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'Next Top Model' Mirjana Puhar

Lead Detective Also a Reality Star

2/26/2015 12:40 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Americas Next Top Model Death The lead detective assigned to the murder case of "America's Next Top Model" star Mirjana Puhar ironically has a connection to the victim ... they're both reality TV stars.

Det. Norma McKee was on A&E's "The First 48" -- a docuseries about murder investigations -- back in 2011, when she was just a rookie. The episode chronicled a double-murder investigation, her first, involving a couple that was shot point blank in their car by a backseat passenger. 

McKee got her man, who is currently serving 28 years after pleading guilty to two counts of second degree murder. 

Puhar and two other people were killed Tuesday in Charlotte, NC. Police have already arrested a suspect, who has been charged with three counts of first degree murder.

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'Next Top Model' Mirjana Puhar

Killed in Triple Homicide

[UPDATE]

2/25/2015 8:05 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

02025-mirjana-puhar-instagramupdate_graphic_red_bar8:45 AM PT -- Police have arrested 19-year-old Emmanuel Jesus Rangel and charged him with 3 counts of 1st degree murder.

The boyfriend, Jonathan Alvarado was 23 ... and the third victim was 21-year-old Jusmar Gonzaga-Garcia. Our sources say Jusmar was Jonathan's roommate and best friend. We're told Mirjana had just moved in with the guys.

update_grey_gray_barMirjana Puhar -- a recent "America's Next Top Model" contestant -- was killed Tuesday in a triple homicide at her boyfriend's home in Charlotte, NC ... TMZ has learned.

A source who was very close to Mirjana confirmed to TMZ that she was one of the 3 victims found dead in a home that belonged to Mirjana's boyfriend. The source says a friend of the couple went to the house after getting a call that gunshots were heard.

We're told the friend went into the house, saw 2 bodies -- Mirjana and the bf -- and then called police to report the killings. The friend didn't see the 3rd victim, but did see money scattered around the house.

19-year-old Mirjana was on the 21st cycle of 'ANTM' ... which aired last year. She was eliminated from the show in the 10th episode. 

Law enforcement sources tell us the preliminary investigation leads police to believe the murders were drug related -- and the victims knew the killer.  

Our Mirjana source says the young model had only been with the boyfriend for a few months.

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Bravo's Greg Plitt

Had $800K in the Bank ...

But No Will

2/24/2015 12:20 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0220_greg_plittBravo's fitness star Greg Plitt -- who was hit and killed by a commuter train -- did not have a will, and now his family is trying to ensure his $800,000 estate ends up in the right hands. 

As TMZ first reported ... Plitt died tragically in January while shooting a commercial for a sports drink.

The 37-year-old did not have a spouse or child when he died -- and according to court docs obtained by TMZ ... his father filed a petition Wednesday to control his son's estate.

If approved -- which is extremely likely -- he'll make all decisions about paying Greg's creditors ... and how the remaining money gets divvied up.

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'American Horror Story'

Ben Woolf Dies from Head Injury

2/23/2015 3:45 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0223_ben_woolf_TMZ 2Ben Woolf from "American Horror Story: Freak Show" has died in an L.A. hospital from injuries suffered last week when he was hit by a passing car.

A source close to Woolf tells us he died from a stroke on Monday afternoon. He had been heavily sedated at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center since the accident last week.

TMZ broke the story ... Woolf -- who played Meep on the hit show -- got clipped in the head by the side view mirror of an SUV as he was crossing a street in Hollywood. The driver was not arrested or ticketed because Ben was jaywalking.

Woolf's family tells us -- "We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from all over the world for our beloved Ben. He touched so many hearts in his 34 years."

Over the weekend, doctors upgraded his condition to stable -- but warned it was still touch and go since he had not woken up.

We're told Ben's organs are being donated and will help about 50 people. 

Family members tell us they're planning a memorial service in Santa Barbara. 

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Taylor Negron's Family

Pissed Over Oscar Snub

NPH's Junk Got More Air Time Than Him!

