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Motive and cause of death revealed after six found dead in luxury hotel

<p>Six people found dead in a luxury hotel room in central Bangkok are believed to have died due to poisoning, according to Thai police. </p> <p>Authorities shared photo of the teacups found in the room on the fifth floor of the hotel, revealing they found traces of cyanide in the cups. </p> <p>The bodies of two American and four Vietnamese nationals were found by hotel staff on Tuesday evening, after staff entered the room to inform them it was past check out time. </p> <p>The group, made up of three men and three women aged between 37 and 56, likely drank from tea and coffee cups laced with cyanide following a dispute linked to bad investments, Thai police said on Wednesday.</p> <p>Photos of the crime scene released by authorities show a lack of struggle and violence, instead showing bodies scattered around the room among plates of untouched food, and two thermos flasks and cups.</p> <p>Initial examinations revealed the presence of cyanide in six cups, according to police.</p> <p>“The mouths and nails on all the bodies turned purple, showing a lack of air could be a joint reason of the cause of the death,” forensic doctor Kornkiat Vongpaisarnsin, told a press conference at the Chulalongkorn University.</p> <p>“We presume they all died from cyanide which causes a lack of air in some organs,” he added.</p> <p>Authorities initially said they were searching for a seventh person who was part of the hotel booking, but on Wednesday they dismissed this line of inquiry, saying they believe one of the dead people poisoned the others with the deadly fast-acting chemical cyanide.</p> <p>“We are convinced that one of the six people found dead committed this crime,” said Noppasil Poonsawas, a deputy commander of Bangkok police.</p> <p>That person, police said, had ordered the food and tea to the room and “looked under stress” when staff arrived.</p> <p>After conducting interviews with hotel staff, Noppasin said one of the members of the group was alone in the room when the food arrived and was later joined by the other guests.</p> <p>He added that the incident was likely linked to a “personal matter” and not related to organised crime as interviews carried out with relatives of the dead indicated a dispute over debt.</p> <p>“One of the relatives said one of the deceased was an investment agent and all (the deceased) invested, but the business was not going as expected. They made an appointment to discuss the matter in Thailand,” Noppasin said.</p> <p>Police believe that the woman who poisoned the group did so after she accrued huge debts related to an investment in a hospital in Japan, according to police sources cited by Vietnamese media. </p> <p>She had allegedly convinced a married couple and two other victims among the dead to pour funds into the project, but they had reportedly lost roughly $280,000 AUD as a result. </p> <p>Tran Dinh Dung, the father of one of the victims, said his 37-year-old son was due to return to Vietnam last Sunday.</p> <p>“I kept calling him but couldn’t get through so I was very worried, but I didn’t expect him to die in Thailand,” Dung said in an interview with Vietnam’s Thanh Nien newspaper.</p> <p>“Phu’s mother has fainted countless times, she could not bear this shock,” he said.</p> <p><em>Image credits: AFP/Anusak Laowilas/NurPhoto/Shutterstock Editorial</em></p>

Legal

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Hospice nurse reveals the key to a peaceful death

<p>Hospice nurse Julie McFadden has shared her best advice for ensuring a peaceful death, after learning from her patients in their final moments. </p> <p>The healthcare professional, who is known for her YouTube channel where she shares information about death to break the taboo of conversations around dying, shared a video about what you can do in life to ensure a peaceful passing. </p> <p>In the recent clip, she shared what you can do in order to have a peaceful death, and she says it comes down to preparedness and acceptance.</p> <p>"That's one of the biggest things I see," she explained. "People who plan for death will tend to have a more peaceful death than those who do not plan for death."</p> <p>"A prepared death versus a non-prepared death - that's the one thing that I've seen in all of my patients," she explained.</p> <p>Julie said she noticed the patients that were "willing to talk about the hard stuff" had a more peaceful death.</p> <p><iframe title="YouTube video player" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qoFvKkfIo00?si=Ba5BnxuaKsBVaGAe" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>"[That means] willing to ask the questions about, 'how long do you think I have? What can I expect? What should I do before I die to make this easier for my family?'" she listed.</p> <p>Julie went on to share a story of when a patient of hers died peacefully surrounded by his family, explaining that the patient was in hospice and had started to decline around 20 minutes after she arrived.</p> <p>"He started having weird changes in breathing, so this was a sudden decline and it looked like he may suddenly die," she recalled, adding the abrupt change was "uncommon actually" in hospice care.</p> <p>"What I noticed was because this family - and him - were so prepared, instead of the family [being] chaotic and reacting in an emotional way - which is very normal - they flipped along right with him," she explained.</p> <p>"[They laid] in bed with him. They understood immediately what was happening. They didn't panic," she shared.</p> <p>Julie said the man was surrounded by his loving family and it was an overwhelmingly emotional experience.</p> <p>"It makes me cry every time I think about it - that vision of them all being able to understand what was happening, even though it was a change they didn't want," she explained.</p> <p>"By the end of that visit he died, so he went from kind of looking okay to dying which is hard - but that family made it a beautiful moment," she said.</p> <p><em>Image credits: YouTube </em></p>

Caring

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Today Show entertainment reporter's cause of death revealed

