The Murder of Adrienne Shelly: The chilling story behind filmmaker's gruesome killing

Director and husband of Adrienne Shelly, Andy Ostroy remembers her in the upcoming HBO documentary 'Adrienne'


                            The Murder of Adrienne Shelly: The chilling story behind filmmaker's gruesome killing
Adrienne Shelly from the documentary 'Adrienne' (HB0)

HBO is bringing a new documentary centered around the life of filmmaker Adrienne Shelly who gave the world the beautiful flick 'Waitress' before her untimely demise. Waitress' has continued to be loved and has also been adapted into a successful Broadway musical but Shelly's husband Andy Ostroy attempts to give audiences a deeper look into what kind of a person his loved wife was in the new documentary.

'Adrienne' will entail clips of her, her peers, and her family with the documentary coming to life on HBO and HBO Max on December 1, 2021. Shelly was an American actress, film director, and screenwriter who won hearts all over. She has starred in guest roles in shows like ' Homicide: Life on the Street', 'Early Edition', 'Law & Order', and more. Read on to know how she died.

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Adrienne Shelly's filmography

Her breakthrough roles in movies  'The Unbelievable Truth' in 1989 and 'Trust' in 1990 gave her an upward boost with the latter being nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Shelly later went on to have a more behind-the-camera role where she wrote and directed 1999's 'I'll Take You There' which won her a US Comedy Arts Festival Film Discovery Jury Award in 2000 for her work as a director. 

She left behind her masterpiece movie 'Waitress' as her final work which she wrote, directed, and starred in as well. The movie which has Keri Russell and Nathan Fillion was released after her passing winning hearts and great reviews, but sadly served as her final film appearance.

Adrienne Shelly in 'Waitress' (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Who was responsible for the death of Adrienne Shelly?

Shelly was found hanging in her studio apartment on November 1, 2006, by her husband Ostroy. Although initially ruled as suicide, further investigation on her husband's insistence led to more careful examination in which they found a shoe print at the site of death. The print was matched to a set of other shoe prints in the building, where construction work had been done on the day of Shelly's death with police arresting Diego Pillco, a 19-year-old construction worker, who confessed to murdering her.

In his trial, it was revealed that he had attempted to rob her when she was entering the apartment. Upon intruding he was caught by Shelly who he stopped from yelling and calling the police. After rendering her unconscious, he thought she was dead and tied a nearby sheet around her neck to stage a suicide. He had dragged and hung her body from the shower rod where she was found. The medical reports revealed the tragic news that she was alive at the time of her hanging.

She left behind a devasted husband and a 3-year-old daughter.

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