(Re)Solved (2023–…): Season 1, Episode 7 - David Carradine - full transcript

Actor David Carradine's mysterious death in 2009 created a flurry of speculation as to whether it was accidental asphyxiation, suicide, or even murder by the Chinese mafia.

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- He is legendary.
- He is an icon.

- Can't find him.
- They can't locate him.

He's not answering his phone.

Famed film actor David Carradine

has been found hanged
in the closet

of a luxury hotel
in Bangkok, Thailand.

One of his ex-wives accused him
of deviant sexual behavior.

Bangkok is known
to be a mecca of sex.

It would be physically
impossible for him

to hang himself in that closet.

One big anomaly is that
there's no evidence

of any padding being placed

between the ligature
and his neck.

The side
of Mr. Carradine's head,

like right in through here,
there was, like, blood...

A lot of blood.

It is not inconceivable to me

there could be
an ancient society

that currently exists
that might cause harm to others.

He was possibly approached
or he approached

the famous Thai ladyboys.

The photos showed
what was extreme force.

The surveillance footage is
very likely doctored or missing.

Nothing adds up.

- Why would you do this?
- You're dicing with death.

911 emergency.

The official narrative
doesn't tell the whole story.

You really have to
look at everything.

You still have to go down
that rabbit hole.

You still have to go
down that path.

When a celebrity dies,

the search for answers
moves online,

and the truth
may be one click away.

June 4, 2009.

Bangkok, Thailand,

a city famous for its temples,
floating markets,

and vibrant nightlife.

Around 10:00 a.m.,
at the Swissotel Nai Lert,

Bangkok's premiere destination
for the world's rich and famous,

a maid arrives to clean one
of the luxury hotel rooms.

But she is stopped in her tracks

by a scene that soon
stuns the movie world.

A man is nonresponsive,

hanging naked from a rope
inside a closet.

Within an hour, the Internet
bursts with the news...

Iconic Hollywood legend
David Carradine found dead.

Bangkok investigators announce
their initial findings

and are quick to release
their theory.

They believe it's
likely a suicide.

David Carradine was
a world-famous character actor

whose legendary performances
for directors

like Martin Scorsese
and Quentin Tarantino

spanned 50 years.

My name is Mark Ebner, and I'm
an investigative journalist

and a nonfiction author.

David Carradine is part
of an acting dynasty.

His father was John Carradine...
Legendary actor.

And he's got two brothers,

Keith Carradine
and Robert Carradine.

Carradine is most famous

for being America's homegrown
introduction to martial arts.

I'm Marina Anderson.

I was married
to David Carradine.

I'm his ex-wife, number four.

"Kung Fu,"
"Kung Fu: Legend Continues,"

"Bound for Glory,"
"Long Riders,"

"Death Race 2000,"
"Lone Wolf McQuade."

Quentin Tarantino said,
"I want to work with this guy,"

and he put him in "Kill Bill."

"Kill Bill" resurrected
David Carradine's career.

Off that, he just started
working like a dog again.

And he was popular
all over the world.

No matter where we went,
he was recognized.

On remote corners of wherever,
people were like,

"Autograph, please," you know?

He is legendary.
He is an icon.

Then when I checked the computer
and I started to see this stuff,

I was like, "What? No, no, no."

In a suicide?
No, definitely not. No.

Like, what? No way.

He was his happiest
whenever he worked.

Carradine's death incites
Internet rumors and posts

trying to sort through
fact and fiction,

breeding wild theories
and conspiracies

that are still
being debated today.

My name is Deanna Thompson,

and I am what you would consider
like a cyber sleuth.

One of the things I'm known for
is my work

in the 2019 documentary
"Don't F with Cats."

Once I get that trigger,
I'm kind of like a...

Like a dog on a bone.

So there's a community
called Websleuths

that I'm a member of.

And when I got this case,
I knew that his death

was a little kinky.

Justin is a journalist,

and he's really well-versed
in conspiracy theories,

and he has a lot of experience
breaking those down.

My name is Justin Ling, and I am
an investigative journalist.

A big part
of investigative journalism

is looking at the official story

and seeing if you can
poke holes in it,

see if there is
actually evidence

and a reason to trust
the official story.

