Cheryl Christina Crane (born July 25, 1943) is the only child of actress Lana Turner, from her marriage to actor-restaurateur Stephen Crane, her second husband.
Killing of Johnny Stompanato
On April 4, 1958, at age 14, Cheryl Crane stabbed her mother's boyfriend Johnny Stompanato to death. The killing was ruled a justifiable homicide: Crane was deemed to have been protecting her mother. Stompanato was well-known to have been abusive, extremely jealous of Turner and had previously pointed a gun at actor Sean Connery, her co-star in Another Time, Another Place, only to have Connery take the gun from him, beat him and force him from the movie set.
Following Stompanato's death, Crane was made a ward of the State of California. and was placed in the El Retiro School for Girls in Sylmar, Los Angeles, for "psychiatric therapy" in March 1960. Six weeks later she and two other girls climbed a 10-foot wall and fled. They were eventually returned to the school after Cheryl telephoned her father, restaurateur Stephen Crane. Five weeks later, Cheryl again fled the campus with two other girls. They walked into Sylmar and were driven by a new acquaintance to Beverly Hills, where they were taken into custody a few hours later after being seen near Cheryl's grandmother's home. Cheryl was released from the school in January 1961 to the custody of her mother and stepfather, Frederick D. May.
In 1969, Crane was detained by the Los Angeles Police Department when three half-grown marijuana plants were discovered in the back seat of her car.
In her autobiography, Detour: a Hollywood Tragedy – My Life With Lana Turner, My Mother (1988), Crane discussed the Stompanato killing publicly for the first time and admitted to the stabbing. She further alleged that she was subject to a series of sexual assaults at the hands of her stepfather and her mother's fourth husband, actor Lex Barker.
Years later, Cheryl publicly revealed that she had told her mother she was a lesbian and that Turner had taken the news well. Turner said she regarded Cheryl's partner, Joyce "Josh" LeRoy, "as a second daughter".
Crane currently lives in the Palm Springs, California, area, retired from real estate and is married to her long time companion (45yrs) Joyce "Josh" LeRoy. Crane has written a mystery novel titled The Bad Always Die Twice, published in 2011.
- Lamparski, R. (1970) Whatever Became Of...?, Ace Books, New York.
- Crane, Cheryl. The Bad Always Die Twice, Kensington Publishing Corporation (2011) ISBN 978-0758258861