What Drove Music Legend Phil Spector To Fatally Shoot An Actress In His Castle-Style Mansion

The legendary music producer was convicted of murdering actress Lana Clarkson.

Phil Spector was a world-renowned music producer who became a self-made millionaire by age 21. Among his many successes, he produced music for The Ronettes, Ike and Tina Turner, and George Harrison and John Lennon's solo albums. Spector was the man behind hits like “Da Doo Ron Ron.” He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.

He was equally known for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson on February 3, 2003. She was fatally shot inside Spector’s 35-room mansion, known as the “Pyrenees Castle,” in Alhambra, California. Clarkson, age 40 at her death, had small roles in iconic '80s films like "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" and "Scarface." She also made appearances on television shows like "Three's Company," "The Jeffersons," "Who's the Boss?" and "Knight Rider." She was working as a hostess at the House of Blues in Los Angeles when she was killed. She was found shot dead, slouched in a chair, from a single gunshot to the mouth, according to court documents. She was wearing her purse when she died.

At the time of her death, Spector said, according to court documents, "I think I killed somebody.” Later he claimed that Clarkson killed herself.

He was found guilty of second-degree murder in 2009, according to the New York Times

Prosecutors alleged that Spector shoved a gun into Clarkson's mouth and pulled the trigger after she rebuffed his advances and attempted to leave the Castle. Spector's defense team argued that the actress was frustrated with her struggling career and turned the gun on herself.

The first murder trial for Clarkson’s death ended in a hung jury two years earlier. He was sentenced to 19 years to life in prison, according to the Los Angeles Times.

 

[Photo: Getty Images]

Crime Time is your destination for breaking crime news, original reporting, and information about Oxygen's programming. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our Martinis & Murder podcast!