Born 1895, Virginia Rappe became famous only after her bizarre death in 1921. During her brief life, the pretty young party girl worked as an artist's model, appearing on the cover of sheet music for "Let Me Call You Sweethart." At a party in September 1921, she and a friend crashed a party thrown by the housemate of Fatty Arbuckle, a rotund former plumber that rocketed to fame in the new Hollywood playing slapstick comedic roles that would later pave the way for self-effacing fat guys like Chris Farley. This is where the story gets sketchy. According to Fatty, he left the party at 3 a.m. and upon entering his bedroom found Ms. Rappe passed out on the floor. He helped her to the bed and gave her a glass of water. Arbuckle says he left a scant ten minutes later. Shortly after, he and other party guest returned to the room where Ms. Rappe was found (fully clothed) screaming out in pain. Hotel management was called and Virginia was taken to another room. Four days later she died from acute peritonitis. Virginia's friend, an known extortionist named Maude Delmont told police that Fatty had raped and killed Virginia. Fatty was immediately arrested for murder. What a scandal! In the months that followed a high profile murder case ensued in the media, the story was hot hot hot! Newspapers covering the trial sold like hotcakes. Fatty was already convicted in the press. Virginia became a angelic martyr in the media , despite her frequent abortions and bouts with STDs. The defense case was weak and flawed. Maude changed her story countless times and evidence of witness coersion and tampering came to the attention of the presiding judge. The charge was eventually reduced to manslaughter. Fatty Arbuckle was eventually aquitted, but his Hollywood career was ruined. It is now generally believed that Virginia died generalized peritonitis , a ruptured fallopian tube (botched abortion) and gonorrhea.

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