When beloved public figures die, it's terribly hard for fans to let them go. For this reason, they tend to speculate about the individual's death. They might claim that the celebrity is in fact still alive. They might believe their hero died in a way other than what was reported by the coroner, simply because they can't believe what happened. This shrowds the celebrity's death in mystery.
It's tempting to dismiss conspiracy theories. But sometimes they do raise important questions about celebrity deaths that remain unanswered. And sometimes the evidence or sources close to the stars add fire to the theories, making them seem not as far-fetched as you may have previously thought.
Was Bruce Lee's random and unexpected death part of a wider plot? Was Brittany Murphy in fact poisoned? Was Marilyn Monroe's death the result of a political conspiracy? Was Princess Diana's death ordered by the royal family?
What you're about to read are the cases of celebrity deaths that continue to be surrounded in mystery and suspicion. Once you know the facts, you can be the judge of what really happened to them. These stories will definitely get you thinking...
13 Tupac Shakur- Shot 12-13 times
Rapper Tupac died in September 1996 when he was shot 12-13 times by somebody in a neighboring car. As his rival Biggie Smalls was killed just six months later, fans have of course believed that both deaths were due to an east coast-west coast rivalry. What's strange about Tupac's death is that nobody was ever prosecuted for the shooting. And a common conspiracy theory is that Tupac never died at all. Tupac's stage name was Makaveli after the Italian thinker Machiaveli, whom he was reportedly obsessed with. As Machiaveli promoted the theory of faking your own death to get away from your enemies, fans think that's what Tupac did. Fans also think that he hinted at his disappearance in his music prior to his death. They think that he is in fact alive and well, and living in Cuba.
12 David Carradine- Found dead in a closet
On June 4, 2009 David Carradine (Kill Bill, Kung Fu) was found dead in the closet of his Bangkok hotel room, and if that wasn't strange enough, the actor had a noose around his neck. Rope also connected his neck to his genitals. According to the autopsy, Carradine died from asphyxiation but the strange thing is that it couldn't have been suicide because of the position of his body. Porntip Rojanasunan, the director of the Central Institute of Forensic Science in Thailand, thinks that Carradine's death may have been part of a sex accident - auto-erotic asphyxiation gone wrong. This of course conjures up more questions i.e. was there someone else there during the incident or did he do it by himself?
11 Lupe Velez- Found dead with her head in the toilet
Lupe Velez was a popular actor of her day, and when she died in 1944 an urban myth was born surrounding the circumstances of her death. The legend goes that she committed suicide after she found out she was pregnant and that her lover didn't want to marry her. But the odd part was that she was found dead with her head in the toilet. The rumor about this was spread by an author called Kenneth Anger in his book "Hollywood Babylon". This story of events was believed for years as nobody could ever find photos from the scene of Velez's death. But nearly 70 years later, journalists finally found and published an official photo from the scene in 2012. It turns out that Velez was found lying on the floor and not with her head down the toilet as was previously thought.
10 Jimi Hendrix- Overdose
Music legend Jimi Hendrix died on September 18, 1970 in London at the age of 27. The official story is that Hendrix died by choking on his own vomit after overdosing on drugs and alcohol. But not everyone believes Hendrix's death was an accident. A former road manager, James 'Tappy' Wright, believes Hendrix's manager Mike Jeffrey had him murdered. In his book "Rock Roadie" he claims that Jeffrey had taken out a life insurance policy on the iconic musician worth $2 million and told Wright that Hendrix was "worth more to him dead than alive". According to Wright, Jeffrey ordered the killing one month before he died in a plane crash. He ordered a gang to break into Hendrix's hotel room and forcibly feed him wine and painkillers. The on-call registrar who was there when Hendrix was brought into hospital has recently added fuel to the story by saying it was as if Hendrix had "drowned" in red wine.
9 Sonny Bono- Crashed into a tree while skiing
At the age of 62, Sonny Bono, Cher's former husband and political representative, died by crashing into a tree while skiing at a Lake Tahoe resort. What makes his death seem mysterious to some is that Michael Kennedy, the son of politician Robert F. Kennedy, had died less than a week previously while playing football at a ski resort in Colorado. So, conspiracy theorists, and a former FBI agent by the name of Ted Gunderson, have since argued that the singer turned politician may have been murdered. Another strange element surrounding Bono's death is the question of whether drugs played a role. His wife at the time Mary Whitaker, said in a TV Guide interview that drugs could have had something to do with Bono's death. This turned into a big, controversial story that Whitaker deeply regretted. Although small amounts of sedative and therapeutic drugs were found in Bono's system during his autopsy, experts say drugs and alcohol played no role in his death.
8 Bruce Lee- Brain swelling
Bruce Lee, kung fu master and movie star, died in Hong Kong on July 20, 1973 and speculation about his death was rife from the get-go. The issue fans took with his death is that he was young at just 32 and at the peak of physical fitness. The officially reported cause of death was brain swelling due to a severe allergic reaction to a painkiller called equigesic. Yet, conspiracy theories about his death include the idea that he was killed by Chinese Triads, who were angry with him for not starring in their movies, or that he was killed by a death strike or "Dim Mak", or that his family is simply cursed. In recent reports, a Chicago medical examiner, James Filkins suggested that Lee may have died of a medical condition that was only recognized in 1995 called sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP).
