Brynn Hartman, the celebrity wife who shot her husband, actor and comedian Phil Hartman, to death in their Encino home almost 20 years ago, will be the profile story for the upcoming Snapped. Snapped is a weekly crime documentary show that profiles a new case each week, a season at a time. The stories are chosen carefully and usually document cases of women who suddenly snapped just before killing someone.
In tonight’s episode about Brynn Hartman, Oxygen viewers will listen as seasoned detectives and celebrity commentators bring the story alive. The case of Brynn and Phil Hartman made headlines in 1998 when it was announced on major news stations that Phil Hartman, the comedian known for his appearances on Saturday Night Live and NewsRadio, was found dead in his 9-room, $1.9 million mansion. Not only was Phil Hartman dead, but his beautiful wife Brynn, had been the one to pull the trigger.
It appeared from the outset that it was a murder-suicide. Investigators say that fateful day, Brynn Hartman had reached out to a friend to tell him that she’d shot Phil. In disbelief, the friend accompanied Brynn back to the Encino home to confirm that it was true. He immediately contacted authorities. When officers arrived, they found Phil Hartman dead with a gunshot wound to the head and two others to the body. His wife, Brynn, had locked herself into a room, eventually taking her own life during the chaos, according to Deseret News.
Hollywood was shaken to the core as they came to grips with the news of Phil’s murder. The couple had been seen hours before, and everything seemed normal. Brynn Hartman was a beautiful swimsuit model who fell deeply in love with Phil Hartman. Friends say that, when Phil first met Brynn, he was excited to be in a relationship with her. But, somewhere down the line, their own personal problems crept in, which ended up destroying the marriage.
Sources say that Phil Hartman was funny in public — a man with a big personality whom everyone wanted to be around. But, behind closed doors, he was a secretive man, a man who often isolated himself emotionally from the women with whom he was involved. Much of the time, his women never understood why Phil seemed so distant. It was a behavior that often left the women feeling unloved and constantly upset. No doubt, this is part of what Brynn Hartman experienced with Phil. Whatever the case, it didn’t seem that Phil was going to change. Some believe that he couldn’t change.
In a People magazine article, one friend made the following observation about Brynn.
“[She] wanted to do whatever he could to make this marriage work. And yet he couldn’t stop his habit of drifting away from the woman who needed him most. It was a pleasure to see how Phil interacted with people. And yet I have a feeling that Brynn got none of that.”
Others felt that Brynn Hartman was the problem. One of Phil Hartman’s former wives told People that Phil told her that Brynn had quite a temper.
“He told me she’d create scenes and throw fits. Brynn wrote me back four pages of the most hideous vitriol you could imagine. I called Phil and said, ‘Do you have any idea who you are married to?’ And he said, ‘You should’ve seen the letter she wanted to send.”
Though opinions vary, most will agree that something terrible happened just minutes before the fatal shooting. And it’s possible that no one may ever know the full details. Snapped promises viewers that they will go deep inside the investigation to study the events that led up to this brutal Hollywood murder. To see what they uncovered, tune in to #Snapped at 9/8 central tonight on Oxygen.
[Image via Crime Scene Retro/Facebook[