There's a pretty dogged fan base

for a lot of those classic
martial-arts movies,

and I think a ton of people
are really invested

in... in wanting to know more
about exactly what happened

to David Carradine
before his death.

I can bring some new analysis
to David Carradine's case,

me being a criminal investigator
by trade.

When I started researching
David's case,

I was intrigued by it

because it's not entirely clear
what happened.

And I just think his case
deserves another look

so that we can try to answer
some of those questions.

is in Bangkok, Thailand,

in late May to shoot
a new movie, "Stretch."

But just one day after
Carradine's body is found,

a Thai newspaper publishes
a disturbing photo

that shocks American audiences,

suggesting early reports
of suicide may have been wrong.

The alleged photo
raises questions

about the official
cause of death.

Photos published
in multiple tabloids

that claimed to show Carradine
wearing fishnets and a wig,

maybe red women's lingerie.

The grainy photo published in
Thailand's newspaper the Nation

allegedly shows David Carradine
hanging dead in a closet.

Nobody is talking about
how he could have tied up

his own hands above his head.

What Internet investigators
find is different

than what Thai police
seem to claim.

I couldn't let this one detail
go. I couldn't move on from it.

I looked in, like,
Google group discussions.

I went and looked at, like,
archives, just forum threads.

I looked at old Reddit.

What was actually going on
in that closet

when his heart stopped?

Did he actually die
in the closet?

Cyberspace theories
about Carradine's death

permeate the web so deeply,

Thai police feel forced
to issue a statement,

one that no one was expecting.

Police revealed
that he was found

with a cord around his neck
and a cord around his genitals

and that the cords
were tied together.

However, they could not
make any determination

as to whether he had
committed suicide,

if this was an accident,

or maybe if he'd even
had a heart attack.

It was just like
a bomb exploded.

I mean, there was just...
Then the rumors started.

And I had the rag papers
at my door.

Like, "How the hell did they
find out where I lived?"

And it was just, "Whoa!"

And the new theory goes viral.

They were considering a scenario

in which David died as a result
of autoerotic asphyxia.

In autoerotic asphyxia,

the most common way
that someone engages in this

is by putting a ligature
around their neck

to restrict the oxygen
going to their brain.

This is supposed to
enhance an orgasm.

The Carradine family
threatens to sue the newspapers

that published the photos.

Online rumors suggest
Thai investigators

have either lost control,
botched the investigation,

or Carradine was murdered
and his death staged.

I'm just a member
of the general public

without inside information
about David's case,

and I've uncovered
conflicting information.

So I can only imagine
how his family members felt

when the people
who are supposed to be

investigating this firsthand
are giving them

conflicting information
that doesn't match up.

This led to some of
David Carradine's family members

asking for the FBI
to get involved.

But Thai authorities refuse
to allow the FBI jurisdiction.

Within 48 hours of
David Carradine's death,

his body is flown back
to the U.S.

To try and get to the bottom
of things,

the family hired New York City's
former chief medical advisor,

Michael Baden.

But before Dr. Baden can begin
the American autopsy,

another private set of photos
are leaked

by the infamous
American newspaper

the National Enquirer.

The horrific, exploitive photos
spread too quickly to contain.

Online investigators believe
these haunting autopsy images

reveal evidence that pokes holes
into the official Thai report.

There was a ton of leaks
to the media

and a lot of misinformation
flying around.

There's also never been
a clear explanation

for why there was so much blood

found on Carradine's scalp
when he was discovered.

Was he hit over the head
with a baseball bat maybe,

and, like, put unconscious
and robbed and, like, strung up?

There is definitely talk online

about his death
being the result of foul play.

Official findings claim
Carradine died of asphyxiation.

But authorities
refuse to release

key evidence to the public.

An online surge
to solve Carradine's death

proposes the theory of murder.

It really is just a petri dish
that makes it very difficult

to link any discovery
to a specific individual.

One area that was just
really strange...

The side
of Mr. Carradine's head,

like right in through here,
there was, like, blood,

and it was, like,
a lot of blood.

Famed actor David Carradine
is found dead,

hanging in a Bangkok
hotel closet.

