Carradine Autopsy: Not Suicide, Says Baden

Forensic Pathologist Michael Baden has performed an autopsy on actor David Carradine, who was found dead in his Bangkok hotel room last week. His conclusion:

"The autopsy findings and the evidence thus far available demonstrate that Mr. Carradine's death was not the result of suicide. However, to reach a final determination as to the cause and the manner of death we must wait for further information from Thailand as to the scene findings and the completion of the crime laboratory and toxicology studies that are still being performed."

Is he saying it could be a homicide, or that the death was accidental, and therefore not a suicide?

In related news, Spike TV will air a movie marathon of Carradine's films, including 'Kill Bill' and 'Kung Fu Killer,' on Saturday, June 13 from 2 p.m. through 3 a.m. EST/PST time.

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    of course Carridine is a "public (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 05:15:22 PM EST
    Figure.". Nevertheless I feel very sad for his family.

    Me too (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by ruffian on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 07:53:20 PM EST
    Even the public speculation on the better behaved blogs like this one is more than I would want going on about my brother. The price you pay for fame I suppose, as cliche as that sounds.

    It's difficult losing anyone you love (5.00 / 0) (#32)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 04:37:09 AM EST
    add fame and strange circumstances to that, must make everything very difficult on the remaining Carradine living.

    Accidental (none / 0) (#1)
    by Slado on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 04:00:20 PM EST
    Carradine was into some kinky stuff and from what I've read took it too far and accidentally killed himself masturbating.  By the way he was found wearing a wig and women's stockings.

    It's possible someone was in the room but this appears to be weird sex gone bad and very tragic.


    He was rubbing one out? (none / 0) (#2)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 04:31:25 PM EST
    Police said he was found with his hands bound together above his head

    It's called erotic aphyxsiation (none / 0) (#10)
    by Slado on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 05:19:08 PM EST
    Since I'm not into it I'm not going to explain it but feel free to use google.

    Look I'm not judging the guy but if you're going to speculate about murder or some kind of foul play you have to talk about the other likely scenerio which is "kinky self-sex gone bad".

    Again.  RIP


    Oh I agree, I just can't figure out (none / 0) (#15)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 05:35:19 PM EST
    how he could masturbate if his hands were tied behind his back or head.

    I think someone else must have been giving him a hand.

    So to speak.


    Google it (none / 0) (#30)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 11:19:29 PM EST
    That's not the way it works.

    At this point, (none / 0) (#36)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 11:01:39 AM EST
    I think I'll just take your word for it.

    Or (none / 0) (#3)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 04:42:01 PM EST
    someone wanted him to be found that way...

    Weird sex gone bad: (none / 0) (#7)
    by jondee on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 05:04:26 PM EST
    that's my latest theory about what went wrong with the Bush Admin.

    Zing.... (none / 0) (#22)
    by kdog on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 06:28:38 PM EST
    I have my suspicions about Cheney having a collection of snuff to rival Hoover.

    Cheney gets off (none / 0) (#33)
    by Slado on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 07:53:57 AM EST
    on American world domination.

    Simple as that, and I like the guy.

    He's too busy for cheap sex.


    Not cheap sex.... (none / 0) (#35)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 09:04:31 AM EST
    I'm talking snuff...tell me he don't look and act like the kind of freak who would be into that sick sh*t.

    Maybe that's why Obama won't release anymore photos...Cheney has 'em all in his private stash:)


    Unfortunately (none / 0) (#31)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 11:21:27 PM EST
    his family and friends are loudly insisting there was some kind of foul play involved.  There's no way to explain why there probably wasn't without getting into the tawdry details.

    I agree, though, too much information.


    Hands being tied is highly suggestive of homicide! (none / 0) (#4)
    by Mitch Guthman on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 04:48:26 PM EST
    I find certain aspects of this story very confusing.  According to some of the press reports I read, when David Carradine was found, his hands were tied behind his back.    If this is so, I don't understand why the Thai police seemed to have operated on the assumption that it was "probably" a suicide and were later "forced" to backtrack and consider the "remote possibility" of homicide.

    Now, I admit I was not the greatest homicide prosecutor and it's also true that in the 1980's when I was working homicides there was very little ambiguity about things like "cause of death" or "homicide vs. suicide."  Generally, the large number of bullet holes in the victim(s) and large number of 9mm shell casings were a pretty good clue that you were dealing with murder, not suicide.    But still, I can't imagine that the first thought of even the greenest patrol officer coming upon that crime scene and finding the victim with his hands tied behind his back would be suicide.

    If it's true that Carradine's hands were tied behind his back, one place I'd be looking if I were running this investigation is the cops who caught this call.  Who are they, who sent them, are they the ones who would normally be sent on this type of call at this location?   It's good place to start and I think you eventually have to go there, even if it's just to clear away some distracting underbrush (like, maybe, the hotel manager thought a murdered guest was worse for the hotel's reputation than one who committed suicide and pulled some strings accordingly).

    All of which is a long way of saying that I think there is more to this case than meets the eye.   I personally have never heard about or read about a case in which someone committed suicide while his hands were tied behind his back.   On the other hand, the fact that Baden seems to think he needs to wait for the tox screens before pronouncing this a murder suggests that maybe his hands weren't tied behind his back-----but if they were, I just don't see what the tox screen adds.

    Very strange case!

    Saldo,  regardless of what kind of kinky sex Carradine might have liked, how did he accidentally manage to kill himself?  I understand lots of me die every year from this supposed "sexual technique".  This problem is this:  How was he able to both perform the autoerotic sex and also tie his own hands?  

