Unsolved Crime – Murder of William Desmond Taylor
Hollywood enters this list with a scandal that rocked the movie biz in 1922: The untimely death of successful silent-film directorWilliam Desmond Taylor. He perished in his own home of at least one gunshot wound to his back; since he was carrying cash and wearing a diamond ring, robbery didn’t seem to be a motive. The case grabbed headlines as a voluminous list of suspects entered the fray. Was it his newly-hired valet, a man with a sketchy past? Was it his former valet, who’d stolen from Taylor just months before? Was it Taylor’s girlfriend, movie star Mabel Normand? Or, most juicily, did it have something to do with the young starlet whose career Taylor was shepherding along, at the urging of the girl’s zealous stage mother? A screenwriter couldn’t have come up with a better mystery than this.
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