Celebrity Autopsy Reports
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  • Belushi, John:   (January 24, 1949 - March 5, 1982) John Belushi was a prominent actor and comedian who overdosed on a combination of cocaine and heroin.

  • Benoit, Chris:  ( May 21, 1967 - June 24, 2007) Chris Benoit was a former professional wrestler who wrestled with several organizations including the World Wrestling Entertainment, Extreme Championship Wrestling, and New Japan Pro Wrestling. On June 25, 2007, Chris was found dead as a result of suicide by hanging. Also found dead were his wife, Nancy; and their son Daniel. His wife was bound before being killed; and his son was found dead after being strangled. It was determined that Chris killed both his wife and son in the days before his suicide. His toxicology report listed therapeutic amounts of hydrocodone and alprazolam (Xanax) in his system.

  • Breitbart, Andrew (February 1, 1969 – March 1, 2012)  Breitbart was a publisher; and commentator for The Washington Times, who died of heart failure. On March 1, 2012, Breitbart died at the age of 43 at the UCLA Medical Center after he collapsed while walking in Brentwood, California.  An autopsy revealed that he had cardiomegaly and died of heart failure. The toxicology report showed "no prescription or illicit drugs were detected."  Blood alcohol was .04%. No significant trauma was present and foul play is not suspected." He had suffered an apparent heart attack months before his death.

  • Carpenter, Karen: (March 2, 1950 - February 4, 1983) Karen Carpenter was a young and talented singer and songwriter who along with her brother, Richard, formed the musical duo The Carpenters.  In April 1969, The Carpenters signed their first recording contract and throughout the course of the 1970's, the duo had several # 1 and # 2 hits including, "(They Long to Be) Close to You," and "We've Only Just Begun." Unfortunately, during the same time Karen battled dieting problem and anorexia nervosa, which is an eating disorder characterized by extremely low body weight, distorted body image and the fear of gaining weight. Although Karen spent years in therapy and was in and out of hospitals getting treated for the disorder as well and the physical problems associated with it, Karen health eventually deteriorated. On February 4, 1983, Karen passed away at her parents' home. The causes of death was listed as  "heartbeat irregularities brought on by chemical imbalances associated with anorexia nervosa."

  • Chasen, Ronni: (October 17, 1946 - November 16, 2010)   Chasen was an American publicist who was noted for her Academy Award pubic relations work on films including  Driving Miss Daisy and The Hurt Locker;  and other PR work on films including On Golden Pond, Wall Street, and Wall Street 2.   She represented many actors including Michael Douglas.  On November 16, 2010, Chasen was heading home from the Hollywood premiere for the movie,  Burlesque,  when she was shot while in her car.  Chasen was shot through the passenger side window while stopped at a red light at the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Whittier Drive. She sustained multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and back. She made a left turn and drove 1/4 mile before colliding with a light pole. She was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where surgical interventions were unsuccessful and she was pronounced dead at 0112 AM PST. It was suspected at the time of her death another vehicle was involved pulling up along side of Chasen's car. However, a tip lead police to investigate man by the name of Harold Martin Smith who was suspected as being involved in Chasen's death.  Smith was being approached about the incident and committed suicide. Police concluded that Chasen's death was the result of an attempted robbery gone violent.  It is noted that the bullets from the gun Smith used to commit suicide had similar ballistic properties from the bullets that killed Chasen.

  • Colvin, Douglas:  (September 18, 1951 - June 5, 2002) Douglas Colvin is best known as Dee Dee Ramones, musician and songwriter, bassist and founding member of the band, The Ramones. On the evening of June 5, 2002, Dee Dee Ramone was found dead by his wife Barbara at his Hollywood, California apartment. His cause of death is listed as an "acute morphine (heroin) intoxication." He is buried at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California.

