*Cascading Curses* James Dean: Destined to Die Young

When one unfortunate event begins a series of tragic coincidences it has the tendency to evolve into a curse. The more coincidences that are involved, the more likely people are to believe otherworldly factors have come into play– the circumstances are just too unwieldy to be anything but the result of a curse!

A series of tragic events that link back to the death of a young up-and-coming actor have managed to achieve a level of curse that only a series of coincidence of this magnitude can afford.

James Byron Dean lived life in the fast lane, so it comes as no surprise that this “Rebel Without a Cause” spent his last moments of life behind the wheel of a car.

Although he had only seen the release of one of the films he starred in, James Dean’s portrayal of the teenaged Cal Trask in the 1955 film based on Steinbeck’s East of Eden skyrocketed the actor to fame almost overnight. His acting resonated with teenagers, giving them a much sought after voice in Hollywood films. His death made him an instant legend as Rebel Without a Cause (1955) and Giant (1956) were released posthumously. It’s a shame that such talent could be ripped from Hollywood so early in his career, but some said that the actor lived hard and fast because of a premonition that he would die young.

Early Life

James “Jimmy” Dean was born in Marion, Indiana on February 6, 1931. Although he experienced his fair share of childhood trials, Jimmy lived a happy childhood. At a young age, his family– father Winton A. Dean and mother Mildred Marie (Wilson) Dean– relocated to Santa Monica, California. After a two-year battle with cancer, his mother passed away on September 14, 1940, when Dean was nine years old. Winton was unable to care for Jimmy and sent him back to Indiana to live with his Aunt Ortense Winslow and Uncle Marcus Winslow. Later, Winton would be drafted to fight in World War II. Jimmy’s father would return from the war six years later, and Jimmy would see his father from time-to-time. Ultimately, Jimmy was raised by his aunt and uncle.

The young James Dean was described by family as a good, strong-minded fellow. He was a free-spirit, which was encouraged by his mother while she was still alive. Although he has been described as an introvert, he was charismatic and could organize the neighborhood kids in an effort to help when a few extra hands were needed to do the work– but Jimmy hardly had to do anything! He was active in the sports clubs in school– starring on the basketball team– and he was, naturally, a thespian and played the lead in the school productions.

After graduating from high school in Fairmount, Indiana, Dean found himself returning to Santa Monica to attend junior college on an athletic scholarship, later transferring to UCLA, where he majored in drama. James Dean dropped out of college to study acting full-time. Eventually, he would travel from the west coast east to New York. James Dean won the David Blum Award for promising newcomers. He starred in several dramatic television programs such as Studio One, You Are There, and Television Playhouse. The roles weren’t big, but they helped kick-start his movie career and he eventually moved back to California.

In 1954, Jimmy caught his big break in the role of Cal Trask in Steinbeck’s East of Eden. He was paid $10,000 for the part that would launch his stunning and brief career as a star.

Along Came a Spyder

James Dean loved hot rods and racing. After making the “big time” and signing his first major motion picture contract in April 1954, Jimmy bought a 1955 Triumph Tiger T110 motorcycle. This was shortly followed by a purchase of a 1953 MG TD sports car. In March 1955, he traded the MG for a 1955 Porsche 356 Speedster at Competition Motors in Hollywood (1219 N. Vine Street, Hollywood, California— Now a Banquet Hall). Three days after filming for East of Eden completed, Jimmy traded in the Triumph Tiger motorcycle for a 1955 Triumph TR5 Trophy motorcycle.

Not long after purchasing the Porsche 356 Speedster, James Dean entered his first road race. The Palm Springs Road Races took place over the course of two days, beginning on March 26, 1955. The novice race car driver took first in the novice class and second overall.

In his next road race, Dean again raced his Porsche Speedster. The Bakersfield competition was also over two days, beginning May 1, 1955. Dean, once again, placed first in the novice class at Minter Field (201 Aviation St, Shafter, CA). His third place overall finish was nothing to balk at either. These two high placing finishes made it clear that James Dean had talents in areas other than acting.

