Celebrity Murders That Shocked the World

Being famous wasn’t enough to save these celebrities. Their deaths came at the hands of crazed fans, trusted friends and family, or even serial killers. Do you remember when you first heard about these shocking celebrity murders?

selena
Universal Music Group

Selena

Selena was poised to be a major crossover star before her murder on March 31, 1995. Already a beloved icon for Spanish-speaking audiences, the 23-year-old had a bright future… until Yolanda Saldívar killed her to cover up the theft of more than $200,000 from Selena’s clothing boutiques.

Gianni Versace

One of the most famous names in fashion was murdered on July 15, 1997, by spree killer Andrew Cunanan. If you’ve seen Ryan Murphy’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, then you know how the story goes.

John Lennon

The beloved Beatle was fatally shot outside his NYC home. On December 8, 1980, deranged fan Mark David Chapman asked Lennon for an autograph and then waited for the singer to return home later that evening. He opened fire, and the world lost one of its greatest music legends.

Marvin Gaye

Tragically, Marvin Gaye was murdered by his own father on April 1, 1984. They had reportedly been arguing about a missing insurance policy. The fight became physical, and Gaye Sr. picked up a pistol to shoot his son twice in the chest. He claims he didn’t know the gun was loaded.

Tupac Shakur

The question of who killed Tupac Shakur has haunted his fans for more than 20 years. He was killed on September 7, 1996, in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas. Tupac was just 25 years old.

The Notorious B.I.G.

Six months after his rival Tupac was killed, The Notorious B.I.G. also died in a drive-by shooting. Both law enforcement and conspiracy buffs theorized that the killings were connected, but we may never know for sure.

Sharon Tate

26-year-old actress Sharon Tate was more than 8 months pregnant at the time of her gruesome murder. Along with 4 other people at her Los Angles home, Tate was killed by the notorious Manson Family.

Adrienne Shelly

Actress Adrienne Shelly had just finished filming Waitress, which she wrote and directed. The movie would go on to be a major success, but Shelly wouldn’t be around to see it. At first it appeared that she had hanged herself, but further investigation found that a 19-year-old construction worker in her building attacked her and then attempted to stage a suicide.

Phil Hartman

Comedian Phil Hartman was shot in his bed by his wife on May 28, 1998. The couple was having major problems—Brynn Hartman was addicted to cocaine and drinking heavily while on antidepressants—and in a drunken fit, his wife shot him while he slept.

Dominique Dunne

Poltergeist actress Dominique Dunne was just 22 when her ex-boyfriend strangled her on the front porch of her home. Dunne’s father, Dominick, and brother Griffin are also well-known actors.

Bob Crane

The star of Hogan’s Heroes was revealed to be living a double life after his murder in 1978. Crane was a sex addict who was obsessed with filming his encounters—details that shocked his fans. Crane’s murderer was never discovered, and it’s still unclear whether his sordid passions were linked to his death.