The 7 Strangest Celebrity Deaths Of The 1920s

Published September 29, 2012
Updated May 30, 2018

William Desmond Taylor

William Desmond Taylor Publicity

Zachary Mule

On February 1, 1922, William Desmond Taylor was found dead inside his Los Angeles bungalow with a bullet wound in his back. His murder investigation captivated the country and the case remains unsolved today.

The actor and director of 59 silent films had $78, a silver cigarette case, a pocket watch, and a locket holding a photograph of Mabel Normand, an actress, in his pockets. He was wearing a two-carat diamond ring.

Suspects included: Taylor’s valet and cook, who had stolen his money before; Normand, the actress who Taylor was said to be in love with and was the last person to see him before the murder (she had a cocaine problem that he tried to help her break, so her suppliers were also suspected); Mary Miles Minter, a teenage girl who had an unrequited love for the director; and even Minter’s mother.

In 1964, actress Margaret Gibson reportedly confessed to the murder on her deathbed.