  • Duerson, David (November 30, 1960 - February 17, 2011) David Duerson is a former National Football League safety who played with several teams including the Chicago Bears, New York Giants, and Phoenix Cardinals from 1983 until his retirement in 1993. On February 17, 2011, Mr. Duerson died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot to his chest. His last wish was that his brain be donated to the Boston University School of Medicine so that it could be studied for chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

  • Earnhardt, Sr, Dale:   (April, 29, 1951 - February 18, 2001)    Dale Earnhardt, Sr. was an outstanding race car driver who spent most of his career driving on the NASCAR circuit. Dale Earnhardt was known as "The Intimidator," for his aggressive style of driving.  He was tragically killed after crashing into the wall on Turn 3 of the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500.

  • Fatu, Edward: (March 28, 1973 - December 4, 2009) Edward Fatu, also known as Umaga, was a professional wrestler with World Wrestling Entertainment, where he was a two-time Intercontinental Champion. Umaga started his wrestling career with the WWE in 2002 where he was known as Jamal at that time. After a few years with the WWE, Umaga left and wrestled in Japan. In 2005, he returned to the WWE. His personal and professional life was scarred with rumors that he obtained drugs, specifically, the human growth, somatropin, through the Internet. In 2009, he was released from his contract from World Wrestling Entertainment after it was said he violated the WWE 's "no drugs from online sources" rule and would not seek rehabilitation for his problem. On December 4, 2009, he was found unresponsive and bleeding from his nose. He was transported to Houston Northwest Medical Center and was pronounced dead after suffering a second heart attack. His death was attributed to "acute toxicity from the combined effects of hydrocodone, carisoprodol, and diazepam." 

  • Foster, Vincent (January 15, 1945 - July 20, 1993) Vince Foster was the Deputy White House Counsel during the first term of Bill Clinton's presidency. His death was none the less controversial as he was found with a gun in his hand and a gunshot wound through the mouth. His death was ruled a suicide.

  • Gibb, Maurice:  (December 22, 1949 - January 11, 2003) Maurice Gibb was an outstanding musician, singer, and songwriter, who was part of the music group, the Bee Gees, along with his brothers Robin and Barry Gibb.  The group also had a younger brother, Andy, who died in March 1988, of myocarditis or inflammation of the heart muscle most likely contributed from extensive drug and alcohol use. Maurice Gibb died in Miami, Florida, as the complication of result of a ischemic small intestine, due to a volvulus or twisting of the intestine. He was cremated after his death.

  • Hastings, Michael: (January 28, 1980 - June 18, 2013)  Hastings was an American journalist and author and contributing editor to Rolling Stone magazine and reporter for BuzzFeed website. Hastings was noted for his profile in Rolling Stone  about General Stanley McChrystal, commander of NATO's International Security Assistance Force in the Afghanistan war. The article documented the widespread contempt for civilian officials in the US government by the general and his staff resulting in McChrystal's resignation.  In the early hours on June 18, 2013, Hastings died in a single-vehicle automobile crash in his Mercedes C250 Coupé. His autopsy report lists his cause of death as "traumatic injuries due to massive blunt-force trauma" consistent with a high-speed impact. His toxicology report was positive for marijuana and amphetamines.

  • Holley, Charles: (September 7, 1936 - February 3, 1959) Charles Holley, known to his fans as Buddy Holly, was a talented rock and roll star. Buddy Holly joined Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper, and Dion and the Belmonts for the "Winter Party Party." On the morning of February 3, 1959 around 1 AM, Buddy Holly, along with Ritchie Valens, and J.P. Richardson perished in an airplane crash as it was taking off from the Mason City, Iowa airport. Buddy Holly is buried in the City of Lubbock Cemetery in Lubbock, Texas. A formal autopsy was not done at the time; however, the cause of his death is listed as massive head as the result of the plane crash.

  • Hulette, Elizabeth Ann: (November 19, 1960 - May 1, 2003) Elizabeth Ann Hulette is  best known as Miss Elizabeth in the wrestling industry. She was the former wrestling manager of Randy "Macho Man" Savage, and was the girlfriend of Lex Luger at the time of her death. Her cause of death is listed as an accidental overdose resulting from "acute toxicity of alcohol and multiple drugs."

