Most of our readers are probably too young to remember Fatty Arbuckle, but there’s a solid change a lot of you have at least heard the name. Arbuckle was a comedic actor in the early 20th century who, allegedly, savagely raped a young woman and left her in such bad condition that she died only days later. It probably didn’t help that after the alleged attack she was not taken to the hospital, but Arbuckle was manslaughter and, after one trial ended in a hung jury, and the second came back as guilty, the third trial had the jury not only finding Arbuckle not guilty, but issuing him an apology. The facts around the case are still a little foggy, but it’s hard to think something horrible didn’t happen that night when you read witness testimony.
It seems like you can’t have an American political scandal without involving the Kennedy family, doesn’t it? One of the most infamous incidents with the Kennedy’s took place in 1969 on Chappaquiddick Island in Massachusetts, with Senator Ted Kennedy drunkenly drove his car off of a bridge, killing his young female passenger in the process. To make matters worse, Kennedy swam to safety and left the woman to die, and did not report the incident for hours after the fact. Kennedy plead guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, faced no other charges in the death of this woman, and received only a two month suspended jail sentence.
Robert Blake is a former American television actor who most famously starred in the show Beretta, and in 2005, made huge headlines when he was acquitted of murdering his wife despite pretty much all evidence pointing to the contrary. In fact, the evidence against him was so strong that despite not being convicted of the murder, which would have landed him a life sentence in prison, he was still found liable for her death in civil court and ordered to pay $30 million to his slain wife’s family. The Blake trial drew a lot of comparisons to a certain other celebrity murder trial that played out the same one. Gee, wonder who we could possibly be talking about there?
Oh, right, good ol’ OJ Simpson! The former Heisman Trophy winner and star of the Buffalo Bills, who would go on to gain fame in commercials and movies, remains the most famous case of a celebrity getting away with an atrocious crime. It also remains one of the most stunning crimes in recent memory, with people remembering exactly where they were as the news broke in with OJ fleeing the police in that white Ford Bronco in 1994. Yet despite all evidence pointing to him killing his ex-wife and her lover, OJ was ultimately acquitted. He’s in jail at the moment for another crime, but it’s stunning to think he was never found guilty of murder. And to put things in perspective how shocking his murder trial was for people too young to remember life before he was an accused killer, this is a guy who was turned down to play the Terminator because he was thought to have too much of a family-friendly, nice guy vibe.
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