Explicit death photos
are leaked to the public,

causing an online frenzy.

I would say that
a lot of people would view

David's death as having
a taboo component to it.

Thai police release two
inconclusive autopsy reports,

and Internet sleuths
start theorizing

how it could have happened
to someone

who seemed so happy
and so healthy.

Deanna's going to
take over the idea

that, perhaps, he was murdered.

One of the theories
about David Carradine's death

is that he was
possibly approached

or he approached the famous
Thai ladyboys.

And I'm going to take on that
David Carradine was murdered

by the Chinese Mafia.

I have a long history of digging
deep into conspiracy theories

to see if there is
any truth at all to them.

I have some background
that I think is very applicable

to David's case.

Jen is going to investigate
whether or not

David Carradine's death
could have been

autoerotic asphyxiation.

Investigators start
their process

of piecing together
Carradine's last 24 hours.

On Sunday, May 31, 2009,
David Carradine checks in

to Bangkok's Swissotel
Nai Lert Park.

David Carradine was involved
in a movie called "Stretch,"

and so, he arrived in Bangkok
on May 31st.

And for three days
that he was there,

he was filming scenes
for his movie.

He spent the following days
hanging out in the hotel bar,

playing piano, playing flute,
drinking a little bit,

and, apparently, being in
an all-around good mood.

In the official story,
the cast and crew decided

to go to dinner that night
in the Red Light District,

and David was going
to join them.

So they all get ready
to go to dinner.

And they can't rouse
David Carradine.

They can't find him.
They can't locate him.

He's not answering his phone,

and he's not answering
his... his hotel room door.

Carradine seems to be

David's assistant did not
get ahold of him,

and so, the crew left for dinner
without him.

As they're eating,
the assistant gets a phone call,

and it's David Carradine.

And he's like, "Did you guys
leave without me?"

And the assistant's like,
"Yeah, we're already here.

You're gonna have to find
your way here."

And he's like, "Okay,
I'll see you soon."

Unfortunately, the film crew
never see Carradine alive again.

He never shows up.

And then he is found the next
morning by a chambermaid.

That's the official, like, story
from all sources.

He was naked.

He had some sort of a ligature

around his neck
and around his genitals.

Over a decade later,
detailed results

of the Thai investigation
and the private Baden autopsy

have yet to be released
to the public.

Internet investigators
are not able to find

the kind of standard evidence
released in high-profile cases.

And they wonder why.

I'm Dr. Michael Arntfield. I'm
a professor and criminologist

at Western University, where I
founded the Cold Case Society.

Problems arise when you have
a death scene in a hotel room,

where you have patent
and latent evidence,

fiber evidence,
partial fingerprint evidence

from hundreds,
potentially thousands

of previous occupants,
workers, contractors.

It... It... It really is
just a... a petri dish

that makes it very difficult

to link any discovery
to a specific individual.

There's a famous pathologist
in Thailand.

She goes by Porntip.

Porntip is the general
forensic pathologist

of the Central Institute for
Forensic Science in Thailand.

She believes that
the Thai police

did not do a good job
in collecting evidence

and that they left
a bunch of stuff behind, right,

but that she's not going
to get involved

unless the family ask her to.

And I just found that
really weird.

Like, if you know
something is wrong,

why wouldn't you get involved?

Hints of a botched crime scene
blow the case wide open.

They have these,
like, independent,

like, civilian body-snatchers
is what they're called.

And they'll get paid
a premium fee

to come pick up the body
and take it to the morgue.

It's a very seedy
kind of practice,

but it's very well-established
that this is what they do.

I would think this would be,
like, a chain-of-custody issue.

Like, could the body have been
messed with in some way?

Could things have been taken
from Mr. Carradine?

This is why police will often,
using a pen,

initial the body
somewhere on the arm or the leg

so that the body
that left the scene

can be definitively identified
as the same body

that ends up at the hospital
and, ultimately, the morgue.

According to the Thai police
and the hotel,

nobody came into the room.

Everybody that lives
in Thailand,

especially Westerners
that live in Thailand

that have reported on this,
say how the surveillance footage

is very likely doctored
or missing.

So that is not to be trusted.

