Saturday, June 11, 2011

Strange & Unusual Celebrity Deaths

Duane Allman - musician
1971 --- motorcycle accident.

Sherwood Anderson - writer
1941 --- after swallowing a toothpick at a cocktail party he died of peritonitis on an ocean liner bound for Brazil.

John Jacob Astor
1912 --- drowned with the "unsinkable" Titanic.

Attila the Hun
453 AD --- bled to death from a nosebleed on his wedding night.

Alexander I of Greece - king of the Hellenes 1917–20
1920 --- died October 25, from blood poisoning after being bitten by his gardener's pet monkey.

Aleksandr II (Aleksandr Nikolaevich) - Czar of Russia 1855-81
1881 --- assassinated by a bomb which tore off his legs, ripped open his belly and mutilated his face.

Jane Austen
1817 --- Addison's disease.

Sir Francis Bacon
1626 --- pneumonia. He was experimenting with freezing a chicken by stuffing it with snow.

Lucille Desiree Ball
1989 --- died after undergoing heart surgery.

Velma (Margie) Barfield
1984 --- 1st woman executed in US since restoration of death penalty in 1967. (For poisoning her fiancée.)

Cheri Jo Bates
1966 --- 1st victim of the Zodiac killer. Murdered at Riverside Community College in California, her jugular and larynx were severed.)

Thomas a Becket - Archbishop of Canterbury
1170 --- murdered in the Canterbury cathedral by four knights, supposedly on orders by Henry II.

Ludwig van Beethoven
1827 --- cirrhosis of the liver.

John Belushi
1982 --- drug overdose.

Rainey Bethea
1936 --- the last publicly executed criminal in US. Executed by hanging. Little known lasts.

Kimberly Bergalis
1991 --- died of AIDS. She had contracted the disease from her dentist.

Bridget Bishop
1692 --- 1st of the witches hung in Salem, Massachusetts. She was executed on June 10.
(Salem witches: Almost 150 "witches" were arrested, but only 31 were tried in 1692. All 31, including 6 males, were sentenced to death. Nineteen were hanged, 2 died in jail, and 1 man was slowly pressed to death under heavy stones. None were burned.)

Amanda Blake (Beverly Neill) - actress (Miss Kitty on "Gunsmoke")
1989 --- AIDS contracted from her bisexual husband.

Anne Boleyn
1536 --- beheaded for adultery by request of Henry VIII.

Neil Bonnett - race car driver
1994 --- car crash, killed during practice at the Daytona International Speedway.

Salvatore "Sonny" Bono
1998 --- crashed into a tree while skiing.

Ray Brennan
1976 --- on July 27th - 1st person to die of "Legionnaire's Disease."

Charles Brooks, Jr.
1982 --- 1st criminal executed in US by lethal injection.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning - poet
1861 --- acute bronchitis.

Jeff Buckley - musician
1997 --- drowned in the Mississippi River, near Mud Island Harbor, on May 29. His body wasn't found until June 4.

Lord Byron (George Gordon)
1824 --- died of malarial fever.

Calamity Jane (Martha Jane Canary)
1903 --- pneumonia following a bout of heavy drinking.

Al Capone - Chicago gangster
1947 --- syphilis.

Karen Carpenter - singer
1983 --- heart failure caused by anorexia nervosa, at age 32.

Jack Cassidy - actor
1976 --- died in a fire, while asleep on the couch in his apartment.

Catherine the Great - Empress of Russia
1796 --- a stroke, while going to the bathroom.

Nicolae Ceausescu - Romanian president
1989 --- executed by firing squad, on live television, along with his wife.

Anton Joseph Cermak - mayor of Chicago
1933 --- assassinated by accident when riding with Franklin Roosevelt in motorcade.

Sergei Chalibashvili - diver
1983 --- diving accident. Attempted a three-and-a-half reverse somersault in the tuck position during the World University Games. On the way down, he smashed his head on the board and was knocked unconscious. He died after being in a coma for a week.

