Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

What is the greatest miscarriage of justice in real-life Hollywood?


Recommended Posts

I know there will be some kidders piping in with studios releasing certain films or casting so-and-so in a role...but I am serious. The Lohan trial brought back to mind how in L.A. one can get away with so much if you are famous; There have been a number of celebrities brought to trial, for charges running from shoplisting to murder, and some get away with it because of who they are and the influence they have in Hollywood.

 

For me, there is one case that rises above the rest, that of director John Landis getting off scott free for the deaths of Vic Morrow and the two children during the filming of The Twilight Zone movie. (Read "Outrageous Conduct: Art, Ego, and the Twilight Zone Case" by Stephen Farber.)

 

From the very beginnings of Hollywood to today, what is your #1 choice?

 

NOTE: These must have been brought to trial in greater L.A..

Link to post
Share on other sites

Cinemaven,

 

The best info (better than Sidney Kirkpatrick's book Cast of Killers ) I have found on the William Desmond Taylor murder (which is a cold case) is Bruce Long's amazing Taylorology site:

 

http://www.taylorology.com/

 

Beware, you will get engrossed in the reading.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a great topic.

 

I am curious about the case of Tom Neal (*Detour*) shooting his 3rd wife in the back of the head. According to his Wiki page, the prosecutor wanted the death penalty, but he was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to 10 years of prison, and was released 6 years later on parole.

 

Lzcutter - I am going to check that website out. It seems like it's rather interesting.

Link to post
Share on other sites

> {quote:title=vintagebella wrote:}{quote}

> I think its awful how Fatty Roscoe Arbuckle's life and career was ruined. I believe he was innocent.

 

I have been meaning to get a book on him that focuses on the trial but I am hesitant because I am more interested in something fact based and less Hearst-like sensationalized.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not bringing the killer of Elizabeth Short, The Black Dahlia, to justice. To this day, I think the non-resolution of her case was due to police incompetence, corruption and/or pressure from the Hollywood studio execs.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Let?s see... OJ killed his wife and got away with it. Robert Blake killed his wife and got away with it. Thelma Todd?s boyfriend was seen arguing with her one night, and she was found dead the next day of carbon monoxide poisoning in her garage. Her boyfriend and director Roland West (?The Bat Whispers?) was the chief suspect, but he walked, although his Hollywood friends stopped doing business with him and he had to leave the film industry.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Arbuckle's case was one of the most grievous miscarriages of justice, and a deliberate

one by the prosecutors. I'm sure by this time there are books that give an objective

view of the whole case, including the trials. There are sources on the net that also

give a dispassionate overview of the whole sad affair. It really was a travesty.

 

The Black Dahlia is a fascinating topic, with more theories and speculations than you can

imagine, and no doubt lots of misinformation to go along with them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

And now today the news that the Swiss authorities have decided to let Roman Polanski go free.

 

They must be in cahoots with all of the Hollywood players who have stuck up for that guy.

Link to post
Share on other sites

At this point, it is mind boggling and very disappointing when I think of how much so many outside factors had influence in justice (I won't be naive and act like this isn't present today).

 

It's amazing how the accusation of rape is still such a sensitive issue and can really tarnish the image and career of the accused....even if credibility of the victim is in question. Rape is a very touchy subject in our culture (as it should be I guess). Arbuckle's victim was painted to be an already ill, goldigging, opportunist prostitute, alcoholic and drug user that loved to party yet during the jury was deadlocked twice.

 

Was police procedure non existent back then? Many of these bizarre cases deal with tampering of evidence including throwing it out, cleaning to remove finger prints, putting objects in other places.

 

It's also funny when I am watching a crime or noir film and there seems to be way too many people from the precinct at the scene of the crime, with no finger prints and not care in the world as they galavant all over the crime scene touching things.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Arbuckle case is perhaps one of the most horrendous in Hollywood history. While Fatty was no saint, he didn?t deserve to be blackballed out of the movie business. His fall was the biggest in Hollywood history, since he was as famous as Chaplin, Fairbanks and Pickford; truly he was part of Hollywood royalty. At one time, he was considered the most popular American film star world wide. His fall from movie grace was centered on moral and social issues that had absolutely nothing to do with the death of the woman found in his hotel room. The problem for Fatty was a social one, brought on by the lack of tack towards his private life, leading to a destruction of the wholesome loveable imagery he had created for his movie star fame. It was all too obvious that the tabloid press had a field day over Fatty Arbuckle, disclosing scores of lurid stories, most of which weren?t even true. The more his trial over the death of the woman wore on, the more disgrace he faced. Fatty?s life and times leading up to his downfall was the beginning of Hollywood taking on a new outlook towards how the movie capital would have to be perceived in the eyes of the public. At the time of his demise, the studio system was just getting things underway towards the sort of control and iron hand grip that would later become so prevalent throughout the motion picture business. This iron hand grip of the studio system would in time have to give way to changing social values and changes in public taste; or the acceptance to the phoniness of creating imagery around movie stars. But never has the public ever been so prone as to be so willing to turn its head away from wanting to know all it can about a movie star or find something so fascinating to consider. Most fans are caught within a passion of wondering what advantages movie stardom has and all the riches it can bring under a spotlight that has an allure as intoxicating as any drug and the wonderful sweet taste of a favorite food. What?s funny about all this is that while the situation concerning movie stars private lives hasn?t change with the tabloid press on the heels of their every move, a scandal just isn?t as hazardous as it once was and now survival in the business is easy enough to make a comeback at some point or another. For Fatty there would never be any sort of glorious or reasonable comeback to the motion picture business he so importantly contributed to, thus leading to its final creation or foundation! In later years, after the so called murder scandal died down, it was very sad for him going out on the town, often not being acknowledged by those he had worked with and they had gone on with their careers. We will probably never know for sure what happened in that San Francisco hotel room and the aftermath of the party held there that got out of control. It was all most likely an accident. But some say it was enviable that the tragedy happened, because of Fatty?s flamboyant lifestyle that hovered over the fringes of his motion picture career. He was after all human and perhaps he forgot along the way of his fame that he was mortal or no different away from the camera than the rest of us.

