Top 10 Celebrity Death Conspiracies

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by QV Hough

What really happened to these famous figures? Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Celebrity Death Conspiracies. For this list, we're looking at celebrities whose deaths inspire the conspiracy theorists in us, and continue to fuel pop culture discussions.

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Script written by QV Hough

Top 10 Celebrity Death Conspiracies

What really happened to these famous figures? Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Celebrity Death Conspiracies.

For this list, we’re looking at celebrities whose deaths inspire the conspiracy theorists in us, and continue to fuel pop culture discussions.

#10: Andy Kaufman

In life, this quirky comedian often enjoyed pulling fast ones on….well, everybody. So, when Andy Kaufman permanently disappeared in 1984, supposedly due to lung cancer, the world refused to believe the official account of his death. Andy’s last girlfriend and his own brother seem to have conflicting stories, but whatever you believe about Kaufman’s death, no one can deny that a decades-long hoax would’ve been sooo Andy. He allegedly even said that if he were to fake his death, he would return 20 years later… which would have been in 2004. In all reality, though, he’s probably just enjoying some R&R in Albuquerque.

#9: Jimmy Hoffa

While the average person may not know what this man actually did for a living, many have thought his body was buried under Giants Stadium. As the leader of the Teamsters Union, Jimmy Hoffa was known to piss a few people off, and according to legend, “the mob” took care of the problem. Who exactly? Well, it’s become quite popular to claim responsibility for the hit. It’s an awfully trendy deathbed confession among mobsters, and if you believe notorious hitman Richard Kuklinski, he’s the man responsible for Hoffa’s earthly departure. Can we just all agree that Jimmy Hoffa could only have been killed once?

#8: Jim Morrison

If you were around in the late 60s and had the opportunity to hang with the lead singer of The Doors, he probably seemed more like a regular dude than somewhat of a mythical unicorn figure. But, a shady death always leads to conspiracy theories, especially when the person in question supposedly died in a Parisian bathtub. Although the cause of death was stated as heart failure, no autopsy was ever performed; causing some to think Jim faked his own death, and others to claim that he overdosed in the bathroom of a nightclub. Well, the 70s were definitely a bit hazy for some, and conspiracy theorists continue to search for clarity.

#7: George Reeves

Fact: Hollywood life can get a little crazy. In this cold case, it was TV’s Superman who made his untimely exit from the Hollywood stage at the age of 45. As seen in Allen Coulter’s 2006 film, it seems that George Reeves was either suicidal, mobbed up or accidentally killed by his fiancée…. so basically anything could have happened that night in Los Angeles. We do know, however, that Reeves did die of a gunshot to the head, which ended his reign as the Man of Steel and his life, but did little to end the conspiracy surrounding his death.

#6: Diana, Princess of Wales

Months before the Princess of Wales was killed in a 1997 car crash along with boyfriend Dodi Fayed, she allegedly wrote a telling letter, worryied that someone might tamper with her brakes. Well, we all know what happened, as Princess Diana’s deathinadvertently ushered in the age of Internet speculation. One theory, according to claims by Dodi’s father, Mohamed Al-Fayed, is that the MI6 and CIA were involved, with the potential motive for murder being that Diana may have been pregnant with Dodi’s child, and that the two were going to get engaged. The paparazzi photographer who was following Diana before herdeath, James Andanson,committed “suicide” shortly after conspiracy theories arose, just one of many oddities about a seemingly straightforward matter.

#5: Elvis Presley

It’s probably partly true that Elvis ate himself to death, but then again, drugs may be as much to blame as the fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Years after his supposed death, Elvis continues to live among us through his music– although some take this more literally. In fact, some theorize that he faked his death and that he’s actually still alive, as over the years, there have been countless claimed Elvis sightings. We may never actually know what went down at Graceland, but Elvis did have a few health issues, most notably an enlarged heart. And as you can imagine, drug use likely didn’t help the ol’ ticker. Even so, the King lives through conspiracy theories and all those special people who understand what’s really goin’ on.

#4: Kurt Cobain

As the lead singer of Nirvana and husband to Courtney Love, Kurt Cobain earned plenty of headlines in the early 90s, and deservedly so. But it was Cobain’s 1994 suicide that sparked a larger discussion about his personal life. At the time, the deathwasn’t a complete shock, at least considering the media portrayal of Cobain. But as new details emerge, theories continue to arise in search of the truth. For example, take the 2015 documentary “Soaked in Bleach,” which focused explicitly on the details of the apparent suicide. Did someone “assist” in Cobain’s death? And was it possible for Kurt to even pull the trigger given the heaps of heroin in his system? We may never know.

#3: Natalie Wood

From child stardom to massive success as an adult, this late icon never failed to impress. But with fame comes insecurities, and Natalie Wood had a life-long fear of drowning, which makes her 1981 death even more suspicious. After a night out with husband Robert Wagner and actor Christopher Walken, the actress inexplicably wound up in the waters off Santa Catalina Island, dead at the age of 43. With reportedly plenty of drinking and arguing going on that night, one could be led to believe that Natalie fell off the boat; but many think her husband may have “forcibly removed her from the situation.” The captain seems to know what happened, but it’s likely only Wagner and Walken know the truth. Well, allegedly, that is.

#2: Marilyn Monroe

Just a few months after her famous birthday salute to JFK, an American icon consumed a lethal amount of barbiturates and called it quits– at least that’s one possibility. On the surface, it seems that Marilyn Monroe was severely depressed; with herdeath being ruled a probable suicide. However, some think her overdose was accidental, while others believe she may have actually been murdered that evening in Brentwood, due to the fact that she ran with an interesting crowd of politicians, mobsters, and some real powerful individuals. Was it Norma Jean herself or someone with a motive and opportunity? Although no evidence of foul play was found in the investigation, the theories surrounding her death continue on.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- Bobby Fuller
His Death Was Ruled a Suicide; Some Believe He Was Murdered

- Robert Johnson
Murdered by Drinking Poisoned Alcohol

- Sam Cooke
Cooke’s Family Claim Murder Conspiracy

#1: John F. Kennedy

Well, here’s what we do know: Marilyn Monroe did not kill JFK. And maybe, just maybe, neither did Lee Harvey Oswald. In 1963, the extremely public death of John F. Kennedy altered the course of history, and subsequently inspired decades upon decades of conspiracy theories. But someone pulled the trigger on not only the gun, but also on a massive cover up. Given all the documentaries and books written about the ordeal, one could go mad just thinking of all the possibilities. Was it the CIA? The Soviets? The New Orleans contingent? The list of possibilities is endless. But when you look at the facts, is it really possible that Lee Harvey Oswald, a lone gunman, executed the perfect crime… or were there larger forces at work?

Do you agree with our list? What celebrity death conspiracy do you buy into? For more thought-provoking Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to

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