Episode 387:

Cocaine Shark

The Death of Actor George Reeves


Glacier National Park’s “Night of The Grizzlies”


Episode 387: Cocaine Shark

On today’s episode, Georgia covers the death of actor George Reeves and Karen tells the story of Glacier National Park’s “Night of The Grizzlies.”

Listen on Apple Podcasts.

The Death of Actor George Reeves

The Death of Actor George Reeves Notes:

Header Image Source: Photo by Chris Putnam/Alamy

Other Images:

1. George Reeves (The Hollywood Archive / Alamy)


"Nearly five decades have passed, but the mystery of George Reeves’ death still lingers in Hollywood.

Did the charming, husky actor who starred in the popular 1950s television series “Adventures of Superman” commit suicide in 1959 with a single gunshot to the head? Or was he shot accidentally? Or was he murdered on the orders of then-MGM studio executive Edgar “Eddie” Mannix, whose wife, Toni, had been having an affair with Reeves?

Those questions form the splintering plot-lines of director Allen Coulter’s noir-like film “Hollywoodland,” which re-creates Reeves’ early TV superstardom as the Man of Steel -- and the difficulty a typecast Reeves had in finding work after the series left the airwaves.

The real-life investigation by the Los Angeles police and coroner concluded that Reeves committed suicide, but some believe the probe left more questions than answers. Crime-scene evidence was ignored or overlooked, critics say: Reeves’ body was embalmed before an autopsy could be performed; there were bruises on the body that weren’t accounted for; and police never tested for powder burns, a telltale sign if Reeves had held the gun to his head.

“They never really did anything but take the word of people there on the premises at the time of death,” Coulter said..."


Source: “Who Shot TV’s Superman” by Robert W. Welkos (LA Times, 2006)

Glacier National Park’s “Night of The Grizzlies”

Glacier National Park’s “Night of The Grizzlies” Notes:

Other Images: 

1. Glacier National Park in Montana (Dan Breckwoldt / Alamy)


"Shortly after midnight one evening in August 1967, Dave Shea, a 27-year-old biologist stationed in Glacier National Park, leveled his .300 H&H Magnum rifle at a female grizzly as she devoured garbage behind a backcountry guesthouse called the Granite Park Chalet. Six men, including the tall, redheaded Shea, stood poised on the balcony—two to illuminate the sow with flashlights, four to end her life. At the count of three, the executioners fired. Eleven bullets split the cool night, and the bear slumped into a ravine.

In the 57 years between Glacier National Park’s founding and 1967, its resident grizzlies had rarely bothered human visitors. A century of persecution had relegated the lower 48’s last silvertips to mountain redoubts. Never had a Glacier grizzly killed a human. “If you set up a danger index ranging from zero to ten,” a ranger told the author Jack Olsen at the time, “where the butterfly is zero and the rattlesnake is ten, the grizzlies of Glacier Park would have to rate somewhere between zero and one.”

That illusion was shattered 50 years ago this week, when two grizzly attacks stunned the Park Service and forever transformed America’s relationship with its most iconic carnivore..."


Source: “The 50-Year Legacy of Glacier’s Night of the Grizzlies” by Ben Goldfarb (Outside Magazine) 2017

Georgia's Episode Sources

  1. Unsolved Mysteries Season 8, Episode 5
  2. “Who Shot TV’s Superman” by Robert W. Welkos (LA Times, 2006)
  3. “George Reeves in His Own Words” by Ed Gross (Closer Weekly) 
  4. “The Mysterious Circumstances Surrounding George Reeves’ Death” by Matthew Rizzuto (Comic Book Historians)
  5. “The Mysterious Death of George Reeves” (BuzzFeed Unsolved)
  6. “Who Killed Superman?” By John Patterson (The Guardian, 2006)
  7. “Inside the Mysterious Death of George Reeves, The Original Superman” by Allison McNearney (The Daily Beast, 2022)
  8. “June 16, 1959: George Reeves, Superman, Felled by Speeding Bullet” By Scott Thill (Wired, 2009)
  9. “Superman Suicide Finding Challenged” by Gary Deeb (News America Syndicate, 1991)
  10. “Death of Original Superman Questioned” by Mark Wolf (Scripps Howard News Service, 1989)
  11. “The Mysterious Death of Superman” by Dean M. Shapiro (Crime Library)
  12. “Was Superman Murdered” Edward Lozzi on CourtTV
  13. “MGM’s Fixer: Eddie Mannix and the Lives He Ruined” by Karina Longworth (Slate, 2015)
  14. “Cesspool digging movie villain’s paying hobby” by Virgina MacPherson (Long Beach Press-Telegram, 1949) 
  15. “George Reeves” (Wikipedia) 
  16. “Hollywood Star System” (Wikipedia)
  17. “George Reeves” (IMDB)
  18. “Cesspit” (Wikipedia)

Karen's Episode Sources

  1. “Night of the Grizzlies” by Jack Olsen, 1969
  2. “Glacier Park's: Night of the Grizzlies” (PBS)
  3. “Glacier National Park: Crown of the Continent” (National Park Service)
  4. “The 50-Year Legacy of Glacier’s Night of the Grizzlies” by Ben Goldfarb (Outside Magazine) 2017
  5. “Grizzly bears sacred to tribes, but poses challenges as well” by David Murray (Great Falls Tribune) 2016
  6. “Night of the Grizzlies: Lessons learned in 50 years since attacks” by Sarah Dettmer (Great Falls Tribune) 2017
  7. “The Story of the Teddy Bear” (National Park Service) 
  8. “The Wild Animals of Glacier Country” (Glacier Montana)
  9. No Headline by Chris Peterson (Hungry Horse News)
  10. “Overview of Glacier National Park’s Glaciers” (National Park Service)
  11. “What to Do if You Encounter a Bear” (PBS/Nature) 2009
  12. “Grizzly Bear” (Endangered Species Coalition)
  13. “Grizzly Bear” (National Wildlife Federation)
  14. “Video shows grizzly bear walking toward Montana hikers at Glacier National Park” by Eric Lagatta (USA Today) 2023
  15. “Bears” (Glacier National Park Montana)
  16. “Grizzly Bear” (Britannica)
  17. “Staying Safe Around Bears” (National Park Service)