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 Guest blogger Forensic Scientist Kat Sanders shares her views about evidence in David Carradine’s death

The Case of David Carradine in the Eyes of Forensic Science

It was a death that created shock waves, more so because of the sexual connotations associated to it than because it was that of a movie star. David Carradine is not that big a star in Hollywood, but he is relatively well known because of his recent work in hit movies like the Kill Bill volumes.

Those of you who follow the movie industry news will know that this aging Kung Fu star was recently found dead, hanging inside a closet in his hotel room in Bangkok where he was shooting for the movie Stretch. The death made the headlines because of the many ropes tied around the body – one around the neck, the other around his genitals, and the third around his hands.

Anyone who has a little knowledge of the strange and kinky sexual world would know that this was a case of autoerotic asphyxia, where death is caused when the person tries to simulate eroticism through near-strangulation. David Carradine was known for his deviant and kinky sexual behavior, according to reports from his ex-wives (he has been married and divorced five times).

The Thai forensic investigator examined the marks on the ropes and concluded that there had been no struggle. Also, the records on the hotel’s closed circuit cameras were checked and did not show any signs of an intruder or even a partner who engaged in the sexual play.

There have been some public claims that it was a case of murder by secret Chinese societies who feared he might expose them and their activities to the world, when you look at the case through the forensic angle, it would seem to be an impossible proposition. For one, there was no sign of struggle, and for another, the actor’s hands were tied above his head and not above his back as reported by most newspapers.

Looking at Carradine’s past behavior and knowing of his sexual tendencies, this does seem like a case of attempted sexual pleasure through self bondage and autoerotic asphyxia gone horribly wrong. It could neither be classified as a suicide because there were ropes other than around the neck, nor could it be termed as murder because the hotel’s CC cameras did not show signs of an intruder and also because the ropes did not show signs of a struggle.


This article is written by Kat Sanders, who regularly blogs on the topic of forensic science technician at her blog Forensic Scientist Blog. She welcomes your comments and questions at her email address: katsanders25@gmail.com.


Posted: 6/24/2009 6:51:12 AM 


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