Over Memorial Day weekend, May 28-29, 1955, James Dean entered his Porsche Speedster in the Santa Barbara Road Races. Although he started out at the back of the pack in the 18th position, he was able to navigate to 4th position before blowing a piston, making it impossible to finish the race. James Dean would need a new car if he wanted to race again.

Jimmy used $7,000 of his $10,000 salary from East of Eden to purchase the silver 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder (VIN 550-0055), upgrading from the Porsche 356 Speedster. Dean had the car’s paint job customized by Dean Jeffries, who added the racing number 130, and emblazoned “Little Bastard”, the nickname director George Stevens gave Dean on the set of Giant, on the back of the Spyder. The car was slick– it could accelerate to speeds up to 150 mph.

Despite his excellent track record, Warner Brothers banned Dean from racing cars during the filming of Giant. Now that his role in production of the film was finished (with the exception of some voice work), and now that he had a new race car, the actor had (late) entered the First Annual Salinas Sports Car Road Races in Salinas, California on October 1, 1955 for a fee of $20– $10 for the car, $5 for one driver (himself), and $5 for a late entry fee. The “130” that had been painted on the car was his assigned car number for the Salinas race, with Dean’s preference being numbers 3, 23, and 303, respectively.

According to Sanford Roth, a photographer for Collier’s Magazine, James Dean had driven the Spyder some 250 miles around Hollywood, showing off the car to his friends.

“He planned to put it on a flatbed, attached to the rear of my station wagon. He was going to ride up in the station wagon with me. But then he found out that Rolf Wuetherich was willing to ride up with him in the Porsche.

“Rolf, a mechanic, was recently arrived from Germany and knew more about the Porsches than any other man in this country. He said he would ride up in the new car with Jimmy, to explain all its workings en route, and I would follow along with the station wagon.”

Premonition or Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?

Friends of James Dean would frequently comment on his need to race everywhere he went. Jimmy once said to Marlon Brando, “I’ve got to go places in a hurry. There just isn’t enough time.” The actor spoke to friends, often telling them he might not live long because he’d had a premonition of his own, early death.

“Once, early in his employment at Warner Brothers, a studio executive saw him zoom away in a fast car, and remarked: ‘That crazy kid is going to kill himself.'” Not long before his death, James Dean filmed a 10-15 minute Behind the Cameras television spot for Warner Brothers Presents during a break in the filming for Giant. The spot included a cut-scene of the famous race scene from Rebel Without a Cause and ended with a brief interview with James Dean. The interview was filmed on July 28, 1955– a few months before his death– spotlighting the dangers of speeding and reckless driving. As the interview with fellow actor Gig Young concluded, Young asked Dean if he had any advice for the young people who drive. The catch phrase “The life you save might be your own” was ad-libbed in Dean’s response “Take it easy driving– uh, the life you save might be mine.”

A week before the accident that took James Dean’s life, he had another warning from actor Alec Guinness. The future Obi-Wan Kenobi had just returned from a 16-hour flight from Copenhagen, Denmark. He and his companion, Thelma Moss, had been turned away from three restaurants because Moss was wearing slacks. As they were leaving the Villa Capri, Guinness was stopped by Jimmy who invited them to join his table. All Jimmy required was that, as they headed back to the restaurant, they check out his new car, which had just arrived. Despite being fatigued and hungry, Guinness acquiesced.

“The sports car looked sinister to me, although it had a large bunch of red carnations resting on the bonnet. “How fast is it? I asked. “She’ll do a hundred and fifty,” he replied. Exhausted, hungry, feeling a little ill-tempered in spite of Dean’s kindness, I heard myself saying in a voice I could hardly recognize as my own, “Please, never get in it.” I looked at my watch. “It is now ten o’clock, Friday the 23rd of September, 1955. If you get in that car, you will be found dead in it by this time next week.”

He laughed, “Oh, shucks! Don’t be so mean!”

