Con Artists Bites: Suspicious Celebrity Deaths
Welcome to podcast crime bites. We wanted to give our listeners. Some additional content to help him dive even deeper into the true crime world every week. In addition to your normal con artists episode. Were exploring the most fascinating. True crime themes covered across the podcast network. We've collected short clips from some of our most popular podcast originals to help us explore ideas like motivation method and madness and show how interconnected the true crime world really is. You can find these original episodes for free on spotify over every listen to podcasts. A list of episodes that we used. We'll be posted in the episode description. Today we're discussing cases of suspicious celebrity deaths with the intriguing or around Hollywood and society's obsession but celebrities it's no surprise that celebrity deaths are often mired in suspicion and conspiracy theories. But why are we so intrigued? By celebrity death and why is the intrigue amplified when the death is unexpected? David Kaplan former president of the American Counseling Association explains that Social Media is flooded with posts when a celebrity dies because of the bond. We feel watching them. Onscreen Kaplan says that when someone has followed a celebrities career for so long the feel intimately familiar with that person's life therefore it can feel as if a family member has died conversely psychologists Dr Simon more believes that we are intrigued by the details of celebrity deaths because we feel reassured by the fact that someone with more money power and fame is subject to the same rules of mortality that we are whether it be suicide drug addiction or murder it makes us feel more secure our modest apartments and office jobs because at least for not them but what a celebrity's death involves some suspicious element such as murder or conspiracy. We're all the more intrigued due to what criminologist got bond calls. Thrill seeking true. Crime gives the law abiding citizens a boost of adrenaline without ever leaving the couch or being in an actual dangerous situation. We'll start our exploration with a clip from podcast original conspiracy. Theories that discusses the media sensationalized death of actress and sex icon Marilyn Monroe nearly sixty years after her death. Monroe continues to be a pop culture icon. Monroe's private life was the subject of much Hollywood gossip in the nineteen fifties. She was involved in two highly publicized marriages and divorces and battled addiction and depression when she died of a prescription overdose in nineteen sixty two. It was ruled a suicide but many believed there was something more behind her cause of death on August fourth nineteen sixty two. Maryland spent most of the afternoon in a room after having an argument with her friend and publicist Pat Nukem in the morning nukem state at the House for the rest of the afternoon at about three or four. Pm Maryland's housekeeper. Eunice Murray called over her psychiatrist. Dr Ralph Greenspan. She claims she called him because she was troubled by Maryland's request for an oxygen treatment. Even though oxygen was a well-known hangover cure at the time Dr Green soon arrived around three or four Pat Nukem left and green spoke to Maryland in her room for about an hour. Greenspan left asking Murray to stay at Maryland's house overnight and keep an eye on her Maryland took a telephone into her room and spent the night making calls to friends and acquaintances every when she spoke to agree she didn't sound drugged or depressed and she gave no indication. She was considering suicide at around ten PM. She set the receiver down during a call and never turned around ten thirty. She made one last call to Peter. Lawford her friend and the husband of Patricia Kennedy during the call she apparently drifted into unconsciousness and stopped responding at either midnight or three. Am She changed her story? Later in the morning Eunice Murray woke up and noticed a light in Maryland's room was still on but she wasn't responding. She called Dr Green Son who broke in through the bedroom window and found Maryland lying dead clutching the telephone. Next to empty pill. Bottles of prescription sedative called NEMBUTAL and a nearly empty bottle of another sedative choral hydrate. Greenspan called Maryland's physician Dr Hyman Engelberg. Who came over and officially pronounced her dead at four. Twenty five am the police were called. Murray Greenspan and Engelberg initially told investigators Jack Clemens that Maryland's body had been found at midnight creating a four hour gap between discovering the body and calling the police that none of them could account for clemens. Was Relieve by Sergeant Marvin known who sealed up the house until the full investigative force arrived at about five thirty when the investigators questioned them later that morning. Murray Greenspan and Engelberg all changed their stories to say that Maryland's body hadn't been discovered until three a m inconsistencies in the forensic evidence and the witnesses stories. Baffled the police but it did appear to be a suicide so they held off on opening an official investigation until the coroner confirmed the cause of death. The coroner's investigation went on for less than a week during which they interviewed. None of the key witnesses except for Maryland psychoanalyst. Dr Ralph Greenspan after speaking with Dr Greenspan the deputy. Da Leading the investigation said. He was completely convinced that. Maryland's death was not a suicide. The medical examiner's performing the autopsy. Also believe the death couldn't have been a suicide but despite those findings the coroner officially ruled the cause of death as a probable suicide over the past five decades. Even more evidence has emerged to suggest that Marilyn's death was not in fact a suicide. There have been repeated calls to reopen the investigation into Maryland's death some as recent as two thousand two should not be a close case. It should be an open case by the. Da There's too much too. Many people too much overwhelming evidence that proves that this was not a suicide and I think that Maryland