Cameron Ely, Son Of 'Tarzan' Actor Ron Ely And Harvard Quarterback, Murders Mom Valerie Ely — What Happened?

Photo: Instagram
Who Is Cameron Ely? New Details On 'Tarzan' Actor's Son And Former Harvard Quarterback Who Killed His Mom

Tragedy hit the home and family of Tarzan actor Ron Ely, 81, last week. His wife, Valerie Ely, 62, was fatally stabbed to death in their Santa Barbara home on October 15. A 911 call was made by the couple's 30-year-old son Cameron during which he said his father did it. In fact, that's how the Los Angeles news outlets originally reported the crime. Police responded to the scene and found that that was not at all the case. In fact, it was Cameron who murdered his mother.

The incident happened in the family's home in Hope Ranch in Santa Barabara County. When the police arrived at the Ely home, they found Ron frail and unable to speak clearly because of a disability. Ron told the officers that Cameron had driven off after the murder. He was found 90 minutes later on the family's property. Police found him to be a threat when they arrived on the scene and shot and killed him. Now Ron Ely is left mourning his wife and son and wondering how it all went so wrong. 

Which begs the question: Who is Cameron Ely and what caused this horrible tragedy to happen?

1. His education

Cameron Ely attended San Marcos High School in California as well as the prestigious Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. Phillips Exeter is regularly on the list of the best boarding schools in America. Tuition costs $49,000 a year. Cameron was a highly-recruited football player out of high school. 24/7 Sports profiled him in 2005 saying, "The sky is the limit for San Marcos high school QB Cameron Ely." He was recruited by Harvard University where he played Quarterback during the 2007 season. During that year, he had a GPA of about 4.0. He's not listed on the football roster for Harvard for any other year. He graduated in 2012 with a BA in Psychology

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

2. Close-knit family

Ron Ely married Valerie Lundeen in 1984. They have two daughters, Kirsten and Kaitland, both 32 as well as Cameron, who was 30 at the time of his death. They were a close-knit family. In fact, Ron Ely stepped away from his acting career to focus on his family. In 2013, Ron Ely told the Daily Express“Late in life I had a young family. I decided to stop acting and work at home, as an author, that way I could be with the kids all through school and be able to attend their sports games and things.”

3. Cameron's job

Cameron went to some of the best schools in the country in Phillips Exeter and Harvard. Presumably, he could have done nearly anything he wanted. According to The Los Angeles Times, for the past two years, Cameron Ely worked as a licensed security guard. 

RELATED: Man Shows 'No Mercy,' Guns Down 5 Of His Chicago Neighbors For No Apparent Reason

4. Only a pretty girl could draw him away

In a 2012 interview with Fanboy Planet while at ComicCon, Ron Ely said in reference to Cameron wandering away from him during the interview: “Must have been [drawn away by] a pretty girl, because that’s the only thing that could draw him away.” During the same interview, he elaborated on stepping away from his acting career to focus on his family. "I am fully committed to my wife and my children. That’s why I stepped out of the business because I wanted to spend more time to raise my kids,” Ely said.

5. Ron transported to the hospital

When police arrived at the scene of Valerie Ely's murder, they found the former Tarzan star very frail and having difficulty speaking. According to multiple reports, he had a medical condition or disability. Even without that, the shock of what happened in his own home may have contributed to his state. He was transported to a local hospital for evaluation.

RELATED: Glamour Model Esmeralda Gonzalez Found Encased In Concrete In Las Vegas Desert — What We Know

6. His sisters

In the aftermath of Cameron's crime, his sisters Kirsten and Kaitland will have to deal with the destruction he wrought and the loss he brought upon their family. Kirsten's Facebook page clearly shows how close the family was and what an integral role their mom played in their lives, even as adults. Valerie Ely is survived by her husband Ron, her daughters Kirsten and Kaitland and her grandson, Jaxon. 

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Join now for YourTango's trending articles, top expert advice and personal horoscopes delivered straight to your inbox each morning.

7. The motive

At this time, there is no known motive. Some Twitter users have speculated that Ron's failing health and mounting bills led to Cameron's parents putting the family home on the market. Others have speculated Cameron may have had an opoid issue. We may never know why he snapped and fatally stabbed his mom while trying to blame it on his father. We'll update this story if and when more information comes out.

Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based writer and editor covering entertainment, pop culture, beauty, fashion, fitness, technology, and the intersection of technology, business, and philanthropy. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.