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10 Crazy Conspiracy Theories About Celebrity Deaths

by Estelle
fact checked by Jamie Frater

Modern celebrities can’t go anywhere without the tabloid press publishing all sorts of crazy rumors. Should they be photographed with an unknown person, they must be having an affair. Should they look a little disheveled, they must be on something. And it seems that the rumors just get even crazier after their deaths.

10Brittany Murphy

Happy Feet - UK Premiere

In late 2009, celebrity blogger Perez Hilton predicted that Brittany Murphy would be the next shocking Hollywood death. Less than a month later, his prediction came true as the actress passed away after going into cardiac arrest. The official autopsy report ruled that the actress’s death was natural, resulting from a combination of pneumonia and anemia. Just three months later, Murphy’s husband, Simon Monjack, also passed away. The coroner found that he also died of a combination of pneumonia and anemia, although some believe that drug abuse or toxic mold were the real culprits.

In 2012, a much stranger conspiracy theory reared its head in the form of a controversial documentary featuring a friend of Murphy’s named Julia Davis. A former employee of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Davis alleges that DHS began trying to silence her after she became a whistleblower over immigration failings on the Mexican border. According to Davis, the government decided to target Murphy as well after she publicly defended her friend, even trying to have the British Monjack deported from America.

An American journalist, Alex Ben Block, also jumped on the conspiracy bandwagon, claiming that Simon Monjack relayed fears to him about being under constant surveillance. According to Block, Brittany Murphy died just a few days after her husband spoke to him. The craziness doesn’t stop there—Asif Akbar, the director of the documentary, claims that he and his family were also targeted by Homeland Security. Murphy’s estranged father is on the record as saying he believes his daughter was poisoned. Murphy’s mother, on the other hand, remains skeptical, calling the allegations an “inexcusable” attempt to cash in on her daughter’s death.

9Paul Walker

Premiere Of Universal's "Fast & Furious" - Arrivals

In 2013, the world was shocked to hear that Fast & Furious star Paul Walker had died in a tragic car crash. Walker and his friend Roger Rodas were driving through Santa Clarita in a Porsche GT when Rodas lost control of the vehicle and collided with a tree. Both men were killed after the car burst into flames.

But online conspiracy theorists quickly decided that there was more to the story than that. Walker had worked tirelessly to raise funds for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, and a series of online postings soon began alleging that he must have discovered some terrible secret about the relief effort. The slightly saner version involves “dirty money” being laundered through aid donations, while the original posters insisted that Walker had learned of a secret plan to slip permanent birth control drugs into shipments of food and medicine to the Philippines.

Either way, Walker naturally leaped into his friend’s Porsche and raced to warn the world of the dastardly conspiracy. But “they were betrayed and someone rigged their car’s brakes to malfunction after a certain speed.”

If only Walker had watched Family Guy the week before, he would surely have been warned. According to one conspiracy theorist, the show predicted Walker’s death by killing off Brian Griffin (the dog) just a few days before the accident. The name of Walker’s character in the Fast & Furious movies? Brian. Q.E.D.

8Robin Williams

Premiere Of Universal Pictures "Man Of the Year" - Arrivals

The death of beloved star Robin Williams is one of the saddest Hollywood tragedies in recent memory. The man who made the world laugh in such classics as Mrs. Doubtfire and Aladdin took his own life on August 11, 2014.

It was heartbreaking news, but the Internet’s finest conspiracy theorists knew there was no time to mourn. Within hours of his death, claims had begun to emerge that Williams had been murdered by the Illuminati . . . for some reason. Probably as a “sacrifice” for some sort of “ritual to the devil.” Then, weirdly, Family Guy was brought into the mix again.

Shortly before the news of Williams’ death was announced, the BBC had rebroadcast an episode of the animated show in which main character Peter Griffin gains the power to turn everyone he touches into Robin Williams. Naturally, this couldn’t be a coincidence, with Twitter users insisting that the show was being used to “predict” the death. The only question remaining is just why the Illuminati love Family Guy so much.

7Richey Edwards

Richey Edwards 1992 Mix Up Interview (Manic Street Preachers)

In the 1990s, Welsh alternative rock band Manic Street Preachers were one of the biggest UK acts around, thanks in no small part to the work of guitarist Richey Edwards, often described as “one of rock’s greatest lyricists.” Edwards was a bright kid who had always wanted to be in a band, but that dream soon turned sour and he was admitted to a psychiatric institution in 1994 because of his erratic behavior and problems with alcohol.