Raymond Johnson Chapman - Cleveland Indians baseball player
1920 --- died one day after being struck in head by baseball pitch, becoming the only player ever killed as result of major league baseball game.

Charles I - English king
1649 --- beheaded by order of Parliament under Oliver Cromwell on January 30.

Conor Clapton - son of musician Eric Clapton
1991 --- fell out of 53rd floor window at the age of 5.

30 BC --- suicide by poison, supposedly from a venomous snake.

Nat "King" Cole - singer
1965 --- died of complications following surgery for lung cancer.

Christopher Columbus
1506 --- rheumatic heart disease.

Bob Crane - actor
1978 --- murdered in hotel room.

Jim Croce - singer
1973 ---plane crash. The plane crashed into a tree 200 yards past the end of the runway while taking off from Natchitoches, La. Municipal Airport.

Davy Crockett - US frontiersman
1836 --- killed defending the Alamo.
(Actually, Crockett survived the assault along with a few others, but was bayoneted to death by the Mexicans after they took the fort.)

Marie Curie - chemist, discovered Radium
1934 --- leukemia, caused by exposure to radiation.

Jeffrey Dahmer - mass murderer
1994 --- beaten to death with a broomstick by a fellow inmate at the Columbia Correctional Institute.

James Dean (James Byron)
1955 --- car crash.

Albert Dekker - actor, California legislator
1968 --- suffocated, hanging from shower curtain rod, handcuffed, wearing women's lingerie.

John Denver (Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr.) - singer
1997 --- plane crash in Monterey, CA.

Larry Desmedt - "Indian Larry" motorcyclist & daredevil
2004 --- died August 30 from injuries he suffered doing one of his signature stunts - standing up on his moving bike - at a show in Charlotte, N.C. on August 28th.

Edward Despard
1803 --- last executed criminal drawn & quartered in England.

John Dillinger - (1st number one criminal on FBI's most wanted list.)
1934 --- killed by FBI agent Melvin Purvis.

Jane Dornnacker - helicopter traffic reporter
1986 --- died doing a live traffic report for WNBC-AM NYC when her helicopter crashed.

Tommy Dorsey - Trombonist
1956 --- choked to death in his sleep, due to food that lodged in his windpipe.

Anthony J. Drexel III - philanthropist
1893 --- shot himself accidentally while showing off a new gun in his collection to his friends. Last words.

Jessica Dubroff - (age 7)
1996 --- plane crash - attempting to become the youngest pilot to fly cross-country. Last words.

Isadora Duncan - actress
1927 --- accidental strangulation when her scarf caught in car wheel. Last words.

Dominique Dunne - actress ("Poltergeist")
1982 --- choked by boyfriend, John Sweeny. She died after being in a coma for 5 days.

Amelia Earhart
1937 --- missing in an attempt to fly around the world. Last words.

Nelson Eddy - actor / singer
1965 --- suffered a stroke while entertaining on stage in Miami Beach. He died the next day.

Adolf Eichmann
1962 --- executed by hanging for "crimes against the Jewish people."

Andres Escobar - Colombian soccer player
1994 --- murdered by unknown thugs, apparently in anger over the accidental goal he had scored for US during World Cup Game.

Marty Feldman
1982 --- found dead in motel room in Mexico. Death from heart failure, either from climate change or from shellfish poisoning.

Francis Ferdinand - Archduke of Austria
1914 --- assassinated; the incident initiated World War I.

W. C. Fields (Claude William Dukenfield)
1946 --- stomach hemorrhage and cirrhosis of the liver.

Michael Findlay - horror film maker
1977 --- decapitated by helicopter blade.

Jim Fixx - made jogging popular
1984 --- died of a heart attack . . . while jogging.

Robert (Bobbie) Franks
1924 --- kidnapped and murdered by Leopold & Loeb.

Eric Fleming - actor ("Rawhide")
1966 --- drowned when his canoe capsized during the filming of a movie near the headwaters of the Amazon in the Haullaga River, Peru.

Dian Fossey - primatologist
1985 --- found hacked to death, presumably by poachers, in her Rwandan forest camp.

