Alex Constantine - April 1, 2008
" ... the way his death was handled by the person who found him made clear that something was fishy ... " - Huffington Post, 3-7-08
By Alex Constantine
While the search is on by his family for Ledger's missing millions, we turn to the press and find, creepily enough ...
1) A mass of misinformation: The Huffington Post has accused Salon of running a fake, "data-free" story, written by Stanford University's Larry Zaroff, MD, on Ledger that "cites CDC statistics which make it look as though medical overdoses are rising dramatically." Those statistics are misinformation that happen to provide a false pretext for the actor's death.
Salon also claimed that "Ledger's death was due to medical error." Not so. The public has been led to believe it, though. The painkillers that killed Ledger were not prescribed by his physicians, and he had no condition that necessitated those prescriptions. (No bottles for the painkillers were found by detectives in the apartment, I reported elsewhere. He was felled by low dosages of painkillers that interacted lethally.)
Quoth the Huffington Post, evermore: "While Ledger was known to have severe insomnia ... opioids are not prescribed for insomnia and there is no evidence that he had any condition for which they could legitimately be used." (I repeat, they were not prescribed. No bottles for them were found - Question: Were the legally-obtained prescriptions checked to determine if the painkillers had been slipped to Ledger?)
2) Press reports still claim that the actor "died of a prescription drug overdose [sic] in January."
3) "Michelle Williams Slams Heath Ledger Rehab Reports!" Ledger was NOT headed for rehab, and drugs had nothing to do with the dissolution of their relationship, according to Williams. She is very insistent about this, and describes media reports to the contrary as "false" and "inaccurate" and "fabricated." Without reservation.
4) Ledger's van was stolen at the time he died, or thereabouts. The Australian Age reported on March 3, 2008: "The green-coloured 1975 model Volkswagen van was reportedly stolen from outside a Bondi home about the time of the actor's death ... "
5) Masseuse Diane Lee Wolozin phoned Mary Kate Olsen, Heath's girlfriend, "four times using the ... star’s cellphone - three before she even considered calling 911." She wanted to "call security people in New York" first, though.
What security people? Why?
Query: Why did a masseuse have the phone number of "security people in New York," and what use are security people in New York anyways when the client you are there to massage is comatose, with prescription bottles scattered around him?
Query: Why was the masseuse hesitant to call paramedics first? It wasn't a security issue, it was a medical one - Ledger was out of it, unresponsive, possibly dying or dead. Anyone would call 9/11, paramedics to administer CPR or ambulate the unresponsive patient to a hospital ... then you might call police - unless you hesitate too long and the patient dies ... not "security people in New York."
6) Olsen was not questioned by police, although they initially stated that they wanted to talk to her.
7) NO GRIEVING?: Olsen went out dancing and romancing two days after Heath died, partied with abandon. Other articles posted below cast suspicion on her, and many Ledger fans blame her for his death.
8) MICHAEL BADEN - who fabricated evidence in John Kennedy's murder to make it seem Oswald killed Kennedy - was involved in the Heath Ledger autopsy and briefed the press. Baden is a cover-up artist. Recall that the initial reports on cause of death were weird. It was announced that the cause could not be determined - about 10 days before the examination was even completed.
Baden covers up CIA/Mafia/fascist-complex murders, and you expect unusual statements from an establishment medical bimbo in the act of concealing and inventing facts, his professional forté.
10) Ledger fan's blog entry: "As I write, Heath Ledger has JUST been found dead in New York. Now Fox News is delivering nonstop breaking news coverage. Yet the other channels are mentioning nothing about it? What does this mean?"
I leave it to the "gentle," Fox-wise reader to answer that question.
Heath Ledger sat for a portrait by Australian artist Vincent Fantauzzo, unfinished at the time of his death. It has been donated to his mother. In it, Heath is portrayed as hearing voices. Why did he want and sit for a painting in which he heard voices? Why was this so important to him?
More Misinformation on Ledger Death, Prescription Drug Misuse
Posted March 7, 2008
Salon has just published a virtually data-free article which blames Heath Ledger's overdose death on patients' misunderstanding of pharmacology, busy doctors and pharmacists, and drug company advertising. But the research on similar cases suggests that it's writer and doctor Larry Zaroff [Larry Zaroff, M.D., Ph.D., Stanford University Consulting Professor, School of Medicine & Program in Human Biology] who is misinformed-- both in describing the problem and in suggesting a solution.
To start, Zaroff cites CDC statistics which make it look as though medical overdoses are rising dramatically. Problem is, those numbers don't distinguish between addicts' overdoses and those caused by doctor or patient error: the studies which do look more closely find that the overwhelming majority of these deaths occur amongst people with a history of drug problems.
This leads into the article's next false assumption: that Ledger's death was due to medical error. You'd never know it from reading Salon's story, but the medical examiner determined that the actor's death was caused by drug abuse.
