Quote of the Day: “Around his nipples were sun rays.”

The following, from Fade to Black, a Book of Movie Obituaries, by Paul Donnelley, is a bit on the grand guignol side. Skip it if you have a tendency to be squeam, or even just squeam-ish.


‘Albert Dekker’s death at 62 is one of the most puzzling in Hollywood history. He was discovered dead in his Hollywood home, 1731 North Normandie, kneeling in the bath. In each arm was a dirty hypodermic needle, a noose was around his neck, a scarf covered his eyes, a horse’s bit was in his mouth with the reins tied tightly behind his head, a leather belt was around his neck, another around his chest and leather ropes connected the two. A third leather belt around his waist was tied with a rope to his ankles, which were tightly bound. The rope then went back up his body around his wrists and was held in his hands, which were manacled with handcuffs. The word “Whip” was written in red lipstick on his right buttock above two needle marks. Around his nipples were sun rays, also in lipstick. On his thorax was the words “Make me suck,” with “Slave” and “Cocksucker” on his chest. A vagina was drawn on his lower belly. To add to the disturbing sight, lividity had sent the lower half of his body purple. The coroner stated it was “an accidental death, not suicide” but many of his friends believed he had been murdered. They pointed to the fact that $70,000 in cash was missing along with a tape recorder and expensive photographic equipment. Coroner Thomas N. Noguchi (on whom TV pathologist Quincey, M.E. was based) believes Dekker died of auto-asphyxiation during a sex game that went horribly wrong. The case is closed.’

For the incurably morbid, such as myself, Fade to Black has much to commend it. It’s not really obituaries, more like reports from the scene of decease, emphasising the facts of death rather than the lively accomplishments of those taken. I find it fascinating and a touch depressing, but addictive.

Based on his own inferred past-times, poor Albert Dekker might even agree.


4 Responses to “Quote of the Day: “Around his nipples were sun rays.””

  1. I’m not sure I’d be able to real a book like that on the train to work without getting some funny looks from my fellow passengers – though I think I freaked a few people out a couple of years ago by openly reading American Psycho!

  2. American Psycho — those who know what’s in it won’t care, those who don’t know don’t know. Besides, anyone who reads a book is automatically harmless. You could read Sade and nobody would care.

  3. True but I had a very funny conversation with my regular train conductor who thought I was some kind of religious person because I was always reading the Bible on the train in the mornings! I suppose the layout of the pages of David Thomson’s Biographical Dictionary of Film does give that impression on a casual glance and I do treat films as a kind of spiritual nourishment, but it left me worried that I had been giving off too much of a puritanical, studious air on my journeys to work! :)

  4. Now that WOULD embarrass me. Not if I was actually reading the bible, but if somebody THOUGHT I was.

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