needs closure the difficulty with finding the truth. Is that nearly all the key? Figures involved in Maryland's death are now dead themselves and the statements they gave during their lifetimes were often contradictory. Many of the witnesses who have spoken out against the official story have been discredited as liars fame seekers and conspiracy theorists despite evidence that they might be telling the truth and many of the people who upheld the official story had their own hidden agendas. It was in their best interest to end the inquiry into Maryland's death as quickly as possible following that clip from conspiracy theories. Monroe's death sent shockwaves across the media. So much so that the Chicago Tribune reported an influx of calls from readers. Overloading their switchboards. Many conspiracy theories about Monroe's demise have offer a wide range of claims. Some believe that. Her doctors accidentally overdosed her others that Robert F Kennedy murdered her but ultimately Monroe's cause of death has remained a suicide a celebrity taking their own. Life is shocking enough but what happens when a famous person is the one suspected of taking the life of another and what if they're victim is also a celebrity coming up. We'll follow a case where the perpetrator is just as famous as their victim podcast listeners. We realized that there are a lot of parker shows to choose from each day and sometimes not enough time to sort through them. All in on new feed Ponca Staley we filter through all of your favorite podcast series to highlight the most timely and relevant episode premiering. Each day every Monday through Friday. Discover a new and captivating episode curated specifically for you. That's one new episode from our slate of content handpicked with you in mind. Time is precious. And we've got you covered. Follow Parkas daily free spotify or wherever? You get your podcasts. You can check out more podcast shows and full library of episodes in spotify by searching for podcast in the spotify search bar. All by going to spotify dot com slash podcast. Now back to the show. We've seen so far. How a celebrity death can spark widespread public interest? But what happens when both victim and their suspected killer are famous. That is the case our next clip from unsolved murders covering the death of Natalie. Wood November of Nineteen eighty-one would felt like she had it all. She was a movie Megastar. Married to actor Robert Wagner. She Wagner their friend. Christopher Walken and boat Captain Dentist Verne had taken a yacht out on a weekend trip to Catalina island but as they headed back to their boat after an alcohol fueled dinner on the island Wagner and would got into an argument Doug Bombard was both the owner of the restaurant and the Catalina harbourmaster he was also a friend of wooden wagner's concern for his friend safety. Doug escorted the trio back to their boat after some drunken stumbling. Doug manage to get the three actors on board but Robert and Natalie had both become visibly upset in an effort to avoid tension. Dennis Roberts Yacht. Captain brought the group to the Salon at the back of the ship and tried to continue the party. Doug rescinded the invitation and went home while Dennis made an effort to distract Robert but as Natalie continued to Converse with Christopher Roberts Jealousy overwhelmed him he confronted Christopher and asked him if he was trying to sleep with his wife while throwing a bottle of wine against the wall in a fit of rage. Christopher vehemently insisted that was not his goal and Natalie pulled Robert Away. Christopher left the room as Natalie and Robert began argue. The argument lasted for hours. Christopher went to bed while Dennis listen nervously on the other end of the boat after some time Dennis decided to check in on them and Robert turned his anger on him. Which according to Dennis was so that Dennis genuinely feared for his own life a frightened. Dennis went back upstairs and turn up the music in order to drown out the fight that was happening below him then around midnight. The fighting stopped and there was silence. Dennis waited ten minutes or so then. He went and checked on his employer. He found Robert. Sitting at the ladder to the dinghy curled up and crying. Dennis asked Robert What was wrong. Robert responded by telling him that Natalie had gone missing. Dennis found this odd for several reasons while the yacht was large. Wasn't large enough for someone to truly go missing on board and Dennis had just heard Natalie yelling at Robert only ten minutes before Dennis asked his boss if he should turn on the boats searchlight or call the coastguard. Perhaps Natalie had fallen overboard and they might need the Coast Guard's assistance however Robert insisted they neither turn on the searchlight nor call for help. He claimed they should just wait for Natalie as she was bound to return at any moment against his better instincts. Dennis listen to Robert. Robert was his employer and Natalie's husband. He thought that Robert. Probably new best as they waited. Robert cracked open a bottle of Scotch and the duo drank. They waited a full hour for Natalie to return but by one thirty. Am on November. Twenty ninth there was no sign of her at this point. Dennis insisted that they do something waiting. Wasn't helping them find Natalie. Robert agreed but he still refused to call the coastguard. Instead he called his friends in town on Catalina and asked if they had seen Natalie anywhere that night Roberts friends told him to sit tight while they searched the town Robert. Dennis waited once more but by three thirty. Am it became clear that Natalie was nowhere to be found? Finally Dennis Convinced Robert to call the coastguard. The coastguard was shocked to hear their story. And they ran into each other as they shipped off to find Natalie Wood. We're looking for the Natalie Wood. Do you think we'll be able to autograph? She's been missing for over three hours. It's freezing cold it's raining it's dark and they say she can't swim and lick. I doubt she'll be in any shape to give a God damn autograph. The coastguards scoured the waves for hours searching desperately