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Heath's Death Could Be Natural Causes

1/27/2008 12:59 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Heath LedgerIt sounds strange, but sources intimately connected with the Heath Ledger investigation tell TMZ it's possible the actor died of natural causes.

The reason they think that -- it's now appearing that the level of toxicity (from medication) in Ledger's system was low enough that it may not have caused his death. These sources say Heath's heart stopped. It could have been a heart attack but it's not certain, at least not yet. Although it's bizarre that a 28-year-old could die of natural causes, it happens.

We've also learned authorities do not believe the housekeeper heard Ledger snoring when she walked in his bedroom at around 1:00 PM. Sources tell us, a fireman observed rigor mortis in Ledger's jaw shortly after arriving on scene at around 3:30 PM. Sources say they now believe Ledger was dead for around three hours prior to their arrival, so they don't believe the housekeeper could have heard snoring.

Authorities are also annoyed at news reports that there may have been a sinister plot to remove illegal drugs from Ledger's apartment before cops and firemen arrived. There are reports out there that the masseuse called Mary-Kate Olsen and a plot was hatched to have her bodyguard remove certain drugs. Authorities tell us that's impossible, because the cops were there the entire time the bodyguard was present and there would have been no opportunity to carry out such a plan. They say it's a made up story.

As we first reported, the masseuse contacted the bodyguard because she knew he was a licensed EMT.


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The masseuse was totally irresponsible by not calling paramedics immediately. Even though it appears that Mr. Ledger had died prior to her call to Olsen. That in itself sounds very strange.

RIP Mr. Ledger - I enjoyed your work.

2458 days ago

southern girl    

I don't buy the "natural causes" BS! If it were natural causes, that would have shown up in the coroner's report. A heart condition, heart attack, pneumonia, etc. would have shown up in the coroner's initial autopsy. No further autopsy is being done. It was probably an accidental drug overdose, either from the combination of drugs or the amounts... that's why we're waiting on toxcoloy repors.

2458 days ago


Does anyboty remember the Russian ice-skatine pairs? They were a marreid couple but professionally the woman - Ekaterina Goryeva - was using her maiden name. Her husband was Sergei.. They were practicing for a competition when he had a fatal heart attack. He wa only 28, too.

2458 days ago


What so much analysis over what killed Heath Ledger? No one here is stupid. We all know that pop culture is LADEN with partying and drugs. Even if he wasn't doing them on they day he died, use of cocaine and other substances take their toll on the heart. Pop culture makes me sick. Hollywood and all their ilk need to be held as accountable for their drug use as the sports figures. No one wants to step up to the plate on this one, How many more young are going to die before someone gets the GUTS to put and end to this insanity? This is what these people do. Most are starting to look haggard and show signs of the self-abuse. Rehabilitation centers (a downright joke for these people) are used like spas and revolving doors. Paps are only too happy to show all sorts of pictures of drugged up celebrities on the front cover of magazines. God forbid someone should have commitment and get married anymore, Everywhere you look, it's "so and so is having a child with her BOYFRIEND". My favorite was the one where (can't remember his name) said "we're ready to be parents, but I'm not sure I'm ready to be a husband. I'm trying to be a good boyfriend right now. WTF? Does anyone think about the kids anymore? Is birth control so hard to use? THESE ARE OUR CHILDREN'S ROLE MODELS.

2458 days ago



2458 days ago


A heart disorder is not out of the question. One of the students at the high school I teach at died of a previously undiagnosed heart problem while playing basketball last fall. He was only 14.

2458 days ago


He was a good man, great actor, and loving father. Life is fragile people, don't forget that. There are a plethora of ways the many mechanisms in the body can fail and we need most all of them to sustain life. Please let the man rest in piece.

2458 days ago


I understand your point about the repetitive stories and I don't disagree, but the problem is that this comment section alone is pretty close to 450 comments, so this is story, repetitive or not, is giving this site an awful lot of web hits.

I believe the same is true with the Britney stories. The day that people stop commenting on them, will probably be the day that TMZ moves on to something else.

2458 days ago


Noodles, you don't have to comment for it to be counted as a "hit".