If Ledger had been an elderly woman with a history of chronic pain and no history of addiction, it would be entirely reasonable to suspect medical or patient error.
But statistically, young men are the highest risk group for addiction. Ledger himself admitted heavy drug use -- it is believed to be the reason why the mother of his child left him. And the way his death was handled by the person who found him made clear that something was fishy: if you find someone unresponsive and you think they have taken too much prescribed medication, you don't call friends and private security before you call an ambulance.
Further, in a climate where many doctors fear prescribing any pain medications to people with documented injuries and disorders, it would be extraordinary for a legitimate physician to prescribe one strong opioid-- let alone two-- to a man of his age without serious evidence of severe pain.
While Ledger was known to have severe insomnia and could have appropriately been prescribed a benzodiazepine for it (three were found in his body, along with the opioids), opioids are not prescribed for insomnia and there is no evidence that he had any condition for which they could legitimately be used. The fact that no charges have been filed against any doctor so far suggests, too, that the medications were not legally obtained.
Zaroff goes on to describe a hypothetical situation in which someone "doctor shops" because she has become tolerant to drugs and sees multiple doctors for this "medical" problem. But this, again, does not fit what we know about prescription drug abuse.
You don't start seeing multiple doctors to get controlled substances-- which can be a crime-- if you find your painkillers and sleeping pills have stopped working. If you have nothing to hide, you see your regular doctor and ask for either higher doses, different treatment, referral to a specialist or help quitting.
Studies of people who abuse prescription pain medications find that the vast majority have prior histories of drug abuse and that pain patients do not turn into criminal addicts simply because they receive certain medications.
So, a young man in his twenties with a history of illegal drug use dies with five prescription drugs in his system: sorry, Dr. Zaroff, Occam's razor suggests that this is not a case of medical error, but of addiction.
And articles like this make matters worse. By trying to pretend otherwise, they scare doctors away from helping pain patients, stigmatize addicts because we can't bear to see an actor we like as "one of them," and obscure the best way to help prevent overdoses by giving a false picture of the way they most commonly occur.
Zaroff claims that the solution is a national database containing our most private medical information to allow doctors, pharmacists and police to check up on patients. But do we really want physicians, pharmacy staff and police pawing through our pain prescriptions, our anxiety diagnoses, our Viagra scripts?
And since addicts-- not patients-- are the problem, sacrificing everyone's privacy for this false form of security isn't going to solve it. Most prescription drug abusers obtain their medications from friends and family: not from doctor shopping. Most use multiple drugs: so cutting off the prescription opioids just leaves more room for heroin.
When will we start to use what we actually know about drugs to create sane policies?
Heath Ledger's former fiancée Michelle Williams has stayed relatively quit since hearing the news of Heath's tragic death but the grieving 27-year-old mom is speaking out about the tabloid lies.
Over the past week, there have been several stories surrounding Heath Ledger's past and how his partying lifestyle may provide insight to his untimely death. Reports surfaced that Michelle and Heath fought over Heath's constant drug use and even went as far as to claim that Williams drove Ledger to Promises Rehab facility in Malibu to get help.
But Michelle (who is the mother of Heath Ledger's 2-year-old daughter, Matilda) is slamming these rumors, claiming they are completely false.
In Williams' first public statement since the death of her former fiancée, she states that the story about her bringing Heath to rehab is totally fabricated.
Michelle's publicist, Mara Buxbaum (who was also Ledger's rep) released this statement:
"Much of the tabloid reporting is inaccurate. This fabricated story of Michelle Williams attempting to bring Heath Ledger to rehab is just one lie among many. The speculation is heinous. Let this family grieve privately."
We give Michelle credit for speaking out. It must have been hard, especially considering she's been trying to stay out of the public eye since the incident.
We hope Michelle, their daughter and all of Heath's family and friends find the peace they need.
Heath Ledger's Kombi van stolen
March 03, 2008
A KOMBI van owned by the late Australian actor Heath Ledger, which he left for safekeeping with a Sydney-based mate, has been stolen.
The green-coloured 1975 model Volkswagen van was reportedly stolen from outside a Bondi home about the time of the actor's death last month.
The vehicle is valued at $70,000 due to Ledger's fame and also its extensive modifications, according to News Limited reports.
Ledger is believed to have given the van to his long-time friend Trevor DiCarlo when he sold his $7 million Bronte home in 2006, and returned to the US to live.
It was last seen in the driveway of DiCarlo's Bondi home around January 20.
Ledger's grieving father Kim, who is sorting out his son's estate, reported the van stolen to Waverley police a week ago, News Ltd said.
Mary Kate Olsen ... Mary Kate Olsen has reportedly beefed up her security detail after receiving bags of hate mail and death-threat phone calls from fans of Heath Ledger who blame Olsen for his death.
