Troubling Details Of Albert Dekker's Unexplained 1968 Death

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Albert Dekker was born on December 20, 1905. After graduating from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine in 1927, TCM reports that he moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he joined a troupe of actors and began performing in local theater. Later that same year, Dekker made his Broadway debut as part of the original cast of Eugene O'Neill's, "Marco Millions."

Over the next 10 years, Dekker appeared in a number of theater productions and honed his skills as an actor. By 1937, he landed his first part in a Hollywood film titled, "The Great Garrick." As reported by TCM, Dekker's earlier roles were bit parts, and he remained largely in the background. However, he soon moved on to more prominent supporting roles.

In the 1939 film, "Strange Cargo," which starred Joan Crawford and Clark Gable, Dekker played a convict who was the mastermind behind an escape from a French prison. In 1940, he was cast in the leading role in a film entitled, "Dr. Cyclops." He was also cast in the leading role in the 1941 film, "Among the Living." Throughout the early- to mid-1940s, TCM reports Dekker appeared in numerous films alongside several iconic actors and actresses including Marlene Dietrich, Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers, and John Wayne.

In addition to acting, Dekker had a keen interest in politics. In 1944, he ran for a seat in California's State Assembly. After winning the election, he represented the 57th Assembly District for one two-year term.

Albert Dekker appeared in more than 100 films

After completing his term with the California State Assembly, Albert Dekker went back to acting full time. As reported by TCM, some of his more well-known roles were in the 1945 film, "Incendiary Blonde," the 1946 film, "The Killers," and the 1947 film, "Gentleman's Agreement." Dekker returned to Broadway in 1949 when he landed the role of Willy Loman in, "Death of a Salesman." He then went on to appear in several television programs, including ABC's "Pulitzer Prize Play house," and CBS's "Studio One."

According to TCM, Dekker continued acting until his death in 1968 and appeared in more than 100 films. However, rumors about his unusual death nearly overshadowed his entire acting career. World Today News reports that Dekker just wrapped up filming "The Wild Gang" when he seemingly disappeared. At the time, he and his wife of 25 years, actress Esther Guerini, were separated and she had not heard from him nor had his new girlfriend, Jeraldine Saunders. Saunders reached out to several of Dekker's friends and acquaintances, but nobody seemed to know where he was.

Albert Dekker was found dead in his bathtub

As reported by World News Today, Jeraldine Saunders eventually convinced the manager of the building where Albert Dekker lived to open the door and check on her boyfriend. Unfortunately, the 62-year-old actor was found dead. In his book, "The Tales of Hollywood the Bizarre," author John Austin described the disturbing scene. Although the apartment door was locked, the deadbolt was not engaged. When Saunders, who accompanied the building manager into the apartment, saw the horrific scene, she immediately fainted.

According to Austin, Dekker was found kneeling in the bathtub and was completely naked. In addition to a hypodermic needle in each arm, Dekker had a noose around his neck and a scarf covering his eyes. He also had a ball in his mouth, which was secured around the back of his head with a wire. As stated in "The Tales of Hollywood the Bizarre," Dekker's wrists were secured tightly in a pair of handcuffs. He also had several leather belts and straps tied around his chest, neck, and waist. Dekker's body was covered in vulgar phrases and drawings, which were determined to have been made with lipstick.

Albert Dekker's death was ruled to be accidental

Although it initially appeared as though Albert Dekker was bound and killed by someone else, law enforcement officials did not find evidence of a break-in nor a struggle. As stated in the book, "The Tales of Hollywood the Bizarre," authorities initially assumed Dekker's death was self-inflicted. However, the coroner did not find any evidence to prove that theory. Instead, they determined it was an "accidental death" by suffocation. According to World Today News, the coroner believes he was practicing autoerotic asphyxiation when he accidentally died.

As reported in "The Tales of Hollywood the Bizarre," authorities also found bondage paraphernalia, including chains and whips, in Dekker's apartment. He also had an extensive collection of bondage-themed pornography. World News Today reports that Jeraldine Saunders said that she and Dekker both used the bondage paraphernalia. However, she had not been with him in several days.

Saunders had reservations about the coroner's ruling as she did not believe Dekker could have tied his own hands and feet behind his back. In her opinion, someone else must have been in the apartment. According to "The Tales of Hollywood the Bizarre," Saunders also noted several items, including camera equipment and $70,000 in cash, were missing from Dekker's apartment. World News Today reports that Dekker's son, Benjamin, believes his father's death was accidental. However, he thinks someone else was present at the time, and stated, "His death was the result of an accident that occurred during a relationship between two consenting adults."

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