4. Hollywood’s Weirdest Death Resulted From Physical Loving Gone Catastrophically Wrong
Albert Dekker (1905 – 1968) was a noted character actor, whose career spanned 40 years on stage and the silver screen. During that time, he accumulated a filmography of over 110 credits, winning acclaim for notable performances in films such as East of Eden, The Killers, Dr. Cyclops, Kiss Me Deadly, as well as in his final acting role in Sam Peckinpah’s classic western, The Wild Bunch.
Dekker also won acclaim for his moral courage. During the Red Scare of the early Cold War, he was one of the few Hollywood actors to dare stand up to and denounce the demagogic Senator Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). That got him blacklisted in Hollywood and derailed his career for years before the anticommunist hysteria finally waned and he was able to return to acting. Unfortunately, for all of his accomplishments, Dekker is probably best remembered today for his weird death, which occurred during a bout carnal loving – whether loving himself or loving others as yet unknown remains unclear.
In 1968, Albert Dekker completed his final role in The Wild Bunch, left the set, and fell off the map. Friends and family became concerned after days passed with nobody hearing from him. He was a no-show on a date with his fiancée, fashion model Geraldine Saunders. After she tried calling, without getting a response, she went to his apartment and pinned a note on a door already covered by notes from friends and acquaintances.
When Dekker’s fiancée returned later that evening and found things still the same, she convinced the building manager to let her in the apartment. Once in, they found the bathroom door chained from the inside, and had to break it open. There, they discovered Dekker hanging dead from a leather belt. That was just the start of it.
The scene inside Albert Dekker’s apartment was horrific, as well as so bizarre and grotesque that Geraldine collapsed. The building manager needed minutes to overcome the shock and gather his wits to call the police. It was one of the weirdest sex deaths in La La Land. Dekker was naked in the bathtub, with a ball gag in his mouth, a scarf covering his eyes, and his hands cuffed behind his back. In addition to the belt around his neck, there was another around his waist, tied to a rope binding his ankles, which in turn was wrapped around his wrist and clasped in his hand.
Sun rays were drawn around his nipples in lipstick, which was also used to draw a vagina on his stomach. A hypodermic needle was sticking out of each arm, and his right butt cheek had two needle punctures, above which the word “whip” was written in lipstick. His body was covered in other words written in lipstick, including “cocksucker”, “make me suck”, and “slave”.
1. A Suspicious Physical Loving Death Surrounded by Mystery to This Day
Albert Dekker’s sex death was initially ruled a suicide. However, after S&M toys and porn were found in his apartment, it was changed to accidental autoerotic asphyxiation while masturbating. However, despite the coroner’s ruling, foul play was suspected and the death was and remains suspicious.
For one, Dekker’s fiancée knew that he had been keeping $70,000 cash in the apartment to buy a new house. The money, as well as expensive cameras and filming equipment, was never found. It was also hard to imagine how Dekker, all on his own, could have tied himself in the manner in which he was discovered. Whether he acted alone, had a partner or partners who panicked and fled when a bout of carnal loving went terribly wrong, or was murdered, the mystery of Albert Dekker’s death remains unsolved to this day.
Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading