Why Did Phil Spector Kill Lana Clarkson? The Convicted Murderer Has Died at Age 81

Lana Clarkson's autopsy had shown that the actress suffered blunt trauma after the barrel of a gun was pushed into her mouth. Read on for more.

Leila Kozma - Author

Jan. 18 2021, Updated 9:01 a.m. ET

lana clarkson autopsy
Source: Getty Images

"She kissed the gun," Phil Spector told Esquire in 2003. 

His fascination with firearms was well-known in the music industry. Regardless, he consistently claimed that Lana Clarkson committed suicide at his Alhambra home, the Pyrenees Castle, on Feb. 3, 2003.

As the autopsy shared as part of the 2007 trial revealed, Spector's claims were false. He was convicted of second-degree murder in April 2009 for killing the actress.

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The autopsy revealed that Lana Clarkson did not commit suicide, unlike Phil Spector claimed.

Spector and the actress first met on Feb. 2, 2003, at the House of Blues, where she was working as a VIP hostess at the time. 

It's understood that Spector ditched his date so that he could accompany Clarkson after she finished her shift. They headed back to his home later that night. 

lana clarkson autopsy
Source: Access/YouTube
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Clarkson's body was found the next morning, slumped in a chair.

Reportedly, Spector emailed several friends explaining she died of "accidental suicide" following the atrocity. He continued to uphold this position until he was committed of second-degree murder in April 2009. 

Although the case went to trial in April 2007, Spector was only convicted during the retrial.  

The forensic pathologist working on the case, Dr. Louis Pena, gave his testimony in May 2007. 

In it, he disproved the claims circulated by Spector's defense team, stating that Clarkson didn't suffer from depression and that she didn't exhibit the traits commonly exhibited by the victims of suicide. 

As he revealed during his testimony, Clarkson's tongue was severely bruised — indicating that the murder weapon, a gun, was forcefully pushed into her mouth. 

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lana clarkson autopsy
Source: Twitter

"The bruise is very unique and is consistent with blunt-force trauma. Something struck the tongue," Dr. Pena explained as part of his court testimony. 

The gunshot was powerful enough to blow out her front teeth, he showed, as per Billboard

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As he added, Clarkson was wearing a purse on her shoulder — fairly atypical for those planning on committing suicide. As Dr. Pena went on to say, she took medication for chronic headaches. The same medication is used to treat those suffering from depression as well. 

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Source: Twitter
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Spector's driver, Adriano De Souza, gave testimony in May 2007, around a week before Dr. Pena. 

As he revealed, Spector left the property with a gun in his hand on the night of the atrocity. 

"I think I killed somebody," he said he heard Spector say.

Spector's defense team sought to undermine Adriano's statements, claiming that the Brazil-born driver didn't have sufficient language skills to understand what his employer was saying. 

The jurors declared mistrial on Sept. 26, 2007, after stating that they were deadlocked 10-2. Spector was left to walk free.

Opening statements for the retrial of the case began on Nov. 3, 2008. Spector was found guilty of second-degree murder on April 13, 2009. He was sentenced to 19 years-to-life in prison. 

Why did Phil Spector kill Lana Clarkson?

Spector's motive for killing Lana Clarkson is still unknown, And since Spector died at age 81 on Jan. 16, 2021, due to complications related to COVID-19, the world may never know the motive behind the murder.

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