The Last Ride

James Dean began his day on September 30, 1955, at the log cabin home he rented from Nicco Romanos, who was the maitre d’ at the (new) Villa Capri (6735 Yucca Street, Los Angeles CA— Demolished in 2005), supposedly Dean’s favorite restaurant. Dean paid $250 a month in rent for the house at 14611 Sutton Street in Sherman Oaks, California. (The house Dean lived in has since been demolished and rebuilt.) That morning, around 7:20 am, the young actor shared coffee with Romanos, who stopped by for a visit.

At 7:45 am, James Dean towed his new sports car to Bill Hickman’s house. The two took the Spyder to Competition Motors, where Rolf Wuetherich was to make some last-minute adjustments to get the vehicle ready to race. Sanford Roth, a photographer for Collier’s Magazine who was doing a photo essay on James Dean’s racing, met the men at Competition Motors around 9:45 am. Dean’s father and uncle stopped by the shop for a visit shortly after the photographer had arrived. The car still wasn’t ready for the trip, so James Dean, his family, and his friends went across the street to the Hollywood Ranch Market at the corner of Vine Street and La Mirada Avenue where they had donuts and coffee.

Around noon, after bidding his father and uncle goodbye, James Dean and Rolf Wuetherich departed Los Angeles, embarking on a +3 hour journey to Salinas, in the Porsche Spyder. Bill Hickman and Sanford Roth followed in Roth’s station wagon. They traveled north on Vine, taking the 101 to Sherman Oaks, where they made their first stop to get gas at a little station on Ventura Boulevard (14428 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks, CA— Now a florist). Roth took the opportunity to snap a few photos of James Dean, gassing up his new Porsche.

The group took Old Highway 99, the remnants of which might still be seen along side of present-day Interstate 5, passing through Kern County. Although it’s on the route James Dean took north, the topic of whether the actor stopped at Tip’s Restaurant at the corner of The Old Road and Magic Mountain Parkway, Valencia, CA is up for debate. Members of Tip’s staff– manager Carmen Cummings and server Althea McGuinness– claimed James Dean sat at the counter and ordered his last meal there at Tip’s. Some speculate that the final meal of a slice of apple pie and a glass of milk was just a publicity stunt for the restaurant. In either case, Tip’s was located along “The Old Road” (Highway 99), so James Dean at least passed through this intersection.

About 50 miles north of Tip’s Restaurant, on Highway 99 south of Bakersfield, James Dean was pulled over for speeding. He was ticketed by California Highway Patrol Officer Otie Hunter. At the time, Officer Hunter had no idea who he’d just pulled over. The officer wrote the young star a traffic ticket, which Dean signed– his last autograph. In a September 2012 interview with Channel 17 news, Officer Hunter recounted the traffic stop:

“He was running right around 70 miles an hour. So was the truck behind him. At that time, the vehicle speed was 55 and 45 for a vehicle towing another vehicle. We heard [Dean’s] intent was to get the car here, take it out to Riverside Raceway, and run a few laps around the track out there to loosen it up a little bit. But, he never had the time to do it because they said the car was late getting in.

“I told him he shouldn’t be running that fast, and he agreed that he was running fast. He told me why– that he was trying to break his car in a little bit so the next day [when] he runs it at Monterey [sic] it would be loosened up a little bit. I told him he shouldn’t be doing that. I said that’s a good way to get killed or something like that. And, he said ‘Ok, he’d slow it down a bit.'”

Officer Hunter also ticketed Roth, who was speeding in the station wagon that followed James Dean. Roth recounted the incident, saying:

“We left Hollywood about noon on September 30. I was always at least four or five minutes behind in my station wagon. Just before we reached Bakersfield, about 3:30 pm, Jimmy was given a ticket for speeding at 65 miles an hour on a downgrade. He objected and said buses and other cars were passing him at 85 miles an hour, but the officer gave him a ticket because Jimmy was in a racing car. The officer didn’t recognize Jimmy.”

The approximate location of the traffic stop has been marked by small, silver letters spelling out “DEAN” on the utility pole. (If you visit this location, please use the Mettler Frontage Road– the utility poles are located on that side of the right of way/barbed wire fence anyway.)

