Stompanato was the 32 year old ex-bodyguard of gangster Mickey Cohen. Although the romance with Miss Turner was over in her mind, it seems clear from the evidence that he at least did not want to end it. The Assailant
Cheryl Crane, the fourteen year old daughter of Lana Turner, by Stephen Crane.
The facts, of course, come from the only witnesses to the murder: the assailant and her mother. According to the statement given to police, Cheryl Crane heard Stompanato threaten her mother, took a knife from the kitchen, and stabbed him in the stomach. In Lana Turner's statement she said that she did not even realize at first that he had been stabbed.
An investigation by a coroner's jury resulted in a "justifiable homicide" verdict, and Cheryl was released.