2458 days ago


Unless that woman was at his house at 9 am, she didn't hear him snoring, you know the housekeeper. If you look it up and you are also taking classed to be a crime scene investigator. According to what I have read and what she said, the Heath Ledger would of been dying when she arrived to change the ever so famous lightbulb, and since the firefighter, which this is just an observation, so don't attack me, said that he saw rigor mortis on Heaths jaw, well according to what the article says, it would take six hours for that to set in, and yes I am putting the article in if you do the math, there is no way that the housekeeper heard Heath Ledger making any noises...So the firefighter would have to be wrong....either way, He is dead and all this crap that people are doing on this site and saying all these cruel mean things is not going to change that. He was a good actor and he was one and will always be one of my favorites and for people to get on here and do this to him. Yeah you didn't know him so what the heck gives you the right to say anything about someone you didn't know, the way you are saying it. That is an abuse of freedom of speech...I, myself could give a crap about what he did in his personal life, that is not what makes me like him or feel sad that he is gone. Its the movies that I watch and the fact that people are tearing apart a man who they didn't really know. Sure he had friends, but I bet he had friends that were fake and wanted to be his friend due to his popularity, you see it all the time, even in normal situations. You really can be popular and still be alone. And I saw Brokeback Mountain and personally I think he looked uncomfortable in the role, did it make me like him any less, HECK NO!!! Did I suddenly think any less of him nope. He left behind fans that loved him, people that didn't know him and people who are either just finding out who he is or just don't care. Well I do...and as for the masseuse, I think she should get slapped and often. nobody, even a panicked person calls Mary Kate Olsen or anyone else when they find someone is dead and if they do, usually that person tells them to call 911. Plus how did she know what number to push on his speed dial, has anyone thought of that one? Did she take the time to look through his menu options go and look at his speed dial numbers and select her?!? Thus wasting more time and where was the housekeeper in all this? I know that I am making Heath Ledger sound bad, which I don't think he was, I think he was awesome. The fact remains that he had fake and faulty people around him, when he should of had real people there for him. Oh and don't get me started on the drug issue, because there have been people who have done drugs and taken prescription medication and have lived to tell the tale. I doubt that he was doing drugs. i believe that he was a great actor who was loved by many and hated and unknown by a few. People are too narrowminded sometimes and don't see what is there to be seen and therefore a problem is ignored until its too late to see it. And if he did die of a "natural" cause then so be it, if not, it will not change my view on Heath Ledger...His daughter still has to grow up without her father and there is nothing fair or just about that and btw, God didn't kill Heath Ledger......

2458 days ago


With God in the joy and beauty of youth........

2458 days ago


From the article above - "We've also learned authorities do not believe the housekeeper heard Ledger snoring when she walked in his bedroom at around 1:00 PM. Sources tell us, a fireman observed rigor mortis in Ledger's jaw shortly after arriving on scene at around 3:30 PM. Sources say they now believe Ledger was dead for around three hours prior to their arrival, so they don't believe the housekeeper could have heard snoring."

Rigor mortis commences after 2 1/2 t0 3 hours post death and lasts until 36 hours after death, so it is very possible she may have heard him snoring or in the process of Agonal respiration (last gasps so to speak).

So sad, the young man was far too young to die. I wonder if his sleeping med caused any of this? Ambien is a very dangerous drug and should be yanked off the market and studied a bit more closely, IMVHO. Prayers for his family and friends.

2458 days ago


I bet the body guards removed the drugs from his system too. You know ALL actors and actresses do drugs, so it has to be a cover up. That is why we have had baseball players die at 32ish and younger, it is ALWAYS drugs (I say sarcastically)

2458 days ago


Upon death, the body temperature begins to drop at about 2.5 degrees F an hour. The muscles relax, and the skin sags into new shapes. Blood settles in body parts closest to the ground, turning the top grayish white and darkening the underside, except where pressed to the ground. The resulting liver-colored stain, liver mortis, is most pronounced about 10 hours after death.
Within 6 hours, rigor mortis sets in: The eyelids stiffen, then the neck and jaw, and finally the remaining muscles. (The reason, still poorly understood, is probably a combination of chemical shifts and protein coagulation.) After roughly a day, the muscles slowly relax again in the same sequence that they stiffened.
Meanwhile, bacteria have eaten through the gut. The first sign is usually a greenish patch marbling blood vessels on the lower right belly. The putrefaction spreads across the stomach, down the thighs, over the chest. The skin changes to olive to eggplant to black. The bacteria produce gas that bulges the eyes, protrudes the tongue, and pushes blood-stained fluid from orifaces. That's why coffins are constructed with lids that can burp.-got this from an article.. Not that it matters, REST IN PEACE HEATH A LEDGER

2458 days ago


I just want to say that the cause of death is really not important, at least to me. To those who pass judgement, take a look in the mirror and see how many mistakes you have made in your life. To those who stand on their soap boxes, get off. The man is dead and his family is suffering. Try to remember that before you state mean and criticizing things about their loved one. The little girl he adored will grow up never knowing her dad. That is sad no matter the view point you are coming from I am sure his family and friends could care less what you thing about him. But, he was a human being who was full of mistakes, just like all of us. Don't pass judgement until we hear the real facts from the coroner and even then I wouldn't be so quick to judge unless your life is blemishless..

2458 days ago
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