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Bruce Lee Death Memorial

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Hong Kong, July 20 1973 (AP)

Bruce Lee, the Chinese actor who made a career of karate, kung-fu and other martial arts on the screen, died tonight! At Queen Elizabeth Hospital after having been found unconscious in his home here. He was 32 years old
Police sources said foul play was not suspected but that an autopsy would be performed.

Excerpt from New York Times dated July 20, 1973

Raymond Chow and Bruce meet at apartment of actress Betty Ting-Pei to go over new Game of Death script. Bruce complains of headache, Betty gives him a prescription herbalist pill called Epilguesic, he lies down and hours later is dead of a cerebral edema, or massive swelling of the brain.

Attempt to move body from Betty to Bruce’s house exposed by Hong Kong critic Mel Tobias and fuels speculation of foul play. Original cause of death listed as “marijuana poisoning,” later changed to “death by misadventure.” An estimated 20,000 people attend his funeral in Hong Kong. Normally restrained Chinese weep in public.

The Official Facts of Bruce’s Death

  • Bruce Lee died of cerebral edema (swelling of the brain tissue)
  • Bruce was Visiting Betti Ting-Pei complained of a headache and laid down after taking an epilguesic (home remedy for headaches)
  • Bruce had previously collapsed and amazingly rebounded back fast, he had ingested hashish, and the doctors suspected that he was allergic to it.
  • At the autopsy they found traces of marijuana in his system
  • Original cause of death listed as “marijuana poisoning,” later changed to “death by misadventure.”

The Conspiracy Theories

  • Bruce was killed by Chinese Mafia (poisoning, beaten to death, cursed etc.)
  • Bruce was killed by the Chinese Gung-fu community (the vibrating palm theory)
  • Drug Overdose
  • Lost a Street Fight
  • Didn’t die at all, like in his movie Game of Death
  • Murdered by a friend.
  • A Curse in the family.

The Controversy

To be unbiased lets take an in depth look at Bruce Lee’s death. Now we have been told that Bruce died of cerebral edema caused by an allergic reaction to headache medicine which he took, and was found in his system in the autopsy.  Now let us assume this is a cover for the real truth of what happened, and let’s look at each theory.

Bruce was killed by the mafia.  Now this theory suggests that it was nearly impossible to get into movies in China at that time unless the Chinese Mafia was involved.  Bruce never associated himself with any of these sorts, but its not to entirely unreasonable to think they might have wanted to know him.  Bruce was known to refuse anything they asked which would give them plenty of motive.  More Validity to this claim arises once you understand that the very woman Betty Ting-Pei, the womans who Bruce was having an affair with and who’s house he was found dead in, was known to be associated with people in the Chinese Mafia. More weight is added when you examine the morge photo below.  He seems to be beat up. Of course this could be from the siezures he most likely had in the official facts, or they could be bruises and a broken neck from being beaten to death.

The Vibrating Palm Theory.  This one is a favorite of ours.  It basically says that some martial artist, mainly a gung-fu master, places onto Bruce a so called death-touch.  Not killing him immediately, but a barely noticeable pace, which kills Bruce much later.  Again there was good reason to believe that someone from the Gung-fu community killed Bruce.  Remember Bruce was teaching non-Chinese the ways of Gung-fu.  Not to mention that every decent martial artist wanted to fight Bruce, because they wanted to be the one who beat him.  Like a wild west gun slinger.  Everyone aiming to gun him down to have their place on the top.  Again this idea comes mostly from the autopsy photo above, and the attempted move of Bruce’s body.

Drug Overdose?  Well this theory really is based on the finding of marijuana in Bruce’s system in the autopsy.  It was generally accepted at the time that the first fell into a brief coma and snapped right back, that this was caused by an allergic reaction to hashish.  Bruce supposedly took some to calm himself down and let him fall asleep.  Now many people believe that maybe the marijuana wasnt the only thing that was in his system.  May be he died of an overdose to opium, a very abundant and accepted drug in China.  At the least it seriously would explain the cover-up and attempted move of Bruce’s body back to his house.  Not to mention the last minute change from marijuana poisoning to death by misadventure in the coronors statement

Murdered by a friend. This one is particularly interesting.  A bunch of rumors were spread right after his death about all the close friends who could have had a motive to kill Bruce.  Now one stated that Bob Wall, Bruce’s friend and body guard, was the one who did it.  They cited that Bob and Bruce were arguing constantly in the movie Enter the Dragon.  During the shooting of the scene where they fought each other, Bruce was cut badly from one of the bottles Bob Wall was holding.  Now also there was rumors about the director Robert Clouse having issues with Bruce and having a motive for killing Bruce.  Again all of these are made to gain validity from the attempted move of Bruce’s body back to his house.

He never died! This theory parallels Elvis Presely’s in that Bruce faked his death to finally be able to get away from all the crazed, money grubbing fans that swarmed around him 24/7.  Although no real evidence points to this conclusion, it would be totally cool to find out he is in the Bahamas sippin drinks under an umbrella.  Then again it does sound to good to be true, and the odds of someone not recognizing him in 30 years is probably next to none.  We can all wish though.

In Conclusion

In conclusion we want to state what we believe really happened.  We believe Bruce Lee died of an allergic reaction to marijuana, which caused his brain to swell to a point that he fell into seizures and then coma and finally death.  The facts suggest that had he received the medical care he received the first time he mysteriously fell into a coma, he would still be here today. 

The Lee family made a mistake by trying to cover up the affair, but at no means does any evidence suggest anything more than that.  Bruce Lee’s death was such a shock to all humanity, and because of this it made people think that something sinister happened.  Come on something had to have taken Bruce from us, because superheros don’t just die of an allergic reaction.  Although his death was sudden and tragic, at least we have the 5 movies and 25 episodes of the Green Hornet plus JKD to remember him by .

Directions To Bruce Lee’s Grave 

Lakeview Cemetery
1554 15th. Ave. E
Seattle, WA

To get to Bruce and Brandon’s graves from Downtown Seattle via Metro Transit: Take the #10 bus from Downtown, you can catch it going west on Madison St., north on 1st Ave, then east on Pike at 4th and 6th, and east at 9th and Pine St. Take this bus to the end of the line, about a 15-20 minute ride. You will pass the cemetery just before the last stop. Enter through the main gate and proceed straight ahead, up the hill. You will see a flag pole to your left,near the top of the hill. The graves are about 50 ft. north and a little east of the flag pole. Look for two 4 ft.side by side head stones

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