The Death of Brandon Lee
Assassination or accident? That's the question many people ask when they think of the late Brandon Lee - and that's probably why your reading this article. To understand the truth.
Let's get this straight now, there are a lot of theories regarding the death of Brandon Lee, none of which have been proven completely to be true. However there are some theories that are more widely accepted than others. What can definitely be said is that what happened was a heartbreaking and tragic story. Not only was Brandon in the prime of his life, he was breaking into prime Hollywood action movies and had signed a contract with 20th Century Fox - he was even due to be married to his fiance, Eliza Hutton, in Mexico only 17 days after he died.
Cause of death of Brandon Lee
On March 31 1993 Brandon Lee was killed by a .44-cal. bullet embedded into his body through his front chest and coming to rest close to his spine. He was 28 at the time.
It occurred whilst filming 'The Crow' in a scene whereby Brandon Lee was to enter an apartment only to catch his girlfriend being attacked by a villain. As in the script, the villain was supposed to, and did, fire a bullet at Lee.
Who pulled the trigger
No footage exists of Brandon Lee being shot (and let's hope it never comes to light). Apparently all the footage from the scene was purposely destroyed after the unfortunate incident occurred. There were plenty of witnesses that day, including well known actors and directors as well as a wide range of film crew. It is estimated that approximately 50 people witnessed the incident and on accounts of those people, and now from the man himself - Michael Massee (actor) is the person who killed shot Brandon Lee. Strong evidence suggests that Massee had no idea a real bullet was loaded into the gun...
How did the bullet get on a film set?
After countless witness statements, cross-questioning and physical evidence, the main theory behind how a live bullet came to be loaded into a gun on the set is purely accidental. The production of the movie (The Crow) was running behind schedule and it was decided that instead of buying dummy bullets, they would make their own from live bullets, by removing propellant from each individual bullet. As explained in the following video, it appears the crew forgot to also remove the primers, as well as accidently mixing up live and dummy bullets...
The controversy - Murder or a gross act of Negligence?
Just as in the case of his father, Brandon Lee's death is surrounded by controversy.
Firstly, it appears that the police investigation regarding the death was poorly carried out. Accident or no accident, many people are astonished that no person has ever been brought before the courts in respect of the case. Surely, live bullets should not go anywhere near a film set? Secondly whoever made the decision to make dummy bullets from live bullets should hold some accountability. There is of course the theory that somebody purposely put a live bullet in the gun that was used in the scene. In such a lack of health and safety routine checks, it seems it may be quite possible that this was the case. The death of Brandon Lee was not the only accident on the set. Crew members had fallen from ladder, put a screwdriver through a hand, crashed a car through a brick wall... the list goes on.
More controversy comes to light when it is understood that Brandon Lee’s death certificate was signed by a Dr. Leon P. Andrews, the county medical examiner at that time. This doctor even told the media personally that he carried out the autopsy however the official “Report of the Autopsy Examination,” states that another doctor by the name of Dr. C.L. Garrett did in fact carry out the autopsy.
Written with respect to Brandon Lee
Writing this article has brought up many emotions... sadness, anger, disbelief... but most importantly respect for a great man. Brandon Lee may have been born into a privileged family, however he had his own ambitions - and having experienced the death of his father at a young age became a mentally strong human being. He was buried on April 3rd 1993 next to his father in Seattle's Lakeview Cemetery.
Was this an act of cold blooded murder, a complete accident, or a curse that not only took the life of him, but also his father? Should someone be held accountable? Let us have your thoughts below.