When A Silent Movie Icon Was Shot Dead In 1922, Police Suspected Two Of Hollywood’s Biggest Stars

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Image: IMDb
Image: via IMDb

A voice cries out in the early morning of February 2, 1922. Henry Peavey has just discovered the body of his boss, director William Desmond Taylor. A single bullet wound ripped through his back the night before. No one could have suspected it then, but two of Hollywood’s biggest stars will be accused of the crime.

Image: Twitter/ClassicActorsOfHollywood
Image: via Twitter/ClassicActorsOfHollywood

The man who would become William Desmond Taylor came into the world as William Cunningham Deane-Tanner on April 26, 1872, in County Carlow, Ireland. When he turned 18, Taylor left the Emerald Isle behind for the United States to work on a Kansas ranch. At the time, many wealthy families sent male offspring to America in the hope of turning their sons into gentleman farmers. Which is a posh way of saying that they cultivate the land for pleasure rather than profit.

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Image: YouTube/John Greenstreet
Image: via YouTube/John Greenstreet

Once in Kansas, though, Taylor never became the gentleman farmer that his parents envisioned. Instead, he fell back into a hobby that he had before he moved overseas – acting. He ended up leaving the Midwest behind for New York City, where he worked at an antiques store and started dating the owner’s daughter, Ethel May Hamilton.

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