Wife Of 'Tarzan' Star Ron Ely Stabbed To Death By Son

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Who Is Valerie Ely? Wife Of 'Tarzan' Star Ron Ely Stabbed To Death By Son

This is a tragedy of epic proportions. On Tuesday evening, Valerie Ely was found dead in her home outside of Los Angeles, CA by her husband, "Tarzan" actor Ron Ely. The 81-year-old actor then realized that his son, Cameron, was responsible — and when he called the police, the case went from bad to worse. But who is Valerie Ely, and what could have possibly gone wrong? 

In 1966, Tarzan was one of the hottest shows on television. Ron Ely won the role after he was spotted in supporting roles for South Pacific, The Fiend Who Walked The West, and The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker. He became increasingly popular when it came out that he did all of his own stunts for the show. Even though he's mostly remembered for this role, he worked steadily until 2001, when he retired from acting altogether. 

Now, however, he's back in the news for a whole different reason, and none of those reasons are good ones. Whether you believe this is an example of a family tragedy, an end result of white privilege, or a combination of both, the fact is, two people are dead, and a man in his 80s who is in poor physical health bore witness to it all. What a horror it must have been, to see your wife dead on the floor, to know that your son stabbed her to death, and to subsequently watch your son get killed by the police. What an awful, awful tragedy. 

Let's look at what we know about Valerie Ely, the unfortunate victim in all of this. 

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1. Ron Ely found Valerie Ely dead on the floor of their home. 

The Today Show reports that on Tuesday, October 15th, Ron Ely found his second wife, Valerie Ely, dead on the floor of their home in Santa Barbara County, California. The outlet reports that Valerie Ely, who was a former beauty pageant winner, suffered multiple stab wounds. 

2. When police arrived, they identified the couple's son, Cameron, as a suspect. 

According to WGN America, police arrived at about 8:15 p.m. to the couple's home in Hope Ranch, in Santa Barbara County. The outlet reports that they came after a dispute was reported at the house. Ron Ely told the police that "a family member" was responsible for his wife's death, but didn't specify who that family member was. That's when the police identified the couple's 30-year-old son, Cameron, on the scene, and as a possible suspect. 

3. The police then issued a statement about what happened. 

"Upon arrival, deputies contacted Ron Ely and discovered his wife, Valerie Lundeen Ely, 62, deceased with multiple stab wounds inside the home. While on the scene, deputies identified the suspect as the Elys' son 30-year-old Cameron Ely," read the statement from the Santa Barbara County Police, which was subsequently printed by Fox News

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4. Cameron Ely allegedly posed a "threat" to the police. 

When police identified 30-year-old Cameron Ely as the suspect on the scene, they tried to arrest him. However, he posed what they called a "threat" to them, though it was unclear what that threat entailed. Was it a threat to their police officers on the scene — or a threat to the other members of the family? 

5. Cameron Ely tried to blame Ron Ely for Valerie Ely's death. 

According to the New York Daily News, when the police arrived at the scene of the horrific crime, Cameron Ely tried to blame his father, Ron Ely, for his mother's death. He then allegedly issued a "threat" to the police, which is why they ultimately fatally shot him. 

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6. Autopsies are still pending for both Valerie Ely and Cameron Ely. 

"The spokesperson [for the Santa Barbara Police Department] said no deputies were injured during the confrontation and noted that the office is currently conducting criminal, coroner’s, and administrative investigations. Ron Ely also did not suffer any injuries but was taken to the hospital as a precaution. An autopsy of both Valerie and Cameron is pending," reported People.

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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, and photographer whose work has appeared in People, Teen Vogue, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and more. She is also the author of The Uprising series. For more information about Bernadette Giacomazzo, click here.