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Susan Cabot’s Cause of Death Was Tragic, Her Son Paid the Price

Susan Cabot was a talented American actress known for her roles in films such as “The Wasp Woman” and “Sorority Girl.” However, her life came to a tragic end in 1986 when she was brutally murdered in her home. The circumstances surrounding her death are shocking and devastating for her family. Particularly her son, who will later pay a steep price for the events that unravel. Join FactsVerse as we unravel the mystery surrounding her death.

Susan Cabot’s Biography

Susan Cabot’s life was not an easy one. Born in Boston in 1927, she gives for adoption by her birth parents, Russian-Jewish immigrants who can’t care for her. She spends the first eight years of her life in and out of foster homes. Then, takes in by a wealthy couple, who gives her the name Susan Cabot.

Cabot grows up with a love of singing and acting and make her way to New York City. She works as a nightclub singer and records jingles for radio commercials. There, she discovers by a talent agent and lands her first film role as an extra in Kiss of Death.

Despite this early success, Cabot struggled to find steady work in Hollywood. She was often typecast as a tough-talking, hard-edged character, which limited her opportunities. It was not until she met director Roger Corman that her career began to take off. Corman cast her in several of his low-budget, cult-classic films, including “The Wasp Woman” and “The Viking Women and the Sea Serpent.”

Susan Cabot and Several High-Profile Men

Cabot’s personal life was just as eventful as her career. She had relationships with several high-profile men, including actors Marlon Brando and John Bromfield. However, her most notable relationship was with King Hussein of Jordan, whom she met while on vacation in Europe. The two begin a secret affair that lasts for several years. It is during this time Hussein buys Cabot a Rolls Royce and promises to marry her. However, he ends the relationship after discovering Cabot’s birth name, Harriet Shapiro, which he feels is unsuitable for a queen.

Cabot’s personal life took a difficult turn when she gave birth to a son with dwarfism. Despite this, she was a devoted mother and fiercely protective of her son, Timothy. After retiring from acting at the age of 33, Cabot and Timothy live a reclusive life in their Encino home. It’s here that Cabot’s life comes to a tragic end in 1986 when she beats to death in her bedroom.

Her tragic death

After retiring, Susan Cabot had all but vanished from the public eye. She and her son Timothy lived on a large property in an exclusive neighborhood in Encino, Los Angeles. Neighbors rarely saw the pair, and for all intents and purposes, Cabot was a recluse. However, on the night of December 10, 1986, emergency services received a call from Cabot’s home on Charmion Lane. Timothy, breathless and panicked, reported a burglar had entered the home and attacked him and his mother. When the fire department paramedics arrived just four minutes later, they found Timothy waiting outside, appearing calm.

He explained that his mother was in the bedroom, and he believed she was also injured. But as they entered the home, nothing could have prepared them for the chaos they found. Inside, they found garbage bags strewn in every room, piles of newspapers and magazines stacked along the corridors, and trash and rotting food scattered everywhere. The house appeared to have been ransacked, with furniture overturned, drawers open, and their contents strewn about the house.

Timothy’s Attika Dogs

The sound of Timothy’s four pet Attika dogs made the scene even more disturbing. Despite being typically docile, they were in a frenzy, and Timothy had locked them up in his room to protect the paramedics. When the paramedics reached Susan Cabot’s bedroom, they discovered a grisly scene. Cabot, dressed only in a purple V-neck nightgown, was lying dead on her bed. Blood was everywhere, with a large arc of it sprayed on the bedroom mirror near her bed and large splatter stains on the ceiling above her body. The killer had covered Cabot’s face and head with a piece of bed linen before bludgeoning her to death, and her face was nearly unrecognizable beneath the blood-soaked material.

When the police arrived on the scene, they checked all other rooms for signs of forced entry and to ensure that the intruder was no longer present. However, the dogs were deemed too vicious and dangerous to remove without animal control’s help, and there was one room they could not enter. From outside, investigators glimpsed weight-training equipment and barbells on the floor, with pictures of Timothy’s idol, Bruce Lee, adorning the walls.

The unsettling details of the scene left investigators with more questions than answers about Susan Cabot’s mysterious and tragic death.

Susan Cabot’s Problematic Son

With his soft brown eyes and chestnut hair, Timothy looked like a typical teenager at first glance. But a closer look revealed something different about him. There was an air of maturity and weariness that seemed to emanate from his face, almost like an older person trapped in a young body. And in truth, he was no teenager at all – he was already 22 years old.

