The Sweater Girl and ‘that’ scandal…

Lana TurnerThe story about Lana Turner being discovered by a producer while she was drinking a soda in downtown Los Angeles is one of the most famous Hollywood stories of all time. On that day in 1937, at the Top Hat Cafe in Sunset Blvd, The Sweater Girl was born and a Hollywood legacy was in the making. It only stands to reason that a stunningly beautiful girl who had had such a notorious start and career would end up embroiled in one of the most talked-about Hollywood scandals of all time. It all started in 1957, when she met mobster Johnny Stompanato. She became enamored with him, but his possessive behavior quickly began to show. Their relationship consisted mainly of arguments, abuse and reconciliations. Then, on the night April 4th, 1958, he went to her house in Beverly Hills and the two began arguing in her room. Lana’s 14-year-old daughter Cheryl became nervous and decided to do something, as she feared for her mother’s safety. She went downstairs and into the kitchen, grabbed a knife and ran upstairs. She banged on her mother’s bedroom door but got no response. When she finally opened the door, Cheryl walked in and as Johnny was charging towards Lana, she stabbed him. Before he fell on the floor, he reportedly said ‘My God, Cheryl, what have you done?’. He was dead by the time the ambulance arrived. This was a massive scandal in Hollywood and the trial went on forever. Eventually, no criminal charges were filed against Cheryl Crane, since she was only 14. She now lives in Palm Springs and has written several books about her mother and ‘the happening’, as it became known. As for Lana, she is now regarded as a Hollywood legend. She died in 1995 and has a star on the Holllywood Walk of Fame.


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