When Lana Turner’s Abusive, Gangster Boyfriend Was Killed—by Her Daughter
Cheryl Crane, Lana Turner’s daughter, stabbed Turner’s gangster boyfriend, Johnny Stompanato, to death in 1958. But mystery still surrounds one of Hollywood’s greatest scandals.
The movie star Lana Turner had been trying to break up with her abusive mafioso boyfriend for some time. On the April evening of Good Friday 1958, she decided to end things once and for all. The story goes that she had discovered that Johnny Stompanato was not in fact 43, as he had told her, but four years her junior, 32, and it was the last straw.
In the melee that ensued in the Turner home after Stompanato objected to the star calling it quits, the young “underworld figure,” as the New York Times dubbed him, would end up dead from a knife wound to the stomach and Turner’s 14-year-old daughter would go on trial for murder.
Turner’s early life in the pictures was the stuff of Hollywood legend. She was discovered (ice cream parlor, skipping class) at a young age (16) and immediately given a role in her first film (They Won’t Forget, murder victim).