It’s always weird to hear about celebrity deaths – especially when there is an element of mystery. But there is obviously an extra element of shock on the rare event that a famous person is murdered. The magnifying nature of fame results in many celebrities being harassed by stalkers or obsessive fans. So think twice before you peruse success in industries that would gain you public exposure. The fame may attract more than just adoring fans. This is a list of 10 celebrities who were murdered. Of all the celebrities who were murdered, these might not all be the most famous cases but they are cases that I find really interesting.
John Lennon is of course best known as a member of the Beatles. But he is also remembered for his solo work and for his assassination. He is remembered by hippies everywhere to this day for his peace loving outlook and general style. John Lennon was assassinated in December of 1980 by Mark David Chapman. Chapman shot John Lennon in the back four times from a distance of about 10 feet. He died before anything could be done to revive him. Chapman had previously planned on murdering him several times. He travelled to New York two months earlier with the aim of assassinating John Lennon – but he had second thoughts and decided not to. Chapman initially decided to plead insanity but eventually ended up pleading guilty. He received a 20 years to life sentence and has been in prison since.
Sharon Tate was a Hollywood actress and the wife of Roman Polanski. She had only been in the business for a few years, but was thought of as one of the next big stars in Hollywood – her career hopes would soon come to an end though. In 1969, Tate was brutally murdered in her home by followers of Charles Manson. Manson instructed a group of his cult members to go out and prove their loyalty to him. Taking this to be a request for murder, the group entered the home of Sharon Tate and killed her. They chased her down and stabbed her 16 times. The most shocking part is that she was 8 months pregnant at the time of her death. This makes her death the most shocking of all the celebrities who were murdered – in my opinion anyway.
Phil Hartman was a Canadian comedian and actor. He gained fame in America where he helped create the character Pee-wee Herman. He starred in Saturday Night Live on many occasions, for which he gained most of his fame. Capitalising on this, he gained several film roles too. He starred in the sitcom “NewsRadio” in the 1990s, but died before the show was still on tv. In 1998, he was shot dead by his own wife. His wife was basically a crazy drug addict, and their marriage really wasn’t a healthy one. His wife shot him while he was asleep – she then commit suicide before the police could arrest her. It’s always a shame when the deaths of celebrities who were murder are announced, but people seemed to take Phil Hartman’s death especially badly.
Reeva Steenkamp was a South-African model. She achieved moderate success but only achieved international fame due to the circumstance of her death. On February 14 2013, she was shot dead by her boyfriend. Her boyfriend was Oscar Pistorius, the first man to ever compete in both the Paralympic games and the Olympic games. Reeva Steenkamp was in their bathroom when she was shot and killed by Pistorius. Pistorius claimed that he didn’t know who he was shooting, and that he thought it was an intruder in their bathroom. I guess this defence worked as he was found guilty of culpable homicide, rather than murder. His trial was covered on international news sources because people are apparently interested in the stories of celebrities who were murdered.
Gianni Versace was a well respected Italian fashion designer. He was established in British and American society, and a common face to many famous and influential figures. On July 15 1997, Gianni Versace was murdered in Miami by a madman Andrew Cunanan on a killing spree. Cunanan was a notorious serial killer, who murdered 5 people in 1997. He was soon given a spot on the FBI’s 10 most wanted list. Eight days after killing Gianni Versace, he commit suicide using the very same handgun he had used that night. It’s weird that so many celebrities who were murdered were victims of mad gunmen.
Dorothy Stratten was a Canadian Playboy model who died at the young age of 20. She appeared in a couple of movies and was the Playboy playmate of the year for 1980, the year of her death. She was murdered by her husband at his house. They didn’t live together and were clearly heading towards divorce. On August 14, Stratten arrived at his house to discuss divorce options. Her husband shot her dead before raping her corpse and committing suicide. At least, that what is thought to have happened – neither of them survived to give their account of the incident.
Bob Crane was an American radio presenter and actor. He made his name in radio, hosting several shows in several cities across the united states. But he gained most of his fame when he played Colonel Hogan in the sitcom “Hogan’s heroes” in the 1960s. In 1978, he was beaten to death in his home with an unidentified weapon by an unidentified killer. Police believed the weapon to be a camera tripod, but they could never be 100 percent sure. The case of his murder is still unsolved, and will likely remain that way forever. It’s weird to think the criminals behind the deaths of celebrities who were murdered could still be out there and have never been brought to justice.
Dominique Dunne was an American actress who gained most of her fame on the year of her death. She played one of the daughters in the movie “poltergeist.” She also played roles in a few different tv shows, but is more well known for her part in “poltergeist” and for her brutal murder. On the 30th of October 1982, her ex-boyfriend strangled her into unconsciousness. She slipped into a coma and died after just five days. The ex-boyfriend admitted killing her, for which he was obviously arrested.
Marvin Gaye was a wildly successful American soul singer. His music is some of the most remembered of the era, for which he was inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame. In 1984, he was shot dead by his own father. It was found that his father was suffering from a brain tumour and was under the influence of drugs when he killed his son.
The Notorious B.I.G.
The Notorious B.I.G. was a hugely successful rap artist and remains one of the icons of hip hop. He really was a massive success, but ended up in a feud with 2pac. A feud which some believe led to his murder. In 1997, he was murdered in a drive by shooting. The shooter was never identified so the case of his murder could never be closed. There are dozens of conspiracy theories on who killed him and for what reason. But it still remains one of the most mysterious cases of celebrities who were murdered.