After the traffic ticket was issued, the group continued their journey towards Salinas. Dean exited Highway 99, getting onto Highway 466 (now Highway 46), stopping one last time at Blackwell’s Corner (17191 California 46, Lost Hills, CA). There used to be a convenience store at Blackwell’s Corner, which was jokingly famous for having the “World’s Largest Parking Lot” before it became “James Dean’s Final Stop”. The actor purchased an apple and a Coke.

This was the last moment photographer Sanford Roth would see the actor alive.

“A few hours later, we stopped at Blackwell’s Corners, near a little community called Cholane (sic), [at] the intersection of two highways. I was following Jimmy and Rolf in the station wagon, and as I drew near I saw what I thought, at first, was a road block. I saw a strange car, with someone sitting dazedly in it. Neither that car nor the passenger seemed damaged.

“Then I saw the Porsche. It was smashed, completely. Rolf was lying on the ground, crying: ‘Jimmy, Jimmy!’ thru bleeding jaws and shattered teeth. Rolf’s legs and arms were broken.

“I saw Jimmy. He was thrown back behind the wheel and I knew he was dead. His neck was broken. There was very little blood on him, only a small cut where his eyeglasses had cracked against his cheek.”

You can see the location of the fatal intersection from the top of Polonio Pass. A remnant of the original road surface remains, but the existing highway has undergone improvements.

The Crash

The details of exactly what happened at the scene of the accident are sketchy– those directly involved in the accident were fairly tight-lipped. What we do know is that at approximately 5:45 pm on September 30, 1955, actor James Dean was traveling westbound on Highway 466, passing the intersection of Highway 466 and Highway 41, when his vehicle was struck by a 1950 Ford Tudor Coupe driven by Donald Turnupseed, 23. The Ford, traveling eastbound on Highway 466, was turning left (northeast) onto Highway 41 and it clipped the front end of Dean’s Porsche Spyder, sending it spinning northwest, where the vehicle came to rest against a utility pole at the side of the road.

Turnupseed’s vehicle suffered little damage, and the young Cal Poly student and his passenger suffered minor injuries, and they were shaken by the experience.

German Porsche mechanic, Rolf Wuetherich, was thrown from the Porsche Spyder, landing just outside the driver’s side door as the Porsche came to rest. Rolf sustained a broken jaw, broken leg, and other minor injuries. He was transported to Paso Robles Hospital for treatment.

James Dean, 24, was not so lucky. His death certificate lists cause of death as “Broken Neck” and includes “multiple fractures of upper and lower jaw, multiple fractures of left and right arm, and internal injuries” as well. As the driver of the vehicle, Dean was positioned on the side of the impact. When the Ford struck his Porsche, Dean’s feet were pinned in the driver’s foot well. The impact of the crash thrust his body into the passenger side of the Porsche, giving accident witness Don Dooley, 15, cause to speculate that Wuetherich had been driving at the time of the crash.

California Highway Patrol officers Earnie Tripke and Ron Nelson responded to the accident scene around 6:20 pm. Officer Nelson directed traffic, gathered information, and took photographs while Officer Tripke interviewed Turnupseed and other witnesses. As Tripke approached the crumpled Porsche, he could tell James Dean had a broken neck. Tripke, in a 2005 interview with the San Luis Obispo Tribune, recalled the scene of the accident:

“We weren’t qualified to say that [James Dean] was deceased, but I think he was darn close to it.

[Turnupseed] said he was making his turn. He just didn’t see Dean coming until the last, split second, and it was too late.”


Those are the “facts” that we know about the crash; however, there are some details of the accident which a select few have taken to their graves. First, and probably the most perplexing question being:

How fast was James Dean traveling at the moment of impact?

The inquest, held on October 10, 1955, and newspaper accounts from around 1955 allege Dean’s speed to have been upwards of 90-100 miles per hour (mph) (145-161 kilometers per hour or kph). More recent evaluation of the accident scene and police reports suggest he was more likely traveling between 70-75 mph (113-121 kph). Though some involved in the aftermath of the crash, like California Highway Patrol Officer Ron Nelson, suggest that the Porsche driven by James Dean was traveling as slow as 55 mph (89 kph), which was close to the posted speed limit.

