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Accident or Murder: Michelle Von Emster

Accident or Murder: Michelle Von Emster

Missy Palmer’s death in our newest film, Beverly Hills Ghost, is so mysterious and weird that we figured no real-life death could match it. Or so we thought. Here’s one case that is so freaky it keeps us up at night!

On April 14, 1994, 25-year-old Michelle Von Emster supposedly went for a late-night swim near the Sunset Cliffs in San Diego. The next morning, her body was found washed ashore in what was deemed a great white shark attack. Yikes to say the least, right?

However, many bizzaro facts have since emerged that may indicate something way more mysterious happened that night…

Her injuries

Michelle’s injuries were super crazy, and several shark experts later said they were not consistent with those from a shark attack. For instance, Michelle was severely bruised and had a broken neck as if she had fallen or been in a car crash. Her leg was also missing, and the remaining bone was sharpened to a point. The experts share that a great white bite is clean and would never result in such a point. Gulp.

Her belongings

Michelle’s purse with her wallet, keys, and money were found along a busy stretch of beach long after she was discovered. Authorities doubt her belongings would have remained unnoticed by so many people for so long…unless they were planted there some time after the attack. You getting chills yet?

Her stalker

Michelle had recently left a job where she was being stalked by a stranger who owned a motorcycle. The day after her death, an employee at a nearby office supply store said a man who owned a motorcycle came in to create copies of Michelle’s autopsy. Authorities have never been able to locate this man...

Watch Our Horror Comedy Beverly Hills Ghost

If Michelle Von Emster wasn’t killed by a shark, what happened? Did she drown after going for a swim? Fall from Sunset Cliffs? ...Or was she murdered? Similarly, Missy Palmer’s drowning in her swimming pool was also ruled a tragic accident in Beverly Hills Ghost, but the facts don’t add up and point to something much more nefarious… Regardless, we’re going to think twice before swimming again!

For more in our Murder or Accident? blog series, check out our post on the death of Elisa Lam.