8 female icons who died mysterious or gruesome deaths

8 female icons who died mysterious or gruesome deaths

These women have inspired us, but died under mysterious circumstances. Their deaths have remained unexplained over the years.

"I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness..." These famous lines by Allen Ginsberg can be invoked when we remember a few names that are mainly seen as ink-blots without explanation on history's wrinkled pages. Iconic public figures catch our fancy and often times we end up making them larger than life. Hence, their achievements and death produce a deep impact on their followers. 

Here is a list of iconic women who were found dead under mysterious and unsettling circumstances, some of which were gruesome and inhumane acts of brutality. 

1. Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart (1897-1937) (Wikimedia)
Amelia Earhart (1897-1937) (Wikimedia)

Her case is poetically mysterious. Earhart was the first woman to fly over the Atlantic Ocean, solo. Her writings were influential, and she was a visiting advisor at Purdue University and her membership with the National Women's Party attracted a ton of admiration from young women. She was also one of the early supporters of Equal Rights Amendment. 

In 1937, while embarking on a mission to circumnavigate the globe in a Purdue-funded Lockheed Model 10-E Electra, she disappeared on route to the Pacific. No wreckage was found. Nobody knows what happened to her till now. 

2. Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962) (Wikimedia)
Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962) (Wikimedia)

A style icon and a diva of the 50s. She remains a cultural symbol of feminine liberty and freedom. From being raises at several foster homes in L.A to being the most desired woman of America her life was truly spectacular. Monroe is still widely popular for voicing her progressive views and liberal thoughts, during an era when women were not given any chance to voice their opinions.

She was allegedly having a stormy affair with President John F. Kenndy and his brother Robert. Her death was officially called a suicide from an overdose of sleeping pills. However, many believe that it could be a murder by mafia gangs who were against Kennedy brothers at the time. 

3. Diana, Princess of Wales

Princess Diana of Wales (1961 to 1997) (Wikimedia)
Princess Diana of Wales (1961 to 1997) (Wikimedia)

One of the most loved members of the English Royal Family, she had used her position to work in social areas of cancer, landmines, HIV/AIDS to bring a change. Despite her failing marriage, Diana had managed to win the people but not the media.

Her car crash at Pont de l'Alma road tunnel in Paris, 1997, still remains a mystery and people speculate possible involvement from unnamed and illustrious individuals behind the tragic accident.

4. Elizabeth Short 

Elizabeth Short (1924 - 1947)  (Wikimedia)
Elizabeth Short (1924 - 1947)  (Wikimedia)

The iconic actress was famous for her beauty and her poise, but only after her death. Her death remains one of the most violent and brutal deaths in the history of celebrity murders. The 22-year-old aspiring actress was murdered gruesomely in Los Angeles in 1947.

The case was never solved, however, the media chose to name her the Black Dahlia. Short's naked body was found, severed in two pieces in an empty parking lot on the west side of South Norton Avenue. The killer had given her a "Glassglow Smile" (cuts at the corners of the mouth). 

5. Indira Gandhi

Indira Gandhi (1917 - 1948) (Wikimedia)
Indira Gandhi (1917 - 1948) (Wikimedia)

The third Prime Minister of India, known for her changes in policy and statesmanship. She was also responsible for the infamous Operation Blue Star and the Declaration of emergency in India. Her assassination by her own bodyguards shook the entire nation.

On 31 October 1984, two of Gandhi's bodyguards, Satwant Singh and Beant Singh, shot her with their service weapons in the garden of her Safdarjung Road residence, in New Delhi. Her body sustained 30 bullet wounds from medium range. 

6. Benazir Bhutto 

Benazir Bhutto (1953 - 2007) (Wikimedia)
Benazir Bhutto (1953 - 2007) (Wikimedia)

Benazir Bhutto was twice elected as the Prime Minister of Pakistan and was a forerunner of democracy. She was known as the lady with an agenda for her country. In 2007, two months prior to her assassination, attempts were made to murder her. The 2007 bombings killed reportedly 180 people.

After she was done addressing a rally in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, she was shot at and a suicide bomber had immediately blown up the area. Killing Benazir and 24 other people. 

7. Natalie Wood 

Natalie Wood (1938 - 1981) (Wikimedia)
Natalie Wood (1938 - 1981) (Wikimedia)

Natalie had begun her career as a child artist and had gone on to become a teen sensation. Natalie's death is again a mysterious one, where the actual causes are still questionable. While shooting the film Brainstorm, she had taken a boat trip for her weekend.

The circumstances surrounding her drowning are unknown. She was with her husband and her male co-star along with the captain of the boat. The autopsy report revealed that Wood had bruises on her body and arms as well as an abrasion on her left cheek. Even after opening the case 30 years later, in 2011, the clear reason for her drowning is not clear. 

8. Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) (Wikimedia)
Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) (Wikimedia)

Plath has been a controversial figure in American Literature. She was a poet, novelist and a short story writer. She had repeatedly been in unsatisfactory relationships and suffered from clinical depression. She was the forerunner of the confessional poetry movement and had almost perfected her style.

Her works primarily deal with death and sorrow. She had attempted suicide several times before finally in 1963, she decided to put her head in an oven, with the gas turned on. Her body had shown signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. 

These are some of the instances which still remains the most controversial tales and occurrences that make us question the prize of brilliance and fame, and how ephemeral it can all be, still unexplained, unsolved.

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