A notable comedian, actor and musician, John Belushi as found dead in a hotel room at L.A.’s Chateau Marmont on March 5, 1982. The cause of his death, as reported by the media, was a speedball; a combination of heroin and cocaine injected together through the same syringe. This deadly combination of drugs along with breathing difficulties ultimately caused a respiratory failure. John was 33.
Though the revelations of the investigations by a forensic pathologist were unclear, the death was assumed to have been an accident primarily caused by drug overdose. However, chances of a suicide attempt were not ruled out. His family and close friends who knew him very well denied all the allegations of a suicide attempt, saying that the comedian was a strong and a stable man. Tanner Colby, co-writer of John Belushi’s biography, said: “John Belushi, deep down, was a stable guy who knew who he was, had a lot of confidence, wasn’t superficial but with no great internal trouble. I think that what happened to him was largely due to fame. For a year and a half, he was as big as Elvis.”
The findings of his autopsy report, although disputed, ruled that the tragedy was an accident. The case, however, re-opened within two months when on June 29, 1982, the National Enquirer reported that Cathy Smith, a member of John’s band, admitted to having injected him with the speedball. After being extradited from Toronto, she was arrested on the charges of first-degree murder and was put behind the bars for 15 months.
Chicago-born actor John Adam Belushi, hit the limelight with his exceptional work on ‘Saturday Night Live’ in 1977, ‘National Lampoon’s Animal House’ and ‘The Blues Brothers’. His brother Jim has also enjoyed success in his comedy career.
Young actor River Phoenix also died after being administered a speedball.
Image: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:BluesBrothers.png; Author: NeetersTags: death overdose