04 June 2009

David Carradine -- RIP

Sad news out of Bangkok, David Carradine (photo courtesy of Tony Metaxas) has died in an apparent suicide. He was 72.

He was in Bangkok shooting his latest film. Most of us will remember him as the wandering Shaolin Master in Kung Fu or as the title character in Kill Bill.

May he rest in peace.


It is being reported that this may not have been a suicide but rather an accident. There are suggestions that this was an auto-eroticism attempt gone wrong. Michael Hutchence was another high profile auto-eroticism victim.

Postscript II...

I have recently read that Carradine's management has raised the possibility that this was a murder. There is gossip floating around that, besides the rope around his neck that was also looped around his genitals, his hands were tied behind his back.

I guess I will just keep following the news and keep adding postscripts.

Postscript III

Here is a link to Thairath, a Thai daily (or here, or here). They have published a photo of the scene, Carradine included, which the police say looks like one of the forensic photos. The Carradine family has demanded that all publication of the image be prohibited. They have also asked for an independent autopsy, and for the FBI to become involved with respect to investigating this as a possible murder.

Postscript IV

It seems that some members of the Carradine family believe that the actor was murdered, or assassinated, by a secret Kung Fu sect that he was about to expose. I am all for a good conspiracy and this has the hallmarks of a good one. Interestingly, there are those that believe that one of the greatest proponents of martial artist to ever grace the silver screen, Bruce Lee, was also murdered / assassinated by a not so secret society known as the triads.

Despite the claims, the Thai police are still sticking to the theory that this was a sex game gone wrong. This would seem to fit into the scenario being put forward that Carradine had a history of "deviant" sexual behaviour.


Brett said...


Rob Baiton said...


It is fascinating in that slowing down as you pass a car crash kind of a way.

I was asked in my Manohara No. III post whether you had any issues with the latest post by Jakartass and his penchant for buying pirated goodies.

My response was, if you had a n issue and were so inclined you would make a comment...

treespotter said...

between this and manohara, it's a pile up.

what's this thing about buying pirate copies?

i love pirates.

Rob Baiton said...


Jakartass published a post about his monthly trip to Ratu Plaza and purchasing pirated DVDs and other goodies.

Brett is employed in some IP capacity (and is a former IP lawyer, I think), and I am figuring this is what generated the question from the commentator who comments frequently on my posts using the name, law[insert something here].

It seems the old cliche of "we live in interesting times" rings true here as well with the David Carradine and Manohara isses (I would add that the upcoming presidential election also makes for interesting times too).

Paul said...

I am a blogger on the scene in Bangkok at the hotel where Carradine died and am blogging about this on http://magickpapers.com/blog


The announcer for the BBC breaks the story on TV. David Carradine was found dead in the Swiss Hotel on Soi Nailert. The film star was found in the closet of his room bound by curtain rope around his neck, and the inference is that his genitals were bound as well. The news ran through the Bangkok film colony like a forest fire.

I consult investigative journalist David Walker. He is also a screenwriter and author of the cult classic book, Hello My Big Big Honey. Walker is at the hotel. He has already led a CBS crew to legendary film producer-director David Winters penthouse office. Winters is a dear friend of Carradine from their glory days in Hollywood. Walker wants to see the surveilance tapes. No chance Bagger Vance. Dr. Pornthip, a colorful Thai forensic scientist is on the scene at the hotel. Walker says Pornthip, who is famous for sporting many hued punk hair styles and is a bit of a celebrity,delares the case to be death by auto sexual strangulation.

I roll up to Winters penthouse office. He is devastated by the tragic loss of a dear friend. He has not slept. CBS and People Magazine have already come by to solicit intelligence. David is shocked by the tawdry inferrences. He has spoken to 3 of Carradines agents. The agents declare that Carradine was on the roll of a lifetime. Quentin Tarantino redefined the 72 year old actor in Kill Bill. Carradine recieved a Golden Globe nomination for his work with Tarantino. The actor of the classic cult TV series Kung Fu had starred in 13 motion pictures since Kill Bill. His salary was in the stratosphere.

The strange circumstances of the verdict by auto- sexual strangulation trouble Winters. It takes two to tango. Why indeed would a man of his talent take his own life alone. Bangkok is known as a city with love for sale. Film people come here to shoot and avail themselves of the pleasures to be found in the gilded city of sin. Kinky sex is no big deal. Could this be a coverup for a sex robbery murder. The Royal Thai Police have shut the door on this case all too quickly. The tourist industry has been severely damaged by the recession and political instability. The murder of a famous film star would be a final nail in the coffin of the tourism industry. Winters says that Carradine, son of John , iconic members of an American cinema dynasty were above the fray. David Carradine was according to Winters a consumate gentleman, a brilliant actor, and a man for all seasons.

I run into local film producer Tom Waller at a reception hosted by the Italian Embassy. Tom does not believe in the verdict of death by auto-sexual strangulation. He concludes that it was a sex robbery gone wrong, and that to cover the motives the body had been arranged to fit the profile of death by auto- sexual strangulation, a theory once confined to the genre of novels classified as psychological thrillers. The denizens of the film colony in Bangkok are incredulous at the grisly circumstances of the sad demise of this brilliant talent.

The reception is attended by beaucoup des artistes and cineastes. Film critic Nick Palevski and I schmooze at the bar. Between glasses of vino rosso and spumante Nick expresses his distaste for the tawdy belching of the media and press. He is the critic for Auteur, a web site devoted to film criticism. He can not believe the shabby and sensational manner in which this case is being exploited.

more to follow on http://magickpapers.com/blog

Rob Baiton said...


Thanks for dropping by and leaving your comment.

Interesting piece. I am guessing this story is one that will continue to grab headlines for a while.