It’s been roughly two decades since the tragic death of the aspiring actress Lana Clarson who died at the hands of the renowned record producer Phil Spector. Even though the case had a few twists and turns during the course of its investigation and trials, the accused was rightfully punished by the law. The tragic demise of Lana Clarkson has inspired many documentaries and even a film in which Al Pacino starred. Here is everything you need to know about the sad event that occurred on February 3, 2003.
Who was Lana Clarkson?
Lana Jean Clarkson was an aspiring actress who dreamt of becoming a popular and talented actress in Hollywood. Even though she had not achieved that dream of being a very popular star, Lana was part of some of the movies which were generally categorized under the ‘sword-and-sorcery’ genre during the 1980s. One of the notable works of Lana Clarkson was the Barbarian Queen which came out in 1985.
Lana was born on April 5, 1962, in Long Beach, California. Lana did much of her basic education in Northern California where she attended Cloverdale High School and Pacific Union College Preparatory School. Eventually, after the death of her father, Lana Clarkson and her family moved to Southern California and settled in Los Angeles County. It was after they settled there that Lana decided to pursue her career in the entertainment industry as a model and actress.
Lana Clarkson made her on-0screen debut in the movie First Times at Ridgemont High. The movie was released in the year 1982 and was directed by Amy Heckerling. Lana played only a minor part in the film. She also appeared in the movie Scarface which was released in 1983, before landing a major role in the film Deathstalker. The movie was released in 1983 and was directed by Roger Corman. Lana worked with director Cornam on around five movies. The second movie with Roger Corman gained Lana a break in her career. The movie titled Barbarian Queen, in which Lana played the character of Amethea is one of her most remembered roles.
Even though Lana was cast in more movies from there on, she did not get where she aspired to be and her career was limited to B movie roles. Around the age of 30, chances in movies also became slick for her, and she had to find other alternatives for her to make the ends meet. It was hoe Lana took up a job at House of Blues in West Hollywood as a hostess in January 2003.
Who was Phil Spector?
Widely regarded as one of the most successful and influential record producers of the 1960s, Harvey Philip Spector was born on December 26, 1939. Phil Spector was born in the Bronx. Phil moved from the Bronx to Los Angeles when he was a teenager. He began his career in the field of record producing around 1958 with the pop music group ‘The Teddy Bears .’ The status and prominence of Phil rose to another level when he became the producer of ‘Let It Be,’ which was the 12th and final studio album by the sensational band Beatles. Phil has also recorded multiple solo tracks by the members of the band like John Lennon, who was the co-lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of the band, and also George Harrison who was the lead guitarist of the band.
Even though the professional life of Phil Spector showed that he was a well-accomplished and successful record producer, his family and personal life status of Phil highlighted the fact that he was a very cruel man with a sick personality. Spector first got married to Annette Merar in 1963. Sadly, the marriage did not last longer than three years. They got divorced in 1966. Phil was already in a relationship with Ronnie Bennett who was a singer in the girl group ‘The Ronnettes.’ They got married in 1968 and Phil adopted three sons Donte, Louis and Gary after his marriage to her.
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In her memoir titled ‘Be My Baby: How I Survived Mascara, Miniskirts, and Madness’, Ronnie accused Phil of keeping her captive in their mansion. She also added that Phil restricted her from performing and that h even threatened to hire a hitman to kill Ronnie. His two sons also came up with serious acquisitions against him for the case of sexual abuse. Phil got married to Rachelle Short while he was on bail in 1991.
The Murder Case of Lana Clarkson
The events that led to the tragic death of Lana Clarkson took place on February 3, 2003. During the time of the event, Lana Clarkson was working as a hostess at House of Blues in Lo Angeles. Phil visited the establishment on the night of the murder day. Owing o popularity and status, Lana was instructed by the authorities to take good care of Phil. Late into the night, when it was time,e for Phill to leave, he invited Lana who went along with him to his mansion. They left the House of Blues in Phil’s limousine. When they reached the mansion, Phil and Lana went inside while their driver waited outside.
After about an hour they reached the mansion, according to the statement of Phil’s driver, he heard a gunshot and saw Phil coming out the back door. According to the affidavits, Phil told “I think I just shot her.” It was the driver of Phil who alerted 911. When the police officers arrived at the scene, what they witnessed was the body of Lana lying on a chair with a gun near her foot. While being questioned initially, Phil replied that the gunshot was an accident but later when he was questioned at the police station, Phil told that Lana shot herself on the night.
The Trial and Punishment
The trial of Phil Spector was very sensational. Starting from the outfit, Phil appeared in a variety of costumes and unusual wigs for the trial. At first, he was freed on a $1 million bail but was later indicted for the charge of second-degree murder. The attorney who represented Phil tried to portray Lana as a depressed actress who committed suicide but those arguments were defended by the prosecutors with multiple testimonies from women who were the subject of Phil’s cruel nature. The trial resulted in a hung jury and eventually called on a mistrial on September 26, 2007.
The second trial of Phil Spector began in October 2008. There was not much show-off from Phil’s side in terms of outfits, wigs, bodyguards, or even a big legal team. The earlier attempts of Phil’s cruelties on women were brought up once again in the courtroom and the accusation that Lana was depressed and suicidal also did not hold. This time the jurors were sure that Phil Sp[ector was really responsible for the murder of Lana Clarkson and sentenced to 19 years to life in prison. Phil Spector spend the rest of his life in prison until he passed away on January 16, 2021. The cause of death of Phil Spector was reported to be complications from COVID – 19. Phil was 81 years old when he passed away.
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