The dark story behind the bright lights of Tinseltown
Hollywood starlet Lana Turner was one Tinseltown’s most recognizable faces in the 1940s and 50s. But, when the Academy Award-winning actress began dating mobster Johnny Stompanato—a thug for west coast mob boss Mickey Cohen—all the lights and glamor of Hollywood did not brighten the darkness of her personal life.
Johnny’s intense jealousy over Lana ruled their relationship from the get-go and Lana’s daughter, Cheryl, witnessed her mother’s bruises and abuse first-hand. On an infamous night in 1958, Lana attempted to break it off with Johnny but he predictably turned violent and Cheryl tried to protect her mother with a knife, killing him. The subsequent murder trial made for the biggest headlines of the year, its drama eclipsing every Hollywood movie.
In A Murder in Hollywood, Casey Sherman pulls back Tinseltown’s velvet curtain to reveal a dark underbelly of celebrity, , rife with toxic masculinity and casual violence against women. But in this case, Lana Turner and her daughter finally stood up, which makes for one of the 20th century's most notorious true crime stories.
CASEY SHERMAN is an author, journalist, and screenwriter. Several of his books have been made into major motion pictures or are in development.
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