Last season, we blew the roof off some of the biggest celebrity crimes on file. From Marvn Gaye to Rae Carruth to Jam Master Jay, we dove deep.
In season two, we’re taking it to levels you’ve never seen before. From Biggie Smalls to Rubin Hurricane Carter to Michael Jackson, we’re taking on the biggest cases about the biggest names!
See who’s in store for season two!
EPISODE 1: Bumpy Johnson
To law enforcement, he was a scourge. To many living above 125th St, he was considered Harlem’s Robin Hood, even handing out turkeys on Thanksgiving. He was a gentleman who urged children to stay in school, yet he was a hardened criminal who District Attorney William O’Brien once called the “most dangerous man in New York.” Bumpy’s contradictions are still the root of many arguments in Harlem, and the line between fact and myth is a blurry one. What we do know for sure though, is he was courageous enough to wage war against legendary crime boss, Dutch Schultz, and to stand up to the upper echelons of the mafia. Ultimately, he was given the right to control all crime north of 125th street under the blessing of mafia crime boss Lucky Luciano.
His legend has been the source of critically-acclaimed films that include American Gangster and Hoodlum. So, how could a man so feared be so loved at the same time? Along with his family, Celebrity Crime Files will examine the myths surrounding the man, and dispel the falsehoods presented in scripted accounts of his life.
EPISODE 2: John Whitehead
John Whitehead was half of the hit-making duo McFadden and Whitehead, best remembered for their hit song, Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now. He and Gene McFadden made it to the center of the powerhouse label, writing team who worked with the famed Philly International Records. As writing partners, they racked up an incredible 37 Gold and Platinum hit records for the label’s various performers, including Backstabbers and For the Love of Money, reprised as the theme song for The Apprentice.
In 2004, John Whitehead was in his backyard working on his car with a mechanic friend when the pair was ambushed by gunmen. While the mechanic sustained only minor injuries, John was killed instantly. Authoritiesbelieve the mechanic was the intended target and that John’s death was nothing more than collateral damage. The crime, which has never been solved, was a huge blow to his friends and family, including his many children.
EPISODE 3: Scott La Rock
In the early 1980s, a former high school basketball star and young Bronx native named Scott Sterling had just graduated from college in Vermont. Scott was a social worker by day, but by night he was known as Scott La Rock- a club promoter who “would settle for nothing less than stardom.”
Along with KRS-One and D-Nice, La Rock became a founding member of Boogie Down Productions. Their 1987 debut album, Criminal Minded, is considered an all time classic hip-hop record.
But also by 1987, things would change. Scott would be killed just days before he would finally accomplish his dream of international stardom. Was La Rock the target or an unfortunate casualty? The crime remains unsolved to this day.
EPISODE 4: Rubin "Hurricane" Carter
In 1966, at the height of his boxing career, Rubin Carter and 17-year-old friend John Artis were convicted and sentenced to life in prison for a crime they vehemently denied having any involvement in: the late night murder of a bartender and two patrons at the Lafayette Bar and Grill in Paterson, NJ.
In the mid 70’s, following the release of his best selling biography, there was an outcry for Rubin’s release by celebrities that included Muhammad Ali and Bob Dylan. He was ultimately released in 1985, after his case was heard by a federal court judge who had overturned the conviction for reasons of racial prejudice. Since his release, Rubin has been a strong advocate for prisoners who have been convicted for crimes they didn’t commit — estimated to be 1 in 10 prisoners in the United States. He and John Artis remain close friends to this day.
EPISODE 5: Mac Dre
Many rappers rap about crime and “thuggery” in the streets, but Mac Dre is one of the few who actually lived it. Rising above the crime and poverty that plagued his home turf of Vallejo, Mac Dre became a hero and anunderground legend. As one of the originators of “hyphy”, a style of music and dance, known for its infectious energy, he appealed to many crowds of people and brought everyone together for the sake of the party.
Just as his career was hitting new heights, he was arrested for hitting up banks in connection with a string of robberies across northern California. Despite serving a four year prison sentence in 1991, he managed to record an album over the phone from prison, start his own label, and build a huge catalog of music that brought new recognition to Bay Area rap. Mac Dre’s fame was on the rise, once again, but all this would change one early morning in Kansas City, MO, when he was gunned down in a mysterious drive by shooting.
EPISODE 6: Lorenzen Wright
On July 18, 2009, Lorenzen Wright, a celebrated NBA player with theCleveland Cavalier’s and 13 years playing professionally, allegedly made a distressed call to Memphis 911; a scream followed by the sound of rapid gunfire was all that was heard.
It was a mystery for 10 days before Wright’s body was discovered in a field, riddled with bullets. Three and a half year later the crime remains unsolved and friends, family, and fans demand answers. In an epic case of investigation and recreation, Celebrity Crime Files will use all available information, as well as expert analysis to understand the events of that fateful day and the exact moment that Lorenzen Wright lost his life in a hail of bullets.
EPISODE 7: Magnolia Shorty
She was the undisputed Queen of New Orleans bounce music. With her mega hit, “Monkey on the D***," Magnolia Shorty’s reign of being the top female artist of bounce rap was solidified.