for Natalie. The Bright iridescent glow of their searchlights was slowly replaced by the rising Sun Dud Bombard the Catalina Harbor Director who knew Natalie joined the search as soon as he heard that she was missing at seven forty four. Am On November Twenty Ninth. Nineteen eighty-one dogs boat found something near near the cliff. There's a dinghy on the Kelp. Slow the boat down from the looks of it that dinghy belongs to Wagner. I'm sure she's nearby but if she made it to land wouldn't someone found her by now. She didn't make it to land there bobbing on the waves. A Red Parka and dark brown hair in that clip from unsolved murders. After Natalie Wood's body was found. Her death was initially ruled as an accidental drowning. But the case was reopened in two thousand eleven after boat captain. Dennis diversion admitted. He lied to police about the night of the drowning different publicly stated that he believed woods husband Robert Wagner was responsible for her murder he told police that Wagner was reluctant to call the coastguard to investigate this led to the two thousand twelve amendment to woods cause of death from accidental drowning to drowning and other undetermined factors as of two thousand nineteen white has been named a person of interest by police but there have been no further changes to wood's death certificate and no arrests have been made while neither the deaths covered in our previous clips have been officially ruled murders in our final clip from not guilty actor. Robert Blake was accused of killing his wife. Bonny Lee Bakley on May fourth. Two thousand one Robert and Bonnie had just finished eating dinner when Bonnie was shot sitting in the car outside of the restaurant. Detective Ronald Ito arrived at the scene and Robert Blake agreed to accompany Ito back to the police station porn interview. Ito asked Blake to walk him through the events of the evening they went to dinner at Vitelle owes. Blake reported that before they left the house. Bonnie asked him to bring along one of his guns. She thought someone was stalking her and felt safer with his thirty eight nearby. They parked on the street a little over a block away from the restaurant. The hostess sat them in Blake's customary corner booth around eight thirty PM AFTER THEY ATE. Blake paid the bill. His receipt timestamped nine twenty three pm but when they reached his car. He realized that he'd left his jacket and the thirty eight caliber handgun in the booth. He left Bonnie to wait while he went back to the restaurant to retrieve them while there he asked for two glasses of water and drank them both when he got back to the car at nine thirty eight. Pm HE FOUND. Bonnie had been shot twice. She was barely alive. Frantic Blake ran to the nearest house and banged on the door. He had to try more than one house before someone would answer when they did. He insisted that they call nine. One one police registered the call at nine forty PM. Blake then ran back to the television to see if there was a doctor present. Terry Lorenzo customer data. A nurse jumped up from her dinner to help but by the time they reached Bonnie she was bleeding from her eyes nose and mouth custom. Yadda couldn't do anything then. The lights and sirens arrived by the time. The ambulance reached the hospital at ten fifteen pm. Bonnie was dead on arrival. Blake then reiterated to Ito that Bonnie had pissed off a lot of people over the years with her letter scheme. She had plenty of reasons to think someone was following her. This was probably the work of some guy she bilked revenge. Ito wrote down the theory but also noted how quickly blake turned from visceral grief moaning on the sidewalk to trash talking the deceased mother of his child so far it appeared to detective. Ito that Robert Blake had plenty of motive to kill his wife and ample opportunity he also had the means. Blake owned several guns in addition to the thirty eight caliber. But the forensics team found no significant gun powder residue when they tested his hands and no blood on his clothes. Bonnie was shot at point blank range. It was unlikely that the shooter could have walked away. Free of any spider frustrated. Ito Sent Blake home. He knew he was missing something. He needed more information. Following the events of that clip from not guilty to men came forward and told police that Robert Blanket offer them money to kill Bakley in the months before her death blake was subsequently arrested and charged with murder ultimately. He was found not guilty of Bakley's murder but after the criminal trial basically surviving family members sued. Robert Blake in civil court. He was found liable for the wrongful death of his life and ordered to pay damages with the endless conspiracy theories and vast media coverage of celebrity death all the clips. Today highlight the intersection between our plastination with true crime. And our obsession with Hollywood and as Dr Simon Moore said it's perfectly normal to search for the sort of details about celebrities passing because it serves the psychological function of boosting our self esteem even decades after they were laid to rest. These celebrities have television episodes movies and podcasts covering their deaths and the mysterious circumstances around them. Marilyn Monroe continues to be an enduring figure of Hollywood. Today she even has an official twitter handle that shares photos and quotes from her life though. Robert Blake's film and television career never recovered after his acquittal he has been able to move out emotionally in two thousand seventeen. He announced he was engaged to his third wife. Sixteen years after Bonnie's death. Thanks for tuning into podcast. Cry Bites we hope. You enjoyed this episode on suspicious celebrity deaths. We'll be back next week with a brand new episode under Torian. Assassins if you'd like to listen to the episodes we discussed today in full simply search for a podcast original shows conspiracy theories unsolved murders or not guilty on spotify. That only spotify already have all your favorite music but now spotify is making it easy for you to enjoy. 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