2/23/2015 2:07 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Taylor Negron Oscars In MemoriamThe Oscars focused more on Neil Patrick Harris' penis than a deceased actor who starred in iconic movies, and the actor's relatives are livid. 

Taylor Negron -- who became famous for his roles in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" and "The Last Boy Scout" -- was left out of the 'In Memoriam' tribute, which infuriated his brother Conrad Negron who said, "They'll have NPH come out in his underwear but not take a few seconds to honor my brother."

And Taylor's cousin Chuck Negron -- the lead singer of Three Dog Night -- says he was "floored" by the snub and demands some recognition from the Academy.

Conrad really went off, also saying, "They'll let Patricia Arquette go on and on forever but they won't give Taylor the 15 minutes he deserved."  We're guessing he meant a few seconds.

Taylor died in January at 57 after a long battle with cancer.

Conrad says he and his family vow never to watch the Oscars again. After last night it's a safe bet ... they're not alone.

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Joan Rivers

Oscar 'In Memoriam' Snub

Melissa Is VERY Disappointed

2/23/2015 8:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Can we talk? Joan Rivers was noticeably snubbed Sunday night by The Academy Awards and Melissa Rivers is not a happy camper about it.

Sources close to Melissa say she feels her mom deserved a place in the 'In Memoriam' portion of the Oscars, but she's not going to focus on the snub.

We're told she'd rather focus on the overwhelming support from her fans, who have rallied behind her mom since her death in September.

But Melissa has a legitimate beef -- seems like the Academy forgot how Joan owned Oscar red carpets for years ... and her hysterical role as Dot Matrix in "Spaceballs!"

VH1 Star 'Real'

Dead at 33

After Cancer Battle

2/21/2015 7:21 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0221-ahmad-givens-facebook-02Ahmad Givens, a.k.a. Real, one of the stars of VH1's "Real Chance of Love" has died after a long battle with cancer ... according to his brother.

Real's brother Chance tells TMZ ... the reality star's condition worsened after he took a fall in January ... he was bedridden ever since.

We're told Real was having trouble with vision and speech Friday night during a family visit ... and they had a feeling the end was near.  He passed away hours later.

As we previously reported ... the reality star was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in 2013. Real underwent surgery and things were looking positive, but earlier this year the cancer returned and he began chemotherapy treatments.

Chance posted a tribute to his brother online saying, "I'll see you one day soon we shall dance again in God's kingdom forever and ever bro words can't describe my pain world pray for me!"

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Aziz Ansari

I'm Devastated Over 'Parks' Exec's Death

He Will Be Missed

2/21/2015 8:13 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
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0221-ansari-wittels-instagram-01Aziz Ansari says the loss of his friend Harris Wittels has left him devastated ... and the touching tribute he penned for the "Parks and Rec" exec who died this week is heart breaking.

Ansari posted a lengthy blog Friday night where he revealed the two had been working on a project together, and they were planning a move to NYC together in March.  Harris had just locked down an apartment on Monday.

Ansari says he had worked on two different movie scripts with Wittels,  but neither were greenlit.  But Ansari contined to support his friend, recommending that others hire him to write.

TMZ broke the story ... Wittels died at his home Thursday from an apparent drug overdose.

The "Parks and Rec" actor also included a few scenes from the movies Harris wrote ... and they're HILARIOUS. Aziz went on to describe Wittels' terrible eating habits, his arm wrestling skills and his writing expertise.

The whole thing is on Aziz's blog.  It's tear-jerking.

Bruce Jenner

Car Crash Victim's

Big Screen Brush with Elvis

2/20/2015 12:50 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

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The woman who died in the Bruce Jenner car crash once appeared with Elvis in one of his big movies.

We found this video of "Double Trouble" released in 1967. Kim Howe is the woman with blonde hair piled up in a bun, dancing with Elvis as she holds a beer stein. 

Howe, who was in her early 20s at the time, is dressed as a fraulein in the bar.

We're told this was one of the highlights of Howe's life. It doesn't appear she was featured in other film or TV projects.

And something weirdly coincidental ... Elvis' longtime girlfriend was Linda Thompson, who was married to Bruce Jenner.

