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Old Hollywood Deaths That Were Never Solved

Everyone love’s a good old-fashioned murder mystery. Really, deaths under any kind of mysterious circumstances regardless of how they went down are pretty intriguing. Especially when those deaths are tied to high-profile Hollywood stars.

The privileged lives of the rich and famous often end in ways that are anything close to glamorous. While we may sometimes envy the lives of Tinseltown stars and starlets, the Hollywood deaths that we’re about to cover in this video are nothing to envy.

It would seem that all the wealth in the world can’t even save someone from the inevitability of facing their eventual mortality. It’s just a fact of life. Whether you’re a queen or king or a former sitcom star, your social status won’t save you from the harsh reality of what comes at the end of one’s time on this planet.

Paul Bern 

Paul Bern was a multi-talented man. He was not only a film director but also a producer and screenwriter for MGM. In 1930 he met Jean Harlow who was already famous for being both a talented actress as well as for being one of the hottest sex symbols in Hollywood. The two started dating and Bern managed to convince MGM to buy her contract from another studio which would help her to land bigger movie roles and achieve a greater degree of stardom.

The couple tied the knot in July 1932. But just two months after exchanging their vowels, Bern was found shot dead in their Beverly Hills home. Harlow had spent the evening prior at her mother’s house, so it was the household staff that ended up discovering his body.

Officially his death was ruled as suicide as there was nothing else found at the scene to suggest otherwise. A handwritten suicide note was found near his body directed towards Harlow in which he had explained that his death was the only way he knew how to make good the ‘frightful wrong he had done’ and to ‘wipe out his abject humiliation.’

Investigators learned that Bern was impotent which proved to be a tremendous source of shame for him and may have led to him taking his own life. Bern’s Butler also testified his employer often mused about killing himself.

Even so, there are some oddities about the story that raise questions about his final moments. For one thing, his household staff apparently waited quite some time after discovering his body before calling the police. They first called MGM who sent in two men to assess the scene. The first was the head of security, Whitey Hendry, and the other was publicity director Howard Strickling who had the reputation of being ‘the fixer’.

It’s possible that the scene of Bern’s death was deliberately tampered with so that a story could be strung together to avoid a scandal and to protect Harlow’s reputation – which in turn would help MGM save face.

One theory is that Bern’s previous common-law-wife, Dorothy Milette, who was overcome with mental illness and committed to a sanatorium in the 1920s, had gone to Beverly Hills, murdered Bern, and then returned to San Francisco where she committed suicide either out of guilt or to avoid the repercussions of her actions. A possible motive for the murder would be that Bern had written Milette out of his will to instead make Harlow his sole beneficiary in the event of his death, leaving her high and dry. But it’s also equally possible that she was driven to suicide by grief after learning of her ex-husband’s death.

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And stick around to find out which star just might have been killed at the hands of a former US president. Can you guess who we’re talking about? Stay tuned to find out if you’re right.

Natalie Wood 

Natalie got her start in Hollywood at the age of four and earned three Academy Award nominations before she was twenty-five. Most people probably remember her best for her roles in Miracle on 34th Street, West Side Story, and Rebel Without A Cause. She was also known for her romantic relationship with actor Robert Wagner, who she married not once, but twice.

Wood supposedly drowned while attending a party on a boat with Wagner near Catalina Island. Her body, as well as a dinghy from Wagner’s boat, was recovered from the ocean early the next morning. Investigators determined that she must have been trying to ride the dinghy to shore when she fell into the water while trying to secure it. Officially her death was ruled an accident.

Countless conspiracies and rumors have surrounded her death in the years since her passing. It’s also come out that some crucial details were omitted from the original police report. In 2011, the case of Wood’s death was reopened. The following year her cause of death was adjusted from ‘accidental’ to ‘undermined’. Then a bombshell broke in 2018 when Wagner was named as a person of interest in the investigation.

It has been claimed that the LA Coroner’s office covered up her real cause of death. When Natalie was pulled from the water, her body was covered in fresh bruises, abrasions, and obvious head wounds. Dr. Michael Franco, who was a young intern at the time of the investigation alleges that Wood’s death wasn’t an accident. According to his assessment, she was probably pushed by someone she knew.

It later came out that the vessel’s captain, Dennis Davern, overheard a fierce argument between Wood and Wagner earlier that evening in addition to the thundering sounds of furniture being tossed around. When he knocked on Wagner’s cabin door, the actor told him that he should mind his own business. The next time that he saw Wagner, he was out of breath and covered in sweat. When he asked about Wood, Wagner replied by saying ‘she’s gone’.

Wood’s sister, Lana admitted to The New York Times that she also suspects Wagner had something to do with Natalie’s death and added that she had previously expressed her disapproval for Wood remarrying him, given his previous track record of infidelity.

Wood’s daughter, Natalie Gregson Wagner, however, has come to her stepfather’s defense calling such allegations ‘outrageous and completely unacceptable’.