Timothy’s unique appearance was due to a rare form of dwarfism caused by a defective pituitary gland. He was supposed to be only four feet tall, but an experimental growth hormone he had been taking for over a decade had given him an additional foot and a half of height. Despite this physical abnormality, Timothy was not an ordinary young man in other ways either. He spoke and acted with an odd demeanor, one that didn’t quite match his age or physical stature.

Timothy’s life took a dark turn on the night of December 10, 1986. First, Timothy claimed that a burglar had attacked and killed his mother. However, as the investigation continued, his story began to unravel. His statements to the police were inconsistent, and he was eventually brought in for questioning. During the interrogation, he admitted to killing his mother and even led detectives to the murder weapon, a barbell and a scalpel coated in her blood. Timothy had initially hidden the barbell, thinking everyone would believe his story of a burglar breaking into their home.

Timothy’s Defense

Despite the damning evidence against him, Timothy’s defense presented a surprising argument at his trial in May 1989. They pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, claiming that Timothy was “a human experiment gone wrong” and could not be held fully responsible for his actions.

An investigation was then carried out, focusing on the groundbreaking experiment that commenced in 1958, with Timothy being one of the numerous participants. Seeking a potential remedy for dwarfism, the National Institute of Health provided a complimentary supply of cadaver-sourced pituitary to children diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency (GHD). This batch of hormones was procured from the pituitary glands of roughly 80,000 deceased individuals. Spanning eight years, the experiment involved treating approximately 700 children with GHD.

Timothy, who had been diagnosed with pituitary dwarfism during his childhood, was among the participants, having received injections since the age of six. However, the miraculous treatment had devastating consequences for some. A tainted batch of growth hormones resulted in a lethal neurological disorder, affecting the supply. Over time, an extraordinary number of subjects developed Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (now commonly known as mad cow disease). This narrative seamlessly aligned with Timothy’s insanity plea, as the psychological symptoms of CJD encompass drastic personality shifts, dementia, impaired cognitive function, and memory loss.

In a shocking twist, it was disclosed that Cabot, under the false impression that it would help maintain her youth, had also been consuming her son’s medication for years.


Timothy’s legal team diligently crafted a disconcerting portrayal of Susan Cabot as a woman struggling to come to terms with her diminishing fame. They depicted her as a former Hollywood star who had retreated from the spotlight, ultimately driving both herself and her son to the brink of madness.

In truth, scant details are available regarding the events that transpired within the confines of 4601 Charmion Lane, or the kind of existence Timothy endured under his mother’s roof. One individual who had been granted access to the home was Timothy’s tutor, who later testified during his trial. She recounted instances where Cabot would frequently shout at her son, seemingly without cause. A pediatric report, submitted as evidence for the defense, revealed that Cabot’s deteriorating mental health had already begun affecting Timothy when he was a mere 11 years old. The report characterized Cabot as excessively dramatic and overprotective while describing Timothy as emotionally underdeveloped and troubled.

Reason Of Insanity

In September 1989, Timothy altered his plea from not guilty by reason of insanity to a simple not guilty. He took the stand on October 6, 1989, where he tearfully recounted how his mother, just before her demise, had yelled at him and appeared to not recognize him. Alarmed by her deteriorating condition, he attempted to call paramedics, only to be attacked by her with a barbell. After wresting the barbell from her grasp, she lunged at him again, this time wielding a scalpel. In the act of self-defense, Timothy fatally struck her.

On October 10, 1989, Timothy was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, a charge that carried a six-year prison sentence. However, having already spent two and a half years in jail awaiting trial, he was granted three years of probation. The presiding judge asserted her belief that Timothy had “loved his mother very much.”

Charmion Lane

The former home of Timothy and his mother on Charmion Lane has since been razed, replaced by a more opulent dwelling that complements the neighboring upscale residences. The true events of that fateful night over two decades ago, continue to elude understanding.

Susan Cabot’s life and tragic demise remain a haunting tale of talent, fame, and personal struggle. From her early beginnings to her tumultuous relationships and eventual retreat from the public eye, Cabot’s story is a testament to the fragility of both fame and human existence. The mysterious circumstances surrounding her death and her son’s subsequent trial add to the enigma that still shrouds her life. In the end, Susan Cabot’s legacy lives on through her films and the memories of those who knew her, serving as a poignant reminder of the complexities that life can hold.

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