Sun, Nov 09, 2014 - Page 7 News List

Actor committed suicide, no drugs found

REPORT RELEASED:Details have emerged about Robin Williams’ death with the release of an autopsy report, including how he was found and the cause of death


Robin Williams had recently become more paranoid when he committed suicide by hanging himself, coroners said on Friday, adding that he had no alcohol or illicit drugs in his system.

There were also signs that the actor — who had recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease — had tried to cut his left wrist, according to an autopsy report.

No suicide note or other indication that he planned to take his own life was found at the scene, it said.

The 63-year-old, known for high-energy, rapid-fire improvisation and clowning, was found dead on Aug. 11 at his home in Marin County, north of San Francisco.

Marin County Coroner Robert Doyle said the investigation into his death had concluded, giving the cause as “asphyxia due to hanging” and the manner of death as “suicide.”

“Toxicological evaluation revealed the absence of alcohol or illicit drugs. Prescription medications were detected in therapeutic concentrations,” it added in a statement.

“His prior medical history reportedly included depression, Parkinson’s Disease and a recent increase in paranoia,” said a longer coroners’ report, which was obtained by Agence France-Presse.

The report included other details about Williams’ medical history, including that he had shown symptoms of Parkinson’s since 2011, including a left arm tremor and slowing of left hand movements. He was diagnosed with the disease in November last year.

“The clinical history is notable for depression, with components of paranoia, compulsiveness and anxiety,” it said.

Although he had suffered from depression sporadically “for most of his adult life ... he had no known history of suicidal ideation or behavior,” the report said.

The report gave a detailed description of how Williams’ body was found hanging by a belt from a closet door in his stepson’s bedroom. It noted that a pocket knife with a 7.5cm blade was found near the body.

“Several superficial vertical and horizontal cuts were seen over the inner aspect of the left wrist; these wounds had a scant amount of blood present,” the report said.

The actor was wearing a black, short-sleeve T-shirt, black jeans and “was in a seated position, and slightly leaning forward with a black nylon belt secured around his neck.”

Williams had been sleeping separately from his wife partly because he talked in his sleep, sometimes very loudly, it said.

Williams, an Oscar winner and veteran of movies, stand-up shows and television, was one of Hollywood’s most popular entertainers.

A few days after his death, Williams’ wife said her husband was suffering from depression and the early stages of Parkinson’s disease.

Father-of-three Williams had spoken openly in the past about his battles with alcoholism and drug abuse — and often drew on them in his stand-up comedy routines.

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