With the speed of the vehicle at the time of the crash being under so much scrutiny, other questions start to arise. Did Turnupseed see Dean and still think he could make the turn safely? Did James Dean see Turnupseed start to turn and think he could skirt to the right, around the left-turning vehicle? Was Turnupseed also speeding? Did the driver of the Ford not see the silver Porsche against the pavement or was he not paying attention to oncoming traffic? And, lastly, one that most vividly captures my attention– Did the inquest intentionally pin the full blame of the accident on James Dean to absolve a young college student of fault in the accident?

Those questions, as poignant as they are, can only be answered with speculation. The only way to know the answers with certainty would have been to live through the accident, but that didn’t really bode well for at least one of the persons involved in the accident. Rolf Wuetherich, the mechanic driving with James Dean in the 1955 crash, would also die in a fatal crash on July 21, 1981, when his sedan hydroplaned and smashed into a wall in Kupferzell, West Germany, 54 miles northeast of Stuttgart.


The untimely death of James Dean seems to have set off a cascade of tragic events involving Rolf Wuetherich’s demise and including the remnants of the Porsche Spyder, several actors from the film Rebel Without a Cause, and even James Dean’s own headstone.

Cursed Car

The Porsche 550 Spyder is a car of legend. Insurance totaled the vehicle, paying Dean’s father the value of the salvage. Although the vehicle’s front end was severely damaged, the rear engine and trans-axle were still in good condition. The entire wreckage was purchased by Doctor William F Eschrich of Burbank, California, who installed the transmission in his Lotus IX. He loaned some parts from the Spyder to a friend and fellow racer, Dr. Troy McHenry.

The two doctors both had parts of the James Dean Porsche Spyder in their vehicles during the October 21, 1956 Pomona Sports Car Races. Dr. McHenry lost control of his vehicle and struck a tree. In a separate race, Dr. Eschrich was involved in a roll-over accident.

George Barris purchased the chassis and used it as a traveling exhibit for the National Safety Council in a campaign against the hazards of reckless driving. When the car was delivered to the plant by the storage yard, it rolled off the dollies and broke an attendant’s legs.

One of the stops for the safety exhibition was Fresno, California. On March 11, 1959, while the exhibit was being set up, the garage at 3158 Hamilton Avenue which was temporarily storing the Porsche Spyder wreckage caught fire.

During transport to another stop in Salinas, California, the truck transporting the wreckage skidded. The driver was thrown from his truck and crushed by the wreckage of the Porsche Spyder as it rolled off of the flatbed.

The curse of the car may have continued except the car vanished in 1960 as it made an eight-day trip from Florida to California in a sealed boxcar. In August 2005, the Volo Auto Museum in Volo, Illinois announced an alleged display of artifacts from the crash which included the passenger-side door from the Spyder. The Volo Auto Museum, along with George Barris, advertised the exhibit with a $1 million award to anyone able to prove they owned the missing chassis (#0055). The prize went unclaimed.

Several of the working pieces from the wreckage are still around and traceable. The family of the late Dr. Eschrich is still in possession of the 4-Cam Porsche engine (#90059). They also have the original California Owner’s Registration. In 1991, collector Jack Styles of Boston, Massachusetts is documented as having installed the tran-axle (#10046) in a Porsche Spyder he was working to restore and race.

The Rebel Curse

The death of James Dean is supposed to have also started the “Rebel Curse” because several actors starring in the film Rebel Without a Cause have died very young, and they died under very mysterious circumstances.

