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Dave Mirra Struggled in Vain for New Passion Post-BMX Career

2/8/2016 1:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0205-dave-mirra-getty-01Dave Mirra had a rough time finding purpose when his BMX career ended ... he tried filling the void by helping kids ... but it wasn't enough. 

Friends of Dave tell us ... in the months before his suicide, he spent his time introducing kids in the Greenville, North Carolina area to extreme sports, such as speed cycling and biking. 

Problem was ... the 41-year-old couldn't find anything in his life to even approximate the adrenaline rush he got from BMX. He knew working with kids was important, but the passion he felt while he competed just wasn't there, and it became a significant factor in his deep depression

We're told Dave tried to convince himself working with kids could be as satisfying as BMX, and from time to time his outlook would brighten. In fact, we're told just hours before he fatally shot himself, he saw someone at lunch and talked about plans to bring a speed cycling track to Greenville.

The friend with whom we spoke said the recurring theme from Dave was that he felt lost.  

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NYC Crane Crash Race to Save Victims Seconds After Fall

2/5/2016 8:43 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Video

Seconds after that massive crane came crashing down in NYC ... first responders were on the scene fighting to pull victims from their cars.

TMZ has obtained video of the rescue efforts. The crane, which is longer than a city block, took out multiple cars in TriBeCa.

There's an unknown number of people injured. The 1 person who was killed was apparently a pedestrian who was struck by the crane. We've blurred an image of the victim.

You can see the crane actually falling ... in this video. 

Dave Mirra Possible CTE ... Officials Say

2/5/2016 6:50 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

BMX legend Dave Mirra may have suffered from CTE -- just like several ex-NFL players -- and it may have been a factor in his suicide ... so says the Mayor of Greenville, NC.

Mayor Allen Thomas says officials are still gathering the facts surrounding Mirra's death -- but says he fears he may have had CTE from head trauma he suffered during his extreme sports days.

Thomas even invoked the name of ex-NFL star Junior Seau -- who took his own life in 2012 ... and was later found to have the brain condition

Police chief Mark Holtzman says investigators have spoken with a group of Mirra's friends -- who Mirra was with minutes before the suicide -- and they said Dave didn't appear suicidal. 

However, he had been showing signs of depression in the past, Holtzman says.  

As we previously reported, Mirra's body was discovered in his truck Thursday and cops say it's clear he took his own life with his own gun. 

He was 41. 

Model Katie May 'Queen of Snapchat' Dies at 34

2/4/2016 6:14 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0204-katie-may-twitter-01Katie May, a hugely successful model and social media star, died Thursday after a stroke left her in critical condition. 

May had been hospitalized since Monday when a blockage in her carotid artery caused the "catastrophic" stroke. She remained in critical condition until her death. Sources tell TMZ she was taken off life support Thursday evening, and she died in L.A. surrounded by family and loved ones. 

Katie had a huge social media presence, with nearly 2 million people following her on Instagram. She was also known as the "Queen of Snapchat" and modeled for dozens of websites and magazines, including Playboy and Sports Illustrated.

Katie leaves behind a 7-year-old daughter and her family started a gofundme page to support the little girl. Katie was 34.

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Earth, Wind & Fire's Maurice White Dead at 74

2/4/2016 2:23 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0204_remembering_maurice_white_mainMaurice White, co-founder of Earth, Wind & Fire, died in his sleep Thursday morning ... TMZ has learned.

Maurice died in L.A. after a long battle with Parkinson's. He was diagnosed in 1992 and his condition deteriorated in recent months. The disease had progressed to the point he was forced to stop touring with the band 1994.

The band had a string of hits, including "Shining Star," "September," "Boogie Wonderland," and "After the Love has Gone." 

In 2000, the band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Maurice was individually inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2010.

Maurice's brother, Verdine, is also a band member. 

Although Maurice wasn't touring, he remained involved in the decisions regarding the band.

Maurice was 74.

RIP 

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Diddy New Story He Killed Tupac Sounds Like Old, Bogus Claim

2/4/2016 3:32 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0204-diddy-tupac-tmz-01New stories are circulating that Diddy was out to kill Tupac Shakur. Well, a similar story was published in a big newspaper years ago ... and the paper was forced to eat crow and retract it.  

There's a film Netflix is about to release based on a book with the premise ... Diddy hired hit men to murder Tupac in 1996. The author of the book -- a retired LAPD investigator -- claims Diddy hired a Crip to kill Tupac for $1 million. 

Turns out the L.A. Times published a similar story in 2008, claiming 2 years before the murder Diddy's boys shot Tupac 5 times in NYC outside a recording studio, but failed to kill him. The paper relied on FBI files and Diddy's own people as sources.   

The Times published a major retraction, saying, "The Times has since concluded that the FBI reports were fabricated and that some of the other sources relied on -- including ... a 'confidential source' cited in the FBI reports do not support major elements of the story."

The paper concluded it believed the story was no longer credible.

As for the documentary, which purports to chronicle the 1996 murder in Vegas, the author relies on a confession from a Crip gang member, who said Diddy hired him to kill Tupac.  