7 Michael Jackson- Benzodiazepine intoxication
Michael Jackson's death was much more recent and happened during the age of social media, so it's no surprise that theories surrounding the superstar's death abounded. He died on June 25, 2009 of propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication. At the time, there was speculation as to whether his doctor had administered Jackson too many drugs. His doctor, Conrad Murray, was indeed found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in 2011 and was given a two-year sentence. But conspiracy theorists aren't willing to believe that Michael is gone, believing rather that he faked his own death in order to get out of the spotlight and because he was about to face bankruptcy. His daughter Paris Jackson told the press this year that she believes people were out to murder her father and that the whole thing was a "setup".
6 Natalie Wood- Drowned
Natalie Wood was a beloved Hollywood actor back in the day, so people were shocked to find out that she had drowned near to her yacht during a 1981 holiday celebration. It was strange to say the least and the public wondered why she was out in the middle of the ocean by herself and if there might have been foul-play involved. She was partying that night with her husband Robert Wagner and renowned actor Christopher Walken. Reportedly, Walken and Wagner got into a fight, while Wood went to bed. But when Wagner went to say goodnight to his wife she was nowhere to be found. At the time, authorities ruled the death to be an accidental drowning, but people have never stopped questioning Wood's death as it was so odd. Some think Wagner killed Wood in a jealous rage. In 2011, the case was reopened, some 30 years later. They changed the ruling to "drowning and other undetermined factors" as there were bruises on her body.
5 Brittany Murphy- Died of pneumonia
Actor Brittany Murphy died at the young age of 32, back in December 2009. Initially the coroner ruled that Murphy died of pneumonia, then added that it was a combination of prescription drugs, anemia and pneumonia that killed her. What was weird was that her husband Simon Monjack died just a few months later of the same problem. Understandably then, people started to question what was going on. It was thought that maybe the black mold in their apartment had made them ill but the coroner dismissed that claim. Because high levels of "heavy metals" were found in Brittany's blood, indicating that she was poisoned, her father and close friend think that someone else might be responsible for her death. And some think that her husband's shady past was the cause of their deaths.
4 Princess Diana- Died in a car crash
Scores of people were heartbroken when the much loved Princess Diana died in a car crash in August 1997. She was in the car with Dodi Al-Fayed, her boyfriend and the son of a prominent business magnate, who also died in the crash. They were being chased through the streets of Paris by paparazzi and the driver of their car had been drinking, two major contributing factors to the crash. However, Dodi's father Mohammed Al-Fayed believes that the death of the pair was ordered by Prince Phillip and it was carried out by MI6. Conspiracy theorists think that the reason for this may have been that Diana was pregnant with the child of Al-Fayed (an Eyptian muslim) and they were about to get engaged. So, as Princess Di was the mother of the future king this was not acceptable for the royal family.
3 Jill Dando- Shot on her own doorstep
Jill Dando was a British investigative journalist and TV presenter, most known for her work on the BBC show Crimewatch. The UK was shocked when she was shot on her own doorstep in July 2001. Because of the immense pressure the police were under they were quick to charge a man called Barry George who had a prior history of stalking and sexual offences. But in a second trial he was found not guilty. So it is still believed that Dando's murderer is out there somewhere. Some think it was another crazed fan who committed the crime. Others link her death to Yugoslavian or Bosnian-Serb terror groups. There's also the theory that there was maybe a business dispute. Plus, Dando had been involved in investigating a pedophile ring years earlier. There are lots of theories. But the way in which the murder was carried out suggests the work of a professional assassin.
2 Marilyn Monroe- Overdose
The iconic actor Marilyn Monroe died of an alleged drug overdose in August 1962. But those who suspect that it wasn't an accidental death have other ideas about how she died. It was rumored that Monroe was having an affair with President John F. Kennedy before she passed. There were also rumors that she was having an affair with his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy. In the few years following Monroe's death, both of those men were assassinated. This leads conspiracy theorists to believe that there was a link between those deaths, some sort of master plot. Perhaps Marilyn Monroe was murdered as a warning to JFK from the mafia that anyone could be taken down. Some think that the FBI or CIA could have had something to do with it. Who knows what really happened in this case.
1 Heath Ledger- Accidental overdose
The death of actor Heath Ledger in 2008 was very odd, to say the least. He died of an accidental overdose of prescription medication. But it has since been revealed that Ledger had gotten to a very dark place, obsessed with the character of The Joker, which he was playing in the film The Dark Knight. It has been reported that he turned his apartment into a sort of shrine of the Joker. He had clown statues, research on the origins of the Joker, comic books, recordings of himself practicing the voice and the most bizarre item of all was the diary he kept devoted to the Joker. It is widely thought that his devotion to the character had a negative effect on his mental health. His performance in the film was stellar and it is tragic that the actor died so young at just 28, before he could show us even more of his talent.