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Police Asked Grieving Wife If Robin Williams Was Into Autoerotica

Robin Williams, an iconic actor and comedian, was found dead in his home of apparent asphyxiation.  He was 63. (Photo: Getty)

Robin Williams, an iconic actor and comedian, was found dead in his home of apparent asphyxiation. He was 63. (Photo: Getty)

After Robin Williams died, police, as part of their investigation, raised questions about the comedian’s sexual proclivities and asked his grieving wife if he was into a sexual fetish known as autoerotica.

The shocking findings were contained in the final autopsy report released by the Marin County sheriff’s office today (Nov. 7).

It’s unknown why Williams’ sexual preferences became part of the investigation, especially since the evidence pointed pretty clearly to suicide.

The 63-year-old comedian hung himself with a belt in a bedroom of his home and also attempted to cut his wrists with a pocket knife, according to the report. How does autoerotica figure into that?

The term encompasses almost all forms of sexual self-pleasure, including masturbation. But what the police were attempting to determine is whether Williams practiced an extreme sexual fetish known as “autoerotic asphyxiation.”

When oxygen to the brain is restricted it causes a buildup of carbon dioxide known as hypoxia, which can lead to a “lucid, semi-hallucinogenic state that heightens a sexual orgasm,” according to medical references.

The practice, however, can caused death if overdone, because the person loses consciousness and ends up strangling. Typically, their bodies are found naked, sometimes with penis in hand, according to a study published in the medical journal Forensic Science International.

In the United States, deaths from the practice range from 250 to 1000 per year and many are often mistaken for suicide, according to a separate 1995 study published in the medical journal.

Police may have been compelled to ask questions because men who die by asphyxiation get erections, although there is no reference to that in the report, according to published accounts. The phenomenon was first documented scientifically in 1897 among criminals who were hanged.

Williams was struggling with his Parkinson’s, anxiety, depression and paranoia before his death, according to the Coroner’s report, obtained by TMZ.

Williams was sober at the time of death although traces of two anti-depressants and two caffeine related substances were found in his blood.

Williams’ wife reportedly told police Robin was not into the sexual fetish, although he worked with a young actor several years ago whose character died from autoerotic asphyxiation in Williams’ movie “Worlds Greatest Dad,” according to the gossip site.

Actor David Carradine was found hanged in his hotel room in Thailand in 2009. His death was attributed to accidental autoerotic asphyxiation, by Thai authorities.

For the latest developments in the case, follow IM on Twitter.


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