MICKEY ROONEY may have had 8 wives but the shocking murder of one changed him FOREVER!

He was endlessly haunted by the violent death of his fifth wife, Barbara Thomason, who was shot to death by a revolver he’d given her for her own protection!

Thomason, 29, was gunned down in 1966 by a jealous lover, 24-year-old bit actor Milos Milocevic, before he turned the pistol on himself.

“Mickey never forgave himself for what had happened to Barba­ra,” said a source close to the “Andy Hardy” star. “He had made a lot of mistakes during that marriage, and others. But Mickey believed the biggest mistake of all was giv­ing her that gun. He gave it to her for her own protection.”

Another source close to Rooney told The ENQUIRER: “Barbara was truly the love of his life, and she haunted his dreams until the day he died.”

Mickey and Barbara married secret­ly in 1958, but the union was troubled as women flocked to Mickey and he couldn’t resist their charms. They separated in 1966 when Barbara had a revenge affair with Milocevic. But Barbara and Mickey still loved each other, and when they attempted to reconcile, Milocevic snapped. He shot Barbara then turned Mickey’s nickel-plated .38 revolver on himself.

“Mickey went into a deep depres­sion,” said the second source. “After he and Barbara separated, he always hoped they would get back together. And they seemed headed that way when she was killed.

“He blamed himself for her death for the rest of his life. He would wake up at night, shaking and weeping from a nightmare he had about her.

“As hard as he tried, Mickey never found the same joy after she died. Every marriage afterward was an at­tempt to fill the pain left in his heart from her death.”

Barbara had four of Mickey’s nine children, and their son Mi­chael Rooney recalled: “We were in the house when it happened. We were scurried out and told we were going to see the movie ‘Mary Poppins.’ It wasn’t like, oh, your mother’s dead upstairs.”

The kids went to live with Bar­bara’s parents after the tragedy, and Michael says he didn’t have much contact with his father after that due to Mickey’s career. But on one occasion when they were to­gether, Michael said Mickey “told me that my mother was one of the most wonderful ladies he had ever met, that she was really nice, a caring person, she was wonderful with us and loved us all.”

The first insider added: “Mickey never got over that Barbara died with the very gun that he gave her to protect herself. He rarely talked about it. It was the secret he carried  to the grave with a very heavy heart.”

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