Sunday, June 7, 2009

David Carradine Autopsy News

David Carradine's family wants Dr. Michael Baden, the famed forensics expert from HBO's docu-series 'Autopsy,' to conduct a private autopsy on the late actor, says the Associated Press.

Mark Geragos, a lawyer for Carradine's brother Keith, tells the AP that the family aims to enlist Baden in hopes of finding out if another individual could have had something to do with the 'Kill Bill' and "Kung Fu" star's death.

"It's an amazing thing what a good pathologist can accomplish," Geragos says.

Baden's HBO specials document some of the 20,000-plus autopsies he's conducted. Additionally, the AP says he performed an autopsy on accused murderer Drew Peterson's third wife and acted as a defense witness during Phil Spector's first murder trial.


Baden is also the chief forensic pathologist for the New York State Police.

The results of Carradine's first autopsy, conducted Friday in Bankok, are expected in three weeks or longer, says the AP. As details emerge, it appears the 72-year-old might have died from accidental suffocation.

David-Carradine kin hires expert to examine actor's body
The family of David Carradine is asking the FBI and a private forensics expert to help investigate the "Kung Fu" actor's death, attorney Mark Geragos said Saturday, the same day Thai police said surveillance footage indicated no one had entered his hotel room before he died.

Carradine's brother Keith met Friday with the FBI and filed reports that could lead to the agency opening its own inquiry, said Geragos, who represents Keith Carradine. The family will also seek a private autopsy by famed forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden to determine whether another person could have been involved, Geragos said.

The actor's family hopes the body will arrive in Los Angeles by Monday, Geragos said, but he did not give specifics.

Geragos said the family intervened because of conflicting information about Carradine's death and a lack of direct information from Thai authorities.

"All we really know is not much more than what the public knows, and that's disturbing," Geragos said.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller on Saturday confirmed that Carradine's family had contacted the agency. Agents were checking with the FBI's legal attache at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok to see if Thai authorities "are requesting or would welcome FBI assistance in this matter." She said the FBI generally only gets involved in death investigations overseas if a crime is suspected.

David Carradine's body was discovered Thursday morning in his luxury suite by a chambermaid at Bangkok's Swissotel Nai Lert Park Hotel, said its general manager, Aurelio Giraudo. Carradine's family, friends and representatives have said they doubt the 72-year-old actor would have killed himself.

Police initially said Carradine's body was found "naked, hanging in a closet," causing them to suspect he had taken his own life. On Friday, however, police said the actor may have died from accidental suffocation or heart failure after revealing that he was found with a rope tied around his wrist, neck and genitals — leading to speculation that Carradine may have engaged in a dangerous form of sex play known as auto-erotic asphyxiation.

The results of an autopsy performed Friday in Bangkok were not expected for at least three weeks, said Dr. Nanthana Sirisap, director of Chulalongkorn Hospital's Autopsy Center. Nanthana said that was normal considering the unusual circumstances of the death.

Col. Somprasong Yenthuam, who is heading the investigation, said police have interviewed all staff at the hotel where Carradine was staying and reviewed surveillance footage outside his room. Based on that, they have found no evidence that anyone was in Carradine's room before he died which they said all but ruled out foul play.

The investigation continued Saturday, with police interviewing the crew of the film that Carradine was shooting in Bangkok.

Baden is a celebrity among forensic pathologists, appearing on a series of HBO specials highlighting some of the more than 20,000 autopsies he has performed. He frequently consults on high-profile cases, including conducting an autopsy on Drew Peterson's third wife and as a defense witness for Phil Spector during his first murder trial.

Baden is the chief forensic pathologist for the New York State Police and Geragos said he expects Baden's examination will clear up many unanswered questions.

"It's an amazing thing what a good pathologist can accomplish," Geragos said.

Carradine flew to Thailand last week and began work on a film titled "Stretch" two days before his death. His friends and associates told CNN's Larry King he had a happy marriage, recently bought a new car, and had several films lined up after he finished work in Bangkok.

Carradine, a martial arts practitioner himself, was best known for the U.S. TV series "Kung Fu," which aired from 1972-75. He played Kwai Chang Caine, an orphan who was raised by Shaolin monks and fled China for the American West after killing the emperor's nephew in retaliation for the murder of his kung fu master.

Carradine also appeared in more than 100 feature films with such directors as Martin Scorsese, Ingmar Bergman and Hal Ashby. He returned to the top in recent years as the title character in Quentin Tarantino's two-part saga "Kill Bill."

David Carradine's family wants FBI to investigate death
The family of American actor David Carradine has asked the FBI to help investigate his death after his body was found in a hotel closet in Thailand's capital with a rope tied to his neck, wrist and genitals.

Hotel surveillance footage indicated no one entered Carradine's room before he died, the policeman leading the death investigation said Saturday.

Carradine's body was reportedly flown out of Bangkok in the morning, bound for Los Angeles.

His family does not believe he committed suicide and is troubled by conflicting accounts about the circumstances of his death, Mark Geragos, an attorney for brother Keith Carradine, told CNN's Larry King late Friday.

"They want an investigation," Geragos said. "I would think that the people in Bangkok would want to support an investigation and allow the FBI to go over there and assist in the investigation so we can get the answers to the questions."

Thai police said Saturday they have not been contacted by the FBI.