Howe was killed on PCH earlier this month when Jenner's SUV hit her Lexus, sending it into oncoming traffic where it smashed into a Hummer. She was 69 years old. 

'Parks and Rec' Exec

Harris Wittels Found Dead

Signs of Overdose

2/19/2015 5:00 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Harris Wittels, one of the executive producers of "Parks and Recreation" died at his home Thursday from a possible drug overdose ... TMZ has learned.

According to law enforcement sources ... Wittels was pronounced dead around 1 PM. We're told the 30-year-old was found lying on his couch ... and there was drug paraphernalia in the house. There were no signs of trauma to his body. 

Wittels spoke openly about his battles with drug addiction. He'd gone to rehab twice. 

In addition to working on 'Parks & Rec' ... Wittels produced and wrote for "Eastbound and Down" and "The Sarah Silverman Program." He's also credited with making "Humblebrag," a thing on social media ... and even turned it into a coffee table book. 

'Parks & Rec' is in its final season, and the last episode is set to air next week.  

Wittels performed stand-up Wednesday night at The Meltdown -- an L.A.comedy theater. During his set he talked about being clean and sober ... and said he was in a good place.

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Ex-NBA Star Jerome Kersey

Cause of Death Revealed

2/19/2015 10:11 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0219-jerome-kersey-getty-01Portland Trailblazers legend Jerome Kersey died as a result of a blood clot that formed in his calf ... and broke off ... clogging his lungs ... TMZ Sports has learned.

The 52-year-old -- who spent 17 seasons in the NBA -- died Wednesday night in Oregon ... and now the pathologist who conducted the autopsy tells us the cause of death was a pulmonary embolism.  

Dr. Larry Lewman tells TMZ Sports ... "There was a blood clot in his left calf that broke loose and traveled to his lungs and clogged both his pulmonary arteries." 

Dr. Lewman adds, "We're still gathering information, but it appears he had a surgical procedure recently. Anyone who is post surgical, who isn't moving around a lot, is at risk." 

Several high-profile people have passed away from the same condition -- including Heavy D, Dennis Farina and reporter David Bloom.  

'Up In Smoke' Actress

June Fairchild Dies from Cancer

2/19/2015 8:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details

0219-june-fairchild-united-artist-01June Fairchild -- the actress best known for her iconic Ajax snorting scene in "Up In Smoke" -- has died at 68 ... and friends are hoping her former Cheech & Chong co-stars can help with her funeral costs. 

Fairchild had a big movie career in the '70s -- besides 'Smoke' ... she appeared in "Head" with The Monkees ... and "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot" with Clint Eastwood.

She's also widely credited for naming the band "Three Dog Night" ... while dating lead singer Danny Hutton

June was put in hospice care over the weekend, and died Tuesday night after a long battle with liver cancer. 

Sources close to Fairchild tell us her last few years were difficult financially. She'd been homeless for several years. We're told her friends are reaching out to Tommy Chong to see if he can pitch in for her funeral and burial expenses.

Aunt Jemima 'Heirs'

Cutoff From Pancake Billions

You Need Batter Proof

2/19/2015 12:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Two guys claiming to be heirs to the real life Aunt Jemima couldn't pour it on thick enough to convince a judge -- their shot at $3 billion just got tossed out of court.  

According to docs obtained by TMZ ... D.W. Hunter and Larnell Evans, Jr. went to court armed with a pretty thin story to prove they're the great-grandsons of Anna Short Harrington -- who portrayed Aunt J. from 1935 until the '50s.

As TMZ first reported ... the men sued PepsiCo, Quaker Oats, and 2 other companies for royalties they feel Harrington had been screwed out of while her image was being used to hawk flapjacks.

Once they got to court ... Hunter told the judge his grandmother once gave him a photo of Harrington -- a photo he no longer has -- and claimed that proved his relation. Hunter and Evans also said they tried to locate Harrington's grave in Syracuse, NY. 

Not shockingly, the judge said that so-called evidence fell flatter than a ... well, you know.

Case dismissed. 

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