4. Virginia Rappe’s Tragic Death
Rappe was just 26 when she died in 1921 of a ruptured bladder and secondary peritonitis. The young actress’ death led to a huge scandal and lengthy Hollywood trial. Four days before her death on September 9, she attended a Labor Day party in Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle’s suite. Arbuckle was a prominent silent film star at the time.
Maude Delmont alleged that Rappe had been violently sexually assaulted by Arbuckle at the party, and died as a result of trauma suffered during the attack. While other theories were put forward for the cause of Rappe’s condition (including cystitis), Arbuckle was tried for manslaughter.
After three trials, Arbuckle was formally acquitted, but his career never recovered from the scandal.