Less than a year later, Edwards’s life seemed to be getting back on track. On February 1, 1995, he was due to fly to America to promote the band’s latest release. He never got on the flight. Instead, he was seen leaving his London hotel and disappearing into the night. His car was found abandoned at a bridge two weeks later, leading to speculation that he had taken his own life. He was officially declared dead in 2008.

But that’s not the only theory out there. In 1998, the British newspapers were abuzz with speculation that Edwards had faked his own death. As evidence, they presented testimony from a barmaid in the Canary Islands, who claimed that one of her patrons had recognized a fellow customer as Edwards and confronted him, prompting him to run away. The “fake death” conspiracy theory grew over the years that followed, with many more alleged sightings, including a report that he was in India hanging out with “hippies.”

Officially, all sightings are believed to be hoaxes or cases of mistaken identity, but many people around the world still believe that Richey Edwards is alive and well and hiding from everyone.

6Bob Marley

Bob Marley- Three Little Birds (With Lyrics!)

Was the CIA behind the death of legendary reggae sensation Bob Marley? That’s the view of investigative journalist Alex Constantine, who claims that the US government first tried to kill Marley in November 1976. At the time, Jamaica had been placed under martial law following a terrible outbreak of pre-election violence. Hoping to calm the situation, Prime Minister Michael Manley asked Bob Marley and the Wailers to perform at a free concert in early December. But just a week before the concert, a group of men entered Marley’s home and opened fire. Marley and his wife were both badly wounded, while his manager was shot in the legs and spine. Photographs of suspicious figures lurking around before the shooting mysteriously went missing before they could be developed.

Marley survived the attack and went on to perform his famous Smile Jamaica concert as agreed. It’s generally accepted that the attack was politically motivated and was probably prompted by Marley agreeing to appear in Manley’s concert. But according to Constantine, the attack was actually orchestrated by the CIA—and they didn’t stop there.

Before the Smile Jamaica concert started, a pair of shoes was delivered as a gift to Marley. In Constantine’s version of events, the shoes were delivered by the son of former CIA director William Colby and gashed Marley’s toe when he tried them on. A long copper wire was later found sticking out from the sole. Doctors eventually discovered Marley’s fatal cancer in the same toe that had been injured by the shoes, prompting speculation that the wire might have been treated with a carcinogenic toxin and used to deliberately give Marley cancer. Marley eventually passed away on May 11, 1981.

5Lisa Lopes

TLC – Waterfalls (Official HD Video)

Unusually, the biggest conspiracy theory about the death of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes seems to have come from the musician herself, who supposedly had premonitions of her untimely passing. Lopes was a member of girl band TLC and a renowned rapper. She had a large fan following, and people worldwide were devastated when she died in 2002.

During the last days of her life, Lisa became increasingly agitated, telling her closest friends that she believed something evil was invading her life and a vile spirit was following her around. In 2002, the rapper decided to enter a month-long spiritual retreat in Honduras, which was recorded for a documentary.

At one point during the filming of the documentary, Left Eye and a few of her friends were passengers in a car driven by her assistant. In a tragic turn of events, a little boy ran in front of the vehicle and the assistant had too little time to brake and avoid hitting him. The child later died in the hospital. Upon discovering that the child’s last name was also Lopes and that they shared the same shoe size, Lisa became even more agitated. She apparently came to believe that whatever malevolent being was after her had killed the wrong Lopes instead.

Only a few days after this tragic accident, another would follow. This time, Lopes was at the wheel of a car when she suddenly lost control and crashed. Of the seven people in the vehicle, all but Lopes survived. The documentary was still being filmed at this point and footage of the accident was included and aired in 2007.

4James Dean

Griffith Observatory

Conspiracy has it that black magic, a cursed car, and an evil spirit worked together to take iconic actor James Dean’s life in 1955. But the forces of good weren’t prepared to give up the smoldering heartthrob without a fight, giving Dean no less than four warnings on the day that he died.

The first warning came from stuntman Bill Hickman, who cautioned Dean against driving too fast. Laughing off the warning, Dean simply sped away. But later in the afternoon, he was stopped by a police officer who issued him a speeding ticket. Despite this second warning, Dean sped off again to meet Hickman and photographer Sandy Roth at a nearby gas station. On the way, he stopped to chat with two of his racing buddies, who told Dean that they had also received speeding tickets that very same day. Later, Bill Hickman once again asked Dean to slow down. This would be the last warning. He would fatally collide with another car later that day.

