theories suggest a wider conspiracy involving organized crime, foreign governments, or the U.S. government itself.

Grayscale Portrait Photo of John Fitzgerald Kennedy looking upwardsKeystone, Getty Images

Paul McCartney

"Paul is dead"

The "Paul is Dead" conspiracy theory claims Paul McCartney from The Beatles died in 1966 and was replaced by a lookalike. Supporters cite alleged hints in album covers, lyrics, and songs, including reverse messages, hidden symbols, and perceived changes in McCartney's appearance and behavior.

Grayscale Portrait Photo of singer-songwriter Paul McCartneyEvening Standard, Getty Images

Paul McCartney

A ridiculous notion

No evidence supports McCartney's supposed death, yet fans and theorists remain intrigued. Even the Beatles' have dismissed the theory as ridiculous and over-sensationalized.

Singer Paul McCartney performs onstage at NYCB Live in UniondaleDebby Wong, Shutterstock


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