Truth can be stranger than fiction, and that’s decidedly the case with some famous names whose lives became more sensational than a movie script.
From victims to perps, read on to discover 10 famous folks whose stories turned tragic.
Michael Jackson: The death of the King of Pop was a shocker, but even more shocking may have been the LAPD’s later announcement ruling his death a homicide, leading to criminal charges against Jackson’s doctor.
Sharon Tate: Young actress Sharon Tate was at the height of her career, married to film director Roman Polanski, and very pregnant when she became the victim of the Manson family, who violently stabbed her to death and used her blood to write “Pig” on the wall.
Sid and Nancy: Called the “first punk rock murder” by the New York press, the death of Sex Pistol Sid Vicious’ girlfriend Nancy Spungen occurred while the two were binging on heroin in the Chelsea Hotel. Vicious stabbed Spungen in the stomach. He died from an overdose several months later.
O.J. Simpson: When football star O.J. Simpson’s ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman were found stabbed to death, it was only the beginning of what would be dubbed “the trial of the century.” Simpson was acquitted, but later held accountable in a civil trial.
Phil Spector: Music legend Spector was convicted in a jury trial of the murder of actress Lana Clarkson, who was found dead in Spector’s home with a gunshot through the roof of her mouth.
Sal Mineo: Best known for his role in “Rebel Without a Cause,” Mineo was found stabbed to death in an alley near his Hollywood apartment in 1976, just as his career was beginning to make a comeback.
Robert Blake: As TV’s “Baretta,” he solved crimes in the ’70s, but in 2002 he was charged with one when his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, was found shot to death. Blake was acquitted of the murder in a jury trial, due to sparse evidence.
Selena: Latina singer Selena was shot to death in 1995 by the recently fired president of her fan club. The events were made into a movie two years later, which propelled Jennifer Lopez to stardom.
Tupac: Hip hop star Tupac Shakur was leaving a Mike Tyson boxing match in Las Vegas in 1996 when he was shot and killed by a drive-by assailant. Though several leads have popped up over the years, the case remains unsolved.
Phil Hartman: Comedian Phil Hartman was shot in his sleep three times by his wife, Brynn, who then took her own life in their Encino home, while their two children were in the house.