1921. Prohibition is in full swing, tasseled gowns and cigar smoke fill vaudevillian clubs. Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle is more than a well known face, he’s one of the original Hollywood A-Listers. For a young starlet like Virginia Rappe, working with such a big name in the business seemed like a dream come true. Both would soon come to understand that nothing is what it seems when the limelight fades.
One of Britain’s brightest young Soap Opera stars, Gemma McCluskie, went missing from the flat she shared with her brother in March of 2012. A week later, concerned family and friends gathered in a pub to organize a search party. Not one of the hundred people in attendance could even begin to imagine the horrors that poor Gemma had endured.
Promotional portrait of the America R&B group the Temptations, mid 1960s. From left, Melvin Franklin (1942 – 1995), Paul Williams (1939 – 1973), Eddie Kendricks (1939 – 1992), David Ruffin (1941 – 1991), and Otis Williams. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Paul Williams, Sam Cooke, and Bobby Fuller. These three musicians were at the top of the charts,but the music industry has long been riddled with misfortune. The tragedy of losing these beautiful souls is overshadowed by the strange circumstances surrounding their deaths. One thing ties them all together, no one can quite decide how they died – the evidence just doesn’t add up. Murder? Suicide? Accident? Listen in as Steffanie and Aryn wade through the obscure details of their untimely demise.
In the early morning hours of November 29th 1981 authorities found the body of a woman that had washed up on the shore of Santa Catalina Island, just 30 miles from the coast of Newport Beach, California. The woman was quickly identified as Hollywood A-List star Natalie Wood. She had been boating nearby alongside her husband Robert Wagner, and her latest costar Christopher Walken at the time of her disappearance. Natalie had been drinking heavily that evening, and according to Robert, when he went to bed, she was nowhere to be found. While authorities have long been suspicious of foul play, new witness testimonies have revived the investigation into curious circumstances surrounding the iconic star’s demise.
Late comedian Phil Hartman is the subject of unlucky episode seven. Known for his time on Saturday Night Live and his secondary roles in pretty much every film ever made, Phil’s life and marriage were seemingly perfect. Of course, things are always very different when the spot lights fade. Join Steffanie and Aryn as they dive beyond the laughter and anecdotes to the seedy private life of one of America’s most beloved comics.
November 1st 2006- Andy Ostroy walks into his wife’s NYC office apartment after not hearing from her since that morning. He and a doorman discover his wife’s body hanging from the shower in an apparent suicide. Adrienne Shelley was a promising up and comer in the film world, having just submitted the 2007 film Waitress to the Sundance Film Festival. She was happily married and a loving mother to her two year old daughter. Her husband insisted that she would never have taken her own life and prompted police to investigate further. What they found will shock you to your core.
Steffanie takes us all the way to South Africa this week for the brutal slaying of model and actress Reeva Steenkamp by paralympic medalist Oscar Pistorias. The story ruled the headlines when news broke of Steenkamp’s death in February 2013. This modern day whodunit shocked the world and set a gruesome new precedent for Celebrity slayings and sentencing.
This week’s episode dives deep into the pits of Hollywood crime with the murder-suicide of the Barsi family in July of 1988. Judith Barsi was a promising up-and-coming starlet in the 1980’s with credits ranging from Cheers to The Twilight Zone. Not unlike most child stars, things for Judith were much different than they seemed on screen. With an alcoholic father and a battered mother in tow, Judith’s story was doomed before it began in this heart wrenching tale of Fame and Misfortune.
Steffanie takes the lead in the third episode of Fame and Misfortune. This episode focuses on the tragic death of an American icon, Dorothy Stratten. Though it was shortlived, her career made a lasting impression and her dismal end will not soon be forgotten.
In the second Episode of the Fame and Misfortune podcast, Aryn and Steffanie discuss America’s favorite family screw up: Robert Durst. Durst led a troublesome life filled with suicide, missing persons, and cross dressing. The tale of Robert Durst is one that is sure to keep you wondering.