Nobody's looked at
the CCTV footage

in conjunction
with the key-card data.

They should line up,

and I don't think anybody's
looked through that.

They really need to be analyzed.

The key-card report confirms
only the times

that the key was used
to activate the door lock.

It doesn't account for
other movement of the door.

For instance, the key
being used to open the door

and then the night latch
being applied

and the door left ajar,
perhaps to allow a visitor in

discretely later on,
without Mr. Carradine

and having to ask
for a second key.

It also doesn't explain someone
just knocking on the door

and being admitted
on consent by Mr. Carradine.

Files in Thailand are closed,

the surveillance footage.

It's gone. It's done.

Thai police claim no one came
in or out of Carradine's room

for over 12 hours.

But for Internet detectives,
something isn't sitting right.

They pore over the morgue photos

the National Enquirer
says are of Carradine.

One area that was
just really strange and...

The side
of Mr. Carradine's head,

like right in through here,
there was, like, blood.

And it was, like,
a lot of blood.

When your asphyxiating,
you can, like, aspirate blood.

How would it get up here unless
you were laying in it, right?

Whatever ligature was used
was very thin.

And it burrowed itself
deep into his neck.

I actually just sat there
for, like, I don't know,

seemed like days, just crying.

Just feeling horrible
how the end happened for him.

I... It was overwhelming.
Absolutely overwhelming.

I want to find out
really what happened. Yeah.

It was just kind of... It became
my mission, is to find out.

A few days later,
under extreme pressure

from the public explosion
of disbelief,

a lawyer for
the Carradine family

reads Dr. Michael Baden's
preliminary autopsy result.

Mr. Carradine's death
was not the result of a suicide.

Michael Baden ruled out suicide
as a possible cause of death

because of the way
the body was bound.

It's a bombshell reveal,
and now Thai police

are on the hook again to
investigate Carradine's death.

Baden said he was waiting
on more information

from the Thai authorities

before he could definitively
rule out homicide

as a cause of death.

David Carradine's hands

were roped up above his head.

And that was really
my aha moment.

World-famous action film star

and kung fu icon David Carradine

sets the Internet on fire

when he is found hanging dead
in a hotel closet.

Dissatisfied with
the initial explanation

of Carradine's death,

online investigators
scour chat rooms

and crime threads
to find the real truth.

There's a number of Carradine's
friends and family

who believe that homicide is
the explanation for his death.

Could have been
sex play gone south,

and he may have died

with assistance from somebody
else in that hotel room.

specifically hotel robbery,

has been correlated with
any number of manners of murder

and would be an intuitive theory
for police to explore.

Speculation about homicide
seeps into these threads.

A thread on Reddit
claims a female

was seen running from the room.

This is a classic example

of an unsubstantiated
Reddit thread.

The fact that they're talking
about it really accelerates

the... the theory that,
you know, he was murdered.

David Carradine's fourth wife,
Marina Anderson,

is a proponent
of the homicide theory.

I don't believe it was
by himself.

Just based on my experience,

he never flew solo...
Didn't want to do that.

So I was always convinced

that there were other people
in the room.

Bangkok is known worldwide
as a place

that caters to any and all
sexual desires.

It is basically
a free-for-all there.

And if you've got money,
you can get whatever you want.

There's girls throwing darts
out of their vagina at balloons.

I wouldn't say David
was a very trusting person.

He was very wary.

But when it came to sex,
I mean, he was pretty open.

If you're engaging in this but
your hands are above your head,

you can't self-stimulate.

The theory is that Carradine
may have asked for help

to perform
autoerotic asphyxiation.

If he had a partner with him
prior to his death...

A companion,
a girlfriend, a sex worker...

And he offended her
or did something that upset her,

there could have been
a moment of rage.

There's possibility
that this could have been,

like, a crime of passion
that happened very quickly.

Investigators scan the autopsy
photos for supporting evidence.

One big anomaly in David's case

is that there's no evidence
of any padding being placed

between the ligature
and his neck.

This is evidenced by
the medical examiner,

who made no note of padding,

and police, who never stated

they found any padding
at the scene.

And you don't want to be
on set, filming on camera

with these strange marks
on your neck

that people are definitely
going to notice.

