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Hollywood Scandal- Fatty Arbuckle

Updated on September 27, 2015

Fatty Arbuckle was one of the Biggest Stars

Scandal, Tragedy and Living Large

The movies were an exciting mew medium at the very beginning of the 20th century and by the late teens and early 20's the movies and its stars were in full swing. Living large, throwing parties and forever finding themselves tangled in scandal and drama.

These were the innocent times, and the folks who found themselves at center stage were experiencing wealth and opulence that they never would have thought possible.

This recipe, as we well know now is a sure fire formula for disaster, tragedy and Hollywood scandal.

Roscoe Fatty Arbuckle

Virginia Rappe

Fatty Arbuckle's Scandal 1921

In 1921 after a crazy Hollywood party, a young struggling actress became severely ill and died 4 days later at the age of 22.

This story is considered to be the very first Hollywood scandal. Roscoe Fatty Arbuckle was a famous comic who had been an audience favorite since 1913. He went to San Francisco with a group of friends. They checked into a grand hotel where Roscoe (fatty) threw a party, and despite prohibition, large quantities of booze were being served.

Virginia Rappe was present at the party and did her share of drinking. When Rappe died, her manager Maude Delmont, blamed Roscoe for her death. This turned into a murder trial that resulted in the discovery of Delmont having a history of framing stars in effort to blackmail them. Rappe, had stomach ulcers and the result of her death was reported as alcohol related. After a long and ugly trial, Roscoe was free of any wrong doing, but his career was ruined. After the sensational trial the image of Fatty as an innocent comic just did not have the same flare. The name Roscoe Fatty Arbuckle stirred a negative connotation, and in order to continue to work in the movie industry he changed his name to Will B. Goode and began directing.

The Murder of William Desmond Taylor

Mabel Normand

Mary Miles Minter

William Desmond Taylor Murder

The sensational murder of William Desmond Taylor is one of the most intriguing murder mysteries ever.

William Desmond Taylor was a handsome and distinguished gentleman who arrived in Hollywood around 1914. He had been a stage actor in the past and was now trying his luck with movies. He was a hit as an actor and made the right connections which led to Taylor becoming a director.

Taylor was well liked and had many friends in Hollywood. In February of 1922 he was entertaining famous movie star Mabel Normand in his bungalow. After they had their visit, he walked Mabel to her car and was never seen again. Some time between the moment he waved goodby to Mabel and the time his body was discovered by his house servant the next morning, Taylor had been shot dead.

A botched police investigation, rumors, and love letters from actress Mary Miles Minter were flying. It seems that Mary was deeply in love with William Desmond Taylor, and the newspapers assumed that Mabel was also involved with the handsome director. The press had a field day with the love triangle story. Perhaps Mabel shot Taylor out of jealousy, or maybe it was Mary Miles Minter who was jealous.

Although the case was never officially solved, King Vidor along with police detectives have concluded that the murderer was Mary's mother, who was known to carry a revolver and had threatened other directors with it.

Mary's mother Charlotte Shelby, was a very wealthy woman who made smart investments with her daughters money. She owned prime Beverly Hills real estate, and was personal friends with the Los Angeles district attorney Thomas Woolwine. When ever a detective was closing in on the case, Woolwine would take him off the case and send him in another direction. He had apparently been bought off by Charlotte Shelby, who also had a crush on Taylor and shot him in a jealous rage.


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