Sigmund Freud
1939 --- cancer of the jaw, palate, throat and tongue.

Bobby Fuller - musician
1966 --- his badly beaten body was discovered in a parked car in Los Angeles. His death was attributed to asphyxia through the forced inhalation of gasoline.

Rajiv Gandhi - prime minister of India from 1984 until 1989
1991 --- killed by a bomb, hidden in a bouquet of flowers, which exploded in his hand. Like his mother, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated.

Judy Garland (Frances Gumm)
1969 --- overdose of sleeping pills.

Marvin Gaye (Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr.) - singer
1984 --- murdered on his birthday by his father.

Balthasar Gérard - assassin of William of Orange
1584 --- executed as follows: that the right hand of Gérard should be burned off with a red-hot iron, that his flesh should be torn from his bones with pincers in six different places, that he should be quartered and disemboweled alive, that his heart should be torn from his bosom and flung in his face, and that, finally, his head should be cut off. (wikipedia entry)

Vitas Kevin Gerulaitis - tennis player
1994 --- died in his sleep of carbon monoxide poisoning at the home of a friend.

Andy Gibb - singer
1988 --- heart infection.

Gary Mark Gilmore
1977 --- 1st American executed after restoration of US death penalty in 1976. (Executed by firing squad.) Last words.

John Glasscock - musician (Jethro Tull)
1979 --- heart infection caused by an abscessed tooth.

Olivia Goldsmith - author, "First Wives Club"
2004 --- complications resulting from anesthesia during plastic surgery.

Sergei Grinkov - Russian figure skater
1995 --- died of heart attack during skating practice.

Henry Gunther
1918 --- last soldier killed in WWI. Little known lasts.

Alexander Hamilton - former US Treasury Secretary
1804 --- shot by US Vice President Aaron Burr in a pistol duel near Weehawken, New Jersey on July eleventh.

Mata Hari (Gertrud Margarete Zelle) - World War I spy
1917 --- executed by firing squad, she refused a blindfold and threw a kiss to the executioners.

William E. Harmon
1981 --- 1st BASE jumping fatality. He died in a jump from a 1000-foot antenna tower on April 11. BASE is an acronym for Building, Antennae, Span, Earth, and thus represents the fixed-objects from which BASE jumps are made.

William Henry Harrison
1841 --- 1st US President to die in office.

Leslie Harvey - musician
1972 --- lead guitarist of the Glasgow band Stone the Crows, died after being electrocuted onstage at Swansea's Top Rank Ballroom, May 3, 1972.

Owen Hart - WWF wrestler
1999 --- died while performing a stunt in the wrestling ring. He was being lowered into the ring by a cable, when he fell 70 ft. to his death, snapping his neck.

Elizabeth Hartman - actress
1987 --- fell to her death from a fifth floor window in a bizarre reflection of a character in her staring 1966 movie "The Group."

Frank Hayes - jockey
1923 --- heart attack during a race. His horse, Sweet Kiss, won the race, making Hayes the only deceased jockey to win a race.

Rita Hayworth (Margarita Carmen Cansino)
1987 -- Alzheimer's disease.

Phil Hartman (Philip Edward Hartmann)
1998 -- shot by his wife, who then committed suicide.

Les Harvey - musician (Stone the Crow)
1972 --- electrocuted on stage at a show in Swansea, Wales. He touched a poorly connected microphone and died a few hours later.

Ernest Miller Hemingway
1961 --- suicide with shotgun.

Margaux Hemingway (Margot Hemingway)
1996 --- suicide, overdose of a sedative. She was the fifth person in her family to commit suicide.

Jon-Erik Hexum - actor
1984 --- playfully shot himself with a blank-loaded pistol on the set of TV spy show "Cover Up." The concussion forced a chunk of his skull into his brain; he died six days later.

Wild Bill Hickok (James Butler Hickok)
1876 --- shot in the back of the head while playing poker.

Adolf Hitler
1945 --- suicide, cyanide and handgun.

