Murder tends to get people’s attention. Of all the crimes that one can think of that go against the law, and the moral code of man, murder is by far the biggest. When you get accused of murder, it tends to have a pretty big effect upon your life, even if it does not become a big deal in the media. When you are accused of murder when you are already a celebrity, or if the media decides to take your case and make a big deal of it, then your life as you know it is over forever, even if you are ultimately acquitted. Or that’s what they say, anyway.
But is it really? What follows is a list of people who were accused of some of the most high profile murder cases ever, but were never convicted. Some of them were acquitted of all charges and have gone on to try and live a normal life, even though many people still consider them to be murderers. Some are now living openly and even made some money from their alleged crime, and some have gone into hiding. Other people on this list were not convicted of the murder that they were charged with, but were convicted of lesser charges and are now back out walking the street. Others died before they got a day in court, so no one will ever know for sure exactly what happened.
All of these people were accused of murder, but where are they now and what have they done with themselves? Here is what happened to the 15 famous accused murderers.
Of all the people on this list, Robert Durst might possibly be the biggest puzzle of all. He has been the main suspect in no less than three murders, one of which occurred when he was in hiding, and dressed like a woman. No, I am not making that up. He allegedly killed his neighbor, hacked up his body and disposed of it. Despite this, he was not convicted of murder, as he got away with saying he killed the neighbor in self-defense. This would have been the end of it if Durst was not insane enough to participate in an HBO documentary about the case called The Jinx in which he implicated himself in the murder of Susan Berman. He is currently in prison awaiting trial for that murder after being convicted of unrelated gun charges.
Amanda Knox was an American exchange student living in Italy when she was accused of acting with two other men in robbing and killing a roommate during a sexual ritual. Don’t you hate when that happens to you? She maintained her innocence, and while there was no real proof that she ever did anything – she was convicted. The case, as many of the ones on this list did, became a huge media circus. Although that seemed negative for her at the time, it did keep the pressure on and eventually her conviction was overturned. She was then retried, found guilty, and again the case was overturned. She now lives in the U.S. again, writes occasionally for a local newspaper, and wrote a book about the case called Waiting to be Heard: A Memoir.
In the aftermath of a Super Bowl party a fight broke out between Lewis and his friends, and another group of people. Apparently Lewis and his friends won, because two of the guys they were fighting with died of stab wounds. Lewis and two of his friends were charged with murder. Lewis ended up getting the charges dropped because he agreed to testify against his friends, who ended up not being convicted anyway. Lewis recently offered this up as proof that he didn’t murder anybody, “There I was, all dressed out in my mink coat, my fine suit. Dude dresses like that, he’s not looking for a fight.” Long term the charges of murder did nothing to hamper the career of Lewis. He continued to play in the NFL, recently finishing up a sure-fire Hall of Fame Career, and he is currently an analyst for ESPN, however unbelievable that may sound.
Alright, so most of us know John Holmes. He is famous for being a star of adult movies. In fact, he appeared in roughly 2,500 of those types of films over his career. He was also known as a guy who had a really, really large package. Hey, don’t blame me for saying that- he actually was. What many don’t know is that Holmes is also known for having been involved in the Wonderland murders. A series of people were murdered in the drug house of the Wonderland Gang, Holmes was either thought to have lured them to their deaths, or to have been a mostly innocent bystander. Holmes was arrested and tried for his role in the murders, but was eventually acquitted. Holmes died of Aids complications when he was just 43-years-old.
Torrance Hatch is a rapper who is also known as Lil Boosie. He was charged with murder after the death of Terry Boyd, a guy who was rumored to have loaned Lil Boosie money. A lot of Lil Boosie’s raps were about killing people, and he was thought to be a part of a gang; both of these things were used against him by prosecutors. In fact they said that they think he was involved in five other murders. He ended up being acquitted of murder charges, but did go to prison for about five years on drug charges. He now goes by Boosie Badazz, which is actually pretty lame, but I am not going to tell him that to his face. He continues to have a successful career in music and survived a battle with kidney cancer.
Talk about life imitating art. There are not too many successful actors that catch a murder charge after trying to break into a vacant house, but Lillo Brancato is one of them. He was the star of A Bronx Tale, and also on The Sopranos before this unfortunate incident. Brancato and an associate, Steven Armento, were caught trying to break into a vacant house; the officer that came to arrest them was shot and killed by Armento, who was eventually convicted of murder. Brancato was also charged with murder, but ended up just being convicted of attempted burglary, for which he did 10 years in prison. He was released in 2013 and started acting again, because hey, who cares about morals? He had a role in the movie Back in the Day.
Don King is well known for being an absolute legend in boxing. He has promoted boxers from Joe Frazier to Mike Tyson and has made hundreds of millions doing it. Back in the day, before he was famous, King ran an illegal gambling house in Cleveland. Apparently he took it pretty seriously because back in 1966 he stomped a man to death who owed him $600. He was initially found guilty of second-degree murder, but the charge was later dropped to manslaughter and he only served four years in prison In 1983 the Governor of Ohio pardoned King, because that is what happens to rich people. King has an estimated net worth of around $150 million. He supported Donald Trump in the 2016 election.
