Fame seems like the ticket to a bright and wonderful future but it isn’t always the case. Celebrities are human just like the rest of us. For every celebrity that goes on to found a children’s charity or raise millions of dollars for earthquake victims; there’s a celebrity who goes off the rails. In the worst cases – celebrities can kill and murder and in the absolute worst of those cases; it’s their spouse that pays the ultimate price. Here are 12 celebrities who killed their spouses:
O.J.’s case isn’t clear cut. He was accused of murdering both his wife and her friend and the evidence seemed overwhelmingly clear cut that he was guilty. Yet, when the case went to trial – his highly paid legal team managed to shed enough doubt on that evidence that O.J. was acquitted and found innocent of the crime. That there’s never been an arrest of any other suspect since the trial suggests that the police think they’d found their man even if the jury didn’t.
With a bright future ahead of him in the world of rap music in 2014 Earl Hayes made the news for all the wrong reasons. Neighbors reported gunfire from Earl’s apartment and when police arrived on the scene both Earl and his wife were dead. The investigation revealed that Earl had murdered his wife before turning his weapon on himself.
Pistorius captured the world’s heart and imagination when he became the first Olympian athlete to win a running event with two prosthetic legs. Then in 2013 he caught the world’s eye for a second time. This time it was for shooting his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, through the door of their shared bathroom. He was convicted of murder but legal shenanigans resulted in a sentence of a paltry 7 years and he was even allowed to return home while his appeal was processed.
Gig Young has a bright career as an actor and won an Academy Award. However, his life was spinning out of control in the 1970s. He was supposed to be Charlie in Charlie’s Angels but when he arrived too drunk to speak – he was fired and replaced by John Forsythe. In 1978 things hit rock bottom when he committed murder-suicide and murdered his wife of just 3 weeks.
Sid Vicious was made world famous for the shock tactics of the punk band the Sex Pistols. Also in 1978 Sid Vicious was implicated in the murder of his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. While he originally wasn’t a suspect, he was eventually arrested and confessed immediately to the police. He claimed that he’d never meant to kill her. He never stood trial for his crime as he died of a drug overdose. A note found near his body claimed that Sid had had a death pact with Nancy and it was his decision to move on from this world to be with her in the next.
It’s not just gentlemen who kill their wives as Claudine Longet’s inclusion on our list proves. Claudine was a well-known singer/actress and dancer. She married a former Olympian – Spider Sabich. In 1976 she shot and killed Sabich. She claimed it was an accident and the jury agreed; she served a scant 30 days in prison for negligent homicide. Amazingly she was allowed to pick and choose the days she spent inside and didn’t have to serve them concurrently. Since the killing Longet has disappeared from the public eye.
William S Burroughs
Writers can become murderous too and William S Burrows who became famous as William Lee – murdered his wife. It was, to some extent, an accident but a stupid, foolish one rather than a Shakespearean tragedy. He’d asked his wife to balance an apple on her head and he picked up a gun and decided to shoot the apple from her skull. He wasn’t the shot that either of them thought he was and she died immediately.
Another lady for our list; this time the actress Fay DeWitt who looks like she wouldn’t harm a fly. Perhaps she wouldn’t. What she did harm, fatally, was her husband. She murdered him with a letter opener and stabbed him multiple times. Neighbors report that she snapped after endless abuse from her husband and the day that he died – he’d pushed his way into her home and then smashed her head into the walls.
Brynn Hartman was an actress with a successful comedian husband – Phil Hartman. Brynn had had alcohol and drug problems in the past but nobody expected, after 10 years of sobriety, that Brynn would shoot and kill her husband whilst he slept. We’ll never know why she did it either as she then turned the gun on herself and died too.
Violence begets violence. It’s a cliché but one that might be true in the case of the WWE Superstar Chris Benoit. Chris, possibly because he’s the competitive type, didn’t just murder spouse he also killed his son. He shot the wife but the son had a tougher death by strangulation. Benoit then hanged himself for the murder-suicide trifecta. It’s still unclear why he did what he did – though some say it might be the result of numerous head injuries suffered in the ring.
O.J. might have walked away with the slate clean but Rae Carruth, one of the other NFL players on this list, did not. Carruth actually hired a hit man to shoot and kill his girlfriend (who – just to add a little extra charm to the crime – was pregnant). The hit man did shoot her but Carruth was witnessed blocking her car so that she couldn’t get away. He went on the run but was quickly found cowering in the bottom of a car’s trunk.
Our final NFL player and final list member is Jovan Belcher. In 2012 he began to argue with his girlfriend and at some point – something in Belcher snapped. He killed his girlfriend in the heat of the moment and then fled the crime scene. Sometime later that day; Belcher shot himself. The couple left behind an orphaned daughter.