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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.

573 COMMENTS

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556.

Baseball Junkie    

Kray, You're an idiot and you haven't read this thread nor have you ever read newspapers or the internet. 28 year olds die of natural causes frequently even hear in the civilized world. The human body is a very complex organism and there are a lot of things that can go wrong with it and kill apparently healthy individuals. I'm not going to take the time to list them all, I'd probably forget some anyway but for a sample read this thread from the beginning and then go get a medical degree.

2272 days ago
557.

Neil    

My guess is that the housekeeper wasn't hearing Heath's snores, but was actually hearing his death rattle.

2272 days ago
558.

Tasha    

As an Critical Care RN of 30 years with an Advanced Degree I can tell you it happens all the time. It's called the R on T phenomenon. It is an abnormality that occurs in the electrical system of the heart. You have heard of the Electrcardiograph (EKG OR ECG) wave form and its parts are given letters to describe each part of each beat of the heart. Occasionally, the heartbeat that follows "fires" on the previous heartbeat in too close a fashion and causes an arrthymia or abnormal beat which sends the heart into a lethal rhythm such as Ventricular Tachycardia or Ventricular Fibrillation which if left untreated by first CPR followed by a defibrillator which is not readily available causes death. It is the defibrillator that "jump starts" the heart (hopefully) back into a normal sinus rhythm. Without that electrical intervention, it is almost always fatal. No one knows why, it is hard to detect and could happen to anyone! We may never know if the toxicology reports come back within normal limits. The sad part is no one can predict it, if and when it will happen and can happen in the absence of any cardiac disease and to anyone at any age. Sad but true. The only way to know for sure is to have the person connected to an EKG machine or on a cardiac monitor when it happens and it is witnessed by trained personnel.
That may explain "natural causes" in a 28 year old person with no active internal/external disease. Whatever the reason whether medications, respiratory illness or a combination of both may predispose someone to this "skipped beat" but like I said that it can happen in the absence of any of these. Although we all must have an invisible expiration date stamped on the bottom of our feet that only God can see, it never lessens the shock, anger, and grief that accompanies any death at such a young age and to such a promising actor who by all accounts was one of the "good guys" in Hollywood. Such potential who's best was yet to come in his career. May his daughter and family be assurred that if this was the cause of death it was not preventable, just a strange act of nature we are may be at risk for which could happen to anyone. May God bless his daughter, family and those who knew and grieve for him and hopefully this may bring a sense of closure to such a senseless loss.

2272 days ago
559.

yea    

It's terribly sad to have heard of what happened. It seems like every channel I turn to, is speaking about Heath Ledger. I'm not saying this as a bad thing, but it always seems to upset me with the same impact it did on Jan 22nd. God be with his family and friends in this desperate need for comfort. And for all those who think he was a drug addict, or for that certain cult who wanted to protest his funeral because he played a gay cowboy in Brokeback, you should be ashamed of yourselves. You have the right to your opinions, fine, but you can't judge him, and say he is blatently calling God a liar in that particular role. Only God can judge man, so be respectful of this tradegic loss, and let his family/friends mourn peacefully.

God bless you, your family, and friends Mr. Heath Ledger.

2272 days ago
560.

Mum2Four    

Not sure if this has been asked, but has anyone hear the 911 call? Usually those recorded calls are released to the public at some point.

2272 days ago
561.

Baseball Junkie    

Carol, you can believe in the drug story all you like but unless you read all the obituaries every day, there's absolutely no way you could know how many 28 year olds die of natural causes. The fact that you don't believe it does not change the reality. People die young every day of natural causes. Most of them aren't famous so it doesn't get in the news.

2272 days ago
562.

kitty    

Heath was a beautiful man, inside and out ...and a brilliant actor. This is just so sad. What I don't understand is what on earth was he doing with the likes of Lindsay Lohan and that creepy Olsen Troll ? He was way better than that! It's a shame things didn't work out between he & Michelle. They were a nice couple with a gorgeous baby girl, and she's a class act, not slutty like Lindsay and Mary Kate and the rest of those bozo's. But what a talent that man had. wow! and I liked the fact that he chose movie roles that would challenge him, like Brokeback Mountain and the Joker in new Batman movie. he could have taken the easy way out and keep playing the same type of role over & over. As for the idiots on here who are confusing Heath with the role he played in Brokeback Mountain, grow up! !!! Geez!!! Also, if there's any truth to the rumor that he had pneumonia, that could have affected his heart, I know from experience because I almost died 2 years ago from that. But anyway, I'm sure it doesn't matter to his loved ones how he died, after all, is it going to bring him back ? No. So people can speculate all they want but at the end of the day it doesn't really matter. It's a tragic loss for his loved ones and for the movie industry. and lastly, for us his fans. even though we will be least affected by it, I find myself haunted by his death. So think about what his poor family is going through. I'm glad to have a place like this to sort out my strange feelings on this subject. Rest in Peace Heath, and I wish comfort to your family and other loved ones during this very difficult time.

2271 days ago
563.

fay    

That's what my family thought when my nephew unexpectedly died last summer. He had been clean and sober for a year, and he was doing very well. After the autopsy we learned that he had overdosed on heroin. Get real people, this man died doing drugs. It's an old, old story. It's a crying shame that people we love have to do themselves harm this way, but it's the sad truth that they did it! Accept it, resolve it in your minds, and get on with living. Those left after such tragedy need our support most.

2271 days ago
564.

J    

Did anyone consider the possibility he was MURDERED??? Just given all the rumours on his time of death, cause of death and his housekeeper hearing him snoring.... I am just saying did ANYONE consider the possibility he was murdered?

2271 days ago
565.

Baseball Junkie    

Faith, I'm sorry about your nephew but haven't you read the preliminary tox report? There were no significant drug levels in his blood. If he'd died of an overdose, it would have shown up by now.
You are reasoning from an instance of one which is always faulty logic. Your insistence that Heath Ledger died of an overdose because your clean and sober nephew died of an overdose is like saying that since one person who was struck by lightning in a field died then everyone who died in a field has been struck by lightening. That's just not the way the world works. Please learn something about logic before you post here again.

2271 days ago
566.

Mana    

Such a shame. He could have been one of the great actors of our time.My heart goes out to his daughter more than anything, I'm glad that you haven't really seen Michelle or his daughter in the media too much lately, it's tramatizing enough for the little girl without having reporters everywhere. The family is in my prayers. GodBless!!!


RIP Heath Ledger

2270 days ago
567.

elizabeth    

that is so stupid the maid or the masseuse could have taken it out in their purse.They were not searched.They were aware the bodyguards came up with emt. so they had to stash it somewhere.The apartment was not sealed until hours later after his body was removed.It is possable he had heroine in the apartment.That is why Mk has weight issues she is on it too.

2270 days ago
568.

Baseball Junkie    

J,
It's always possible but in a murder you have to consider method, motive and opportunity. Who benefits from his death enough that it would be worth the risk? Who had access to his apartment at the opportune moment? How was he killed?

They aren't even sure how he died yet, let alone if someone could have murdered him.

2270 days ago
569.

RedFox    

Thanks for the good post very interesting

2228 days ago
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