The Unexplained: Strange Demise of the Wasp Woman

Susan Cabot starring at the Wasp Woman

In real life, the career of movie star Susan Cabot was as bizarre and frightening as it had been on the screen.

Have you ever seen the Fifties sci fi movie, The Wasp Woman?  If you like bizarre, perhaps you should.  Even if you can’t remember the storyline later, the appearance of The Wasp Woman will leave a lingering impression on you.

Susan Cabot is the actress that makes The Wasp Woman come to life on the big screen.  Hideous is a good description.

In the movie, Susan plays a cosmetics queen who professes that she has found a serum for age reversal and eternal beauty, by use of an insect chemical.  What are the adverse side effects?

Susan was born Harriet Pearl Shapiro in Boston in 1927.  Her parents were unstable, so she spent her early years in a series of foster homes.  She was abused in some of them–scarred for life with a condition we would now call PTSD.


Sara Marie Hogg

Somehow, in spite of this bumpy early life, she found her way to Hollywood by the 1950s, and was occasionally getting good work as an actress.  She even did some films with Bogart and Lee Marvin.  She soon settled into work as a B Movie staple.  She made six movies with Roger Corman, and several westerns.  She had an exotic beauty about her.

In 1959 she even had a short romantic interlude with King Hussein after meeting him at a dinner party in Los Angeles.  She continued to see him in New York when he visited there.

In 1964, Cabot gave birth to a son, Timothy Scott.  The identity of the boy’s father is murky, with lots of speculation.  His full legal name would be Timothy Scott Roman.

The birth was hard on the mother and child–with some desperate moments.  The premature boy had brain damage and a form of dwarfism.  He would also be plagued with seizures.  Four months of post natal oxygen therapy was prescribed.

Susan Cabot started her son on experimental hormone therapy to help his growth and development.  Timothy would have wild mood swings, maybe due to this strange medication.

Police were called to Susan’s stylish, but disheveled home on December 10, 1986.  An injured twenty-two year old Timothy met them outside and explained that he had been beaten by an intruder with long hair who looked like a ninja warrior.  He had been knocked out by this intruder who had stolen seventy thousand dollars and killed his mother with a barbell.

A barbell?  The fifty-nine year old victim was located sprawled across her bed.  She had been severely beaten.

Timothy was calm when dealing with the officers, but they were immediately suspicious of his story about the ninja intruder.  His tale began to unravel and he eventually produced the main murder weapon, a barbell.

Timothy Scott Roman was arrested for the murder of his mother.  Many things entered into the case: the experimental medication that he took daily, and it’s unpredictable side effects, his relationship with his mother–he resented her tendency to be overbearing, and the deterioration of both of their mental conditions in recent weeks.

Timothy’s case went to court in May, 1989, but it was declared a mistrial when his attorney had to be hospitalized with a heart attack.  In the second trial, the same judge convicted Timothy of manslaughter and sentenced him to three years probation.

Timothy Scott Roman reached a height of 5′ 4″ because of ]the steroids and hormones he had been given by his mother.  He attended Pierce College as an art student.  He always maintained that his mother had attacked him first, and did not even recognize him as her son on the night of her death.

He died at the age of thirty-eight of complications from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

The Wasp Woman’s fate was…death by barbell.

Please click HERE to find Sara’s historical novel on Amazon.

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