Ledger, who was separated from the Michelle Williams, mother of his daughter Matilda, at the time, died of a prescription drug overdose [sic] in January.
PopCrunch.com writes that a tabloid report will soon outline the details of the relationship between Mary Kate and Ledger, and the disturbing response from fans:
“A lot of people who knew Heath and Mary-Kate in his last months know that they were partying together constantly, it wasn’t hard to connect the dots and run a line between Heath hooking up with Mary-Kate and his sad decline,” a celebrity mole reveals in a new tabloid report.
“One crazed fan sent her threatening letters. Another made menacing phone calls,” according to a friend of the actress. “Mary-Kate’s gotten more reclusive, paranoid and afraid to walk the streets than ever.”
Creepy. Just, creepy. On all counts.
Cops Are Planning To Grill Mary-Kate Olsen!
" ... It also emerged yesterday that the masseuse, Diane Lee Wolozin, had phoned Olsen four times using the “Brokeback Mountain” star’s cellphone - three before she even considered calling 911, police said. ... "
NYPD has no plans to interview Mary-Kate
Jan 28th, 2008
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says Mary-Kate Olsen will not be questioned by detectives about Heath Ledger's death. "There's absolutely no indication investigators were going to speak to Mary-Kate Olsen," Kelly said at a news conference. "They determined that they had all the info needed from witnesses who were on scene: That's the cleaning woman, the masseuse."
Mary-Kate Olsen continues to party after 'friend' Heath Ledger is Found Dead
As Hollywood struggles to emerge from actor Heath Ledger’s death, Mary-Kate Olsen seems not much affected by the tragedy, for the actress was spotted partying out with friends, just two days after the sad news. Mary-Kate, who was the first to be called upon the discovery of Ledger’s body, was spotted dancing with her male friend with his hands around her waist. Onlookers say that she kept looking over her shoulder and pulling her friend for long kisses at downtown hipster enclave Sweet Paradise recently, reports the Daily express.
Heath Ledger's Olsen connection
January 24 2008 -
by BANG Showbiz
© Jeff Vespa/WireImage.com
Heath Ledger's masseuse called Mary-Kate Olsen twice [or four, depending on which newspaper one believes] on discovering his body before contacting emergency services.
Police sources have confirmed Diana Wolozin used the speed dial on Ledger's mobile phone to call Olsen in California after finding the 'Brokeback Mountain' star unconscious at his New York apartment at 2.45pm on Tuesday (22.01.08).
A source told America's People magazine: "Wolozin arrived at the apartment and when Ledger did not come out of his bedroom she called his cell and got no answer. She went into the room and found him lying on the bed. She shook him but he did not respond. So she used his speed dial to call Olsen.
"Olsen told the masseuse she would call security people in New York for help. The masseuse then called Olsen back to say she would call 911 herself.
"Emergency services arrived at the apartment at almost the exact same time as Olsen's security people."
When news first broke of the 28-year-old actor's death, it was reported he had died at 21-year-old Olsen's apartment.
The couple had previously been romantically linked.
Meanwhile, Ledger's former fiancée Michelle Williams arrived home in Brooklyn yesterday (23.01.08) with the couple's two-year-old daughter Matilda. The 27-year-old actress - who split from Ledger in September - was on a film set in Sweden when she was told of his death.
The Australian actor is to be buried in his home town of Perth. His body was taken from the New York medical examiner's office to the Frank E. Campbell funeral chapel after yesterday's autopsy.
A source at the funeral chapel revealed they are preparing to ship Ledger's body to Australia as soon as possible.
Michelle Lee, a representative for the Australian consulate, said: "Our consulate has been in contact with his family and has offered assistance to help fly Heath's body back to Australia."
Heath Ledger autopsy inconclusive
January 24 2008 -
by BANG Showbiz
© Jeff Vespa/WireImage.com
Heath Ledger's initial autopsy results are inconclusive.
The 28-year-old Australian actor was found dead in his New York apartment on Tuesday afternoon (22.01.08) with sleeping pills scattered his naked body, but the New York City Medical Examiner's Office have been unable to confirm whether his death was drug related.
Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the office, said: "It will take about 10 days to complete the investigation."
Michael Baden, a prominent forensic pathologist, added: "It's important to determine if this is a natural death or if it was a drug overdose. There are other natural things that cause death in young people in their 20s, like the rupture of an aneurysm around the brain or heart disease or pneumonia.
"If there's no natural cause of death then it becomes more likely that it's a drug overdose. That will depend on toxicology and that may take a few days to a few weeks."
Baden maintains a private forensic pathology consulting practice and is the co-director of the New York State Police Medicolegal Investigation Unit.
Baden was the Chief Medical Examiner for the City of New York from 1978 to 1979.