Carradine Bangkok death saga continues

June 9th, 2009 - 6:13 pm ICT by John Le Fevre  

David Carradine The saga surrounding the strange circumstances of the death of Hollywood actor David Carradine in a Bangkok hotel room continues with Lawrence Kobilinsky, Chairman of the Department of Forensic Sciences and Professor of Forensic Science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice weighing into the discussion on The Washington Post website.

In an online chat session hosted by the newspaper, Kobilinsky said, “there are approximately 1000 deaths in the United States [annually] due to autoerotic asphyxiation, with most involving young males.”

Kobilinsky said based on what was known so far, “autoerotic asphyxiation would be a good guess to explain the death. But this is a medico-legal matter and the conclusion must be based not on assumptions or appearances, but good medical and scientific analysis.”

The Carradine family has repeatedly denied the possibility that David Carradine committed suicide or the plausibility that he died from autoerotic asphyxiation.

Thai police have said the 72-year-old actor’s body was found naked, curled up inside the wardrobe of the Swissotel Nai Lert Park hotel with one end of a shoelace tied around his penis and the other end fastened around his neck. Both of his hands were bound with a cord, which was also tied around his neck.

Kobilinsky said there was no reason anybody should question the Thai police investigators.

“In this scenario, we need to rule out a homicide made to look like a suicide or accident. This is really a job that the Medical Examiner must establish but only after obtaining all information from investigating police.”

The Carradine family have called on the FBI to get involved in the investigation, something the Thai authorities have said they have no objection to, provided that role is in an observational capacity only, but Koblinsky said, “there is no indication that there was foul play and more likely than not that this was an accidental death.”

Koblinsky also said that while most cases of autoerotic asphyxiation deaths occur with teenagers and people in their mid-20’s, there is no doubt that cases of men in their 70’s exist and have been documented in scientific journals.”

He also said having the victims hands tied is not unusual.

The body of David Carradine was flown back to the US last Friday evening and the family has contracted high-profile forensics expert Dr. Michael Baden to perform an autopsy on the dead actor in the US.

The full transcript of The Washington Post discussion can be found here:

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