Two months after marrying screen goddess Jean Harlow, MGM executive Bern was found naked in a pool of blood with a pistol by his side at their mansion. The coroner ruled his September 1932 death a suicide, and police found this note: “Dearest Dear, Unfortuately [sic] this is the only way to make good the frightful wrong I have done you and to wipe out my abject humiliation, I Love [sic] you. Paul. You understand that last night was only a comedy.”
Some believe Bern was murdered by his abandoned common-law wife, Dorothy Millette, who then committed suicide by drowning.
Jean Harlow died suddenly at age 26 in 1936 under mysterious circumstances.
Many thought TV’s “Superman” had committed suicide when his body was found with a gunshot wound to the head in June 1959. But some claim Reeves was allegedly killed in revenge for his affair with the wife of a powerful studio mogul. The fact that no gunpowder was found on his skin supposedly supports this claim.
The blonde bombshell’s death in August 1962 was officially listed as “acute barbiturate poisoning” and ruled a probable suicide. But rumors continue to swirl that Monroe was murdered because she knew too much. Conspiracy theorists point the finger at everyone, including lovers President John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert – and even the Mob.
TV’s “The Rebel” was found dead at 36 in February 1968, slumped against his bedroom wall. The autopsy cited “paraldehyde and Promazine intoxication” as the immediate cause of death. Most maintain that it was an accidental overdose, but several pals believe he was murdered.
The “I Fought the Law” singer, 23, was found dead in a car outside his Hollywood apartment in 1966. His face, chest and side were covered in “petechial hemorrhages” supposedly due to gasoline vapors and summer heat. There was no evidence of a beating, according to reports, and it was ruled as an accidental asphyxiation.
Eraserhead frame grab
The "Eraserhead" and “Twin Peaks” actor, 53, claimed he got into a drunken brawl outside an L.A. doughnut shop on December 29, 1996. The next day he was found dead at home. He died of a subdural hematoma caused by blunt-force trauma to the head.
“Star Trek” legend William Shatner found the body of his third wife Nerine, 40, at the bottom of their swimming pool in August 1999. An autopsy detected alcohol and Valium in her blood, but the coroner ruled her death an accidental drowning. The LAPD ruled out foul play, and the case was closed.
In 1978, the “Hogan’s Heroes” star was bludgeoned to death in his apartment. Crane’s pal John Henry Carpenter called the apartment while police were investigating, but did not seem surprised they were there, which raised suspicion. Carpenter’s car was searched, and blood smears matched Crane’s blood type. In 1992, the case was reopened, and Carpenter was charged with Crane’s murder, but found not guilty.
The diva’s death in her Beverly Hilton hotel bathtub while high on drugs was ruled an accidental drowning. But Los Angeles private investigator Paul Huebl claims he has evidence that Houston, 48, was murdered by two thugs sent by East Coast drug dealers to collect on a $1.5 million debt.
Getty "The Naked Gun: 33 and 1/3"
The Playboy model and "Naked Gun" star, 39, was found dead in a Florida hotel room in February 2007. After an eight-week investigation, it was announced the drug-addicted beauty had died of “combined drug intoxication.” Though her lover and lawyer Howard K. Stern was charged with conspiring to enable her drug dependency, no one was found guilty of causing her death. The charges against Stern were eventually dismissed.
Mysterious deaths and unsolved crimes are hot topics for big-screen blockbusters and top-rated TV thrillers. But in Hollywood, such cliffhangers are all too real.