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Canter's Deli Owner Daughter Hints Foul Play Possible in His Death

4/26/2018 12:46 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

The daughter of Gary Canter, the late co-owner of L.A.'s famed Canter's Deli, is accusing his widow of sinister behavior ... and, as a result, she wants control of her father's estate.

Jennifer Canter says in new legal docs, obtained by TMZ, her dad's wife, Traci, waited hours before calling 911 when she found Gary dead in December 2017 ... insinuating foul play was involved. Gary reportedly died of a massive heart attack.

Jennifer claims Traci sent a photo of Gary's body to TMZ in order to get it published. We have not found any record of any such photo being sent to us ... plus we never posted anything about Gary's death.

In the docs, Jennifer says Traci's been selling off her dad's valuables and refuses to let her look through his belongings. Even weirder, Jennifer claims Traci had Gary kidnapped in 2014 in an elaborate move to find out where he'd stashed cash in their house.

She also says she doubts her father and Traci were legally married. 

Jennifer's asking a judge to allow her to take over her father's estate -- which she claims is valued at around $500k -- to keep Traci from harming the family even more.

We reached out to Traci ... so far, no word back.

'Cops' New Footage Released ... Crew Member Shot, Killed While Taping

4/26/2018 8:44 AM PDT

The "Cops" crew member who was shot and killed during a shootout got caught between officers and the robber who was trying to escape ... is now seen on video for the first time.

A judge just released the "Cops" camera crew footage of the 2014 incident, which left audio operator Bryce Dion dead. He was shot by a cop who was firing while chasing a suspect who'd just robbed a Wendy's in Omaha.

When the shootout ends you see the cameraman running out to the parking lot, trying to capture footage as the officers captured the suspect -- but first, he sees Bryce on the floor. He was still moving, but he eventually died from his wounds.

As we reported, Bryce's family sued the city of Omaha for wrongful death. The 3 officers involved in the shooting were cleared of criminal wrongdoing.

Prince Family Sues Hospital That Treated First Opioid Overdose

4/23/2018 5:03 PM PDT

Prince's family is taking action after it was announced no one would be criminally charged in the singer's death by suing the hospital that treated his overdose a week before he died.

Prince's family -- repped in the lawsuit by trustee Michael A. Zimmer -- just filed to sue Trinity Medical Center out of Illinois for allegedly failing to properly diagnose and treat Prince's opioid addiction before he suffered another, and ultimately fatal, overdose a week later.

In the docs, obtained by TMZ, the family claims that Trinity's action -- or lack thereof -- was a direct and proximate cause of Prince's death. They're also suing one of Trinity's doctors, Dr. Nicole Mancha, as well as an unidentified pharmacist and Walgreens employee whom they claim were involved in providing care to him in his final days. They're suing Walgreens, too, btw.

We broke the story ... Prince made an emergency landing in Moline, Illinois, where emergency responders gave him 2 shots of Narcan to save his life. He was taken to a nearby hospital at the time, which apparently turned out to be Trinity.

In regards to Walgreens, Prince's family claims the drug store chain was dispensing narcotic prescription medications to Prince for an invalid medical purpose and failed to make sure he was using the drug properly. 

Not named in the lawsuit ... Dr. Michael Schulenberg, who investigators say prescribed Prince Percocet through his bodyguard, Kirk Johnson, serving as a proxy. Schulenberg settled with the feds over that violation for a $30,000 fine. Video of Prince at Dr. Schulenberg's office was released last week, as was an entire trove of evidence acquired in his death investigation.

Verne Troyer Death Suicidal with 3 Times Legal Limit of Alcohol

4/23/2018 1:14 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Verne Troyer had 3 times the legal limit of alcohol in his system when he was rushed to the hospital and sources tell us he never recovered from it.

Sources familiar with the death investigation tell TMZ, Verne told the 911 dispatcher and someone at the hospital he was suicidal when he called in distress ... with triple the .08 legal limit for driving.

Our sources say when Verne was at the hospital he became unresponsive and was transferred to another hospital which was better suited to care for him. We're told his organs started failing, he was put on life support and went steadily downhill until life support was pulled Saturday.

We broke the story ... Verne passed away Saturday. Sources say an autopsy has been completed, but toxicology results are pending. Verne fought a losing battle against alcoholism for years. 