Albert Dekker 

Dekker was celebrated for being both a film and Broadway actor. He had a brief career in politics as well and served as a state assemblyman for the 57th district from 1944 to 1946. He tried to stage an attempt at a Hollywood comeback but his efforts were briefly impeded by his public criticism of Senator Joe McCarthy. For nine years, he was blacklisted by the major movie studios, but he finally signed on with Warner Brothers in 1955 and immediately got back into acting.

Dekker was found dead by his girlfriend Jeroldine Sounders on May 5, 1968. His body was handcuffed with his eyes covered with a blindfold. He was kneeling with a noose wrapped around his neck and tied around the shower rod. He had a ball gag in his mouth and two hypodermic needles were lodged in his arm. Dekker had obscene words written all over his body in bright red lipsticks. Differing accounts of the scene described him as being either fully naked or wearing lingerie.

Even though cash and some film equipment were missing from his house, there were no signs of forced entry so the coroner officially determined that he died of suicide. Ultimately it was declared that his death was accidentally brought about by means of autoerotic asphyxiation.

Dekker’s son, Benjamin, revealed in a 1999 TV documentary that his father was a client of the notorious Doctor Max Jacobson, aka Dr. Feelgood, a New York physician who handed out prescriptions for ‘vitamin cocktails’ that were later discovered to contain amphetamines.

The long-term effects of drugs, no doubt had a detrimental effect on his health, but according to Benjamin, his father’s death was a result of an accident that was between two consenting adults. That being said, some believe that Dekker’s death was the product of foul play.

Virginia Rappe 

During her brief stint in Hollywood, Rappe modeled, designed fashion, and acted in several small films. Unfortunately, she was never quite able to make a name for herself and is today best known for the highly publicized trial of her alleged killer, famed actor Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle.

Rappe died while attending a party thrown by Arbuckle and his friends on Labor Day at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco on September 5, 1921. When her body was found, she had a ruptured bladder and an inflamed peritoneum. Some sources close to her attested that Rappe suffered from cystitis and chronic bladder inflammation which might have been aggravated by her alcohol consumption.

Another one of her friends testified that she had a venereal disease of some kind and that she had several abortions in the past which possibly could have contributed to her death.

But another theory is that Arbuckle crushed Rappe under his weight while sexually assaulting her. One account of that fateful evening was that Arbuckle pulled Rappe into a private room and locked the door after knocking back a few drinks with her at the bar. When Arbuckle emerged from the room, Rappe lay flat on the bed moaning in agony. Rappe reportedly screamed that she was hurt and dying and that Arbuckle was her attacker.

Arbuckle’s story painted a much different picture, however. He claimed that after having a few drinks Rappe started hysterically tearing off her clothes and complaining that she couldn’t breathe. She went to the ladies’ room where she vomited and then her friends took her into another room to rest. A doctor was called in when she suffered what seemed to be some kind of abdominal attack. According to that version of events, Arbuckle and Rappe were never at any point alone together.

Arbuckle’s lawyer presented evidence that she had no bruising or any other signs of violence on her body. He also tried to convince the jurors that Rappe was simply reaping the consequences of having several botched abortions. The doctor who examined her body testified that she displayed no tell-tale signs of having been sexually assaulted.

Arbuckle was eventually acquitted of the charges but the damage to his career and reputation had already been done. He was banned from appearing on screen so he changed his name and spent the remaining years of his life working as a director on low-budget films.

Marilyn Monroe 

Her death was officially attributed to a barbiturate overdose, but over the years several alternate theories have come out attempting to explain away the mysteries surrounding the Hollywood sex symbol’s untimely death. While her death is normally assumed to be a suicide, a lot of people seem to think that she fell dead at the hands of someone else.

Monroe had been receiving treatment for depression before she died. When she was found, she was lying nude in her bed with her face down with a telephone in her hand. Empty pill bottles were dispersed throughout her room.

A lot of folks that think that Monroe was the victim of murder tend to think that it has something to do with the federal government and Monroe’s alleged affair with John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert. Although we should point out that it’s never been confirmed that JFK and Monroe had an affair. But, it is true that they met up four times and slept with each other on at least one occasion.

It’s been alleged that RFK, whom Monroe was also rumored to be sleeping with, visited Monroe on the evening of her death. And it has been confirmed that he was in town that evening. One theory has RFK and Monroe getting in a fight shorlty before her death.

Another popular theory asserts that it was the Government who had Monroe killed after it was discovered that she was in possession of a missing diary containing sensitive information on several international issues. The diary supposedly outlined a plan to assassinate Fidel Castro among others and it was given to her from her alleged lover John F. Kennedy.

Alright, well that’s about all the time we’ve got to investigate these Hollywood mysteries. Hopefully, someday the truth will come to light.

But now’s your turn to have your voice be heard. In the comments section let us know whether you think Marilyn Monroe was murdered or that she died via a drug overdose like they say she did.

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