He didn't do it
Please, if you bring away one idea, one fact from this article, make it this: Fatty Arbuckle was innocent. In one of those common "I heard it was either this way or that" stories that build up over the years, Arbuckle has had his name dragged through the mud for decades after his innocence was proven. As a result, you hear the name and think "Well, there must have been something there...."
Well, there wasn't. And there isn't. Just injustice upon injustice heaped upon an actor who merely knew how to party and have a good time, and who became the unwitting victim in an attempt to sell newspapers.
Accused of raping Virginia Rappe with a Coke bottle in a San Francisco hotel room. Turns out, it was all a sham. But William Randolph Hearst milked the story for all it was worth.
|24 Mar 1887
||Roscoe Conkling "Fatty" Arbuckle born, Smith Center KS.
|5 Sep 1921
||Undiscovered actress Virginia Rappe somehow ruptures her bladder during actor-comedian Fatty Arbuckle's party at the Saint Francis Hotel in San Francisco. Three days later, the feverish woman is checked into a maternity hospital, where she dies from peritonitis. Arbuckle is eventually tried for murder, but acquitted.
|18 Apr 1922
||The first actor blacklisted by Wil Hays.
||Third trial, acquitted. From the jury statement: "Acquittal is not enough for Roscoe Arbuckle. We feel that a great injustice has been done him... there was not the slightest proof adduced to connect him in any way with the commission of a crime. He was manly throughout the case and told a straightforward story which we all believe. We wish him success and hope that the American people will take the judgement of fourteen men and women that Roscoe Arbuckle is entirely innocent and free from all blame."
|29 Jun 1933
||Fatty Arbuckle dies of a heart attack, Hollywood CA. Cremated, ashes scattered in the Pacific Ocean.