Jimmy Hoffa (James Riddle Hoffa)
1975 --- disappeared from a Michigan restaurant on July 30th.

William Holden - actor
1981 --- found dead in his apartment. He had been drinking, and apparently fell, struck his head on an end table, and bled to death.

Buddy Holly (Charles Hardin Holley)
1959 --- died in airplane crash with Ritchie Valens & the Big Bopper on February 3, in Albert Juhl’s corn field about fifteen miles northwest of Mason City in Cerro Gordo County, Iowa. link

John C. Holmes - porn film star
1988 --- complications of AIDS.

Harry Houdini (Erich Weiss) - magician
1926 --- ruptured appendix. He died on Halloween.

Leslie Howard (Leslie Stainer) - actor (Ashley Wilkes in Gone With the Wind)
1943 --- his civilian plane was shot down by German fighter planes during WWII.

Rock Hudson (Roy Harold Scherer, Jr.)
1985 --- died of AIDS. He was the 1st major public figure to announce he had AIDS.

William Huskisson
1830 --- 1st person killed by a train. His death occurred when he was attending the opening of the Liverpool-Manchester Railway. As he stepped on the track to meet the Duke of Wellington, Stephenson's 'Rocket' hit him. He died later that day.

Hal Mark Irish
1991 --- was killed in a leap from a hot air balloon in what was believed to be the first US death from the thrill sport of Bungee jumping. Irish fell more than 60 feet to his death on October 29, 1991, after breaking loose from his bungee cord during a demonstration.

Steve Irwin "the Crocodile Hunter" - naturalist
2006 --- died when his heart was impaled by a short-tail stingray barb while filming a documentary entitled "Ocean's Deadliest" in Queensland's Great Barrier Reef. (September 4, 2006)

Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson - Confederate General
1863 --- pneumonia, after accidentally being shot by his own troops. Last words.

Josef Jakobs - German spy
1941 --- last person to be executed in the Tower of London, England. Little known lasts.

Thomas Jefferson
1826 --- dysentery. He died on the 50th anniversary of signing of Declaration of Independence, and the same day as John Adams. Last words.

Knut Jensen - Olympic cyclist
1960 --- fractured skull during the 1960 Olympics in Rome. In the 93 degree heat, he collapsed from sunstroke and hit his head. He was one of only 2 athletes to die as a result of Olympic competition. (Francisco Lazaro was the other.)

Joan of Arc (Jeanne Darc)
1431 --- burned at the stake for heresy and witchcraft.

Gee Jon
1924 --- 1st person executed in US in the gas chamber. Nevada State Prison in Carson City on February 8. (Hydrocyanic gas was used; the procedure took 6 minutes.)

Brian Jones - musician, one-time Rolling Stone
1969 --- drowned in his swimming pool while drunk and on drugs.

Joselito (Jose Gomez) - Spanish bullfighter
1920 --- fatally gored fighting his last bull.

Florence Griffith Joyner - US Olympic sprinter
1998 --- an epileptic seizure triggered by a brain abnormality. She died in her sleep at the age of 38.

Michael LeMoyne Kennedy
1997 --- collided with a tree while playing ski football in Aspen, Colorado.

William Kemmler - convicted axe murderer
1890 --- 1st person executed in US in the electric chair. At Auburn State Prison in New York, on August 6. (The procedure took 8 minutes.)

Vladimir Komarov
1967 --- 1st cosmonaut to die in space. (Russian Soyuz 1)

Mary Jo Kopechne
1969 --- drowned when the car she was a passenger in, driven by Sen. Edward Kennedy, fell off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, MA.

David Koresh (Vernon Wayne Howell)
1993 --- killed by agents of FBI & Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms.

T. E. Lawrence (Thomas Edward Lawrence)
1935 --- killed in a motorcycle accident after swerving to avoid two boys.

Francisco Lazaro - Olympic runner
1912 --- sunstroke and heart trouble. Collapsed toward the end of the 1912 Olympic marathon in Stockholm. Lazaro was one of only two athletes to die as a result of Olympic competition. (Knut Jensen was the other.)