  • No one had heard from actor Nick Adams, 36, for two days when his body was found in his home at 2126 El Roble Lane. Adams, who played Chick in Rebel Without a Cause, was found fully clad and seated on the floor beside a bed. The actor had died sometime on February 7, 1968. His death was allegedly caused by mixing paraldehyde, a drug used to treat alcoholics, and promazine which is a tranquilizer. It is undetermined whether the overdose was accidental or intentional suicide.
  • The actor who played John ‘Plato’ Crawford in Rebel Without a Cause, Sal Mineo, 37, was stabbed outside his home at 8563 Holloway Drive in West Hollywood between 9:15 pm and 9:20 pm on Thursday, February 12, 1976. Witnesses heard Mineo cry for help saying, “Oh, no! Oh, my God! No! Help me, please!”Raymond Evans and other neighbors attempted to help the bloodied actor, but their efforts were in vain. Mineo took his last breath before police arrived at the scene. He died of a massive hemorrhage from a stab wound in the left side of his chest, which penetrated his heart.Although several witnesses offered a description of the blonde-haired assailant wearing dark clothing, police were unable to determine a motive for the stabbing, nor could they gain solid ground in the Mineo case. The fatal stabbing remains unsolved.
  • The most perplexing victim of the “Rebel Curse” died under mysterious circumstances on the evening of November 29, 1981. At 7:45 am, actress Natalie Wood, who played the role of Judy in Rebel Without a Cause, was found fully clothed and floating face-down about 100 yards off Blue Cavern Point, northeast of the Catalina Isthmus, and approximately one mile away from the anchored 55-foot yacht Splendour. Wood, 34, was on the yacht with her husband Robert Wagner and actor and Brainstorm costar Christopher Walken. At some time around midnight, the actress disappeared. Doug Bombard, who operated a harbor patrol service, was notified at 3:30 am that the actress was missing, and the search for her body began shortly harbor patrol was contacted.Exactly how Natalie Wood ended up in the water is as deep an unsolved mystery as the circumstances surrounding the James Dean auto crash. Those who were on the boat that fateful evening haven’t talked much about the details of the drowning without the presence of their lawyers. Although on June 15, 2012, Wood’s death certificate was changed from accidental death by drowning to drowning under undetermined circumstances.

Other Coincidences

Some other startling coincidences which could be related to James Dean include the theft of his tombstone in April 1983 and, shortly after being recovered, in August 1983. The 400 pound, rose-colored granite headstone was stolen from Dean’s plot at Park Cemetery in Fairmount, Indiana. Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Deputy Aaron Gilman discovered the missing headstone when it ripped the transmission from his patrol car. In 1985, the headstone had to be replaced because of damage inflicted by James Dean fans.

In 1967, the infamous convenience store located on Blackwells’ Corner, where James Dean is said to have purchased an apple and a Coke, burned down under mysterious circumstances in another bizarre coincidence that can be linked to a James Dean curse.

One last creepy, related coincidence involves the gas station where James Dean last gassed up. The gas station on Ventura Boulevard (14428 Ventura Boulevard) may have been the same location that members of the Manson Family stopped at after killing coffee heiress Abigail Folger, Folger’s lover Voytek Frykowski, internationally known hairstylist Jay Sebring, and pregnant actress Sharon Tate. The group is known to have stopped at a gas station to wash the blood from their hands as they drove away from the crime scene, down Ventura Boulevard, following the murder.

Closing Remarks

It’s not difficult to see how the ripples of one tragic event can be linked to so many other horrible events. Is there really a James Dean Curse or are all these events just part of a larger ocean of circumstance? I guess you’ll have to decide for yourself.

Author’s Notes:

I wanted to include photographs of James Dean, but I was concerned about copyright as “James Dean” and his likeness are copyrighted by his estate. Photos of James Dean, race cars, the accident, and several other James Dean related images can be readily found on the internet. You can check my sources, below, for some photos. I also recommend this website, which is very detailed and has many of the aforementioned photos: http://www.jamesdean.com.

Also, Being a civil engineer in transportation/public works, I had to restrain myself from getting too geeky and requesting as-built plans from Caltrans for the 1955 Highway 466 so I could run an AASHTO analysis to see if the old road profile potentially contributed to the accident… I’m still tempted, but I don’t have the resources to do so at this time. I also wanted a copy of the inquest, but I refrained from ordering a copy because I already had a pile of research and barely enough time to sift through it all to write this article in time for the 59th anniversary of James Dean’s death.

If you’re visiting Los Angeles and are interested in taking the 4 hour drive to the middle of nowhere called “James Dean’s Last Ride”… don’t waste your time tracing the steps — I’ve (mostly) done it for you. Although you’ll have to move some of the path markers around, you can use this Google map to help plan your trip:
Google Map to Retrace James Dean’s Final Day (Minus picking up his friend before going to the auto shop)

Thanks for reading… and remember to drive safely on the roads!

