Hollywood Unsolved Death Mysteries

Crime story movies are very apt at portraying mysteries and intrigues on film if the right combination of director, cast, funds and a whole lot of other factors align.

But at times, a combination of different factors make the real-life Hollywood where many of these movies come from just as ripe for a crime story. Unfortunately. Because in these instances, the events are real and the people whose life is forfeit are as well.

Here’s a few Hollywood unsolved death mysteries that to this day make many lower quality crime stories look like a joke compared to the real deal.

1. Natalie Wood

Hollywood unsolved death mysteries - Natalie Wood

You know Christopher Walken, right? Well he knew Natalie Wood, the actress most popular for “West Side Story” as well. Quite well, since their close-friendship is what caused Walken to be on the same yacht with Wood and her husband (Robert Wagner) the night she died in 1981.

Now if the fact that husband and wife + close friend alone on yacht can be explained easily, why she was found floating in the water, drowned, with (possible, hard to determine) bruises despite her husband’s police statement that she simply went to bed and left him and Walken to finish the argument that they were having, gets a bit trickier.

Especially if you take into account that the argument in question was, according to a later declaration by the ship’s captain, about Wood’s closeness to Walken.

2. George Reeves

One of the Hollywood unsolved death mysteries is that of George Reeves

The famous “Adventures of Superman” (1952 – 1958) actor is one of the most known Hollywood mysteries because he was found dead from being shot in the head. Notice the “being shot in the head” expression I chose, because despite the official police report that he had committed suicide from depression, his mother and a private detective she hired are sure that he would never have done such a thing and that he was in fact murdered.

By none other than his mistress Toni Mannix, wife of Eddie Mannix of MGM or by Eddie himself. Corroborating their claim is the fact that at the time of his death, his fiance Leonore Lemmon and three guests were downstairs. Yet they took long to call the police and were not immediately alarmed by the shot. As well as a supposed confession by Toni in 1999 to a publicist.

3. The Notorious B.I.G.

The list of Hollywood unsolved death mysteries includes Notorious BIG

By his real birth name Christopher George Wallace, Biggie smalls a.k.a. Notorious B.I.G. was one of the two major poles of the rap industry in the 90s alongside Tupac Shakur who was the other one. Biggie represented the East coast, while Tupac was the iconic leader of the West coast.

Their enmity is complex and not fully understood to this day, so it would take too long to present here. What is clear is that their story is entwined, in a twisted way, until the end. Because Biggie’s death took place in 1997, via drive-by, just six months after Tupac’s own death by drive-by.

To this day, it’s not known whether both rappers ordered and carried out each others’ death, or if they were actually eliminated for political and cultural reasons (because they were gaining too much power), or even if at least Biggie was the victim of an excessive police force (LAPD) that wanted to eliminate his influence on the town.

4. Elizabeth Short

Elizabeth Short is one of the Hollywood unsolved death mysteries

If instead of Elizabeth Short you would have read The Black Dahlia, it’s almost certain that something would have clicked in your memory. And there’s a high chance that the oft-repeated refrain: “The Black Dahlia Murder” would have come entirely (hey, there’s even a band with this name, among many other references of it in other domains).

What people know as The Black Dahlia Murder (due to the press giving it this bombastic name at the time, as it did for all particularly shocking murders) refers to the death of the actress Elizabeth Short in 1947.

This might just be the most gruesome murder that took place at Hollywood, because she was found cut in half, with signs of having had her arms tied and suffered torture, a nasty cut over her face from one side to the other and … drained of blood.

What’s even more galling and shocking is that the murderer was never even identified, let alone caught. Despite the fact that he anonymously toyed with policemen later, including mailing things from her purse!

Image source: 1, 2, 3, 4.

5 Lovable Movie Villains We Just Can’t Hate

If there’s one true thing about mankind, a trait that seems to remain the same even across various cultures and societies, it must be the fact that we do love a good story. Stories, fairytales and all forms of slightly ritualized narratives have accompanied us from, well, basically, from the beginning of our humanity. And another constant seems to be that every story has a good set of characters and a bad one, at least up to some point. While it’s true that modern stories tend to be more complex and try to also portray the motivations of the “bad guy” and to therefore cast him in a more humane light, every story still needs some kind of struggle or tension between the good and the bad. Therefore, there will always be a need for villains to make a story worth repeating. As long as mankind exists in it actual form of humanity, there will always be a job for movie villains in every Hollywood story.

But how about those kind of nice movie villains that are so cute that we just can’t hate? As if resonating with the bad guys up to some point and seeing the problem from their perspective wasn’t enough, some villains are also impossibly cute or just so charismatic that we can’t really want them to lose. Since those delightful fellows are such an interesting mix of good, wrong, and plenty of spice, it was time to have a cover story that featured the most memorable of this strange villain breed. Therefore, here’s our take on how the list of top 5 lovable movie villains should look like, in a random order.