Brandon Lee - actor
1993 --- shot by a gun firing blanks, while filming the movie "The Crow." His missing scenes were later filled-in by computer animation.

Bruce Lee (Li Yuen Kam) - actor
1973 --- died suddenly from a swollen brain.

John Lennon
1980 --- shot to death by a mentally ill fan.

Liberace (Wladziu Valentino Liberace)
1987 --- AIDS.

Carole Lombard (Jane Alice Peters)
1942 --- plane crash.

Louis XVI - French king
1793 --- beheaded by French revolutionaries.

Malcolm X (Malcolm Little)
1965 --- murdered - shot 16 times by three assassins. Last words.

Jayne Mansfield (Vera Jayne Palmer) - actress
1967 --- car accident. Her wig flew off in the impact, starting rumors that she had been decapitated.

Mark Maples
1964 --- 1st person to be killed on a ride in Disneyland. He stood up while riding the Matterhorn Bobsleds and was thrown to his death. (There have been 7 deaths at Disneyland since its opening in 1955.)

Jean-Paul Marat
1793 --- knifed while taking a bath.

Pete Maravich - basketball player
1988 --- heart attack while playing a game of pick-up basketball.

Marie Antoinette
1793 --- beheaded by guillotine. Last words.

Bob Marley - musician
1981 --- brain tumor, at the age of 36.

Christopher Marlowe - author
1593 --- stabbed in a tavern brawl in Deptford, England.

Bill Masterton - hockey player for Minnesota North Stars
1968 --- head injury. He fell over backwards and hit his head on the ice after being checked during a game against the Oakland Seals. His is the only death in pro-hockey during the modern era.

Kenneth Allen McDuff
1998 --- thought to be the only person ever freed from death row and then returned after killing again. Executed by injection, November 17, 1998, in Huntsville, Texas.

William McKinley - 25th US President
1901 --- died of gangrene. He was shot by an assassin and his wounds were not properly dressed.

Butterfly McQueen (Thelma Lincoln McQueen)
1995 --- died of burns received when lighting kerosene heater in her apartment.

Glenn Miller - "big band" musician
1944 --- listed as Missing In Action, was serving as a Major in the Army Air Force Band when his plane went down over the English Channel.

Sal Mineo - actor
1976 --- stabbed to death in the street outside of his home.

Margaret Mitchell - author, Gone With the Wind
1949 --- On August 11, she was crossing an Atlanta street on her way to the theater when she was hit by a speeding cab. She died of her injuries five days later.

Russell Mockridge - cyclist
1958 --- vehicular accident. He was competing in the Tour of Gippsland in Melbourne when he was struck by a bus and killed instantly.

Luis Monge
1967 --- executed in gas chamber, Colorado State Penitentiary, Cannon City, CO, on June 2. He was the last US execution until 1977, when the death penalty was reinstated. (He had murdered his wife and 3 of his 10 children.)

Marilyn Monroe (Norma Jean Baker)
1962 --- drug overdose, probably suicide.

Davey Moore - American world champion boxer
1963 --- Moore faced Sugar Ramos in a nationally televised fight on March 21, 1963. Moore lost the fight by a knockout in the tenth round, and died two days later due to injuries received to his brain stem when his head hit the bottom rope when he was knocked out. wikipedia

Davey Moore - American world champion boxer
1988 --- One morning in early June 1988, as Moore was leaving his home, he stepped out of his car to open his garage door. He failed to put the car in park, leaving it in reverse. The car lurched backwards, pinning him against the door of his garage. He died at the scene. wikipedia

Thomas More
1535 --- beheaded for treason upon the order of Henry VIII.

Vic Morrow - actor
1982 --- helicopter accident on the set of "Twilight Zone - The Movie."

Jim Morrison - musician (the Doors)
1971 --- heart attack while in the bathtub.

Mary Ann Nicholls - prostitute
1888 --- fed poisoned grapes and disemboweled by Jack the Ripper.