So it tells me, if he was
engaging in autoerotic asphyxia

over the years, he was using
some sort of padding

between the ligature
and his neck.

The plan that so many
could put into place is,

you know, you provide
the entertainment for David

and just take the preference,
you know,

a few steps beyond
what's necessary and kill him.

The ladyboy population in
Thailand can really trick you.

They look like women.

I mean, they are beautiful.

It's... It's hard to know
that they're male

or they're, you know...
Or they're transitioning.

To be moving him into a closet,

it wouldn't necessarily
have been female-females

because David was,
what, 6'3" or something.

And, you know, they wouldn't
have been able to do it.

So, I mean, they do have
ladyboys there.

So that would be more
of the scenario.

This darker theory
is supported by witnesses

to strange anomalies
who point to a cover-up.

When I got to where the room

was supposed to...
Supposed to be,

another strange coincidence...
They had disappeared the room.

The hotel had
sealed up the door,

and they had pulled off
the number plate

for the room number.

There was no family members

There were no agents,
manager, people,

concerned people there.

There was nobody there.
It was like it never happened.

My understanding is
there was, like, an hour lag

by the time they brought
people in,

and the source told me that

it was time for them to
be able to clean it up,

probably stage it.

If you have an autoerotic
asphyxiation act

for sexual pleasure,

you don't need very much force.

The photos showed what was,
in my opinion, extreme force.

The frustrating lack of access
to evidence,

like crime-scene photos,
forces investigators,

friends, and family
to speculate on the neck wound.

One of the comments that I read
on these morgue photos...

You know, people are talking
about them...

Is that it looks like
he was almost decapitated.

You would think that
you would start to see

the ligature marks
kind of rise and fade away

as tension, you know,
is all right here.

But they go really far back,

almost like
somebody was behind him

kind of, like, crisscrossing
the rope like this,

like pulling this way
and pulling this way, right?

But if Carradine was murdered,
there has to be motive.

David always had a lot of money,

you know, per diem.

He wore expensive watches,

specifically one
that he barely ever took off.

The Patek Philippe watch
was worth thousands.

No mention of any of that.

Was it a possible
homicide suspect that took it?

Was it the chambermaid
who found the body,

you know, and saw maybe
an opportunity?

Was it the police?
Who would have done it?

Unfortunately, we're never
going to get an answer to that

because it's untraceable.

But there is another theory
that seems to be popular.

More than just incompetence,
there's a real possibility here

that the Thai police
weren't very thorough

or weren't very forthcoming

because this is bad press
for their country,

especially a county that
is so dependant on tourism.

Bangkok is the sex capital
of the world.

Why do people go to Bangkok?

Well, they have good food, but,
ultimately, it's sex tourism.

And this is
a very fragile economy

that they don't want
to mess with.

And if a celebrity was murdered
in a hotel room in Bangkok,

my guess is they're going to try
and cover it up,

because this could damage
that city immeasurably.

Frank Krueger actually acted
alongside David Carradine

in the movie "Break,"

and he's pretty sure that
this secret kung fu society

is actually responsible.

And Chinese organized crime
does not like being made fun of.

David Carradine's mysterious
death has taken on a new life

in the online world
of sleuthing.

But the most sinister theory
of how he died

cuts to the very heart
of who he was.

A user on the conspiracy

which is always really good
for this kind of speculation,

wrote, "David Carradine's
death... who is behind it?"

In a situation like this,
where there's not a lot

on the official record,

people love to fill that void

with speculation,
innuendo, and rumor.

And it makes it really hard to
figure out what really happened

when so much of the stuff
out there is really half-baked.

A lot of the theories
around David Carradine's death

involve Chinese
secret societies,

organized crime, and, frankly,

a lot of the things that
would have been the hallmark

of a movie that David Carradine
would have starred in.

The theory goes that
David Carradine

had run afoul of the Triads,

one of the most powerful
organized crime groups in Asia,

or this secret
martial arts society

and they had him taken out
as a result.

Okay, so why would
Chinese organized crime

want to take out
David Carradine?

The web seems to zero in
on this specific theory,

as it directly reflects
Carradine's career.

