THE DAVID CARRADINE AFFAIR
BY ANTONIO PINEDA
The strange demise of actor David Carradine in Bangkok continues to generate contreversy. The family of the actor have asked the FBI to intervene. Lumpini police chief Col Samprasong Yenthuam states that the FBI need approval from the Office of the Attorney General in order to do so.
I run into investigative journalist David Walker on the street. He says he and a CBS crew were denied access to view the corpse at the morgue. CCTV tapes were also unavailable to view. Walker points out the strange similarities to the death by hanging of former INXS singer Michael Hutchance. The late pop star was found to have ingested quantities of alcohol, ecstasy and barbiturates. Death by misadventure perhaps, or something more nefarious.
Painter, sculptor and author Richard Diran checks in. He is the author of Vanishing Tribes of Burma, an ethnographic study of the tribal structures in Burma. Richard has seen the pix of the body, bound by curtain rope, in Thai Rath a Thai newspaper. His hands were bound behind his back. Diran questions how he could have hung himself in the closet hands bound behind his back.
Martin Zweiback continues staunch in his claim that David would never commit suicide. Martin scripted the original Kung Fu TV series. From his home in Santa Monica he recalls the glory days of their halcyon youth. Martin remains a dreamer and visionary. He remembers Carradine as one of the great talents of his generation. A show biz family whose credentials rival the Barrymores.
A great French writer declared that upon completion of a manuscript, the ink must be left to decant. Like a fine bottle of wine a writers ouevre grows in ststure with time. Luis Bunuel, Picasso, and BB King created ceaselessly because art knows no temporal boundaries. The true artist will die in the saddle. That is the legacy that Martin wishes to preserve for Carradine. The worth of a man is in his work, and an actor defines his existence by his role on the stage of life.
I recieve an email from Myke Brown, the manager of Tata Young. Tata is the premiere pop superstar in Asia. She will release her new album on August 25. Tata will then tour Japan, Asia, Australia and Europe. Myke has arranged for Dr Bruce Hensel to interview David Winters , under the auspices of NBC 4 in Los Angeles.
I roll to the penthouse office Winters creates from. Memorabilia of his work adorn the walls, Pictures of Elvis Presley, Ann Margaret, Kirk Douglas, Diana Ross, and Paul Newman grace the walls. Among these artifacts of The Golden Age Of Hollywood, Dr Bruce is in the process of interviewing the legendary producer director. Winters sits in front of classic Hollywood cult film posters of 2 films he shot for Carradine, Future Force and Future Zone.
Dr. Bruce queries David re the mysterious circumstances of Carradines demise. Winters explains Carradine portrayed a bounty hunter in the films. He scoffs at the premise that Carradine died of auto erotic asphyxiation. He points to a poster of the young Josh Brolin in a film he produced entitled , Thrasher. David stresses he originally proposed a young unknown, Johnny Depp , for the role.
Gary Stretch, who is staying with David, mans the camera. Gary is the star of The Heavy, a film that premiered at Cannes. Christopher Lee, Steven Rea and Lee Ryan of the pop group Blue are also cast in this tale of a London hitman. Gary Stretch possesses the distinction of being the former WBC middleweight boxing champion. He retains the animal grace and vitality once the sacred providence of Hollywood stars . The film will premiere in London on June 31. Dr Bruce asks David if Carradine comitted suicide. Winters emphatically replies in the negative.
Winters talked with Chuck and Tiffany, the agents for Carradine. The actor was lined up for work years in advance. People of a certain social class always have the obligatory gold Rolex watch, diamond ring and gold chain plus the mandatory roll of mad money in their billfold. No mention was made of this by police. David produces the wild card from the deck. He contends that a katoey, ie a ladyboy or transexual, could have easily possessed the strength to murder Carradine. Katoeys are part and parcel of the Bangkok scene. They blend into the fabric of the demimonde. They are often indistinguishable from the real deal.
The bomb has been dropped. Winters is the only person who has had the courage to initiate this view to the media. He contends that confidential informants utilized by the police have erected a wall of silence. In his view this silence is being bought by big players, who do not want the real nitty gritty of this case to be revealed. The film industry and tourist industry have suffered setbacks due to the economic downturn and political instability, another scandal celebre would not help. The Swisshotel Nai Lert Prk where the body was discovered in room 352 is pursuing a course of vested interests.
Dr. Bruce asks David his plans for the future. He declares that he will attend the preniere of The Heavy in London with Gary Stretch. Gary also starred in The Kingmaker, which Winters shot on location in Thailand and sold on to 36 foriegn territories. Gary and David are then on to Bulgaria, to work on The Warrior King, an epic film in the great tradition of historical sagas. Winters excuses himself. It is the birthday of his dear friend Nancy Sinatra. Having recently lost his best pal Paul Newman, and now Carradine, he wants to take time to congragulate Nancy.
David graciously writes an epilogue to this story which is the subject of the next post on this http://magickpapers.com/blog/ blog entry. With his permission I am making it available to the general public.