Florence Nightingale
1910 --- heart failure after 53 years as an invalid.

Francis Russell O'Hara - US art critic
1966 --- died from being hit by taxicab.

Janet Parker - medical photographer
1978 --- last person to die of smallpox. Little known lasts.

Laura Patterson - professional bungee jumper
1996 --- killed during rehearsal for the Superbowl at the New Orleans Superdome on Jan. 23. She died of massive head injuries.

George S. Patton
1945 --- broke his neck in a car accident. He lived, incapacitated, for one more week.

Nicolas Jacques Pelletier - French highwayman
1792 --- 1st person beheaded with the guillotine.

River Phoenix - actor
1993 --- drug overdose on the sidewalk in front the Viper Club in Hollywood on Halloween.

Kenneth Pinyan
2005 --- perforated colon received during a videotaped sex act with a full sized stallion. His death prompted the passing of a bill in Washington State prohibiting both sex with animals and the videotaping of the same. (July 2, 2005)

Francisco Pizarro - Explorer and conquistador
1541 --- stabbed by countrymen in a feud over Incan riches.

Martha Place
1899 --- 1st woman executed in the electric chair, Sing Sing Prison, NY, on March 20. She had murdered her stepdaughter.

Edgar Allan Poe
1849 --- cerebral edema following a drinking binge.
(The September 1996 Maryland Medical Journal published a study that showed Poe's symptoms suggest rabies instead.)

Pope Johann XII
963 --- beaten to death , at age 18, by the husband of a woman he was having an affair with.

Elvis Presley
1977 --- accidental drug overdose. He died while sitting on the toilet.

Alexander Pushkin - Russian author
1837 --- killed in duel.

Grigory Rasputin
1916 --- assassinated: poisoned (cyanide), shot (3 times), and thrown into a river.

Keith Relf - musician (The Yardbirds)
1976 --- electrocuted playing guitar in the bathtub.

John Augustus Roebling - designer of the Brooklyn Bridge
1869 --- died of a tetanus infection after having his leg crushed by a ferryboat while working on the Brooklyn Bridge.

Rebecca Rolfe (Pocahontas)
1617 --- smallpox. She died in London.

Oscar Romero - archbishop of San Salvador
1980 --- murdered while saying mass at the Cathedral of San Salvador.

Julius & Ethel Rosenberg
1953 --- executed in electric chair on June 19. The 1st husband-and-wife team executed in the US. They had been charged with espionage and spying.

Ronald Ryan
1967 --- executed by hanging in Melbourne. He was the last man to be hanged in Australia.

Girolamo Savonarola - religious reformer
1498 --- hanged and burned for heresy.

Rebecca Schaffer - actress
1989 --- shot by a "celebrity stalker" fan.

Hugh Scrutton
1985 --- first confirmed Unabomber victim. On Dec. 11, the computer rental store owner opened a package which had been left outside his door.

Selena (Quintanilla Perez) - singer
1995 --- shot by the president of her fan club.

Thomas A. Selfridge
1908 --- 1st mortality in an airplane crash. He was the passenger when Wilbur Wright crashed a US War Department test plane.

Betty Shabazz, (Betty Sanders; Sister Betty X, Hajj Bahiyah) - widow of Malcom X
1997 --- complications from apartment fire started by her grandson.

Tupac Shakur - musician
1996 --- murdered in drive-by shooting.

Percy Bysshe Shelley - writer
1822 --- accidental drowning.

Eddie Slovik
1945 --- shot by an American firing squad in France for desertion. (The only US soldier since the Civil War to be executed as he was.)

Vladimir Smirnov - fencer
1982 --- brain damage. During a fencing match against Matthias Behr, Behr's foil snapped, pierced Smirnov's mask, penetrated his eyeball, and entered his brain. Smirnov died 9 days later.

Joseph Smith - founder of Mormon religion
1844 --- shot by an angry mob while he was jailed in Carthage, IL.

Diana Spencer - Princess of Wales
1997 --- car crash while eluding paparazzi.

