After initial reports that actor David Carradine had committed suicide by hanging, comes word that he probably died accidentally after engaging in auto-erotic asphyxiation – just as in the case of INXS frontman Michael Hutchence.
Police sources have told The Sun in London that Carradine may have died after he attempted an erotic asphyxiation act when he wrapped a cord around his neck. A police officer said: “A rope was attached to his neck and also to his penis”. Lieutenant Colonel Pirom did confirm the rope was connected to his neck and other parts of his body. The Carradine death will revive memories of how Michael Hutchence died in similar circumstances in Sydney in 1997 – after having been found hanging from the back of his hotel room door amid claims of a sex act gone wrong.
Dan Savage weighs in:
When the news first broke, no one hesitated to label Carradine a suicide. Now that more info has emerged and it seems clear that Carradine died during “an erotic asphyxiation act”—masturbating while depriving himself of oxygen (which is a highly dangerous thing to do)—people are saying it’s rude to speculate, leave the man alone, have a little respect. But no one objected when people were saying that he killed himself. There was nothing rude about labeling the man a suicide, nothing disrespectful about leaping to the conclusion that Carradine was in so much despair that he took his own life. So it’s worse somehow that his death was accidental? That he didn’t mean to kill himself? That he died happy?