Disturbing Details Found In River Phoenix's Autopsy Report

In the early hours of Halloween in 1993, River Phoenix tragically died at just 23 years old from an overdose. At the time of his death, he was on his way to becoming a big Hollywood star, and he has appeared in a few films, such as "Stand by Me" and "Running on Empty." On October 30, the young actor was at the Viper Room — a West Hollywood nightclub co-owned by Johnny Depp that was frequented by celebrities. Phoenix arrived with his girlfriend, actress Samantha Mathis, and his two siblings — Rain and Joaquin (via The Guardian). According to Mathis, the plan was to drop off Phoenix's siblings at the club and head back home, but Johnny Depp's band, P, wanted to play music with Phoenix, so the couple stayed.

At some point during the night, Phoenix ingested a mixture of drugs and became violently ill. He was being escorted outside the venue when he collapsed on the sidewalk in front of the Viper Room and went into a seizure. Mathis and his siblings were immediately by his side, and 911 was called, as reported by Biography. Emergency responders attempted to resuscitate him to no avail. He was brought to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, but efforts to revive him weren't successful. Phoenix was declared dead at 1:51 a.m. on October 31, 1993.

What was in River Phoenix's system when he died?

According to Capt. Ray Ribar — one of the responders at the scene — River Phoenix wasn't breathing and didn't have a pulse when paramedics arrived. The actor was given medication to start the heart, but he was unresponsive. "He was clinically dead when we got to the club," Ribar stated.

Two weeks after Phoenix's death, his toxicology report was released. The young actor had lethal levels (eight times the lethal dose) of heroin and cocaine in his system when he died. In addition, ephedrine, valium, and marijuana were also present in his body, per the Washington Post. According to the coroner, the drugs were not found in Phoenix's stomach, and there were no track marks found on his body. It was then surmised that the drugs were ingested by snorting. The autopsy report listed Phoenix's official cause of death as "acute multiple drug intoxication" (via Autopsy Files). The report also contained an account of the events of the night Phoenix died, which read, "While at the club, attendees report the decedent 'speedballing' and then taking valium."

The Viper Room temporarily closed after Phoenix's death, and fans left heartfelt notes, flowers, and tributes by the door to honor the actor.