INT. HOLLYWOOD VILLA – KITCHEN – MORNING. Sausages sizzle atop an island hob. Sunlight blinks through swaying blinds. Everything in perfect order – the American dream in sinks and worktops. We pull back. Blood streaks between floor tiles and wells at the foot of the island. A limp hand. A lifeless body.
It’s Hollywood’s job to create captivating stories – murder, deception, scandal. Unfortunately, it didn’t always confine its successes to the silver screen.
This volume goes behind the tape on some of the most recognisable crime scenes in history. We investigate the Black Dahlia murder, the crimes of the Manson Family and the case of OJ Simpson. We sit in on the HUAC hearings and uncover a culture of corruption, cover-ups and smear campaigns.
01 / The Locations of L.A.’s 100 Most Memorable Crimes by Neighborhood / Joe Donatelli / Los Angeles Magazine / 2017
“These are crimes both solved and unsolved, killers and victims both famous and unknown. They span more than a century and run the gamut from bank shootouts to insurance scams, gangsters on the lam to murderers so sadistic judges are devoid of words to describe their actions.”
“Robert Blake, Bonny Lee Bakley, and the misery of celebrity.”
“When Patricia Douglas was raped by an MGM salesman at a 1937 studio party, the 20-year-old dancer filed charges, taking on Hollywood’s most powerful institution. Today, as Douglas breaks a 65-year silence, the author exposes the perjury, bribes, and smear tactics used to destroy her.”
“It’s one of Hollywood’s most notorious murder mysteries. A beautiful young woman found dead in South Los Angeles, her body sliced clean in half. Police launch a sweeping investigation that produces countless dead-end leads. The media pounces on the graphic details, bestowing the victim with a nickname that would engrave her in history. Today, the murder of the “Black Dahlia” remains unsolved.”
“Jewish gangster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel is frequently credited with corrupting Hollywood’s unions and “inventing” Las Vegas. Siegel did have moviestar friends, but the true story of his involvement with the Flamingo casino is also the story of a much bigger movieland player: Hollywood Reporter founder/publisher/columnist Billy Wilkerson.”
06 / The Hollywood Ten: The Men Who Refused to Name Names / David L. Dunbar / The Hollywood Reporter / 2015
“When the House Un-American Activities Committee subpoenaed filmmakers to testify about communism in the industry, a few held their ground — and for a time, lost their livelihood.”
“Was the star of 50s TV show The Adventures of Superman murdered?”
“In the middle of this renaissance, Turner became embroiled in one of Hollywood history’s most shocking scandals: the murder of Turner’s boyfriend Johnny Stompanato at the hand of her 14 year-old daughter, Cheryl Crane.”
09 / Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders / Vincent Bugliosi / Longform (courtesy of Norton & Company) / 2001
“It was so quiet, one of the killers would later say, you could almost hear the sound of ice rattling in cocktail shakers in the homes way down the canyon.”
“A father’s account of the trial of his daughter’s killer.”
“Vanity Fair’s special correspondent, whose career covering murder trials began after his daughter was killed, was one of only two journalists with a guaranteed seat for every day of the O.J. Simpson trial. He was the conscience of the courtroom, a confidant to players on both sides of the case, and an inimitable, irresistible chronicler of the proceedings. Revisit his dispatches in this archival treasury.”
“Conversations with O. J. Simpson.”
13 / The notorious night Biggie was murdered in Los Angeles / Justin Tinsley / The Undefeated / 2017
“Shaq, Baron Davis, and Nick Van Exel reflect on The Notorious B.I.G., his murder, and the city they called home”
14 / Hunting the Con Queen of Hollywood: Who’s the “Crazy Evil Genius” Behind a Global Racket? / Scott Johnson / The Hollywood Reporter / 2018
“For more than a year, some of the most powerful women in entertainment — including Amy Pascal, Kathleen Kennedy, Stacey Snider and a ‘Homeland’ director — have been impersonated by a cunning thief who targets insiders with promises of work, then bilks them out of thousands of dollars.”
“How the richness of technology led to the poverty of imagination.”