Mandatory.com recently generated a list of a number celebrities who have killed people, and often went to find greater fame.
On May 4, 2001, actor Robert Blake’s wife Bonnie Lee Bakley was shot and killed while sitting in a car outside a Studio City, California restaurant. Blake claimed to be inside the restaurant at the time, retrieving a gun that he’d left at his table.
Punishment: A year later Blake was arrested and charged with murder, but despite the testimony of two men who claimed that he tried to recruit them to kill Bakley, Blake was found not guilty. However, Blake was found liable for the wrongful death of his wife and was ordered to pay her three children $30 million, reduced by 50% on appeal.
In 1987, when driving with then-girlfriend Jennifer Grey on a country road in Ireland, Broderick lost control of his vehicle and it swerved into the oncoming lane, crashing into another car. The occupants of that car, Anna Gallagher and her mother Margaret Doherty, were killed instantly. Broderick spent a month in the hospital and his memory of the crash was virtually erased. Police found he wasn’t drunk or otherwise impaired.
While driving one November night in 1963, the former First Lady, then 17, ran a stop sign and smashed into another car being driven by classmate and ex-boyfriend Michael Dutton Douglas. Laura and her friend in the passenger seat were treated for minor injuries, but Douglas was killed instantly. Punishment: Laura to lose her faith in God for some years, and the incident continues to haunt her.
Charles S. Dutton
Dutton produced "The Corner" for HBO, which would eventually evolve into all-time TV classic "The Wire."He grew up on the mean streets of Baltimore, and in his youth he dropped out of school to become a prizefighter. At the age of 17, he got into a fight and ended up accidentally stabbing him to death.
Punishment: Seven years in prison.
The former face of Noxzema went on to have a successful career on shows like "Beverly Hills 90210," and a sex tape. In 2001 when she was driving in Los Angeles, the cars in front of her had stopped to let 9-year-old Jorge Cruz, Jr. cross the street (illegally, as he wasn’t in a crosswalk), and Gayheart, talking on her cell phone, swerved around to pass and struck the child, killing him.
Punishment: Three years of probation.
On July 11, 1936, the then successful movie producer struck and killed a pedestrian named Gabriel Meyer at an intersection in Los Angeles. Although Hughes had been drinking earlier that evening, he claimed that the man stepped in front of his car. While a witness initially refuted that story, the witness eventually corroborated Hughes’ version of things (some claim he was bribed), and negligent homicide charges were dropped.
Punishment: Hughes paid the Meyer family $20,000 “in this their time of need.”
On the night of July 18, 1969, Senator Ted Kennedy left a party on Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts with 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne. During the drive, Kennedy took a wrong turn down a dirt road and drove off the Dike Bridge, his car coming to rest upside-down in the water. While Kennedy swam to safety, Kopechne never emerged from the car. The senator, however, didn’t notify police, and when the body was found the next morning, he turned himself in, claiming that he’d been in shock.
Punishment: Two-month suspended jail sentence; driver’s license was suspended for over a year, aspirations to be president never fulfilled.
After dropping out of Kent State in the 1950s, King ran a bookmaking operation and ended up killing two people. First, he shot a man in the back when he was trying to rob one of King’s gambling establishments, and then 13 years later he brutally stomped one of his employees to death for stealing $600. The man's last words were "Don, I'll get you the money."
Punishment: Four years in prison.
In January 1970, Moon and Neil Boland went to the grand opening of the Red Lion, a Hertfordshire pub that his neighbors’ son had just opened. Unfortunately, also attending was a gang of skinheads, who didn’t take kindly to the foppish (and wealthy) Moon. Things quickly got violent, and as Moon and his entourage tried to escape, Boland ended up in front of the Bentley that the drummer was driving, getting crushed underneath the vehicle.
Punishmemtn: Not charged
During the Motley Crue’s hard-partying '80s heyday, Neil left a party at his house in his 1972 Ford Pantera with Hanoi Rocks drummer “Razzle” Dingley in the passenger seat. Vince had been drinking all day, lost control and smashed head-on into a Volkswagen. Dingley was killed instantly and the driver and passenger of the other car both suffered severe head trauma.
Punishment: 30 days in jail.
On the night of on June 12, 1994, Nicole Brown Simpson, the ex-wife of actor and ex-football star O.J. Simpson, was stabbed to death outside her Los Angeles home, along with her friend Ronald Goldman.
Punishment: Found not guilty of homicide. However, in a civil trial in 1997, he was Deemed to be liable for the two deaths in a civil trial. The Goldman family was awarded $8.5 million in compensatory damages, and each family was awarded $12.5 million in punitive damages.
Future governor of Illinois, UN Ambassador, and two-time nominee for President, a 12-year-old Adlai Stevenson inadvertently shot and killed 16-year-old Ruth Merwin at his childhood home in Bloomington, Illinois on December 30, 1912. Stevenson was performing a drill technique with a .22 rifle, which he didn’t realize was loaded despite checking, when it went off, striking the girl.
Punishment: Charges were not filed.
A top NBA star in the 1990s until he was giving a tour of his palatial New Jersey mansion to a group of people including limousine driver Costas Christofi. Williams picked up a shotgun and started showing off by spinning it in one hand. The gun was loaded and went off, killing Christofi.
Punishment: Sentenced to five years in prison.