Diddy has denied involvement in both the '94 shooting and the '96 murder.

Playboy Model Katie May Suffers Stroke ... In Critical Condition

2/4/2016 10:07 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0204-kate-may-instagram-01Katie May, a hugely popular Playboy model and social media sensation, suffered a "catastrophic" stroke ... according to her family.

May, known as MsKatieMay on the Internet, is hospitalized in critical condition after suffering the stroke Monday in Los Angeles. We're told she'd recently complained of neck pain and sought treatment. Her family tells us the devastating stroke was caused by a blockage in her carotid artery. 

There have been rampant rumors on the Internet that Katie died. People have been posting R.I.P. across all her social media sites. She's only in her mid 30s, so the stroke is especially shocking. 

Known as the "Queen of Snapchat" ... she's modeled for Playboy and Sports Illustrated. She has almost 2 million followers on Instagram alone. 

Katie has a 7-year-old daughter, and the family has started a gofundme page to support the little girl. We don't know Katie's prognosis yet, but it seems grim.

She captioned her last IG post, "Hope everyone is having a great Monday! It's very windy here today in LA."

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Celine Dion 'Price is Right' Drove Rene to Tears

2/4/2016 7:27 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Celine Dion rhapsodized about how her late husband would be driven to tears by watching "The Price is Right."

Celine told a packed crowd at the Vegas memorial for Rene Angelil how he would get emotional when someone won the Showcase Showdown.

It's an amazing commercial for the game show ... maybe. 

Celine Dion Tearful Memorial I Still Feel Rene's Strength

2/4/2016 7:02 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Celine Dion tearfully recalled moments in her life with late husband Rene Angelil at his Vegas memorial.

Celine told the crowd in the Colosseum at Caesars Palace that she can "still feel his strength and his warmth."

She talked about how Rene kept her grounded, and how he hated no one. 

Very emotional.

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Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck Voice Actor Dead

2/3/2016 8:44 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

020316-joe-alaskey-composite-gettyJoe Alaskey, who voiced legendary cartoon characters like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety and Sylvester the Cat has died.

Alaskey's family members announced the news of the NY native's death Wednesday night.

Alaskey voiced other Looney Tunes characters as well, including Marvin the Martian and Foghorn Leghorn

Joe -- who was a successor of voice actor Mel Blanc at Warner Brothers -- voiced many of his famous characters from 1990-1995. Alaskey did some non-Warner Bros' work too, he voiced Grandpa Pickles on Rugrats and was most recently featured on Investigation Discovery's "Murder Comes To Town."

Joe was 63. RIP ... Doc.

Celine Dion I'm Ready To Take The Stage Again

2/1/2016 2:02 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0201-celine-dion-Rene-Angelil-TMZ-GETTY-01Celine Dion is about to take center stage for the first time since husband Rene Angelil died, but not to sing.

We're told Celine's back in Vegas where she'll honor her late husband Wednesday with a celebration of life service. The venue is the Caesars Palace Colosseum ... the site of her Vegas residency.

Celine will speak at the event ... but we're told there's no plan for her to sing.

Rene was laid to rest in Montreal at an elaborate funeral in the Notre-Dame Basilica. A day later, Celine buried her brother ... so it's been a rough start to 2016.

As we previously reported ... she's canceled her Vegas shows until February 23.

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'Crackhead Bob' Hospitalized and Feeling 'Weak' ... Days Before Death

2/1/2016 1:16 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0201-crackhead-bob-HOWARD_STERN_SHOW-01Howard Stern Wack Packer "Crackhead Bob" was hospitalized 2 days before his father found him dead ... TMZ has learned.

Bob -- real name George Harvey -- had been "feeling weak" according to his father ... who told cops his son had long suffered with high blood pressure and seizures. He also said Bob had previous strokes and a heart attack ... all symptoms consistent with someone recovering from crack abuse.

He was admitted to a hospital on January 18, and was supposed to have a follow-up doctor's visit on January 20. His father told cops ... when Bob didn't show up at the doc's office, that's when he went to his apartment.

At this point, authorities are saying he died of natural causes ... and no autopsy has been ordered.  

Scott Weiland Ex-Wife Tries to Take Guitar ... Cops Called

2/1/2016 11:38 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0201-scott-weiland-getty-02Scott Weiland's ex-wife needed cops to keep the peace after going nuclear when she was barred from taking some of his instruments.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... officers were called to a recording studio in Burbank, CA last week -- where Scott's ex, Mary Forsberg, was causing a scene while trying to make off with a keepsake.

Mary showed up with her and Scott's teenage son -- we're told he wanted one of his dad's guitars -- but an employee of the recording studio refused to give them access.

An argument ensued ... and cops were called to calm everyone down.

Mary was told it was a civil issue ... and would need her lawyer to work out any division of property.

The tension's been building -- as we first reported, Mary filed docs stating Scott wanted her, not widow, Jamie Weiland, to be executor of his will

Start the countdown to a lawsuit.

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