He was 49. RIP

Avicii Spreading the Love in Final Days

4/20/2018 1:35 PM PDT

Avicii engaged dozens of his fans at a luxury resort during his final days, and it appeared he was still loving his rock star life.

These pics were taken within the last 6 days at the same resort in Muscat, Oman ... where Avicii was apparently on vacation. He posed for multiple pics -- perhaps the last taken before his death -- with fans around the secluded grounds of the resort.

As we reported ... the 28-year-old superstar DJ was found dead Friday morning in Muscat. Neither law enforcement nor his reps have said anything about how he died yet.

Avicii had quit touring in 2016, saying he longed for "the life of a real person behind the artist." While he might have been shying away from the spotlight ... it's clear from these photos he wasn't shying away from his adoring fans.

Prince Deadly Gamble with Counterfeit Pills Laced with Multiple Drugs

4/20/2018 2:21 PM PDT
Exclusive Details

Fentanyl wasn't the only drug found in Prince's stash of counterfeit Vicodin pills -- in fact, they were laced with so many drugs ... there's no way he could have known exactly what he was taking when he popped one.

According to law enforcement, hundreds of the fake pills stamped "Watson 853" -- a brand of Vicodin -- were found around Paisley Park in several different non-prescription bottles. The pills were in over-the-counter bottles, such as Bayer, Aleve, and Target brand Vitamin C instead.

All of the pills were tested, and the results were a total mixed bag. Within in one bottle, some pills tested positive for lidocaine, some for fentanyl, some for lidocaine and fentanyl. Still others contained a combination of hydrocodone (generic Vicodin) and synthetic lidocaine.

Point is, almost none was actually Vicodin, and they appeared to contain almost a random cocktail of drugs -- even though they all looked exactly the same on the outside.

Carver County Prosecutor Mark Metz said Thursday it was likely Prince had no idea he was taking the fatal dose of fentanyl. Based on the lab results ... it seems impossible anyone taking those pills could know.

Avicii Death Rocks Celebrity Fans & Friends

4/20/2018 11:15 AM PDT
Breaking News

Avicii's death is absolutely shocking to his friends and fans around the world.

Moments after the news broke he was found dead in Oman ... social media was flooded with reactions to the Swedish DJ's passing. From his peers in the world of EDM to the scores of musicians who had worked with him ... everyone is pouring out their emotions and feelings about Avicii. 

You set the precedent for the rest of us producers/ opened doors and set the trends . A real groundbreaker and influencer to all your peers . You should have lived to be 150.. but your music is gonna live forever . I'm not just saying that.. but you are the only one to always make timeless songs. You were the gold standard . You made me want try and make dance music when i first heard "seek bromance" . And then u kept making feel like shit cause you kept gettin better and i couldn't even mix a snare right .. you were the best of this generation . A real superstar 🌟 I know you had your demons and maybe this wasn't the right place for you sometimes , but we need to protect true artists like you at all costs because there are not enough left and we are losing too many .. be good Tim

A post shared by diplo (@diplo) on

'Night Court' Star Harry Anderson 911 Transcript Released ... Wife Says, 'He's Cold, Stiff'

4/19/2018 9:38 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

"Night Court" star Harry Anderson was dead well before paramedics arrived, according to his wife who called 911. 

TMZ obtained the transcript from the 911 call Elizabeth Morgan placed earlier this week to authorities in North Carolina after Harry apparently went into cardiac arrest in his sleep. She tells the operator ... "His hand -- he's cold. He's not ice cold, but he's definitely cold. His eyes are partially open, uh, but he's not looking at anything, he's not responding."

In the call, Elizabeth declines help for performing CPR, saying she believes it's too late. 

She also mentions Harry suffered a series of strokes at the end of January after battling the flu.

As we reported ... Anderson was found dead Monday when paramedics arrived, according to dispatch audio. Authorities said no foul play is suspected. His son, Dashiell, told us his father died from natural causes.

Harry was 65.

MTV 'Road Rules' Star Brian Lancaster Dead at 43

4/5/2018 9:54 AM PDT
Exclusive Details

Ex-MTV "Road Rules" star Brian Lancaster has died at just 43 years old ... TMZ has learned.

Brian appeared on season 7 of "Road Rules" back in 1999. His family tells us he was found dead in his Pennsylvania home last Thursday. They believe it was heart failure, and tell us he had a history of arrhythmia.

