The former child actress died of an accidental drowning in 1981, authorities determined, when she, husband Robert Wagner, her Brainstorm costar Christopher Walken and yacht caption Dennis Davern set sail on a fateful trip to Catalina Island off the coast of California. But 30 years after the incident, L.A. County sheriffs found enough new information to initiate another investigation into her mysterious death.
Diff'rent Strokes' troubled child star had a history of health problems, culminating in a brain hemmorhage suffered from a fall at his Utah home that sent him to the hospital in critical condition in May 2010. The 42-year-old's condition quickly worsened and his supposed wife at the time, Shannon Price, made the difficult decision to take him off life support on May 28. Turns out Price, who was with the actor at the time of his accident and made the 911 call, was actually his ex-wife, as they pair divorced in 2008. Suspicions arose that she may have murdered him for money after reports claimed she was shopping his deathbed photos, but ultimately, Utah police determined there was no foul play.
This former Playboy pinup and B-movie actress died at the age of 82. But it wasn't until a year later, on April 27, 2011, that her mummified body was found in her Beverly Hills home when a concerned neighbor checked in on the Attack of the 50 Foot Woman actress after noticing cobwebs and old, yellowing letters in her mailbox. Police suspected no foul play, however, and the coroner's office determined she had died of heart failure.
The rap giants were slain by drive-by gunfire less than six months apart—Shakur in September 1996 in Las Vegas; Smalls in March 1997 in Los Angeles. Conspiracy theories about who was behind the respective murders outnumber the police-identified suspects, by about a million to zero. To date, no arrests have been made in connection with either shooting.
On June 29, 1978, the 1960s sitcom star (Hogan's Heroes) was found bludgeoned in his Scottsdale, Ariz., apartment. And while Crane's friend, John Henry Carpenter, fell under immediate suspicion, an arrest did not follow until 1992. A jury acquitted Carpenter of murder charges in 1994; Paul Schrader's 2002 biopic, Auto Focus, starring Greg Kinnear, reached a different verdict. Carpenter died in 1998. "I think John Carpenter was the kind of guy that had a secret, and he took it to his grave with him," a police investigator told the Arizona Republic.
One of Hollywood's veteran publicists was gunned down in her Mercedes while driving home after she attended the premiere of Burlesque on Nov. 16, 2010. The brutally of the crime—she was found with at least three bullet holes in her chest after crashing her car into a pole on a quiet street in Beverly Hills—shocked the community. Weeks later, police concluded that unemployed convicted felon Harold Martin Smith killed Chasen in a random robbery.
When authorities judged that TV's Superman, despondent over his stalled career, died June 16, 1959, of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Reeves' unsatisified mother launched her own investigation. The 1996 book Hollywood Kryptonite picked up where Helen Bessolo left off, making the case that Reeves' well-connected ex-lover, Toni Mannix, ordered a hit on Reeves. The 2006 Ben Affleck film Hollywoodland decided on being undecided.
The martial artist's sudden death on July 20, 1973, was not going to be easy to explain. Lee was, after all, so fit, so vital and so young—just 32. Any number of theories abounded, including marijuana-induced brain swelling. Following an inquest, coroner officials in Hong Kong settled on death by "misadventure," meaning accident and/or a possible bad reaction to headache medicine. The official story did not quell talk of everything from a conspiracy to a curse.
MORE PHOTOS: Celebrity Deaths: 2011's Fallen Stars