Famous Tragic Celebrity Murder-Suicides

Famous Tragic Celebrity Murder-Suicides

Every year there is the shocking celebrity death to send shockwaves through the global media. Every once in a while there is a tragic double murder-suicide when one party kills one person and then themselves. Sometimes a result of undiagnosed (or diagnosed) mental illness, these often very personal tragedies are played out on a world stage. Here is a list of ten of the most notable celebrity murder-suicide cases

1. Judith Barsi

Judith Barsi
Judith Barsi

Though appearing in what most people consider to be a truly terrible film (Jaws: The Revenge), Barsi played the granddaughter of Martin Brody and was considered an actress with a promising future. She also provided the voice for Ducky in The Land Before Time. Sadly, her life was cut short aged ten when, just a year after appearing in the film, she was tragically killed by her father. He murdered the entire family, set fire to the house and then took his own life.

2. Edwin Valero

Edwin Valero
Edwin Valero

The up and coming Venezuelan boxer seemingly had everything going for him: rising star in his country, he had just been signed by Top Rank Promotions ready to put him on the fast track to fighting world champion Manny Pacquiao. He had held two belts and was undefeated with a 27 KO record. In 2010, his wife was hospitalised after he attacked her. Subsequently he was placed into psychiatric care. It didn’t work because on his release he stabbed her in a Valencia hotel. Arrested the following day, he committed suicide in his prison cell. They left two children who are now in the care of their grandparents

3. Chris Benoit

Chris Benoit
Chris Benoit

Sadly for those who followed wrestling in the 1980s and 1990s, there seemed to be a time when another death was just around the corner. Of all the drug overdoses and violent ends, there is none more so than that of ‘Crippler’ Chris Benoit. In 2007 and suffering from years of drug abuse, Benoit tied up his wife and strangled her. He remained in the house and killed his son the following day having called the WWE to tell them he wouldn’t be able to appear at the event that night. Sometime later, he hanged himself. A later autopsy revealed the brain of an 85 year old Alzheimer’s sufferer

4. The Hartmans

The Hartmans
The Hartmans

Phil Hartman was a Canadian actor and comedian who had a troubled marriage to his wife Brynn Hartman. Following a meal out, the pair had an argument about her drug habits and he threatened to leave her if she did not get off the drugs once and for all. Later that night she shot him twice in the head and then drove to a friend’s house to confess to killing her husband. The friend returned to the house, saw the body and called the police. When they arrived Brynn locked herself in the bedroom and there took her own life

5. Assia Wevill

Assia Wevill
Assia Wevill

Though she herself was not famous, she was married to the English poet Ted Hughes and by default was herself famous; this troubled woman had survived Nazi Germany and the troubles of the early Israel years before she met Hughes. She was Hughes’ second wife ‘ his first wife (Sylvia Plaith) had also committed suicide. In 1969, she killed her daughter and then herself having used a similar method to Plaith ‘ the gas oven. She sealed the doors and windows and took an overdose of sleeping pills

6. Albert Salmi

Albert Salmi
Albert Salmi

The then well-known TV actor who appeared on several episodes of The Twilight Zone married his second wife Roberta Pollock in 1964. They separated in 1990 and Pollock immediately filed for divorce citing alcoholism and domestic abuse. Towards the end of April, Salmi entered their marital home and shot her twice with a handgun. Later the same day he would shoot himself with another gun. Toxicology reports showed no alcohol in his system but he had been diagnosed with clinical depression

7. Justin Levens

Justin Levens
Justin Levens

Sometimes murder-suicides are seemingly joint suicide pacts though these do not always have evidence to support them and they are recorded as murder-suicides. Former UFC star Justin Levens got off to a good career start but soon found himself on the losing end and falling down the rankings and was eventually suspended for taking prohibited substances. In December 2008 Police were called to the house where they found both Levens and wife Sara McLean dead on the bed. There was no struggle. Both had died due to gunshot wounds ‘ McLean to the heart and Levens to the head.

8. Steve McNair

Steve McNair
Steve McNair

Former Tennessee Titans quarterback was considered one of the greatest ever players for the team and a much celebrated star. Separating from his wife Mechelle in 2009, he soon began dating another woman ‘ Sahel Kazemi. It was something that would prove fatal when the new girlfriend first got stopped for drunk driving, then on her release bought a gun and two days later killed her him and then herself. It was believed that he had been asleep on the couch when she shot him

9. Gig Young

Gig Young
Gig Young

A famous actor in his time, he appeared in some of the biggest films and alongside the biggest names of the era. In 1969 he won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. His personal life was a troubled one, he married five times and it was this final one that was to prove fatal. He had been married to Kim Schmidt around three weeks before they were both found in their Manhattan apartment. Young killed his wife and then himself. No motive was ever found

10. Dorothy Stratten

Dorothy Stratten
Dorothy Stratten

She was an aspiring model in the 1970s when she married a much older man in Paul Snider ‘ a club owner from Vancouver. He helped her gain a foothold in her career and within a couple of years she was being offered movie roles. Inevitably, the young girl would start up an affair with a movie director and filed for divorce. When she went to meet Snider in 1980 to offer terms of divorce, he raped her, killed her with a shotgun and then turned the gun on himself

Conclusion

Each case above is tragic and become more harrowing for us because we often feel that we knew them in some way because of how the media portrays people in the public image. Even those who appear to have a clean public image can be haunted by dark thoughts and fighting demons that they do not permit to show

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