Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Bruce Lee, dressed in the traditional Chinese outfit hewore in the movie Enter the Dragon, was laid to restin Lakeview Cemetery in Seattle on July 20, 1973. Butlong before his sudden and tragic death at the age of thirtytwo,rumors were rife throughout Asia that he had beendead for months. According to one source, Hong Kong Triadshad killed Lee because he had refused to pay them protectionmoney. Another claimed that he had been druggedby a former sensei who resented the fact that he taughtmartial arts to foreigners. Many Chinese people believethat Lee was the victim of his own rigorous training regime,while others cite drug abuse as the cause of his demise. Itis even claimed by some cynics that Lee faked his deathand that he is merely waiting for the right time to return tosociety.The most popular story printed in the Hong Kong presssuggested that the American Mafia had killed Lee. Aftercompleting the film The Green Hornet, Lee was approachedby Mafia agents who wanted him to become the first Asianstar in Hollywood. Bravely, Lee refused and returned hometo Hong Kong. In the aftermath, it is alleged that humiliated Mafia bosses signed Lee’s death warrant and hired a professionalassassin. An interesting postscript to this storyclaims that Lee’s son Brandon, also a martial arts actor, was“accidentally” shot dead after he had found vital informationabout his father’s killer.Perhaps the most outrageous theory regarding Lee’sdeath is that a prostitute killed him in a fit of panic. If thestory is to be believed, Lee had taken a powerful aphrodisiacwhich had caused him to become very violent duringsex. Fearing for her life, the prostitute reached out forthe nearest heavy object—a glass ashtray—and struck Leeon the skull. He would never wake from the resulting coma.Countless documentaries, books and magazines havepurported to tell the “true” story of Bruce Lee’s death. Asfar as the people of Hong Kong are concerned, the fullfacts surrounding Lee’s passing have never been revealed,and probably never will be.