1Aaliyah's Fatal Plane Crash
Aaliyah was killed in a plane crash shortly after finishing production of "Queen of the Damned." The Cessna 402 carrying the late Aaliyah was smaller than those her entourage normally flew in. It was 700 pounds over its maximum takeoff weight and carried one excess passenger. The plane only made it about 200 feet from the runway before crashing. Nine people perished in the accident. The pilot who crashed the plane had cocaine and alcohol in his system at the time.
2. Whitney Houston had breast implants, dentures, and wore a wig, which was not widely known until the coroner performed her official autopsy. She died in suite 434 of the Beverly Hilton hotel. After reports of insensitive guests partying in the room "like Whitney did" and taking pictures of themselves lying in the bathtub where she died, the hotel removed the room.
3. On the day of his death, Heath Ledger was understandably the number one search on Google. Number 2 was "Keith Ledger." He died midway through the filming of 'The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.' Jude Law, Johnny Depp, and Colin Farrell took over the unfinished role of Heath's character and donated their paychecks to his then 2-year-old daughter, Matilda Rose Ledger. Heath Ledger was also supposed to meet with Steven Spielberg to play Tom Hayden in 'Chicago 7,' but he passed away 20 hours before the meeting.
4. In one of Robin Williams' last films, The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, his character Henry stated that his tombstone would read "1951-2014." Coincidentally, Robin Williams was born in 1951 and died in 2014. His autopsy revealed he had about a 40% loss of dopamine neurons, and almost no neurons were free of Lewy bodies throughout his entire brain and brainstem, indicating Lewy body disease (LBD). Following his death, the 'Good Will Hunting' bench in the Boston Public Garden became an impromptu memorial, with fans leaving quotes and messages on the sidewalk to honor his work.
5. When Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009, websites like Google News, The Los Angeles Times, Wikipedia, Twitter, TechCrunch, and TMZ experienced outages for several minutes due to the surge in web traffic. His autopsy report confirmed that he tattooed his lips pink and his eyebrows black. He was also partially bald and wore wigs to conceal it, with the front of his scalp also being tattooed black.
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6Elvis Presley's Toilet Tragedy
Elvis Presley died while trying to defecate on his toilet. He had an enlarged colon, which made this activity more challenging. Due to rigor mortis, his body was found still in the sitting position but having fallen forward on the floor with his head down. Evidence showed that during the seven and a half months preceding Elvis's death, Dr. Nichopoulos wrote prescriptions for Elvis for at least 8,805 pills, tablets, vials, and injectables. Going back to January 1975, the count was 19,012. His autopsy revealed the presence of morphine, Demerol, chlorpheniramine, Placidyl, Valium, codeine, Ethinamate, quaaludes, an unidentified barbiturate, diazepam, Amytal, Nembutal, Carbrital, Sinutab, Elavil, Avenal, and Valmid.
7. There's a controversial '27 Club' graffiti in Tel Aviv depicting Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kurt Cobain, and Amy Winehouse, all of whom died at the age of 27. So many celebrities have died at this age that the '27 Club' has become a cultural phenomenon.
8. Marilyn Monroe nearly died from an overdose in the Hamptons at the age of 31, but she survived. She passed away five years later from a drug overdose. When the District Attorney reopened Marilyn Monroe's death investigation after the coroner claimed coercion to profess suicide, the autopsy file, police report, and her diary, which were believed to contain damaging information on the Kennedys, vanished. A $10,000 reward was offered for her missing diary.
9. A cerebral edema may have contributed to Bruce Lee's death. However, during his second autopsy, it was initially believed that a cannabis reaction was to blame for his passing. This theory was later retracted. After his death in 1973, the film industries in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea raced to find his replacement in order to build on his legacy. This period, later known as 'Bruceploitation,' featured actors with screen names like Bruce Li, Bruce Lai, Brute Lee, and more.
10. Rock and roll pioneer Buddy Holly proposed to his wife Maria five hours after their first date, and they were married within two months. Maria was pregnant when Holly died in a plane crash six months later. Unfortunately, she had a miscarriage the day after his death and didn't attend the funeral. Since then, it has become policy to notify family members of tragedies before releasing their names to the public. She inherited everything but signed over 50% to his family.
11Bob Marley's Fatal Battle
In 1977, Bob Marley was diagnosed with melanoma under a toenail but chose not to follow his doctors' advice to have his toe amputated due to his religious beliefs. Unfortunately, the cancer spread, and he passed away from metastatic melanoma four years later, at the age of 36. He was buried with a guitar, a joint, and a bible.