Some accused murderers die before anyone knows what really happened. A lot of you may have wondered why they got rid of Half Sack, who was played by Johnny Lewis on Sons of Anarchy. On Feb. 10, 2012 he was arrested for allegedly battering a woman and was later charged with assault and battery. He was arrested again on Feb. 18 for attempting residential burglary and was ultimately sent to jail on April 12 for that arrest. It is no wonder that Kurt Sutter decided to write him off the show. Shortly after his stint on the show ended, Lewis died by either falling, or jumping to his death off a roof of a house. Inside of the house was the body of an 81-year-old woman who died of blunt force trauma, and strangulation. There was also a cat beaten to death inside of the home.
Snoop has become so adored at this point in his career, it is hard to recall that he used to be considered dangerous; I mean the dude hangs out with Martha Stewart on Martha and Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party for crying out loud. But it’s true. At one point he was arrested and charged with the death of gang member Philip Woldemariam, who was shot by Snoop’s bodyguard. Snoop was driving the car that the shots were fired from and was charged with murder. He was acquitted because of a lack of evidence and has continued to act and be a celebrity. What makes it all kind of amazing is that he has been arrested at least eight times over the years, but is still thought of as cuddly old Snoop.
Richard Jewell was never officially charged with murder, but he was pretty much tried and convicted in the media. He discovered a backpack filled with three pipe bombs at the Centennial Olympic Park at the 1996 Summer Olympics. He alerted police and helped to evacuate the area before the bomb exploded, and saved many people from death. One person did die because of the bomb. Within days Jewell went from hero to chief suspect, as the media reported that the FBI was investigating him. For weeks the nation was pretty much sure that Jewell had done it, and the media piled all over it. The only problem is, he actually didn’t do anything. The real bomber was Eric Rudolph, who eventually pleaded guilty. Jewell died of natural causes at age 44.
John Simon Ritchie, who was later known as Sid Vicious, was a member of the Sex Pistols, the first famous punk band who are still influential today. Vicious claims he woke up one morning after an evening of doing drugs and found his long time girlfriend Nancy Spungen dead on the bathroom floor of their hotel room. She had a single stab wound in her stomach and had bled to death. Vicious was arrested and charged with her murder. He was able to bail out of jail though, and died of a heroin overdose before he ever went to trial. This case is still one that people argue about, with some considering Sid and Nancy to be two star-crossed lovers while others think that Vicious was a brutal murderer.
Robert Blake was around forever, he was in the Little Rascals as a kid and was probably best known for starring in the detective show Beretta. While Blake was well known as an actor, he was also known for being more than a bit off his head. Blake was arrested for murdering his wife, Bonny, in their car outside an LA restaurant. Blake had a cool alibi- he said he went back into the restaurant to get his gun, which he forgot at the table.Somehow he was acquitted of all charges, which was pretty wild considering how nuts Blake is and how bad his alibi was. He later lost a civil trial, and filed for bankruptcy. He hasn’t had any acting roles in years, but has given a few interviews in which he acted totally insane.
We all know OJ, how could we not? He was one of the best running backs ever, was an actor who appeared in those awesome Naked Gun movies, and was the star of numerous commercials. Back in 1994 his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman were murdered in a brutal way. He became a suspect, and went on a low-speed chase through LA that was televised everywhere (I remember watching it in a bar) and was arrested for the murders. The trial was everywhere- one simply could not get away from it on the news or television. He was found not guilty, then wrote a totally bizarre book called If I Did It. One would think that would have been the end of the story, but nope, not when it came to OJ! He was then arrested for being the leader of a bunch of guys who robbed a sports memorabilia dealer in Las Vegas and was sentenced to 33 years in prison, thus writing the final chapter of one of the most bizarre cases in criminal history.
Good old George Zimmerman- he is one guy that just refuses to go away. He shot a teenage kid named Trayvon Martin to death while he was a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida. Overreact much, George? He was eventually indicted on murder charges. After a bizarre trial he was acquitted of murder, because he was “randomly attacked” by Martin. Since then Zimmerman has tried to sell his paintings on eBay and auctioned the gun that he used to kill Martin for $250,000. What a guy! He also has been involved in a series of domestic violence 911 calls from his former wife and girlfriends and has been shot at in a road rage incident, and punched in the face in a bar after allegedly bragging about killing Martin.
Casey was arrested on charges of murder when her three-year-old child’s body was found in a trash bag near her parents’ house. According to Casey, her daughter drowned, and the father got rid of the body. Ummm, come on Casey, really? She was charged with murder but was found not guilty, although she did do a little time for providing false information to law enforcement. Since then Anthony has been sued numerous times, did some probation time because of check-fraud , and declared bankruptcy, which basically means that the lawyers that got her off did not get paid. Karma much? She is now living in an undisclosed location in Florida. Her former bodyguard was interviewed recently and when asked whether he believed Anthony, now 30, was guilty, he replied, “Yes. Without a doubt…I think everybody knew she did it.”