Stars who helped solve crimes – Ashton Kutcher murder case to Teri Hatcher abuse

Who ya gonna call to solve one of sport’s biggest mysteries? American rapper Vanilla Ice, of course!

He is investigating the kidnapping of racehorse Shergar for a BBC podcast under his real name Rob Van Winkle.

The 53-year-old – who had a number one hit with 1990’s Ice Ice Baby – has been “fascinated” by horses since childhood, inspired by the films of John Wayne.

Shergar disappeared two years after he won the Epsom Derby and was retired to stud in County Kildare, Ireland.

In February 1983 a group of masked men kidnapped the horse and his groom, Jim Fitzgerald, at gunpoint.

They soon released the man but demanded £2million for Shergar’s return.

After a string of phone calls over four days, the kidnappers did not call again.

It is generally accepted Shergar was kidnapped by IRA members to get cash for arms.

But Van Winkle says: “Did they throw him in a eld? Did they feed him and pamper him? What did they do with the horse? There’s a big mystery that’s still there.”

Now he hopes to work out the puzzle. But other famous faces have helped solve crimes, as Daily Star reveals…

Ashton Kutcher

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Actor Kutcher got caught up in a horrifying real-life crime when the girl he was dating was brutally slayed on the night they were supposed to go out for drinks.

And the 43-year-old later took the stand to give evidence at the murder trial of Michael Gargiulo.

Kutcher was just 23 when he first met fashion student Ashley Ellerin in 2000. A few weeks later, the pair had a date and Kutcher rang to apologise for running late.

After turning up at the house, he knocked on the door and got no answer.

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He would later tell the court he’d peered through the window, seen what he thought was red wine stains on the floor, and left thinking Ashley, 22, had ditched him and gone out.

She’d actually been stabbed to death in her bathroom.

Gargiulo was arrested in 2008 and charged with Ashley’s murder as well two other killings.

The case went to trial in May 2019 and Gargiulo, 44, was convicted on two counts of murder and one of attempted murder, with the jury recommending the death penalty. He is due to be sentenced next month.

David Schwimmer

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In a bizarre case, former Friends star Schwimmer helped out cops when his neighbour was stabbed during a visit from a transgender prostitute.

The man was having sex with the prostitute in his bathroom – which was next to the actor’s apartment – when he heard an intruder in his house.

The 2014 confrontation spilled outside when the man chased the alleged robber with a box cutter, but ended up getting slashed in the face himself.

Officers noticed Schwimmer, now 54, had cameras outside his home and the actor handed over footage which allowed police to build a case against the suspected thief, who was later charged with robbery, assault and criminal possession of stolen property.

Prince Philip

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The late Duke of Edinburgh was the key to solving the mystery of what happened to the famous Romanov Russian royal family.

Tsar Nicholas II, his wife and their five children were executed by the Bolsheviks in 1918 and their bodies left in two unmarked graves.

When the remains were discovered in 1991, there was no conclusive proof who they were until Prince Philip offered up a sample of his blood for testing – he was related to the Romanovs through the maternal line.

Scientists compared the Prince’s DNA with the remains found in the Russian grave and it was established the bodies were those of the royals.

The Duke was very much aware of his family history, once saying: “I would like to go to Russia very much, although the b******s murdered half my family.”

Teri Hatcher

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Desperate Housewives star Hatcher helped put the uncle who abused her as a child behind bars after bravely revealing her ordeal.

She was molested for three years from the age of five by Richard Stone, a serial sex offender married to her mother’s sister.

In 2002 Hatcher went to the police about her abuse when she discovered that another of Stone’s victims had committed suicide aged 14.

Her testimony helped to convict him of his crimes and he later died in prison.

Teri said: “The best thing I felt was how much peace I brought to the family of the little girl.”

Her Superman co-star Dean Cain has also become a professional crime-fighter – he was sworn in as a police officer in Idaho, US, in 2018.

Larry David

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Famed for playing a grumpy version of himself in Curb Your Enthusiasm, David came to the rescue of an innocent man faced with the death penalty.

In 2003, Juan Catalan, 24, was accused of shooting a key witness in a murder case.

He told police that he couldn’t have done it, as he was at a Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game at the time.

Cops didn’t believe his excuse until it emerged an episode of Curb had been filmed at the game.

Catalan’s lawyer scoured the footage and – amazingly – spotted his client brushing right past David, proving his alibi.

Catalan walked free after five months in prison.

Selena Gomez

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Last year Gomez joined a convention aimed at getting amateur detectives to solve a local cold case.

The group investigated the unsolved murder of Kurt Sova, who disappeared in 1981 after attending a party.

His body was found five days later in a nearby ravine.

His death was ruled accidental but his family never got any answers.

The findings of Selena and the other wannabe crime busters were presented to the police but participants had to sign NDAs so couldn’t reveal their conclusion.

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