The family says the death was not drug or alcohol related -- and, as far as they know, no substances were found in the home. 

Brian was 23 years old when he competed on "Road Rules." He didn't win the grand prize of $43k, but he competed on 13 different "missions" over the course of 15 episodes while shooting in Mexico, Costa Rica and the United States.

Brian's family described him as an outdoorsman and daredevil. He also had his Master's degree in elementary education. He's survived by his fiancee, Sarah, and his parents, Dennis and Carol Lancaster. 

Cranberries' Dolores O'Riordan Voicemail Audio Just Hours Before Death ... Cheerful, Ready to Record

4/5/2018 1:00 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Dolores O'Riordan sounded pumped and ready to belt out her old tune with a new band the day she died ... this according to her last voicemail ever.

TMZ has obtained a voice message Dolores left for her longtime friend and label exec, Dan Waite, on Jan. 15 -- the day she unexpectedly passed away -- which also happened to be the day she was set to record a cover of The Cranberries' song "Zombie" with Bad Wolves.

We're told the voicemail's time stamp was 1:12 AM GMT in London ... and, as you can hear, Dan -- who set up the collab -- is clearly mentioned in the audio. Dolores also says she loved Bad Wolves' version of "Zombie" ... adding it "sounds f****** terribly good."  

Clearly, she was excited to get in the studio -- but, unfortunately, she never made it. As we reported ... The Cranberries singer was found dead just hours later in her hotel. Her cause of death has yet to be released -- police have only said she died suddenly. 

Reports surfaced Dolores may have taken her own life, especially because she had extreme bouts with depression. If it turns out to be the case, it would be eerily similar to Chris Cornell's death ... where his wife said he was in a great mood hours before he died. You'll recall, Chris seemed as if nothing was wrong just before he took the stage for his final performance.

Dolores was officially laid to rest in her native Ireland a couple days after a public reposal was held for her. She was 46 years old. 

As for the Bad Wolves cover ... the band released their version in Dolores' honor about a month after she passed, donating the proceeds of the song to her three children. 

MLK's Daughter Prez Trump's a Long Way From Living Up to the Dream

4/4/2018 3:37 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Martin Luther King Jr.'s daughter says President Trump can better honor her father on the 50th anniversary of his assassination with real life actions ... NOT tweets.

We talked to Bernice King on Wednesday about Trump's remembrance to Dr. King, which he did on Twitter. Granted, it's his favorite platform to address the world ... but for Bernice it rings a little hollow.

She admits, it's not realistic to hold POTUS to MLK's standard, but thinks we should be encouraging Trump to better embrace her father's ideals.

Bernice also told us how she and people across the country will mark the moment Dr. King was shot and killed in Memphis.  

Van Jones I Went Full Fanboy for Winnie Mandela

4/2/2018 3:17 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

When Van Met Winnie, it was nothing like Harry and Sally ... but CNN host Van Jones still got an unforgettable story out of it.

We got the CNN host Monday at LAX as he was heading to Memphis to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination. He also reflected on Winnie Mandela's death ... and the moment he, unexpectedly, came face-to-face with her. 

As we reported, Nelson Mandela's wife died Monday after a lengthy battle with illness -- and even though her life was filled with scandals, Van says it's hard to judge her.

He also told us why he's sure activists like Winnie and Dr. King would be proud of what's happening in America and around the world, right now.

Steven Bochco Dead at 74

4/1/2018 4:48 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Steven Bochco, one of the most prolific creators of TV ever, has died ... TMZ has learned.

Sources connected to the family tell us, the "Hill Street Blues" creator died this weekend. He had been battling leukemia for several years and put up a hard fight, but one family source says he finally just gave up.

Bochco carved out a specific area for many of his shows -- the law. His police shows were gritty and compelling.

Bochco has been responsible for groundbreaking TV, including, "L.A. Law," "Doogie Howser, M.D." and "NYPD Blue." His credits go on ... "Murder One," "Murder in the First," "Raising the Bar," and "Civil Wars."  Bochco was a gift to NBC, providing the network with juggernauts like "Hill Street Blues."

Bochco has won 4 Peabody Awards and 10 Emmys.

He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.

Bochco was 74.  RIP

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