Evelita Juanita Spinnelli
1941 --- 1st woman ever to be officially to be executed in California, on November 21st.
1941 --- 1st woman to be executed in the gas chamber

Jennifer Lea Strange - game show contestant
2007 --- died of water intoxication after taking part in a Sacramento, California, radio station's water-drinking contest. (January 12, 2007)

Mary Stuart (Mary, Queen of Scots)
1587 --- beheaded for treason.

Mary Surratt
1865 --- executed for being a conspirator in the Lincoln assassination. 1st woman ever executed by the United States government. Hung on July 7. Biography.

Yoshiuki Takada - actor
1985 --- The Sankai Juku Dance Company of Toyko had been performing The Dance Of Birth And Death on the side of Seattle's Mutual Life building when Takada's rope broke and he plunged six stories to his death. The film of his demise was shown on the nightly news. (September 10, 1985)

Sharon Tate
1969 --- murdered by Charles Manson and his followers.

Timothy Treadwell - envirnmentalist (and Amie Huguenard)
(2003) --- lived among the grizzly bears of Katmai National Park in Alaska for approximately 13 seasons. At the end of his thirteenth season in the park in 2003, he and his girlfriend Amie Huguenard were killed and partially eaten by a grizzly bear. An audio recording of the attack survived..

Leon Trotsky - Russian leader
1940 --- assassinated in Mexico with the pick of an ice axe, died the next day. Last words.

Tommy Tucker - musician
1982 --- carbon tetrachloride poisoning sustained while he was finishing floors in his home.

Kelton Rena Turner
1975 --- last American soldier killed in the Vietnam War. Little known lasts.

Rudolph Valentino (Rodolfo di Valentina D'Antonguolla) - actor
1926 --- perforated gastric ulcer and ruptured appendix. Last words.

Mike Venezia - jockey
1988 --- died in 5th-race fall at Belmont Race Track, NY.

Gianni Versace - clothing designer
1997 --- murdered by serial killer.

Sir William Wallace - Scottish rebel
1305 --- executed by being hanged for a short time, taken down still breathing and having his bowels torn out and burned. His head was then struck off, and his body divided into quarters, the punishment known as 'hanged, drawn and quartered'. His head was placed on a pole on London Bridge, his right arm above the bridge in Newcastle, his left arm was sent to Berwick, his right foot and limb to Perth and his left quarter to Aberdeen where it was buried in what is now the wall at St. Machars Cathedral.

Karl Wallenda - aerialist
1978 --- fell to death at the age of 73 as he was walking a high wire strung between two buildings in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Edward Higgins White, Jr.
1967 --- died in space capsule fire during rehearsal of scheduled Apollo 1 launch with Roger Chaffee & Gus Grissom.

Stanford White - Architect, designed Madison Square Garden
1906 --- shot atop Madison Square Garden by Evelyn Nesbit's jealous husband, Harry Thaw.

Oscar Wilde
1900 --- cerebral meningitis. Last words.

Prince William I of Orange, Count of Nassau-Dillenburg
also widely known as William the Silent
1584 --- reputed to be the first world head of state assassinated through use of a handgun..On 10 July,1584, he was assassinated by Balthasar Gérard. (wikipedia entry)

Tennessee Williams - writer
1983 --- choked to death on a on a nose spray bottle cap that accidentally dropped into his mouth while he was using the spray. He was 71.

Dennis Wilson - rock musician (The Beach Boys)
1983 --- drowned after diving from his yacht in the harbor at Marina Del Ray, California.

Jackie Wilson - entertainer
1967 --- collapsed of a stroke and a heart attack on stage, while singing his hit "Lonely Teardrops": He never regained consciousness and died eight years later.

Natalie Wood (Natasha Nikolaevna Gurdin)
1981 --- accidental drowning.

Alexander Woollcott - literary critic
1943 --- heart attack while appearing on the CBS radio program "People's Platform."

N.C. Wyeth - illustrator
1945 --- killed when his car stalled on railroad tracks and was hit by a mail train at a Chadds Ford railroad crossing.

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