The family of David Carradine is reaching out to the Master Po of the forensic science community in hopes of finding answers to the Kung Fu star's disgraced mortal exit. Famed pathologist Dr. Michael Baden will perform a second autopsy to determine whether the 72 year-old actor died from auto-erotic masturbation or whether the Bill in Kill Bill could have been killed by someone else (or at least have had some assistance in the bizarre sexual ritual).
Carradine died suddenly last week in Bangkok, Thailand while on location to shoot a new movie. Days later macabre photos were leaked on the web showing the actor seated in the closet with a rope tied around his neck, wrists and genitals.
So what can Dr. Baden hope to find in his re-examination? Anyone with knowledge of forensic science will tell you that the body is a merely a canvas on which to find evidence that may be hidden to the naked eye. Baden has worked on dozens of celebrated cases including my own. I had asked for his help in my re-investigation of the notorious Boston Strangler case in 2000. My aunt Mary Sullivan was the final and at 19 years-old, the youngest strangler victim. I took on the case because my mother never believed the so-called Boston Strangler Albert DeSalvo murdered her beloved sister. Dr. Michael Baden helped to prove her right. In the re-autopsy of my aunt's remains (done nearly 40 years after the crime), Baden discovered that Mary's hyoid bone was still intact. The hyoid bone is a fragile neck bone broken in 99 % of all manual strangulations. This contradicted DeSalvo's claim that he choked Mary Sullivan my placing his thumbs against her Adam's Apple. DeSalvo also claimed to have murdered my aunt in the late afternoon, but Dr. Baden determined that her stomach was empty (with only a slight hint of coffee). This suggests that Mary had been killed much earlier. Baden's theory was also backed by a witness who had seen another man inside Mary's apartment at around 10 a.m. Dr. Baden and his team (including forensic all-stars James Starrs, David Foran and Dr. Henry Lee) also managed to find the killer's DNA on my aunt's remains. That DNA sequence did not match Albert DeSalvo.
If there are legitimate questions surrounding David Carradine's death, they most certainly will be answered by Dr. Michael Baden whose skills with a scalpel are much greater than merely snatching a pebble from one's hand.