According to
the online rumor mill,

it all goes back to the 2009
movie "Crank: High Voltage."

Hey, baby. How you doing?

In that film,
Carradine plays the head of

a Chinese organized crime family

in what some reviewers called
a totally racist performance.

It was basically a parody
of Chinese organized crime.

And Chinese organized crime
does not like being made fun of.

And the online community
is abuzz

trying to draw connections
with this notion

as it relates to Carradine's
most famous role.

- My name is Jay Albanese.
- I am a criminologist.

I study organized crime and
corruption and related issues.

David Carradine was
the face of kung fu

being spread
to the rest of the world.

So you can see how some people
interested in martial arts

wouldn't necessarily be happy
about that, because martial arts

is considered to be something
you practice, you meditate.

I had heard
that he had actually beat out

the legendary Bruce Lee
for the role.

Would that happen today?
I don't think so.

Internet critics
weren't pleased that Carradine

continued to leverage
his Asian roles for profit.

In 1997, there is a video...
There's a video on YouTube.

And it's like "David Carradine's
Tai Chi Workout For Beginners."

And then... then
David Carradine, like, appears.


And he's wearing, like,
this Chinese silk.

And he goes on to

start talking about the workshop
and the benefits,

and he's speaking... the cadence
in which he's speaking,

it's all... it's like
he is imitating

not an Asian stereotype.

He is pushing the narrative

that he is this
kung fu Shaolin master

who has all these secrets
to healthy living.

You know, like, it's...
It's embarrassing.

It would not fly today.

Retaliation can be a motive
and a factor in homicide,

no doubt.

Someone took offense at
something somebody said or did

and then retaliated

and got revenge against them
and killed them.

The buzz online
points to the one group

you never want to offend.

In the same way that Italy
has La Cosa Nostra

and Japan has the Yakuza,
China has the Triads.

They are an international
crime syndicate

that is largely based in China
but really pops up anywhere

with a significant
Chinese population.

The Triads can wield
enormous influence,

and they are absolutely
an organization to be feared.

Internet advocates of
the Triad murder theory

claim a similar fate happened to
other martial arts movie stars.

They point not just to
David Carradine

but to Bruce Lee
and his son, Brandon.

Even though they all died

in incredibly
different circumstances,

conspiracy theorists
are convinced

that all three are linked.

Bruce Lee was in ill health
and died

of basically a brain aneurysm.

His son died when a dummy gun
fired a real bullet.

David Carradine was found
hanging in his hotel room.

Yet conspiracy theorists
are convinced

that all three are linked

and that they were all
the responsibility of the Triads

or this secret society.

David did comment
that he always felt

that both Bruce Lee and
Brandon's death was suspicious.

And he was fairly close
with Brandon,

and that really disturbed David.

He was very affected by that.

And he... he definitely felt
something went wrong.

And online deep dives
reveal several sources

who believe Carradine
was not afraid

of confronting
underground elements.

Frank Krueger actually acted
alongside David Carradine

in the movie "Break,"

and he's pretty sure that
this secret kung fu society

is actually responsible.

Apparently, according
to Krueger, Carradine

wanted to stand up
to crime families

that threatened him
back in the '70s.

He carried himself with
a large martial arts presence.

And from his story, it was clear
he was pretty fearless

when dealing with groups
of that nature.

And Krueger wasn't the only one.

In an interview with Larry King,

an attorney named Mark Geragos,
who knew Carradine,

said David was very interested
in investigating

and disclosing secret societies.

Being uncovered could be
a threat to a secret society.

So while it's certainly true

that there are historically
secret societies in China,

that doesn't mean
they killed David Carradine.

This is an incredibly powerful

criminal organization

that probably doesn't waste
too much time

bumping off
Hollywood celebrities.

Some cases, you want
the body found.

Other cases, you don't
want the body found.

But if you do want
the body found,

then you want it found in a way

that it cannot be
traced back to you.

If you're trying to
deliver a message

through the death
of David Carradine,

the question would be,

"Well, what the heck
would that message be?"

If it isn't...
No one's figured it out.

That says it's probably
unlikely that that was,

you know, a factor in that case.

