Mystery and Facts about Bruce Lee's Death Case

bruce lee

Bruce Lee was born in San Francisco, California, and he grew up in Hong Kong until his teens. His films produced by Hong Kong and Hollywood produced traditional to modern Hong Kong martial arts films, sparking a surge of interest in Chinese martial arts. The direction and tone of his films changed and influenced martial arts and martial arts films in Hong Kong and around the world. Lee became an iconic figure, especially for the Chinese and he became China's national pride in his movies.  He mainly practiced Chinese martial arts (Kung fu), particularly Wing Chun. 


On July 20, 1973, Lee was in Hong Kong, due to have dinner with former James Bond star George Lazenby, with whom he intended to make a movie. According to Lee's wife, Linda, Lee met producer Raymond Chow at 2 pm. at home to discuss filming Game of Death. They worked until 4 pm. and then went together to the home of Lee's colleague Betty Ting, a Taiwanese actress. The three discussed the script at Ting's house, and then Chow left to attend a dinner meeting.

A few moments later, Lee complained of a headache, and Ting gave her an analgesic (painkiller), Equagesic, which contains aspirin and muscle relaxants. At around 7:30pm, she went to take a nap. After Lee did not show up for dinner, Chow came to the apartment to invite Lee, Lee was still sleeping but he could not wake him up. A doctor was called, the doctor spent ten minutes trying to revive him before sending him via ambulance to Queen Elizabeth Hospital. 

However, Lee was already dead when he arrived at the hospital. There were no visible external injuries; however, his brain had swelled from 1,400 to 1,575 grams, an increase of 13%. Lee was 32 years old. The two substances found during the autopsy were Equagingic and trace amounts of cannabis. On October 15, 2005, Chow stated in an interview that Lee died of hypersensitivity to the muscle relaxants in Equagesic, which he described as a common concoction of painkillers.

Pros and cons

When doctors officially announced Lee's death, they concluded that Lee's death was accidental. Dr. Langford, who treated Lee for the first time, stated after his death that, "There is no question in my mind that cannabis should have been named as the presumptive cause of death." He also believed that "Equagesic was not involved in Bruce's first illness. "Professor RD Teare, who has overseen more than 100,000 autopsies, was the top expert assigned to Lee's case. Dr. Teare stated that the presence of cannabis was a mere coincidence, and he added that it was irresponsible and unreasonable.

His conclusion was that Lee's death was caused by acute cerebral edema resulting from a reaction to a compound present in the prescription painkiller Equagesic. Peter Wu's initial opinion was that the cause of death could be a reaction to cannabis and Equagesic. Dr. Wu later retreated from this position: However Professor Teare was a forensic scientist recommended by Scotland Yard, he was brought in as a cannabis expert and we cannot dispute his testimony. Cannabis doses are neither precise nor predictable, but I've never known anyone to die just by taking them.

Mystery & Rumor

The exact details of Lee's death are a controversial subject. But long before his tragic death, rumors circulated throughout Asia for months. According to one source, the Hong Kong Triads had killed Lee because he refused to pay them a large sum of money. Others claimed Lee had been poisoned by a former sensei who resented the fact that he was martial arts for foreigners.

Many Chinese believed that Lee was a victim of his violent training regime, while others cited drug abuse as the cause of his death. It was even claimed by some cynics that Lee faked his death and that he was just waiting for the right moment to return to society. The most popular story printed in the Hong Kong press suggested that the American Mafia had killed Lee. After completing the movie The Green Hornet, Lee was approached by Mafia agents who wanted him to become the first Asian star in Hollywood. Bravely, Lee refused and returned to Hong Kong.

As a result, the disgraced Mafia boss signed Lee's death warrant and hired a professional killer. An interesting note to this story claims that Lee's son Brandon Lee, also a martial arts actor, was accidentally shot dead after he discovered vital information about his father's killer. Perhaps the most outrageous theory regarding Lee's death is that a prostitute killed him in a state of panic. If the story is to be believed, Lee had taken a powerful lust-inducing substance, causing him to become extremely violent during sex. Out of fear, the prostitute picked up a nearby heavy object like a glass ashtray and hit Lee in the skull. He would not wake up from the resulting coma.


Countless documentaries, books, and magazines have told the true story of Bruce Lee's death. Even when it comes to Hong Kong people, the full facts surrounding Lee's death have never been revealed, and probably never will be.

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