Arts & Entertainment

8 Mysterious Old-Hollywood Conspiracy Theories

All current Hollywood drama pales in comparison.

The Black Dahlia's Murder
The Black Dahlia is at the heart of one of Hollywood's most infamous murder mysteries. The 22-year-old aspiring actress (real name: Elizabeth Short) was found murdered on January 15, 1947. Her body was cut in half and mutilated, leading police to include local medical students in their pool of suspects.

The killer followed reports of the investigation and mailed investigators personal items belonging to Short, including her birth certificate. In spite of this, the case remains unsolved.

Marilyn Monroe's Apparent Suicide
Iconic actress Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her Brentwood home on August 5, 1962. While her death was officially ruled a probable suicide, there are a number of conspiracy theories about it, placing the blame on everyone from the mafia, to the CIA, to the Kennedy family.

Virginia Rappe's Tragic Death
Rappe was just 26 when she died in 1921 of a ruptured bladder and secondary peritonitis. The young actress' death led to a huge scandal and lengthy Hollywood trial. Four days before her death on September 9, she attended a Labor Day party in Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle's suite. Arbuckle was a prominent silent film star at the time.

Maude Delmont alleged that Rappe had been violently sexually assaulted by Arbuckle at the party, and died as a result of trauma suffered during the attack. While other theories were put forward for the cause of Rappe's condition (including cystitis), Arbuckle was tried for manslaughter.

After three trials, Arbuckle was formally acquitted, but his career never recovered from the scandal.

George Reeve's Strange Death
Reeves is best known for playing Superman in the 1950s Adventures of Superman TV show. On June 16, 1959, he died of a gunshot wound to the head.

Several people were present at the time of Reeves' death, including his fiancée Leonore Lemmon. One of the many suspicious things about the case is that the group waited to call the police after hearing the gunshot, attributing their intoxicated state for the delay.


Reeves was found laying naked in bed, with his feet on the floor and the gun between his feet. While he was reportedly depressed over the state of his career, not everyone believes his death was a suicide.

Jean Spangler's Unsolved Disappearance
Spangler was an actress, model, and dancer who disappeared mysteriouslyin 1949 (two years after the Black Dahlia murder) when she was just 26.

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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