Turner's daughter has always maintained that she killed Stompanato in her mother's defence, but rumours have swirled that Turned killed him herself.

Johnny Stompanato was a bodyguard for Mickey Cohen when he was killed at the hands of teenaged Cheryl Crane.

For years, Lana Turner was the movie star every aspiring actress wanted to be, in part for her magical beginnings. As the daughter of working-class parents born in rural Idaho, Turner was discovered purely by chance. Her meteoric rise in Hollywood was nothing short of a fairy tale and she quickly became known as a socialite, always seen with a dashing actor on her arm.

But by the late 1950s, Turner was a Hollywood veteran of 20 years with a sheltered teenage daughter named Cheryl Crane and a waning career. Perhaps chasing her youth, she began dating Johnny Stompanato, a brooding gangster four years her junior.

Stompanato was a notorious playboy and loathed by police and Hollywood alike, but he was tolerated because he enjoyed the protection of contacts in L.A.’s criminal underworld. Turner soon discovered that Johnny Stompanato, renowned for his violent temper, was more than she’d bargained for and suffered physical and mental abuse at his hands.

But then, Turner’s daughter took matters into her own hands — and fatally stabbed Stompanato one fateful April night in 1958. What ensued was a scandal the likes of which Hollywood had yet seen.


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