Individuals who practiced
autoerotic asphyxia,

they themselves were worried

about the lethality
of their behavior.

Did he have maybe, like,
a subliminal death wish?

The official findings
of both autopsies agree

that David Carradine
died of asphyxiation.

The Thai investigation
insists he died alone.

But they are unwilling to
release any conclusive evidence,

triggering suspicion
of a cover-up.

Dr. Baden stated that he ruled
out suicide in David's death

due to the nature
of the ligatures

that were found on his body.

Autoerotic asphyxia
is actually more common

than a lot of people think.

My name is Dr. Steve Hucker.

I'm a semi-retired psychiatrist
and university professor.

Autoerotic asphyxiation is

the production or enhancement
of sexual arousal

by restricting one's breathing.

If this is an autoerotic scene,
then what's the sex bit, right?

Because that helps differentiate
from a suicide.

Online sleuths point to
the black shoelace

as evidence of a game
being taken to another level.

His hands were tied
above his head, like this.

And there was a rope
that he was hanging from.

And then that rope
was tied to a rope

that was tied to his genitals.

A lot of the videos are gone,

but the transcripts
are still online.

There's interviews
with Carradine's wives

who come forward with
disturbing details

of a sex-fueled star
obsessed with bondage.

Most people who perform
autoerotic asphyxiation

masturbate at the same time.

Is the shoelace evidence that
he was into bondage, as well?

Having their penis
with a string attached to it,

tied around it,
adds to the feeling.

It causes... It's pain.

It's... It's something which is

part of their
erotic arousal pattern.

From the morgue photos,
investigators speculate

on how Carradine's rig
may have functioned.

It was a cord,
and he had constructed

a pulley-type situation.

If he lifted his arms, he could,
in effect, castrate himself

and choke himself out
at the same time.

Hands go down, relief.

Back up, genitals,
neck, desired goal.

He had some practice going into
this situation, that's for sure.

It was very elaborate
and intricate.

Frankly, I marveled
at his ingenuity.

Rumors of deviant
sexual behavior

have the global online community
in a feeding frenzy,

fueled by testimony
from ex-wives

who discovered the hard way
what turned him on.

Gail, his...
One of his ex-wives...

Was talking to RadarOnline.

And she said before
they were married in 1984,

she found him...

He was hanging from a beam
and unconscious.

And she basically lifted him up
and took him off this beam.

And when he woke up, he was
just, like, blasé about it,

like, "I'm hungry,
and I want a sandwich."

Why did David Carradine

continue to engage in
autoerotic asphyxia

when he almost died from it
in 1984?

Did he have maybe, like,
a subliminal death wish?

Individuals who practiced
autoerotic asphyxia,

they themselves were worried

about the lethality
of their behavior,

or their wife had come upon them
when they were doing this

and said, "Are you crazy?

You need to go
and see a psychiatrist."

Online chatter among
autoerotic aficionados

reveals dangerous strategies

prone to miscalculation
over time.

Strategy to prevent a mishap
can be very simple.

They could have
the other end of the rope

goes over a bar or a beam

and they hold the other end,
saying to themselves,

"Well, when I lose
consciousness, dead man's grip,"

they fall to the floor.

Most of them are not
particularly elaborate.

They'll... They'll just
bend their legs

and tighten the noose that way.

And they'll recover
by rising themselves up.

If you recover by rising up,

well, then what happens
when you cant?

It's the deep neck wound
that online researchers point to

when supporting
the accidental death theory.

If he was struggling,
he might have struggled,

and the rope or the cord
would have abraded,

and it might have got so deep
that blood came out.

A key discussion
in many autoerotic chat rooms

allege the realism
is the turn-on.

One of the things which are
hard for people to understand

is that it's possible
to tie your hands together

and end up with them
behind your back.

I can't do this because
I'm too old and decrepit,

but younger people can do that,

and they walk through the loop,
and it ends up behind you.

So you could have done that
on your own.

One thing that immediately
made people suspicious

was that there was not a lot
of the trappings

of a modern police investigation

or at least not the ones
we're used to.

You didn't see the same care
taken of that hotel room

after the fact, and there
may have been mistakes made.

But many cyber sleuths who take
the Thai police findings

as fact point to one key factor.