Police initially said Carradine's body was found "naked, hanging in a closet," causing them to suspect he committed suicide, though no suicide note was found.

On Friday, however, police said the actor may have died from accidental suffocation or heart failure after revealing that he was found with a rope tied around his neck and penis — leading to speculation that Carradine may have engaged in a dangerous form of sex play known as auto-erotic asphyxiation.

The results of an autopsy performed Friday in Bangkok were not expected for at least three weeks, said Dr. Nanthana Sirisap, director of Chulalongkorn Hospital's Autopsy Center. Nanthana said that was normal considering the unusual circumstances of the death.

Col. Somprasong Yenthuam, who is heading the investigation, said police have interviewed all staff at the hotel where Carradine was staying and reviewed surveillance footage outside his room. Based on that, they have found no evidence that anyone was in Carradine's room before he died which they said all but ruled out foul play.

The investigation continued Saturday, with police interviewing the crew of the film that Carradine was shooting in Bangkok.

Carradine's body was flown out of Bangkok early Saturday on a United Airlines flight bound for Los Angeles via Tokyo, according to local media and an airport official, who refused to be identified because she was not authorized to speak to the media. The U.S. Embassy would not confirm those details.

Pornthip Rojanasunand, director of Thailand's Central Institute of Forensic Science, said the circumstances under which Carradine died suggest the 72-year-old actor may have been performing auto-erotic asphyxiation. The practice involves temporarily cutting off the supply of oxygen to the brain to heighten the effects of a sexual climax.

"In some cases it can suggest murder, too. But sometimes when the victim is naked and in bondage, it can suggest that the victim is doing it to himself," said Pornthip, considered the country's top criminal forensics expert. She did not take part in the autopsy.

"If you hang yourself by the neck, you don't need so much pressure to kill yourself," she said. "Those who get highly sexually aroused tend to forget this fact."

Carradine's body was discovered Thursday morning in his luxury suite by a chambermaid at Bangkok's Swissotel Nai Lert Park Hotel, said its general manager, Aurelio Giraudo.

Carradine flew to Thailand last week and began work on a film titled "Stretch" two days before his death. His friends and associates insisted he would not have killed himself, telling CNN's King he had a happy marriage, recently bought a new car, and had several films lined up after he finished work in Bangkok.

Carradine, a martial arts practitioner himself, was best known for the U.S. TV series "Kung Fu," which aired from 1972-75. He played Kwai Chang Caine, an orphan who was raised by Shaolin monks and fled China after killing the emperor's nephew in retaliation for the murder of his kung fu master.

Carradine also appeared in more than 100 feature films with such directors as Martin Scorsese, Ingmar Bergman and Hal Ashby.

He returned to the top in recent years as the title character in Quentin Tarantino's two-part saga "Kill Bill." Bill, the worldly father figure of a pack of crack assassins, was a shadowy presence in 2003's "Kill Bill — Vol. 1." In that film, one of Bill's former assassins (Uma Thurman) begins a vengeful rampage against her old associates, including Bill.

David Carradine's Family Calls for FBI Investigation
Two individuals close to the Carradine family told Larry King on Friday night that the family has sought the FBI's help in investigating the late actor's death in Bangkok, Thailand, and there are plans for a second autopsy. Read on for all the new details.

Mark Geragos, an attorney for David's actor brother Keith Carradine, told King that the Carradine family met with the FBI on Friday, in hopes that the agency can compel Thai officials to launch an investigation in Bangkok soon.

The Carradines want the FBI to be involved "at least in an assisting role, so that they can kind of oversee what's going on," Geragos said. He added that the FBI has to go through a series of legal channels and hurdles to get involved, but they "can be invited over there immediately. And I call on the people in Bangkok to invite them in."

Geragos said that Carradine's body is being brought back to the U.S. this weekend for a second autopsy, which he said could help shed light on whether foul play was involved in the "Kung Fu" star's death.

"I think there had to be foul play," Carradine's manager Chuck Binder added. "I mean my gut instinct is something definitely happened there."

When another King panel member mentioned that Carradine was reportedly interested in secret societies, Geragos said this reported interest was "connected to martial arts and [Carradine's] interest in martial arts. And so there is a suspicion that if there was some foul play, that that may be the first area where [investigators] should look."

Geragos and Binder both reiterated that the Carradine family doesn't believe that the 72-year-old was suicidal. Geragos said Carradine had spoken with his brother Keith within the last two weeks and seemed "not at all" depressed and was "very excited" at the prospect of returning home from shooting a movie in Thailand.

On Saturday, the police officer heading the death investigation told the Associated Press that hotel surveillance footage apparently showed that nobody came into Carradine's room before he passed away. A police source told the AP that Carradine was found on Thursday hanged in his hotel room closet with a rope tied to his neck and genitals.

David Carradine Update
"The Insider" has learned that the body of David Carradine is headed to Los Angeles. Read on for details …

The body of the late 72-year-old 'Kill Bill' star will return to Los Angeles on Saturday.

As details emerge, it appears that Carradine might have died from accidental suffocation.

A police source tells the Associated Press that he was found hanged in his hotel room closet with a rope tied to his neck and genitals. A rep for the late 'Kung Fu' star tells "The Insider" he believes that Carradine wouldn't have committed suicide.

1 comment:

Veeeny said...

am a fans of him....really sad when I heard the news

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