* Beath, Warren. “Retracing Dean’s Last Ride: 1955/1997.” American Legends. http://www.americanlegends.com/jamesdean/facts/lastride.html
* Belcher, Jerry. “Natalie Wood Clues Sought: Autopsy Performed on Actress.” Los Angeles Times. 30 November 1981: A1.
* Belcher, Jerry and Jones, Jack. “Natalie Wood Autopsy: Drowning Called Accidental.” Los Angeles Times. 1 December 1981: A1.
* Gonzalez, Saul. “Summer Road Trips: On the Trail of James Dean.” KCRW. 2 July 2012: http://blogs.kcrw.com/whichwayla/2012/07/summer-road-trips-on-the-trail-of-james-dean.
* High Plains Broadcasting, LLC. “James Dean’s Last Autograph.” 28 September 2012: http://www.kerngoldenempire.com/news/local/story/James-Deans-last-autograph/d/story/ns3vHrCiIEeRd416ArSbZw.
* Julien’s Live. “Hollywood Legends (#33112) Lot 774 of 980: James Dean Twice Signed Registration for Final Race.” 31 March 2012: http://www.julienslive.com/view-auctions/catalog/id/68/lot/26022/.
* Kendall, John. “Motive in Sal Mineo Slaying Baffles Police: Witnesses Give Partial Description of Knifing Suspect.” Los Angeles Times. 13 February 1976: A3.
* Kendall, John. “Detectives Unable to Discover Motive for Fatal Stabbing of Actor Sal Mineo.” Los Angeles Times. 14 February 1976: OC1.
* Korman, Seymour. “The Last Hours of James: Brilliant Young Star Met Tragic End on Eve of His Greatest Success; but Even in Death His Fame Continues to Grow.” Chicago Daily Tribune. 5 February 1956: F18.
* Mikkelson, Barbara. “Advice Not Taken.” Snopes. 22 August 2007: http://www.snopes.com/movies/actors/dean.asp.
* Nauman, Matt. “James Dean’s Rebel Myth Began with Porsche Crash.” Knight Ridder Tribune Business News [Washington]. 09 April 2004: 1.
* Pietro, Denn & Rochon, Denver. “James Dean: Born Cool.” 2002: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSGkZhhnuWo.
* Pollack, Alan, M.D.. “James Dean: Did He or Didn’t He?: Hollywood bad boy ate his last meal in the Santa Clarita Valley. Maybe.” Heritage Junction Dispatch. November 2008: http://www.scvhistory.com/scvhistory/pollack1108jamesdean.htm.
* Thackery, Ted Jr.. “Actress Natalie Wood Dies: Apparently Drowned in Catalina Boat Accident.” Los Angeles Times. 30 November, 1981: 1.
* “$1M Offer For James Dean Crash Car.” Breaking News.ie [Cork, Ireland]. 31 August 2005.
* Dearly Departed, Episode 3, “Road to Salinas,” 2013: http://vimeo.com/63415705.
* “Death Premonition By Dean Recalled: Young Actor Who Died in Crash Was Always Trying to Outspeed His Doom, Friends Say.” Los Angeles Times. 2 October 1955: A1.
* “Film Star James Dean Killed in Auto Crash: 2 Others Hurt in Accident.” Los Angeles Times. 1 October 1955: A1.
* “Inquiry Closed on Nick Adams.” Los Angeles Times. 5 March 1968.
* “James Dean’s Final Ride.” 12 June 2010: http://dearoldhollywood.blogspot.com/2010/06/james-deans-final-ride.html.
* Times Wire Services. “Survivor of James Dean Crash.” Los Angeles Times. 27 July 1981.
* “Car Crash Leads to James Dean’s Tombstone.” Tulsa World. 18 July 1985: 5.
* http://www.findadeath.com/Deceased/d/James%20Dean/ – Death Certificate & Photos
* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0S3GqfJ1jQ – TV Show about Curse