The true-crime genre has brought a lot of real crimes and criminals to the attention of audiences everywhere. Many times, unveiling the many secrets behind infamous serial killers and Hollywood giants. The list is shockingly long and surprisingly full of big names some fans still remember today.
Making his way into recent conversations as the MGM “fixer,” Eddie Mannix had taken on the role of hiding small skeletons from the hungry press. Little did many know at the time, he had his own skeletons, from suspected murders to covering up sexual assault.
Mannix and his job as a “fixer” for MGM
Mannix was Old Hollywood’s general manager for the media company MGM. His main job was to see that the press was distracted from anything that could bring ‘bad press’ to the media company and control celebrities’ behaviors to protect them from disgrace. For the most part, he would cover up misdemeanor behaviors like a car wreck, pregnancies, affairs, or anything that could tarnish their public image. Many speculate his ‘fixing’ went well past misdemeanors and well into Hollywood scandals, however.
“Hail, Caesar! nods to Mannix’s careful handling of Loretta Young’s unexpected pregnancy, arranging for her to adopt her own child and thus shielding her from the taboo of unwed motherhood,” Vice reports. “His list of ‘fixes’ are almost dazzlingly reprehensible — from manipulating Judy Garland’s worsening drug addiction and talking stars into terminating pregnancies to pinning crimes on innocent parties. He even personally helped recover the badly burned remains of mega-star Carole Lombard from a plane crash in 1942.”
Mannix was linked to a number of suspected murders
Mannix has since been linked to some suspected murders that turned out to benefit himself more than anything. Most notably being that of his wife’s lover George Reeves. Reeves, the original Superman, has been an unsolved true-crime mystery for decades. He reportedly died by his own hand, but many find it hard to believe, especially since his affair with Mannix’s wife was broken off not long before. His former lover, Toni Mannix, who was married to Eddie Mannix, bought him the house he lived and died in, The Guardian reports.
In addition to the weird fact that he allegedly killed himself naked, had bruising on his face and neck, and showed no signs of being suicidal, “the coroner’s autopsy took place only after the corpse had been thoroughly washed. It failed to test for powder traces on Reeves’ hand and, even though the top of Reeves’ skull was removed, no one checked the head wound for gunpowder traces, which would have been present if he’d shot himself at close range.”
Eddie Mannix protected the Harvey Weinsteins of Old Hollywood
Of all the horrible things Mannix ‘fixed’ or had a hand in fixing, there’s no denying the repulsive cover-up of several cases of sexual assault and rape. One of which involved Gold Diggers of 1933 star Patricia Douglas, to which he conspired with local authorities to discredit her. According to Slate, Patricia Douglas went to a casting call at MGM at 4 p.m. on May 5, under the impression she would be doing background work in a movie, but had instead been ‘cast’ for a private party. Douglas said had she known that was the job, she would never have gone.
Douglas later said a man named David Ross was touching her inappropriately, leading her to hide in a bathroom. After pouring liquor down her throat against her will, Ross found her outside the party, dragged her into a car, and brutally assaulted her. Police and a medical examiner in MGM’s pocket would say there was no evidence of the rape, and the perpetrator got off, with no accountability. She very likely wasn’t the first or last woman to fall victim to a sexual assault from a movie studio employee, and Eddie Mannix had a hand in covering up.