Top 10 Unsolved Celebrity Deaths

Script written by Q.V. Hough These celebrity cold cases show that there’s a dark side to fame. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Unsolved Celebrity Deaths. For this list, we're exploring the untimely deaths of celebrities, the details of which have yet to be fully determined. Special thanks to our users MikeMJPMUNCH or submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Q.V. Hough

Top 10 Unsolved Celebrity Deaths


These celebrity cold cases show that there’s a dark side to fame. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Unsolved Celebrity Deaths.
 
For this list, we’re exploring the untimely deaths of celebrities, the details of which have yet to be fully determined. We’re not investigating conspiracy theories, per se, as we have another list for that, but rather the facts of these cold cases.
 

#10: Brittany Murphy

Brittany Murphy rose to fame playing an ugly duckling in 1995’s “Clueless,” which is amazing considering her real life beauty and poise. Equally astounding are the confusing circumstances surrounding her shocking 2009 death. The coroner initially listed “natural causes” as the official culprit, but later revealed that Murphy had been consuming a variety of over-the-counter drugs, and had been treating pneumonia prior to her death. Just three months after the coroner’s revised statement, her husband, Simon Monjack, passed away under similar circumstances. Toxic mold later came into play as a potential factor, a concept first rejected by Murphy’s own mother before she ultimately supported the theory. 
 

#9: Robert Johnson

For musicians, the blues genre evokes images of heartbreak and perseverance. And it was Robert Johnson who originated the Delta Blues sound in the late ‘30s, only to pass away suddenly at just 27 years old. Part of the mystery surrounding Johnson’s death can be traced to Son House, who once joked to a journalist that Johnson sold his soul to the devil in order to master his craft. Incidentally, people ultimately believed this tale – inconceivable as it may seem. But even if it were true, it still doesn’t explain whether Johnson died from syphilis or from poisoning at a local bar. Then again, maybe he did meet someone at the crossroads?
 

#8: Jimmy Hoffa

While nobody seems to know exactly how this famous union leader met his demise, most agree that he was likely murdered. But by whom? And why? Originally disappearing on July 30, 1975 in Detroit, Jimmy Hoffa whereabouts have long been a mystery, especially when so many gangsters have taken credit for his killing. After all, the man did immerse himself in the underworld and apparently scheduled meetings with top-level mafia figures for the day he vanished. But with no body, it’s impossible to fully understand what actually happened on that fateful day. But he’s not under Giants Stadium. Probably…
 

#7: Brian ‘Spinner’ Spencer

In life, this Canadian was a passionate professional on the ice. And as a crucial bit of context to his story, it’s important to know that his father once took over a TV station at gunpoint when his son’s televised debut was pre-empted. It didn’t end well for Roy Spencer, and after a decade in the NHL, his son Brian spiraled out of control as well, leading to 1987 murder charge. Surprisingly, a jury acquitted him of all charges, but Spencer immersed himself in a world of drugs and somehow managed to get himself shot like his father. Payback or a drug deal gone wrong? In the end, poor choices sealed his fate. We just don’t exactly which choices they were.
 

#6: Bobby Fuller

The man who discovered Ritchie Valens also signed Texas musician Bobby Fuller to a contract. Sadly, also like Valens, Bobby Fuller’s career was cut short when he mysteriously died in Hollywood in the summer of ‘66. Fuller was found in a car with hemorrhages all over his body, yet no signs of physical violence were apparent. A suicide? If so, it’s a strange one. And some have even speculated that Fuller ran with a mobbed-up girlfriend. Barely into his career, Fuller succumbed to the tight grasp of Hollywood fame, at only 23 years of age. 
 

#5: Jack Nance

This man appeared in some of cinema’s most iconic works by David Lynch, the most unusual of directors. Five years after his wife committed suicide, Jack Nance went on a drinking bender and apparently picked a fight with an unknown “kid” at a Pasadena doughnut emporium. Nance went to lunch with friends following the fight, and allegedly had a crescent-shaped bruise under his eye. It turned out that his injuries caused a subdural hematoma, killing him the following morning. But it’s the details surrounding his death that make it so mysterious: why would a successful actor start a fight with a kid outside a doughnut store? Your guess is as good as ours, considering the murder investigation led to no arrests, leaving this case unsolved.
 

#4: Natalie Wood

As a child, as a teenager, and as a grown woman, the beautiful “Natalia” starred in several of cinema’s most beloved films. But as the 80s came along, life slowed down for Natalie Wood, and sadly, her life-long fear of drowning became a reality. Accompanied by actor Christopher Walken and husband Robert Wagner, Wood embarked on a Catalina adventure that quickly turned deadly. A turbulent evening on the Pacific Ocean was followed the next morning by the discovery of Wood’s lifeless body, a mile from the boat. An autopsy later revealed bruises on Natalie’s face and arms, yet those disturbing facts remain in the background of a bizarre Hollywood narrative that’s just as interesting today as it was then.
 

#3: Bob Crane

By 1978, the career of this “Hogan’s Heroes” star had stalled a bit. Even so, Bob Crane still had that certain something that attracted admiring females. That being said, he continued to “perform,” traveling around the U.S. on a dinner theater tour. However, during an extended stay in Scottsdale, he was found bludgeoned to death and with an electrical cord around his neck. A man named John Henry Carpenter was ultimately tried and acquitted for the murder. Given that he and Crane allegedly recorded sexual encounters with women, it may be possible that someone connected with those films didn’t find the private videos quite so entertaining. 
 

#2: Nancy Spungen

You may not recognize this woman’s name, but if you’re familiar with punk rock, then you’ve surely heard of Sid and Nancy. By the time Sid Vicious and The Sex Pistols broke up, they had released only one studio album, albeit an iconic one, and essentially transformed an entire genre. However by 1978, the bassist was holed up with runaway Nancy Spungen at the famous Chelsea Hotel, and, well, they consumed a lot of drugs. And as the story goes, Sid allegedly stabbed his girlfriend in the bathroom after yet another chaotic evening. Perhaps, as some claim, drug dealers were the real culprits, but Sid took the truth to his grave just four months after Nancy’s death.
 
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
-          Barbara Colby
-          Peter Ivers
-          Chris Trickle
-          Christa Helm
 

#1: Tupac Shakur

By his 25th birthday, Tupac Amaru Shakur had released four acclaimed albums, starred alongside Janet Jackson on the big screen and survived a 1994 shooting. So when the news broke that 2Pac had been shot after a 1996 Mike Tyson fight, it seemed like just another 2Pac moment. But then he… died. And the conspiracy theories began. A gang member did it. Another rapper. He faked his death. Then six months later, The Notorious B.I.G. was gunned down in L.A. The stories of 2Pac and Biggie are inextricably linked, and even now the truth remains evasive. Who killed these men? And what’s being done to solve their murders? Just listen to Chris Rock’s opinion and let us know what YOU think… 
 
Do you agree with our list? Which unsolved celebrity death has you scratching your head? For more investigative Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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