Further conspiracy theories claim that the evil surrounding the Porsche Spyder continued to wreak havoc. A garage in Fresno where the car was being kept caught fire in 1959. That same year, highway patrol officials thought it would be a good idea for teenagers to see the result of reckless driving and arranged to have the Spyder wreck transported to several high schools. However, as the Spyder was loaded onto a truck, it rolled off the back, crushing the driver to death.

Further accidents involving the car have continued to fuel speculation about supernatural forces at work. The fact that other main actors from Rebel Without A Cause also died young didn’t help matters. According to some theorists, Dean brought the evil upon himself by dabbling in the occult and being involved with witches. Others believe that an actress placed an evil spell on him after he denied having a relationship with her. Such theories continue on to this day, with many people also coming forward to say that they have seen the ghost of Dean in his car speeding down the highway he was killed on.

3Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens And The Big Bopper

TX: Lubbock: Buddy Holly

What should have been a freezing bus ride ended in tragedy after some of the biggest music stars of the ’50s decided to catch a plane instead. On February 3, 1959, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and Jiles “The Big Bopper” Richardson boarded a four-seater plane chartered by Holly, which crashed soon after takeoff, killing all three.

Investigators blamed the crash on human error after learning that the pilot didn’t have the proper qualifications to fly the plane. However, the airline owners persistently denied that the pilot would have caused the plane to crash, saying that his flying ability must have been impaired for some reason. Eight weeks after the crash, a farmer found a gun which had apparently fallen from the wreckage. This gave rise to a conspiracy theory that the pilot had been shot, causing him to crash the plane.

In 2007, Richardson’s son requested the services of a forensic anthropologist to determine whether there was any truth to the theory. He was especially interested since Richardson’s body was found a significant distance from the wreckage, leading to speculation that the Big Bopper might have initially survived the crash. But the investigation didn’t seem to turn up anything new. The younger Richardson died in 2013 at the age of 54.

In March 2015, air investigators in the US confirmed that they would consider reexamining the crash after aviation enthusiast L.J. Coon presented a compelling case that mechanical issues could have been at fault, making the original verdict unfair on the plane’s pilot.

2Amy Winehouse


Photo via Wikipedia

Amy Winehouse achieved tremendous fame on the back of brassy, soulful hits like Rehab and Back to Black. However, the London-born songstress was a troubled soul, battling drug addiction until her death from alcohol poisoning at the age of 27. As such a huge figure on the music scene, it’s no surprise that conspiracy theories soon emerged surrounding her death.

In 2008, Amy apparently told her assistant that she knew she would die young and possibly join the 27 Club (a term for the unusually high number of famous musicians, including Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain, who have passed away aged 27). That same year, a sculpture was made of the singer depicting her lifeless body lying on the floor with a single gunshot wound to the head. Next to her was a mask of Minnie Mouse.

When she was found dead in her home three years later, conspiracy theorists were convinced that the sculpture predicted Amy’s fate as part of an occult “mega-ritual.” The Minnie Mouse mask allegedly symbolized that she would be under Illuminati mind control at the time of her death. Furthermore, conspiracy theorists noted that Amy was taken out of her house in a red body bag, which is apparently yet another symbol of an ultimate blood sacrifice.

1Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You (Official 4K Video)

Before she was even born, Blue Ivy Carter, the daughter of Beyonce and Jay-Z, had become the subject of bizarre conspiracy theories. Many people believe that Beyonce only pretended to be pregnant, while secretly using a surrogate to carry Blue Ivy. Others believe that the baby is the ultimate Illuminati offspring, born to the ultimate Illuminati power couple. However, when Whitney Houston tragically died in 2012, conspiracy theorists really outdid themselves. They decided that Whitney Houston had definitely been sacrificed by the Illuminati so that Blue Ivy could live.

A particularly long-winded theory explains that music artists who want to be rich and famous all have to pledge allegiance to the the devil to keep themselves relevant. At the peak of her career, Houston was known as something of a diva, allegedly because she was a goddess in the secret devil-worshipping cult known as the Illuminati. However, since Houston was allegedly broke at the time of her death, she had clearly fallen out of favor with the cult, making her the ideal candidate for a fertility sacrifice.

So how does Blue Ivy fit into the picture? Well, there is a Christmas carol called “The Holly and the Ivy” which could well have been used as the core part of the ritual that saw Whitney die to make space for Blue Ivy. Apparently, ivy is also traditionally associated with fertility, keeping the theory nicely tied together in the minds of conspiracy theorists.

Estelle lives in Gauteng, South Africa. She loves all kinds of conspiracy theories, the wackier the better!

fact checked by Jamie Frater

Estelle is a regular writer for Listverse.

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