Almsot everyone knows what happened on this awful day in history, Sept. 11, 2001. It is likely that the sad memory of this date -- 911 -- will remain in the hearts and minds of the world for centuries. That's why this article is going to focus on another, less-remembered, event that shook the American public to its core on this day nearly 100 years ago. It was on Sept. 11, 1921, that silent film superstar Fatty Arbuckle was arrested on charges of rape and murder.
Fatty Arbuckle (formerly known as Rosco Conkling Arbuckle) was born in 1887 and received his start in showbiz as a vaudeville actor. Later, in 1913, Arbuckle started to appear in various comedies. He became famous for throwing pies and other ridiculous antics on the silver screen. Later, the man created his own film company and started to write and direct movies. In 1919, he secured a $1 million annual contract with Paramount Pictures.
Accused of Murder at the Height of His Career
Just two years later, in 1921, Arbuckle went to a party at a San Francisco hotel. Another partygoer, Virginia Rappe, became drunk and ill at the event. The woman died several days after the party due to a ruptured bladder. Another man who went to the party accused Arbuckle of raping the woman and thereby causing the injury to her bladder.
The San Francisco Police Department arrested and accused Arbuckle of rape and murder on Sept. 11 at the height of his career. Arbuckle steadfastly denied the allegations, but with the arrest -- which came at the height of his career -- the damage had already been done. Even though a jury ultimately acquitted Arbuckle of the allegations, the scandal virtually ended his career.
Career Ruined but Acquitted After 2 Mistrials
Arbuckle's legal proceedings were subjected to two mistrials. Finally, in the third trial, the jurors ruled that Arbuckle was not guilty and they even apologized to him -- presumably for everything that he had gone through. Arbuckle's career never recovered, in spite of his attempts to make a comeback. He struggled with alcoholism and passed away due to heart failure at the young age of 46.
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