  • Iron, Andy: (July 24, 1978 - November 2, 2010) Andy Irons was a professional surfer who has won several surfing titles including three world titles, three Quicksilver Pro France titles, two Rip Curl Pro Search titles, and other titles including the Vans Triple Crown of surfing four times. Andy learned to surf the dangerous and shallow reefs of the North Shore in Kauai, Hawaii. Andy was to perform in an event in Puerto Rico before backing out of the event after becoming ill. He was flying home and made a layoff in Dallas, Texas after missing his connecting flight to Hawaii. Andy was found unresponsive in his hotel room the next day. The official cause of death is listed as "sudden cardiac death associated with coronary artery disease" with a secondary cause listed as "acute mixed drug ingestion" from a mixture of drugs including alprazolam, methadone, benzoylecgonine (a metabolite of cocaine) and traces of methamphetamine as the drugs found in Andy`s body at the times of his death.  Also, review the official police report filed after the investigation of his death.

  • Jackson, "Jeep" Hernell: (March 13, 1964 - May 3, 1987) Hernell was the first team all-Western Athletic Conference basketball player who played four season at the University of Texas El-Paso with the Miners from 1983 to 1986. Jackson was participating in a charity basketball game at  Fort Bliss Logan Heights Fitness Center with two other ex-Miners and four members of the NFL’s Houston Oilers, when he collapsed while sitting on the bench. He was taken to Beaumont Medical Center and was pronounced dead after unsuccessful attempts to revive him. The official cause of death is listed as "cardiac arrest due to arrhythmia" caused by an anomaly of his coronary artery.

  • Jones, Anissa (March 11, 1958 -  August 28, 1976) Anissa Jones starred as Buffy in the 1960 -1970's CBS sitcom Family Affair.  She also starred in an Elvis Presley comedy film, The Trouble with Girls. Jones career was cut short as she started to take drugs.  On August 28, 1976, Jones was dead in a bedroom of her friends. The coroner's report stated that she died from a combined drug intoxication consisting of barbiturates (Seconal), phencyclidine (PCP), cocaine, and methaqualone (Quaaludes). The coroner had stated at the time that Jones died of one of the most severe drug overdoses he had ever seen.   Thank you for one of our faithfully website viewers, Steve Smith, for providing Anissa's autopsy report!  Thanks, Steve!

  • Joplin, Janis:  (January 19, 1943 - October 4, 1970)  Janis Joplin was a prominent singer and songwriter in the 1960's and lead singer of the band, Big Brother and the Holding Company. She also ventured as a solo artist and performed at Woodstock. Janis was found dead at the Landmark Motor Hotel, now known as the Highland Gardens Hotel. Her death was the result of acute heroin-morphine intoxication by injection. Janis is part of the "The 27 Club,” with other rock legends who also died at the age of 27, including Rolling Stone Brian Jones, and rockers Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Amy Winhouse, and Kurt Cobain

  • Mays, Billy: (July 20, 1958 - June 28, 2009) Billy Mays was a notable advertising salesperson who was notable for his appearances in infomericals promoting products such as OxiClean and Orange Glo cleaning products. He also appeared in the Discovery Channels new TV series, Pitchmen. Billy Mays was born in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania not far from the home of Autopsyfiles.org. On the morning of June 28, Mays was found unresponsive by his wife in his Tampa, Florida home. Ironically, the evening before his death, Billy Mays was aboard a plane that had a difficult landing, causing items in the overhead compartments to hit him in the head. After the landing, he was interviewed and said to have no ill-effects from the landing.  An autopsy revealed that he suffered from hypertensive heart disease and that he most likely suffered heart attack. He is buried in the Beth Hamedrash Hagodal Cemetery located in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania.

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