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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Fantastic final flings

Published: February 9, 2007
Section: Arts, Etc.

With the recent sudden passing of Anna Nicole Smith, who was found dead last night in her Florida hotel room, many are asking questions. Her death was far from typical, and although the cause is as of yet unknown, it seems mysteriously similar to that of her hero, Marilyn Monroe. Here are some other well known figures who died in puzzling, mystifying, or simply humorous ways:

Marilyn Monroe: Found dead at the age 36 in her home on August 5th, 1962. Her death was ambiguously deemed as possible suicide, and speculation as to the true cause has continued ever since. Some popular theories are that she overdosed on sleeping pills or that others discreetly loaded her up with unidentified substances. Some have even fingered John F. Kennedy as the murderer.

Steve Irwin: Died at the age of 44 in 2006 when stabbed in the chest by a large stingray during filming for one of his shows. Footage of his gruesome ending is available online. (I shall graciously refrain from posting the link here.) Reports indicate that the video was stolen before it could be locked up and was never meant to be released to the public- similar to the hanging of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

King Edmund II: Died as King of England at the age of 28 in 1016. As the story goes, King Edmund II was sitting on the toilet at the time. A rebellious soldier was hiding under the toilet, and when Edmund sat down to do his royal duty, the villain thrust his sword up the kings behind, not once, but twice. The story has never been proven, but its so good it has to be true.