1. Victor from “Despicable me”

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Victor is, initially, a pure villain who is, well, just despicable. But the problem is that even the term best used to describe him, despicable, is in itself impossibly cute. Really, each time one hears “despicable” being used to describe something, one can’t help but smile, right? So since the bad guy in this movie makes you smile even from the beginning with the way his evilness is described, that should be a strong hint for what’s to follow. The cute movie villain falls in love with three adorable little girls and adopts them, while the audience falls in love with him. And they conquer the world together, happily ever after.

2. Dracula (from almost all Dracula movies)

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The daddy of all vampires, Dracula provides movies with a very rich and seemingly inexhaustible source of inspiration. We’ve previously shared with you a list of the best movie depictions of Dracula, and it’s already pretty clear that in many cases, the character is so charismatic and sometimes so human (like when he shows us his vulnerable side that is nostalgic for his dead wife and falls in love with Mina) that we can’t help rooting for him. Admit it.

3. Loki from “Thor”

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We won’t deny that Tom Hiddleston’s charms may have very much to do with it, but even though Thor is the main character in the series, Loki has a way vaster girl fandom. The man (well, villain) is pure erotic intensity in a pack, walking around and throwing witty come-backs. How could anyone not like him?

4. Beetlejuice

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There are two reasons to be crazy for this guy. One, he’s one of Tim Burton’s best creations and we’re in love with that man’s mind. Two, even though we don’t secretly root for him and want him to win at any point in the movie, the character is just so cool (in a 90s kind of way) that everyone agrees he deserves to have the movie named after him. P.S: He brags about the good times he had during the black plague. Adorable!

5. Hannibal Lector

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Even though the man is clearly psychotic and probably the only truly evil entry on this list, we all somehow hold up a small hope that he genuinely loves Clarice and that this details makes him a bit more human. Also, we’re fascinated by his intellect, thus making a list of lovable movie villains incomplete without him.

The Film Map: Over 900 Movies in One Location

This is a must-have item for any die-hard movie buff with an empty space on their bedroom wall. UK-based design studio Dorothy has created the Film Map, a map featuring over 900 movie titles as the names of roads, buildings, ponds and parks. This stunning and inventive piece comes after Dorothy’s Song Map, another cultural map which was much the same but with song titles replacing film titles.

“A street map made up of over 900 film titles including cinema classics such as Lost Highway, On the Waterfront, Jurassic Park, Reservoir Dogs, Carlito’s Way, Nightmare on Elm Street, Valley of the Dolls and Chinatown,” says the official Dorothy site. “The Map, which is loosely based on the style of a vintage Los Angeles street map has its own Hollywood Boulevard and includes districts dedicated to Hitchcock and Cult British Horror movies. Like most cities it also has its own Red Light area. There’s an A-Z key at the base of the Map listing all the films featured with their release dates and names of the directors.”

Check out images of the Film Map below, and maybe even buy one over on the official Dorothy site, where it’s selling for a measly £25 plus p&p (around $50 for US readers). Also, if you ever find the magical location displayed in the map, make sure you steer clear of Jurassic Park – things may get a little messy there. [Read more…]

10 Controversial Magazine Covers that Shocked the Globe

Stirring international controversy last week was the front cover of the May 21, 2012 edition of TIME magazine, which depicts Jamie Lynne Grumet, an American blogger and mother, breastfeeding her three-year-old son, Aram. Photographed by Martin Schoeller, the image has provoked intense debate concerning not just attachment parenting but also the appropriateness of the cover.

But this isn’t the only time the front of a magazine has stirred the pot and spun debate; indeed, countless rag covers have left constipated readers and non-readers alike with the urge to shout, complain and criticise. So, let’s leaf our way back through the many pages of publishing history, and take a look at ten of the most controversial magazine covers ever to grace a newsstand’s magazine rack and ever to shock and appall unsuspecting subscribers. [Read more…]

Ten Hollywood Has-Beens Who Deserve a Comeback

As the age-old saying goes, what goes up must come down; the ten individuals listed below certainly know this. These ten actors are Hollywood ex-starlets whose once-glimmering careers have taken quite a tumble over the last few years or so, be this from bad role choices, box-office blunders or personal problems. They’re also actors whom I firmly believe should be awarded with the Mickey Rourke/Robert Downey, Jr. treatment, i.e. a shining comeback.

So, scroll down, take a look and see if you think any of these washed-up has-beens deserve to be placed back in the spotlight as I personally think they should be. I should probably note that they’re assembled in alphabetical order of surname, and not in order of washed-up-iness. [Read more…]