‘Kung Fu’ and ‘Kill Bill’ actor David Carradine, age 72, was found dead in a Bangkok hotel room on Thursday, June 4th 2009. The star was found naked in a wardrobe with a cord around his neck and “other” parts of his body. Coroners in Thailand completed an autopsy on Friday, but said they had not yet determined the cause of death.
Rampant speculation about the actor’s death has swirled since a chambermaid at the luxury Swissotel Nai Lert Park Hotel in Bangkok discovered his body hanging by a rope in the closet of his room. A Thai newspaper published a graphic photo of the death scene that police have said appears to be a leaked forensics image.
A police official said Carradine’s body was found curled up in the wardrobe with a shoelace tied around his genitals and neck. The same officer said: “Under these circumstances we cannot be sure that he committed suicide but he may have died from masturbation.” A Thai forensic pathologist stated the incident met four of the criteria for accidental death involving autoerotic asphyxiation.
Two of Carradine’s ex-wives (Gail Jensen and Marina Anderson) have stated that he had unusual sexual interests, including the practice of self-bondage.
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Thai police initially said they suspected Carradine’s death was a suicide, but later conceded it could have been accidental. Their description — that the actor’s body was found nude, with ropes around his neck, wrist and genitals — fueled speculation that he was killed while engaging in a dangerous sex practice called auto-erotic asphyxiation.