12. Mark David Chapman, the assassin of John Lennon, confided in his wife about his obsession with killing Lennon and even showed her the gun he intended to use. However, she failed to inform the police. David Bowie was next on Chapman's hit list after Lennon. Chapman had a front-row ticket to "The Elephant Man" the following night. Every year on the anniversary of Lennon's death, the National Trust keeps the bedroom light on in John Lennon's childhood home throughout the night.
13. Amy Winehouse did not die from a drug overdose but from alcohol poisoning. Her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of her death was .416, more than five times the legal limit.
14. After being fatally shot in 1996, Tupac Shakur's last words to the assisting police were "fu*k you." He refused to say anything else. Later, his group, The Outlawz, smoked his ashes. At a memorial held shortly after his death, members of the hip-hop collective Outlawz took the lyrics to his track "Black Jesus" literally and mixed his ashes into a marijuana cigarette.
15. Yolanda Saldivar, infamous for murdering Selena Quintanilla, has been serving her sentence in isolation due to death threats and bounties from prison gangs and the Mexican mafia. Some gang members in Texas even attempted to raise $500,000 for her bond, with the intention of murdering her once she was released. Howard Stern mocked Selena's murder and burial, poked fun at her mourners, criticized her music, and made derogatory comments about Spanish people's taste in music. Stern even played Selena's songs with gunshots in the background on his show.
16Janis Joplin's Troubled Manager
When Albert Grossman, Janis Joplin's manager, learned about her substance abuse, he chose to buy a $200,000 insurance policy on her life instead of addressing her addiction. In her will, Janis Joplin left $2,500 for her friends to "have a ball after I'm gone." The Grateful Dead performed at her funeral party.
17. Brittany Murphy passed away from pneumonia in December 2009, and her husband also died under similar circumstances just five months later, in May 2010. Although Brittany was only 32 years old, her death was ruled to be due to seemingly natural causes. Her mother filed a lawsuit against the builder of the house.
18. Stingray injuries are rarely fatal. Steve Irwin's death from a stingray attack in 2006 was only the second reported fatality in Australia since 1945. Worldwide, one to two fatal attacks are reported each year. Following Irwin's death, there were reports of at least ten stingrays found dead and mutilated on the coast of Queensland, believed to be acts of revenge killings.
19. During the filming of 'Brainstorm,' actress Natalie Wood drowned while on a boat with Robert Wagner and Christopher Walken. Wood's body was discovered one mile away, and a small dinghy was found nearby. The autopsy revealed bruises on her body and arms, as well as an abrasion on her left cheek. Robert Wagner remains a person of interest in Natalie Wood's 1981 drowning death. The boat's captain admitted to lying to the police, stating that Wood and Wagner had argued on the night she drowned and that Wagner had prevented the captain from turning on the search lights and contacting authorities. Later, the word "accidental" was removed from her death certificate.
20. Following vocalist Chris Cornell's suicide, Chester Bennington of Linkin Park performed "Hallelujah" at his funeral. Two months later, after Bennington's death, Cornell's 12-year-old daughter, who was also Bennington's goddaughter, performed "Hallelujah" as a tribute to both of them.
21Carrie Fisher's Substance-related Demise
Carrie Fisher had a combination of drugs, including cocaine, heroin, and ecstasy, in her system when she passed away. Tragically, Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher's mother, passed away just one day after her daughter's death.
22. Frank Zappa frequently played with mercury as a child that his father brought home from work, often covering the entire floor of his bedroom with the substance. Exposure to mercury during childhood is known to increase the risk of prostate cancer later in life. Frank Zappa ultimately succumbed to prostate cancer at the age of 52.
23. In a heartfelt tribute to Bill Paxton, after his death, hundreds of storm chasers coordinated across three states to spell out his initials, BP, using GPS markers. This gesture honored Paxton for his memorable role as a storm chaser in the 1990s movie "Twister."
24. In 2016, Anton Yelchin, known for his portrayal of Chekov in the Star Trek reboot, was tragically found dead, pinned between his own car and a brick pillar outside his house. The incident occurred when he exited his car, which then rolled back, trapping him against the pillar and causing asphyxiation.
25. Upon Leslie Nielsen's death in 2010, ESPN published an obituary for Enrico Pallazzo, the character he played as an umpire in "The Naked Gun." During his funeral, the "Naked Gun" theme played as RCMP officers carried his casket into a hotel near the funeral home. As a final touch of humor, Nielsen had chosen "Let 'er rip" as his epitaph.