Hollywood is known for its liberalism, but even the no-holds-barred entertainment industry still considers some subjects taboo. David Carradine's death in 2009 brought untouched topics of extreme sexual practices into a grisly spotlight. While in Bangkok shooting a film, the 72-year-old star of the 1970s TV series "Kung Fu" and Quentin Tarantino's acclaimed "Kill Bill" saga was found dead, hanging from a rope in the closet of his hotel room.
Footage from hotel security cameras showed that Carradine was alone in his room, but despite his wife's assertions to the contrary, media and law enforcement originally speculated that Carradine had committed suicide. However, further information revealed that the rope around Carradine's neck was also connected to his genitals, suggesting that his death was the result of autoerotic asphyxiation, or the practice of constricting air supply in order to enhance a sexual experience.
Carradine's ex-wife Marina Anderson confirmed publicly that he had indeed engaged in "deviant" and "potentially deadly" sexual behavior, supporting the autoerotic asphyxiation hypothesis [source: Goldman]. Controversy erupted further when a Bangkok tabloid published graphic photos of Carradine's body hanging in the closet [source: Kamer].
Although the details of Carradine's death remain mysterious, the tragedy brought topics of sexual deviance, normally taboo in mainstream forums, to the forefront of the cultural consciousness.