By Calvin Palmer
David Carradine’s manager claims the death of the actor, best known for the 1970s TV series Kung Fu, was the result of “foul play”.
The 72-year-old actor’s body was found naked in the closet of his room at Nai Lert Park Hotel in Bangkok with a rope tied to his genitals and another rope around his neck.
Police Lt Gen Worapong Chewprecha said: “The two ropes were tied together. It is unclear whether he committed suicide or not or he died of suffocation or heart failure.”
Carradine’s personal manager, Chuck Binder, rejected the suicide theory but told CNN: “I don’t know if you want to call it accidental.
“I got some calls from Thailand today from a producer that worked with him. I don’t want to get into the middle of this whole investigation, but this guy said to me for sure there was foul play.”
An autopsy was carried out today but the results will not be known for three weeks because the cause of death was unclear.
“This certainly was not a natural cause of death,” said Nantana Sirisap, chief coroner at Bangkok’s Chulalongkom Hospital, adding that toxicology tests had been ordered.
Pornthip Rojanasunand, director of Thailand’s Central Institute of Forensic Science, said Carradine may have died attempting a sex act known as auto-erotic asphyxiation — cutting off oxygen to the brain for sexual arousal.
Police chief Colonel Somprasong Yentuam said the investigation was continuing.
“We are currently interviewing witnesses, film crew, hotel staff and the last person who saw David alive. So far, no-one saw anyone enter David’s room around the estimated time of death,” he said.
Carradine had flown to Thailand last week and began work on a film titled Stretch two days before his death. He had several other projects lined up.
His wife, Annie, and close friends rejected suggestions that Carradine deliberately took his own life, despite the fact he had spoken openly of contemplating suicide in the past.
Director Quentin Tarantino, who brought Carradine back into the spotlight in Kill Bill, told CNN: “There might have been a period of David’s long life that he could have been suicidal, but this wasn’t the time.”