Celebrity killers come in many forms. In the last two parts, we looked at some car accidents which involved famous faces. This time we look at some stone cold killers who murdered another human being.
The gold medalist sprint runner from South Africa was found guilty of culpable homicide when he shot and killed his girlfriend, Reva Steenkamp. On Valentine day 2013 the double-amputee speedster shot Steenkamp through the bathroom door of his home. During the trial, Pistorius claimed that he believed that it was an intruder in the house despite evidence that contradicted his version of events. He was sentenced to 5 years in prison but was released on 19th October 2015.
The most infamous member of the punk rock group, The Sex Pistols. Vicious was believed to be responsible for the death of his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen. On 12th October 1978, Vicious woke up in his hotel room to find Spungen dead on the bathroom floor from a single stab wound. He was arrested and charged with Spungen’s murder but never went to trial. In the months that followed Spungen’s death, Vicious repeatedly attempted suicide including slashing his wrists with glass and trying to throw himself out of a window. Vicious died of a heroin overdose on 2nd February 1979 in an apparent suicide.
The legendary boxing promoter has had his share of controversy. Mob connections, defrauding boxers of money, and murder, twice. The first was in 1953 was ruled a justifiable homicide when King shot Hillary Brown in the back when Brown was attempted to rob one of King’s gambling houses. The second was 13 years later in 1966 when King stomped and employee to death. Sam Garrett owed King $600 and he served four years in prison for nonnegligent manslaughter. King was later pardoned for the second killing in 1983 by Ohio Governor Jim Rhodes.
Spector was American record producer and songwriter who was convicted of the murder of an actress. Lana Clarkson was found dead in Spector’s with a gunshot wound to the face. Spector claimed that it was an accidental suicide but in a recording of the 911 call, made by Spector’s driver says differently. He can be heard in the background saying “I think I killed someone”. Before Clarkson was killed, Spector had pulled a gun out on four different occasions, on four different women. The guilty verdict was not reached until 2009 and Spector is currently serving a 19-year sentence for Clarkson’s murder.
Johnny Lewis (Son Of Anarchy)
The Sons of Anarchy actor had been released from prison six days when he killed his landlady and her cat, before falling to his death from the roof of the building. Lewis had previously been held for drug charges and people were becoming increasingly concerned about his mental health. They believed that he was becoming unstable and a threat to those around him. Lewis had broken into the house, known as Writers Villa, and killed 81-year-old Catherine Davis and her cat. He then climbed onto the roof accidentally fell to his own death. It was believed at the time that Lewis was on drugs at the time but investigations showed that he was sober at the time of the murder.
Felicia Pearson (The Wire)
Before Pearson became part of the cast of The Wire as Snoop, her life was the same as her characters. At 14 years old, Pearson was a drug dealer on the streets of Baltimore and was convicted of second-degree murder of Okia Toomer in 1993 during a street fight. She served 6 ½ years of her 8-year sentence before being released in 2000. Since then she has been arrested for a string of drug offences after The Wire finished its final season.
Michael Jace (The Shield)
The American actor who is best known for playing Julien Lowe on The Shield was convicted of murdering his wife, April Jace, at their home on 19th May 2014. Jace confessed to murdering his wife by shooting when he phoned the police and said “I shot my wife” to the operator. Their two children were in the house at the time and saw their father kill their mother. It is still unclear why Jace murdered his wife of ten years but motives have included financial problems after Jace declared bankrupt in 2011, or just an act of domestic violence.
William S Burroughs
The American author who worked under the pen name William Lee and wrote The Naked Lunch had suffered for years with drug problems. While in Mexico with his wife, Joan Vollmer, when he and a friend were attempting to avoid prison for knowing about another murder, he shot and killed Vollmer. One night when Burroughs and Vollmer were drinking with friends, Burroughs pulled a gun out and Vollmer placed a glass on her head. Burroughs fired but the shot was low and hit Vollmer in the face. She died instantly and Burroughs spent 13 days in prison before returning to America. There he received a two year suspended sentence for Vollmer’s death as he claimed the gun had gone off accidentally.
Charles S Dutton
Famous for his role as Dillon in Alien 3, Dutton found his love for acting while in prison. His first stay behind bars happened when he was 17 years old and had killed a man in a fight. Dutton claimed that the man attacked him and that he was defending himself. He was convicted of manslaughter and was given a seven-year sentence. He was arrested again shortly after he was released from prison because of firearms charges, and during his second stay in prison that he discovered acting.