Autopsy reports will never make for particularly pleasant reading, but sometimes they’re the only way we can make sense of a celebrity death. While the family of a recently deceased famous person will usually release an official cause of death to the media so that it can be relayed to fans, rarely will they go into the grisly details of their loved one’s demise — that’s the coroner’s job. Most of the time, reading the coroner’s findings is the only surefire way to separate fact from pure speculation, which, let’s be honest, is usually pretty rife when somebody big has kicked the bucket.
The majority of celebrity autopsy reports contain few surprises, but sometimes the findings made by coroners are more shocking and sad than the death itself. From crazy drug cocktails to injuries too severe to imagine, here are the most disturbing things that have been uncovered in celebrity autopsy reports.
Johnny Lewis once had the world at his feet. The wiry young actor built a reputation as a new talent with appearances in Smallville, The O.C. (during which time he dated Katy Perry) and Sons of Anarchy. But, despite his character Half-Sack being popular with fans of the FX biker show, Lewis wanted out. According to Los Angeles Magazine, he told his father the storylines were getting too violent for his taste. Ironically, the circumstances of his own death wound up being more disturbing than anything he had to act out on the show.
Lewis reportedly went into a downward spiral after quitting Sons of Anarchy, going through an unsuccessful custody battle over his daughter and repeatedly getting arrested for assault. To turn his life around, he booked out a 1927 Spanish-style mansion retreat called the Writers’ Villa, operated by a wealthy arts patron named Cathy Davis. The 81-year-old had been sharing her peaceful property with writers and artists for years, though Lewis would be her last tenant.
Police were called to the villa by neighbors and found Lewis dead in the driveway. “They noted that Lewis’s left eye socket was caved in. His skull was smashed just to the left of center. He had plunged from either the second floor or the roof and died instantly,” reported Los Angeles Magazine. But that’s not all. Before his fall, investigators believe Lewis beat Davis and her cat to death. The details are gruesome, and the initial assumption was that Lewis was out of his mind on drugs at the time.
The autopsy, however, revealed that Lewis was not on drugs at the time of his death.