Link to post
Share on other sites

> {quote:title=cujas wrote:}{quote}

> Sal Mineo

 

Reminds me to add Bob Crane to the list....even though the case of his murder more has to do with the lack of DNA technology in 1978 when he was killed. There was enough "fluids" involved in his case where a person would have definitely been convicted.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sal Mineo . . . This was another in a series of tragic situations that could have been avoided. Sal was on all counts a wonderful guy. But, lurking in the shadows was a secret he tried for the longest time to keep under raps. It was simply the fact that his lifestyle was in so many ways unconventional or not what the public at large would have expected, let alone, been able to accept from what his movie star image had made of him. He was in what I?ve often referred to as the ?Rock Hudson Syndrome;? Sal was a closeted gay man and movie star. How this came about doesn?t really matter. What does bring significant interest is that around 1974, Sal decided on not hiding his lifestyle. While not openly proclaiming he was a gay man, it was by the late 1970s an open secret throughout the entertainment business. The press didn?t bother Sal much about the issue. This was probably due to his career having simply faded away from the major spotlight of the business. So, he did the next best thing and that was to work behind the scene. Sal did some fine work, directing various television programs and then a few stage plays. He managed to remain within the mainstream of the entertainment world, but he basically accepted the idea that he would never have a return to the glory days he had known as a young actor starting out in Hollywood; having become a heartthrob to millions of young adoring female fans. He was lucky in a sense of never having any problems finding a decent job around Hollywood and finally on Broadway. His death was due to a distraught, harden career crimial, who had felt betrayed by society and thus led to the horrible stabbing death of Sal. There was talk of a possible drug connection, but this has never been cleared up. Since the time of the murder, all sorts of rumors have surfaced, relating to what was the motive behind Sal's death. In a technical way of thinking, Sal wasn?t such a tragic or even disappointment to his profession. He was just not lucky in his private life and found himself at the wrong place and time.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I mentioned how the Lindsay Lohan case got me thinking about this, but at least I felt she was going to serve time...but now she has gotten a new lawyer and intends to fight it so she doesn't get any time. According to blog writer Rob Shuter, an "insider" told him:

 

"She is paying her new lawyer a fortune to fix this mess. She doesn't care what it takes," an insider tells me. "If Lindsay needs to start a Facebook campaign or set up protests or something like that she is totally into it. They are treating Lindsay differently because she is a star, so it's about time she used her star power to help her. *She's seen the movie 'Chicago' several times, so it's not like she doesn't know how this sort of thing works!"*

 

http://www.popeater.com/2010/07/12/lindsay-lohan-jail/?icid=main|main|dl2|link3|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.popeater.com%2F2010%2F07%2F12%2Flindsay-lohan-jail%2F

 

The bolding was Shuter's. LOL, anybody who looks to a movie musical for legal advice is really mature. And, what, she thinks they are picking on her because she is a star. Geez, anybody else would have been in jail already. I don't really mean to be hard, but here is someone who has had advantages in life many people dream of, and she seems almost psychotic in her attempts to ruin her life. (If this were a movie in the 30s, it would be perfectly played by a young Ida Lupino.)

 

I admit to feeling a little bit sorry for her when she broke down in tears at her sentencing, but it is clear this girl thinks rules others live by don't apply to her.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Movie Professor for sharing that information on Sal Mineo with us. I was a fan and I had always been concerned that the police didn't take his murder seriously because they had no respect for his lifestyle.

Link to post
Share on other sites

> {quote:title=filmlover wrote:}{quote}

> Come on, Fred, this was just the sort of thing I mentioned at the very beginning of my first sentence in my original post that it would be nice if this thread would do without.

 

Ok, sorry.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
© 2021 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...