    Is there anybody out there who worked some kind of asphyxiation accident where the hands were tied?  If it's happened before, it would certainly change the way I see the case.  But in the absence of such examples, I think the hands being tied is highly suggestive of homicide.  

    What I read the first day the news was out (none / 0) (#9)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 05:16:32 PM EST
    in a Thia paper that someone linked, was his hands were bound behind his back and he was curled on the floor of the wardrobe and now apparently it's hands above head and he was hanging?

    Either way, to me it suggests sex with a partner or murder, but suicide? Of course, I'm "not the greatest homicide prosecutor" and it could just be my highly imaginative art school brain at work  ;)


    I in now way believe this was homicide (none / 0) (#12)
    by Slado on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 05:22:44 PM EST
    I'm also not an expert in erotic aphyxsiation so I'm taking the Thai police's word for it.

    He was wearing a wig, and he did have women's stockings on.  Weird.

    Two of his ex wives say he was into this kind of stuff.

    Apparently it's not the actual masturbation but the eroticism of coming close to death.   Again I'm no expert so I'm deffering to what I've read.

    Could someone have made this look like kinky sex gone bad?  Of course someone could have.

    All I'm sure about is this was not suicide.  To the rest we'll probably never now.



    ooops (none / 0) (#13)
    by Slado on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 05:23:05 PM EST
    no way suicide

    I just found this about (none / 0) (#14)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 05:31:05 PM EST
    hands behind the back scroll down to techniques.

    {files under things that would never occur to me}


    Dont know, dont wanna know (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by jondee on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 05:37:04 PM EST
    Im perfectly happy dressing up like Carmen Miranda and paying the neighborhood kids to pelt me with hot Chicken McNuggets, thank you very much.

    Fresh fruit or plastic? (none / 0) (#19)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 05:44:43 PM EST
    It was basically how they self tie their hands behind their back. If someone had told me to tie my hands behind my back, I would have looked at them like they were nuts. I thought you need to be one of those escape artist type people to do that.

    hey, this is a "g" rated site (none / 0) (#17)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 05:38:00 PM EST
    please watch the links, TL will get banned from law firms.

    OOPS! sorry!!! (none / 0) (#18)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 05:40:10 PM EST
    Please delete!

    This might change my opinion (none / 0) (#21)
    by Mitch Guthman on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 06:24:09 PM EST

    Thanks for the info. Would never have occurred to me either. Maybe I should have spent more time hanging out with the vice squad.  But this does suggest that at least the potential for suicide exists---in terms of it being physically possible for this to have been kinky sex of the sort described in the article and something simply went wrong.  

    I hope that the crime scenes unit preserved the knots and took lots of photos.  Really good photos.  This also might explain Baden's hesitation in saying that it was a murder----he may be waiting for both the tox screen (and now I see why he wants it) and for experts (where would one look for such an expert?) on bondage, etc to opine on the knots and also maybe on the overall setup.

    It looks like I spoke too soon. Obviously, we're going to have to wait for some lab reports and a report from the kinky sex techniques expert before we really know anything.


    It's not suicide, is it, (none / 0) (#23)
    by caseyOR on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 06:59:45 PM EST
    if the death was unintentional?  Even supposing Carradine was alone, and tied his own hands, doesn't a finding of suicide require that he meant to kill himself?

    I think it would get ruled accidental? (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 07:47:08 PM EST
    Coroner talk re: manner of death (none / 0) (#27)
    by Peter G on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 09:29:43 PM EST
    ... homicide, suicide, accident - have specific meanings in the vocabulary of medical examiners/coroners writing autopsy reports, which is not necessarily the same as how those words are used in other contexts. So you have to be careful when you read that a death was "ruled a homicide," for example.  Which means, the deceased met his/her death at the hands of another -- be it in war, by murder, or by another person's justifiable act of self-defense. It does not necessarily mean the police suspect murder.  Likewise, "suicide," I believe, means to a coroner "his own intentional action caused the death of the decedent," not "the decedent intentionally took his own life."  

    It's hard to put much credibility in the (none / 0) (#20)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 06:14:29 PM EST
    reports released. Those details are either leaked for sensationalism, or made up for sensationalism.

    The family called for an independent (none / 0) (#24)
    by hairspray on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 07:37:41 PM EST
    investigation.  It must have been the hands being tied somewhere (and not on his genitalia) that tipped them off.

    What a legacy.

    I'm actually feeling anger towards him. (none / 0) (#37)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 11:16:39 AM EST
    I idolized this guy as a kid.

    Remember in Kung Fu when he picked up that urn full of burning embers that was so hot that it just sizzled his flesh and burned brands into his forearms, but he just toughed it out?

    And now he dies at age seventy freakin' two in a closet in Thailand wearing fishnets and a woman's wig with his shoelace tied around his Johnson and his neck.

    What a legacy.


    My final comment on this (none / 0) (#34)
    by Slado on Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 07:59:36 AM EST
    is what a terrible tragedy for the Carradine family.

    I can understand that if they think he was actually murdered that they'd want to bring the culprit to justice but I get the sense that they are dealing with the ugly reality of what their loved one was up too and the shock and reality of it all is forcing them to search for answers in the public arena.

    Ugggh.   There but for the grace of God go I and I can't even imagine what it would be like to find such a thing out about a relative be it murder or accidental death.

    The most we can hope for is this 15 seconds of tabloid exposure is over quickly and they can move on with their lives.