Imagine keeping a secret so heinous that you couldn’t tell anyone you love…and holding it in until death. On a deathbed, many people feel safe enough to let their secrets out, knowing they will face whatever comes next with a clear conscience. Here are some famous examples of people that had to get something off their chest in their final hour. Some of these are truly shocking.
1.) Geraldine Kelly Confessed To The Murder Of Her Husband.
After years of domestic abuse, Geraldine Kelly shot her husband and hid his body in this freezer, where it remained for seven years. She told her children that a car hit him. In 2004, when she was in her final stages of terminal breast cancer, Geraldine admitted the fate of her husband to her daughter. The police found the freezer in a California storage unit, John Kelly’s body completely mummified.
2.) Lieutenant Walter Haut Confessed To The Secrets of Area 51.
In 2006, the media officer at the Roswell, New Mexico site, where an alien space vessel supposedly crashed-landed in 1947, claimed on his deathbed that he saw actually saw an alien spacecraft and two alien bodies in Area 51. He also claimed that an extensive cleanup operation took place to keep everything secret.
3.) James Brewer Confessed To Killing His Neighbor.
In 1977, James Brewer fled the state of Tennessee after his arrest for murdering his neighbor, Jimmy Carroll. He started a new life with his wife in Oklahoma and took on fake names. Three decades later, as Brewer was in the hospital after suffering from a stroke, he told his wife he wanted to confess his crime before he died. He told police that the secret was laying on his conscience for 30 years. Brewer didn’t end up dying, and was taken in by the authorities.
4.) In 1978, Fritz Moen, a shy deaf man with a severe speech impediment, was wrongly arrested for raping and killing a 20-year old girl in Norway. No forensic evidence linked him to the crimes. It wasn’t until 2005 when a man named Tor Hespo admitted to three nurses on his hospital deathbed that he committed the acts, and Moen was subsequently released.
5.) David Niven Confessed To His Secret Origins.
Academy Award nominated actor David Niven confessed on his deathbed to be the illegitimate son of a famous British politician who was afraid of having his career shamed by Niven’s birth.
6.) Alexander Gartshore Confessed to The Abduction Of A Little Girl.
In 1957 Moira Anderson of North Lanarkshire, Scotland went missing. Almost forty years later in 1999, Alexander Gartshore admitted on his deathbed to his daughter that he defiled and murdered the girl and her ghost was still haunting him. Moira’s remains were never found, even after Gartshore’s death and confession.
7.) E. Howard Hunt “Confessed” Involvement With The Kennedy Assassination.
E. Howard Hunt was a C.I.A operative involved in the Watergate Scandal. After his death, his two sons claimed they have recordings of Hunt on his deathbed naming those in a conspiracy responsible for the assassination of John F. Kennedy, including Lyndon B. Johnson. Hunt’s widow claims that these recordings are suspect and that the two sons preyed on his decaying mind to make money. Only Rolling Stone took these recordings seriously.
8.) Margaret Gibson Confessed To The Murder Of William Desmond Taylor.
William Desmond Taylor, one of Hollywood’s most successful silent film directors in the 1920s, was shot dead and authorities never found the culprit. 42 years later, a reclusive old woman in the hills called her neighbor over because she was dying and had a confession to make. She said she was an actor named Margaret Gibson and killed William Desmond Taylor. The two were romantically linked at one point, but the motive for the murder died with Margaret Gibson.
9.) Naaman Diller Confessed To The Infamous Clock Collection Heist.
In 1983, a collection of over 106 watches and clocks were stolen, the haul totaling to millions of dollars (with Marie Antoinette’s watch alone priced at $30 million). An Israeli named Naaman Diller confessed to his wife that he stole the collection, advising her to sell the collection. She took the watches to a museum where they were confirmed stolen.
10.) Christian Spurling Confessed To Faking The Famous Loch Ness Photo.
We’re familiar with the photo above of the notorious aquatic monster. But in 1994, the stepson of Marmaduke Wetherall, Christian Spurling, confessed on his deathbed that it was a hoax. Apparently Wetherall had Spurling created a model monster out of a toy submarine.
11.) Julian Altman Confessed To Stealing Bronisław Huberman’s Violin.
Julian Altman sneaked into famed violinist Bronisław Huberman’s dressing room when he was a 20-year-old nightclub musician and stole the musician’s violin. Julian Altman went on to be a famous violinist in his own right, using the violin to perform for presidents and dignitaries. On his deathbed, he confessed his crime to his wife and instructed her to sell it. Its current owner bought it for 4 million dollars.
12.) Diane Crawford Confessed To The Murders Of Two Women.
In 2008, a woman named Diane Crawford confessed to the murders of two women, Constance Smootz Hevener and Carolyn Hevener Perry, from all the way back in 1967. The two apparently made fun of Crawford for being a lesbian, which led to an altercation in which Crawford shot both women. Crawford fled to another town, got married, and had two children before returning to Staunton to live with a women, who she confessed her crime to.
The people who heard these confessions must have felt enormous pressure to do something with that information. I’m not sure what I would even do when faced with it…