In a rather creepy turn of events, a couple of days after I read an article on and then blogged about autoerotic asphyxia, I learn of the tragic death of actor David Carradine. Apparently he was found in his Bangkok hotel room by the service staff. He was nude, and hanging from a rod in the closet. One story suggested that not only did he have a cord wrapped around his neck but also one around his genitals and apparently the two were tied together somehow. Was this a suicidal hanging or an accidental death during autoerotic activities?
Had there just been the neck cord then a suicidal evident would be likely, but when you add the other cord to the scenario, it suggests that this just might have been an accidental autoerotic asphyxiation. As I said in my previous post, it is very easy to make a mistake such as this because the cord around the neck will collapse the carotid arteries, greatly diminishing blood supply to the brain, which can lead to loss of consciousness very quickly. Once unconscious, the victim can no longer save himself and death follows very quickly.
We still do not know exactly what happened since the information is coming out in bits and pieces. We will have to wait for the medical examiner’s final statement to know what the cause and manner of death actually was and whether there was any autoerotic activity involved. Either way it’s a tragedy. Though I have seen him in many movies and television shows he will always be the peaceful warrior Kwai Chang Caine to me.