Magician Daryl Easton was found dead inside a closet of Hollywood's Magic Castle, with a bag over his head, having hanged himself, Reuters reports. Easton was 61. Initially, the death was ruled a to be a suicide by the LAPD, but it has now been ruled an accident by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner's Department. Exactly what type of accident has yet to be concluded. Some think that the death could have been a magic act gone awry, though Vicki Greenleaf, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Magical Arts, dispelled that myth in a conversation with Reuters.
The magician was set to appear on the club's parlor stage on Friday night, the evening he was found dead. But, how is a hanging an accident, if it's not a trick gone awry? What other types of hanging accidents are there?
Easton was a world-class magician who referred to himself as "the magician's magician" and specialized in card trick's, according to his website. So, it makes sense that he wouldn't be attempting a Houdini-esque escape trick. "He didn't perform illusions," said Greenleaf. "He was known as a card guy."
Hollywood's Magic Castle was a club for members of the Academy of Magical Arts. According to the club's website, "when you become a member, the Magic Castle becomes your Magic Castle. You and your guests can enjoy the unique talents of the Magic Castle’s world-class performers and dine in Victorian Splendor." Guests are also able to take advantage of a robust library of "books, videos, DVDs, and periodicals exploring the world of the magical arts, and can attend lectures presented by some of the world’s foremost experts in the world of magic."
It's a strange story that reads like a murder mystery dinner party plot or a game of Clue. It's fitting for the death of a magician, but leaves a lot of unanswered questions. It doesn't seem as though foul play is suspected for the time being, but perhaps more more conclusive information will be found in the coming days.