1. Edgar Allen Poe. Died mysteriously at the age of 40. Went missing when traveling from Virginia to New York city, then was found in a bad state in a bar in Baltimore a week later, filthy, uncharacteristically wearing a really shabby mismatched outfit of someone else’s clothes, which was weird as he was very particular about wearing very smart tailored clothes. He was apparently ranting and raving unintelligibly. His personal physician arrived shortly after he was found, and took him to a poor house hospital and had him locked in a barred room, and barred any visitors from seeing him. Poe died mysteriously a few days later, apparently yelling the name ‘Reynold’ over and over, although his physician was the only person to see him in the days before his death, and his accounts of what happened kept changing, including the dates of Poe’s discovery, death and last words. His death certificate also went missing.
His arch nemesis and biggest critic, named Rufus Grisworld, somehow managed to become executor of Poe’s estate and money. Griswold basically made it his primary aim in life to destroy Poe’s reputation, and wrote a memoir about him funded by Poe’s money, and described him as a ‘depraved, arrogant drug addled madman’.
Its been suggested Poe was the victim of an election fraud racket, called ‘cooping’ where people would be ‘shanghied’ or kidnapped and drugged, forced to wear disguises and vote for a specific presidential candidate. There was an election the day before his reappearance, but Poe was a famous local celebrity, at the time of his death, so it has been suggested he would have been too well known in the area for a cooping to take place.
Poe was slandered by the temperance movement at the time, who claimed that Poe died of alcohol consumption, but his physician said he had smelled no alcohol on him or his clothes, and remained in a delirious raving state for days. Others suggested he had overdosed on opium, but numerous close friends revealed Poe was not a habitual drug user and hadn’t used opium for years.