The Horrifying Crime Scene Of Actress Lana Clarkson's Murder

On the evening of February 2, 2003, 40-year-old actress and model Lana Jean Clarkson was working as a hostess at the House of Blues in West Hollywood, California. Later that same night, The Scotsman reports she met music producer Phil Spector at the restaurant and club. Clarkson and Spector eventually struck up a conversation, and Spector invited Clarkson back to his Alhambra, California home, which was referred to as the "Pyrenees Castle" due to its unique design and sheer size.

In the early morning hours of February 3, 2003, Clarkson accompanied Spector to "the castle" in his personal limousine. Approximately one hour after they arrived, the limousine driver called authorities to report he heard a gunshot. Spector was seen walking out the back door of the home with a gun in his hand. According to witness reports, the music producer said, "I think I just killed someone."

A native of Long Beach, California, Clarkson traveled throughout the world as a fashion model. According to IMDb, She appeared in several films, including "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" and "Deathstalker." She went on to star in "Barbarian Queen" in 1985 and the sequel, "Barbarian Queen II: The Empress Strikes Back" in 1990. Clarkson also appeared in several television series, including, "Three's Company," "Night Court," and "Silk Stalkings."

Clarkson was described as a kind and giving person. She enjoyed interacting with fans and loved attending comic book conventions and signing autographs.

Lana Clarkson was generous and loved meeting her fans

As reported by Los Angeles Times, Lana Clarkson volunteered for an organization called Project Angel Food and delivered meals to AIDS and HIV patients throughout Los Angeles. As her career began slowing down, Clarkson supplemented her income by working at the House of Blues.

A native of New York City, Harvey Philip Spector, who was commonly known as Phil Spector, was a music producer who produced 20 hit songs and became a millionaire by the time he turned 21. According to Biography, Spector was specifically known for his development of the so-called "Wall of Sound," which involves overlaying multiple musicians playing various instruments to create a dense, layered sound. Spector worked with numerous world-renowned musicians and bands, including The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, and Ike and Tina Turner. However, despite his success, Spector reportedly experienced mental illness.

Biography reports Spector was known to become reclusive for long periods of time, and when he did interact with others, his behavior was often bizarre and erratic. However, his talent was never in question. In 1989, Spector was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. According to Court TV, Spector was accused, on several occasions, of having a violent streak. Several women would later testify that Spector had abused them and had, at times, threatened them at gunpoint. Despite the controversies, Spector continued writing and producing music until his arrest in 2003.

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

He claimed Lana Clarkson died by suicide

As reported by Crime Library, authorities arrived at Phil Spector's home just after 5:00 a.m. When they entered the house, they found Spector standing over Lana Clarkson's body, which was slumped in a chair in the foyer. She was fully dressed in a black dress, black nylons, and black shoes, and had a leopard print purse on her right shoulder.

Authorities confirmed Clarkson was deceased upon their arrival at the scene. She had suffered a single gunshot wound to the back of her mouth, which was later determined to be her cause of death. Law enforcement officials found the apparent weapon, a .38 Colt revolver, on the floor next to Clarkson's left foot. Upon closer inspection of the weapon, it was revealed to contain five live rounds and one spent cartridge.

While conducting a more thorough search of the house, Crime Library reports authorities found blood-soaked towels on the sink and floor of one of the bathrooms. They also found bloodstains on one of the doorknobs. When questioned, Spector insisted Clarkson died by suicide. However, authorities noted the music producer was unwilling to cooperate or answer any further questions. From the time authorities arrived on scene, Spector kept his hands in his pockets and refused to remove them. When the officers attempted to place him under arrest, Spector struggled until they were forced to use a taser to calm him down. According to Crime Library, Spector was arrested just after 6:00 a.m.

If you have been impacted by incidents of mass violence, or are experiencing emotional distress related to incidents of mass violence, you can call or text Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 for support.

Phil Spector was convicted of killing Lana Clarkson

Although he was arrested and charged with the murder of Lana Clarkson, Phil Spector insisted the actress died by suicide. As reported by Crime Library, Spector said he did not know Clarkson prior to meeting her at the House of Blues. He said she had been drinking throughout the evening and was "loud and drunk" before they left the House of Blues. However, he denied being intoxicated himself. Spector said he had "no idea" where Clarkson got the gun, and he had "no idea who she was or what her agenda was."

During Spector's trial, Billboard reports the coroner, Dr. Louis Pena, testified that bruising inside Clarkson's mouth indicated the gun was forced into her mouth. Pena also testified that Clarkson had several "significant" bruises on her arm and wrist. Her testimony contradicted Spector's assertion that Clarkson placed the gun in her own mouth and died by suicide. Pena said the bullet went through the back of her mouth, through her head, and ultimately severed her spine. She said Clarkson's death was likely instantaneous, and she probably did not suffer.

Biography reports Spector's first trial ended in a mistrial, as the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict. However, he was found guilty of second-degree murder and subsequently sentenced to 19 years in prison during his second trial. He was also ordered to pay Clarkson's mother $17,000 to cover funeral expenses. Phil Spector died of natural causes on January 16, 2021.

If you have been impacted by incidents of mass violence, or are experiencing emotional distress related to incidents of mass violence, you can call or text Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 for support.