Fourteen celebrities dead before their time, fourteen last days that lead to fourteen dramatic investigations and fourteen deaths that hold the key to fourteen amazing lives. The Final 24 is a compelling documentary series unlocking the hidden secrets, psychological flaws and events that result in the tragic deaths of fourteen global icons. Every episode maps out the final 24 hours of a different famous person’s life. The series weaves the star’s back-story with events from their last day, which lays bare the threads of fate that led inextricably from childhood to the moment of death. These are no ordinary biographies. They’re psychological detective stories attempting to uncover the mystery of why the celebrity died. The series premieres on Wednesday, June 3rd at 9/8c, but until then, let’s get a little background at all of the stories we’ll be discussing throughout the season.
Sid Vicious led a punk rebellion as a member of the Sex Pistols. He was an iconic musician, but was also a suspected murderer and heroin addict. Fresh off his release from Rikers Prison in New York City, Vicious went out to celebrate his freedom. Despite being drug-free for a while, he was hell-bent on self destruction and ingested a massive amount of heroin. He was discovered dead the next morning at only 21 years old.
For seven years, Nicole Brown Simpson’s trophy wife image obscured the ugly reality of serious domestic violence between her and the NFL legend, OJ Simpson. Divorced for the last two years of her life, however, Nicole was discovering her independence and wanted to have fun. That is until one night when she put the kids to bed and waited up for her friend, Ron Goldman. When he stops by, both are brutally attacked and left for dead on the lawn.
September 7, 1996, although reluctant about going to Las Vegas to play a gig, Tupac eventually relented, and enjoyed some high-stakes gambling before attending a heavyweight prizefight featuring his friend, Mike Tyson. Pumped up by Tyson’s victory, Tupac himself was involved in a violent brawl, and headed back to his hotel to freshen up. When Tupac finally arrived at the club for his own performance, a white Cadillac pulls up and a gunman fires a heavy round of bullets at the rapper’s car, mortally wounding him with a punctured lung.
Smith first gained popularity in Playboy magazine when she won the title of 1993 Playmate of the Year. On February 8, 2007, she was sick, very weak, and had been sleeping a lot. When she couldn’t be wakened from her sleep, she wass rushed to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 2:49 pm. Her death was ruled an “accidental drug overdose” due to ingesting excessive amounts of chloral hydrate—a potent sleep medication—in combination with therapeutic levels of other medications.
Whether you call him “Jim Morrison” or “The Lizard King” you know him as a rock & roll icon. He was a poet that wrote some of the most incredible lyrics of all time and fronted The Doors. In 1971, Jim Morrison and his long-time girlfriend fell asleep after taking drugs, but woke up because Morrison was having trouble breathing. Instead of seeking medical attention, Morrison decided to take a bath and his girlfriend went back to bed. She found him at 8:30 am on July 3, 1971, dead in the bathtub making him a member of the notorious “27 Club”.
John Kennedy Jr. was American royalty and a cultural icon. His promise of living out his political legacy bequeathed to him on the day of his father’s assassination, was cut short over the Atlantic Ocean one July night. Kennedy’s death and that of his wife and sister-in-law, were the result of a series of bad decisions Kennedy had made during his last day.
Versace founded the international fashion house that changed the industry. He decided costumes, accessories, fragrances, make-up, home furnishings, and of course, clothing. On July 15, 1997, Versace set out on his morning walk to pick up his newspapers and magazines. Andrew Cunanan, an envious admirer, strikes just as Versace was returning home from his morning stroll. He shoots and kills Versace a few yards from his mansion.
Janis Joplin’s gravely voice made her an icon. Throughout her life she performed at iconic festivals and her stage presence was unparalleled. She also struggled with drug use. On October 3, 1970, after being clean for 6 months, Janis Joplin, bored and lonely, called her dealer. After an evening at the recording studio, Joplin returned to her hotel room to prepare her fix and the following morning, she was discovered by her manager, dead from a massive overdose.
Hunter S. Thompson was an author trapped in the body of a rock star. His most notorious pieces of works include Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Hell’s Angels. At 67, with a broken leg, two hip operations, and in chronic pain, Thompson could no longer live up to the legend he’d created. On February 20, 2005, he decided to end it all with one of his favorite possessions: A Smith and Wesson 45.
River Phoenix was one of Hollywood’s golden boys. His first iconic role was in Stand By Me, and then he went on to working on other films and was even nominated for an Academy Award. After a tough day on set, he hit LA’s fashionable nightclub The Viper Room. He was looking forward to getting on stage and jamming with his friends. When the plan changed, a disappointed Phoenix ingested a lethal cocktail of drugs, staggers outside, and collapses on the sidewalk where paramedics are unable to revive him.
Comedy wouldn’t be the same with John Belushi. He was one of the original members of Saturday Night Live and developed some of their most iconic characters. In 1982, the legendary comic-actor was on a drug-fueled binge in L.A. He had been battling his drug addiction for seven years. Throughout the night, he ingested the massive amounts of drugs that finally got the better of him.
He helped to shape the sound of Motown in the 1960s, first as an in-house session player and later as a solo artist with a string of hits, earning him the nicknames “Prince of Motown” and “Prince of Soul”. On his last day alive soul superstar Marvin Gaye was depressed and paranoid. He abandoned his latest tour and was holed up at his parents’ house in Los Angeles, California. His excessive drug use escalated and with it, the tension in the home. His father exploded in a violent climax when Marvin provoked his father into shooting him twice.
April 18, 1993, one of the most notorious religious leaders in the United States, David Koresh, and 83 of his followers were trapped inside their Waco, Texas compound for more than 50 days. Unwilling to surrender and surrounded by authorities, the siege is the longest modern-day standoff in American law enforcement history. In 24 hours, however, it was all over, and Koresh and 73 others were dead.
Keith Moon was known equally as being a revolutionary drummer and for being a bit of a party animal. On his last night alive, Moon headed to a star-studded party, hosted by his friend, Paul McCartney. Surround by temptation, he made an uncharacteristically early departure from the party, returning home where he took several handfuls of Hemineverin and fell asleep. Waking up early and disorientated Moon pops more pills and falls asleep again, but this time he didn’t wake again.
Tags: Anna Nicole, David Koresh, Final 24, Ginanni Versace, Hunter S. Thompson, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, John Kennedy Jr., Jon Belushi, Keith Moon, Marvin Gaye, Nicole Brown Simpson, River Pheonix, Sid Vicious, Tupac Shakur
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