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October 4, 2015

Carradine's death was probably not a suicide

by Joel Keller, posted Jun 5th 2009 1:05PM
Tarantino and Madsen talking about Keith Carradine on Larry KingWhen I heard that David Carradine was found hanging from a closet in his hotel room yesterday, one of the first things I thought was, "Huh. He doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would commit suicide." He just seemed like one of those full-of-life guys that wanted to experience all he could before he checked out. I even wondered aloud to my fiancee if he died doing something... else, using the rumored cause of death of INXS' Michael Hutchence as a reference.

I guess I wasn't far off. Now Thai police are speculating that Carradine may have accidentally died during a "sex game gone wrong," according to The Washington Post. This is after his manager, who was on Larry King Live last night, his friends and family, and his colleagues all agreed that there was no way Carradine was suicidal.

What's weird about all this is that what might have been an embarrassing death for some people -- Hutchence's family denies the rumors to this day -- seems oddly fitting for David Carradine. He just seemed like that type of guy. In fact, he'd probably choose such a weird, mysterious death over something conventional and definitely over suicide. Defamer thinks otherwise, but I disagree.

Anyway, about that Larry King appearance last night: Carradine's manager was joined on the panel by Quentin Tarantino and Michael Madsen, who directed and co-starred with him, respectively, in Kill Bill, and... Rob Schneider, of all people, who directed him in some movie called Big Stan. Yipes. Talk about polar opposites on the directorial scale. I wonder if Tarantino gagged when the words "Rob Schneider" and "directed" were used in the same sentence. Video of the appearance is below.

[via TV Week]

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Antonio Pineda

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.

In no way is this story meant to impugn the reputation of the Royal Thai Police, their meritorious service is well known. Nor is it meant to slander the bereaved Carradine family. The American Embassy has issued a statement wishing the family the best in this tragic moment, embassy staff have no other conclusion re this case except the finding of the body. Aristotelian logic might conclude that something is rotten in Denmark. Western countries would conduct a far more sophisticated investigation.

The epilogue is delivered by my dear friend in Santa Monica Martin Zweiback. He is a writer- producer director with 50 years of credits in Hollywood. Martin scrpted the original Kung Fu series and is a close friend of David Carradine. Martin is a gentleman of class and distinction. He often graces the Bangkok film colony with his presence. It is fitting that a cineaste of his stature have the final word in this affair. I recieved this e mail from Martin, and with all due respect to this fine bloke it is represented here below as a final testament to this sordid affair.

Antonio, my friend,
Sorry I've been neglectful about keeping in touch of late.
Thinking about Carradine this day, I recall when writing the Kung Fu show, how o

June 06 2009 at 12:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jo Anne

Even if it was some type of sexual experience, how did his
hands get tied behind his back?

June 05 2009 at 11:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jo Anne's comment

It may seem odd, but sometimes these experiences involve more than one person.

June 06 2009 at 8:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've gotta agree with your basic sentiment - he didn't seem like the type of guy who'd quietly expire one day with a minimum of fuss.

It's a great loss - my condolences to his friends and family.

June 05 2009 at 7:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We lost a true American film legend. I acted with David in Kung Fu. He was a really great guy ... he spoke of his beloved American beatles ... The Eagles. He was a true California icon ... a real Malibu guy.
David's father John Carradine appeared in so many black and white horror movies. David told me that his father would scare the living hell out of him and his brother Keith ... when he would come home at night ... in character! You can just picture John Carradine's goulish character saying, "Good evening ... ... ...!"
David's brilliance will always be remembered!

June 05 2009 at 4:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Kutner wasn't suicidal either...


At least he died doing something he loved


I'm sorry but this is all just so hilarious. Rob Schneider... *snicker* Director... *cue Tey Parker&Matt Stone voices* "Rob Schneider... dup dup de dup die dup de duuuh"

June 05 2009 at 2:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oh Lynn Samuels the Sirius Satellite Radio talk show host Sirius Left #146 said yesterday on her show that he died during the act of Erotic asphyxiation.



June 05 2009 at 1:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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