Post-Katrina New Orleans can be a violent city. Gun violence statistics rank New Orleans third on the list of cities with the most homicides by guns. Tragically, on December 20, 2010, Magnolia Shorty became one of those victims. While seated in a rental car near her home, several gunmen opened fire on Shorty and her friend Jerome Hampton. They were killedinstantly.
But why? And who would commit such a heinous act upon a well-known and beloved member of the community? It was just the beginning of mystery that would span more than two and a half years.
EPISODE 8: Lyman Bostock
Lyman Bostock was a left-handed hitter with a sweet swing and an even sweeter personality. Signing a five-year contract in 1978 with the California Angels, worth $2.25 million, he became one of baseball’s earliest big earning free agents. But Bostock, wasn’t your average greedy ballplayer. In ’78, after starting out poorly at the plate, he actually tried to return his salary to the Angels. When the team refused to accept it, Bostock announced that he would donate it to charity.
He was one of baseball’s best young hitters by September ’78 when he was shot and killed by a shotgun blast that wasn’t even meant for him. A victim of someone else’s bad marriage, one of baseball’s rising stars was gone in the blink of an eye. What he may have achieved in baseball and in life we will never know.
EPISODE 9: Notorious B.I.G.
Considered one of the greatest rappers of all time, Brooklyn-born Christopher Wallace, known as Notorious B.I.G., burst onto the rap scene in the mid-90s to usher in a new era of hip-hop. But in 1997, after leaving a Source Awards party in Los Angeles, the 24-year-old Biggie was gunned down in what would become the most famous case of hip-hop celebrity murder. Soon thereafter, rapper Tupac Shakur, known to have a beef with Biggie, would also be gunned down in New York, leading many to wonder if the two crimes were related.
In late 2012, the LAPD released a long-classified autopsy report on the death of Biggie, providing a much more detailed and startling depiction of how he was killed that night.
Celebrity Crime Files, along with its forensic team, will thoroughly examine and analyze this new information as well as the case in general to expose new revelations about the case.
EPISODE 10: Michael Winans
A third-generation member of one of gospel music’s first families, Michael Winans was a man of distinction. He’s the grandson of Delores "Mom" Winans and David "Pop" Winans Sr., and the son of Michael Winans Sr., a member of The Winans, a quartet of brothers. His uncle, Marvin Winans, gave the eulogy at Whitney Houston’s funeral and he is the nephew of award-winning singers Bebe and Cece Winans. He released his own album in 2011, titled, “My Own Genre.”
The disgraced recording artist and music producer who has worked with Diddy, Chris Brown and several other artists, was sentenced to 13 years andnine months in federal prison for financial fraud and ordered to make restitution after collecting $8 million from more than 1,000 investors between October 2007 and September 2008 through his connections with various churches in Michigan.
Who is Michael Winans Jr.? Is he actually guilty of committing such a heartless crime on his fellow church goers? If so, how does a man like Winans end up making such poor decisions? Celebrity Crime Files will analyze the facts of the crime and examine such questions.
EPISODE 11: Kwame Kilpatrick
In 2001, at just 31 years old, Kwame Kilpatrick was the youngest candidate ever to be elected mayor of Detroit. From the get-go many of his decisions were considered unpopular, including the closing of the zoo and aquarium in order to balance a budget deficit. Despite a rocky first term, and a less than stellar re-election campaign, Kilpatrick returned to his post for a second term in 2005. With the city continuing to slide into economic crisis he blamed the media for the mess.
But secretly it was alleged that Kilpatrick was using his authorityover the Detroit Water and Sewer board to get kick backs after providing more than $80 million in lucrative contracts to his cronies.
On March 11, 2013, he and his longtime contractor friend Bobby Ferguson were convicted of racketeering and extortion following a lengthy corruptioninvestigation. Kilpatrick was convicted on 24 of 30 counts, including five counts of extortion, racketeering, bribery and several mail, wire and tax fraud charges. Ferguson was found guilty on nine of 11 counts. Kilpatrick’s father, Bernard Kilpatrick, was convicted on a tax charge.
EPISODE 12: Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most successful entertainer of all time, selling hundreds of millions of records, packing stadiums and winning every major accolade that the music industry has to offer.
But the ‘King of Pop’ had physical and emotional scars that reached back to childhood as well as a career was marred by allegations of sexual indiscretions. In 1993, Jackson was accused of molesting a young boy,kicking off a media firestorm. While the charges were never substantiated (Jackson’s lawyers settled all lawsuits out of court) Jackson’s image was tarnished.
In 2009, while prepping for his comeback tour, This is It, Jackson was discovered barely conscious in his rented mansion in LA by his personal physician, Dr.Conrad Murray. Murray claimed to have tried to resuscitate him, but to no avail, although he was scrutinized for the time he wasted prior to contacting 911. Once a dangerous level of painkillers were found in Jackson’s system, Dr. Murray, who prescribed them, was charged and found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. He was sentenced to four years in prison.