Part of our problem is that
we don't have any clear pictures

that would normally happen
in a modern-day investigation.

We don't have any pictures
of, like, the contraption

being broken down.

We don't have any pictures of it
hanging up in the closet.

We don't have anything at all.

72 years old,
which is old for fatalities.

The... The average, in our
study, was about 28 years.

But it means that
this is somebody

who's been doing this
for many years

and, if you can coin a phrase,
got to know the ropes.

A deep dive into Internet groups

that practice
autoerotic asphyxia

claim it's about being
on the edge of death.

Do I recommend that everybody
gives this a go?

Absolutely not.

Because anything can go wrong.

On the other hand,
people who do this often say,

"It's sexually arousing
to put my life on the line."

The Internet is still alive
with talk

of kung fu film pioneer
David Carradine's

2009 grisly death by hanging.

But the refusal of Thai police
to release evidence

has Internet sleuths believing
a cover-up has buried the truth,

denying closure to family,
friends, and fans

across the world.

In life, his charisma
was undeniable.

So he was just
a very interesting person,

and I think he was a bit
eccentric, and I think

that's what drew all these,
like, beautiful woman to him.

His ex-wives and whatnot still
have a lot of reverence for him.

And they talk about him with
great respect and admiration.

But separating online fact
from fiction

about the way
David Carradine died

is an ongoing puzzle
that may never be solved.

It seems fairly clear to me

that some of the evidence
for the idea

that Carradine was murdered
rests on misinformation

that was reported
in the tabloids at the time.

Back in 2009,

there was a whole bunch
of contradictory information

going in both directions.

One of my biggest issues
is injustice.

If I see an injustice happening
and I'm like ,

I get triggered,
and I feel that way

with David Carradine's case.

I really feel that there's been
an injustice with him.

It appears to me
that the two autopsies

got his manner
and cause of death correct,

manner of death
being an accident

and cause of death essentially
being the loss of oxygen,

which, ultimately, stopped
his heart and killed him.

But what actually went down
is still in doubt.

I do think David died
as a result of an accident.

The lingering question
for me is,

was somebody else present
in the hotel room with him

at any point
on the night that he died?

That question has never been
answered by law enforcement.

Online conclusions spiral
into three key theories.

One is that he was engaging
in autoerotic asphyxiation

by himself.

The second one is that
he was engaging in it

but with a partner.

The third one is that his death

could have actually been
a homicide

and staged as
autoerotic asphyxia

to make people think
that's how he died.

I think, on balance,
David Carradine's death

was autoerotic asphyxial
in nature.

He was found in a closed room

where nobody else was
or had been.

He's nude, he's hanging.

There's a part of
the rope complex

which is around his genitals.

And he's had a history of this.

I would say this was 90% sure.

I don't think David Carradine
was in that room alone.

You want to prove me wrong?
Show me the tapes.

Show me the surveillance tapes,

and then maybe
I'll change my tune.

But until then, I'm not buying
the accidental death,

not by a long margin.

When you have somebody,
a celebrity, they have success,

they have every reason
to want to live.

So this is why
it's very difficult,

when someone in that
circumstance dies, to accept it.

It was pretty crushing
when David Carradine died.

I was actually particularly
looking forward to the idea

of a prequel
to the "Kill Bill" movies,

maybe "Kill Bill: Volume 3."

But obviously, that's no longer
on the table.

It's clear from how
the body was found

that autoerotic asphyxiation

is the most likely explanation
for Carradine's death.

I believe that he was killed
and then moved to the closet

to make it look like a suicide
or something to cover up.

My official opinion is that

David Carradine's death
was accidental

but that it was performed
by another person

and that he was robbed after

and it was staged
as if he done it himself.

So now that I know what happened

or I know a little bit of
details about what happened to

David Carradine and the...
And the way he was found

and what was reported,
I absolutely believe

there should be an official,
like, FBI investigation

into what happened
to David Carradine.

There's something wrong here.

I mean, there's just something
very wrong here.

And... And I want to get
to the bottom of this.

And it took me years
to get over the anger

and the hurt and all that.

I want to see justice done.

I want to see the information.

I want to see the truth
come out.