<p>Beloved <em>Today</em> show and KTLA entertainment reporter Sam Rubin's cause of death has been revealed, two months after his sudden <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/health/caring/legendary-today-show-reporter-dies-unexpectedly" target="_blank" rel="noopener">passing</a>. </p> <p>The 64-year-old died in May with a new report from medical officials finding he died from a heart attack after he suffered a massive blockage to his coronary artery. </p> <p>Just hours after hosting his Hollywood news segment in the morning of May 10th, Rubin was rushed to home after collapsing in his Los Angeles home. </p> <p>The multi-Emmy Award winner was a renowned figure in the news industry on the West Coast, and had covered entertainment, movies and TV for KTLA since 1991.</p> <p>He was also well-known in Australia as a contributor to Channel Nine's <em>Today</em> show and <em>Today Extra</em>, and in the UK where he appeared on <em>This Morning</em>.</p> <p>Following his death, Karl Stefanovic paid tribute to his colleague on Instagram, saying he "adored every second with Sam on air and off over the past two decades".</p> <p>"His spirit. His laugh. His warm caring nature. He was a beautiful man. What a loss. All love to his family, and to his TV family at KTLA5 News."</p> <p><em>Today Extra</em> host David Campbell also paid tribute to Rubin, calling him a "Hollywood great".</p> <p>"He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the industry," Campbell posted on social media.</p> <p>"For years we would cross to him and gossip and laugh," he said.</p> <p>"He would visit us Down Under, and whenever you were in LA you had to catch up. His loss is profound. My love and condolences to his family whom he adored."</p> <p style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1rem; caret-color: #212529; color: #212529; font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif, 'Apple Color Emoji', 'Segoe UI Emoji', 'Segoe UI Symbol', 'Noto Color Emoji';">"Also his KTLA team who have lost a brother. We will cross back to you some other time Sam."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock Editorial </em></p>

Caring

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Police Commissioner opens up about his son's tragic death

<p>Police Commissioner Grant Stevens and his wife Emma have opened up on their heart-breaking loss, sharing how they are still grieving the loss of their son eight months after his <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/health/caring/police-commissioner-s-son-killed-during-schoolies-week" target="_blank" rel="noopener">tragic passing</a>. </p> <p>Charlie Stevens was celebrating schoolies when he was killed in a hit-and-run accident, causing a brain injury that he wouldn't wake up from. </p> <p>He died a day after the accident on November 17th 2023 and was just 18 years old. </p> <p>Now, his distraught parents have spoken candidly about their last moments with their son. </p> <p>"It was good to spend time with him, but the hardest thing was leaving for the last time," Grant told <a href="https://9now.nine.com.au/60-minutes/charlie-stevens-south-australias-police-commissioner-opens-up-about-young-sons-tragic-death/c1ceaf2c-c2a4-492d-998e-1cc5e32ed29b" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>60 Minutes</em></a>.  </p> <p>Through tears, Emma shared her last words to her youngest born. </p> <p>"I just said, 'I love you. You're my baby, and you always will be'," she said.</p> <p>"You know, that's just ... it's devastating," Grant added. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C9I8g22yZfs/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C9I8g22yZfs/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by 60 Minutes Australia (@60minutes9)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The commissioner and his wife shared that it was not difficult to forgive the young man who caused the death of their son, as the driver, Dhirren Randhawa, was only 18 years old as well. </p> <p>"I think being a parent, being a mum of an 18-year-old, they're not that smart. They're 18," Emma said. </p> <p>"And I look at it and I think it also could have been Charlie."</p> <p>Randhawa, who had no alcohol or drugs in his system at the time of the crash, was initially charged with causing death by dangerous driving, aggravated driving without due care, leaving the scene of a crash after death and failing to truly answer questions but, in reaching a plea deal, has admitted to a charge of aggravated driving without due care and leaving the scene of a crash.</p> <p>His admission of guilt to those two lesser charges has avoided the pain of going to trial, and instead faces court again next month for sentencing. </p> <p>Randhawa wrote a letter to the Stevens' apologising for his actions that caused the loss of their son, as Emma said, "And he’s written it, and that it’s words from an 18-year-old. I don’t think he’s been sat down and told what to write."</p> <p>“I think it’s him. In fact, I’m not so sure Charlie would be able to write something quite as good as that.”</p> <p>Grant added, "We're grateful that Dhirren has pleaded guilty. It gives us some understanding of his acceptance of his responsibility."</p> <p>"We appreciate it, we appreciate the fact that he's given us that apology."</p> <p>After Charlie's death, Grant and Emma asked mourners to channel their grief into donations for Operation Flinders, an outback adventure therapy program that has helped 10,000 at-risk teenagers.</p> <p>The response to Grant and Emma's request has been overwhelming, with close to $220,000 so far raised in Charlie's name. </p> <p>"He had an impact on so many, so many people but this is a way that he will continue to have a really positive impact on kids who will never even know about him," Grant proudly said.</p> <p><em>Image credits: 60 Minutes </em></p>

Family & Pets

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Husband charged after wife’s tragic golf cart death on Hamilton Island

<p>A husband charged with the death of his wife has shared her chilling last words before she tragically died in a golf cart crash on their honeymoon. </p> <p>Robbie Awad, 32, and his new wife Marina Hanna, 29, were honeymooning in Queensland's Hamilton Island just 10 days after their wedding in June 2022, when the golf cart they were travelling in tipped over. </p> <p>Ms Hana died at the scene after doing into cardiac arrest.</p> <p>Ms Awad, who was driving the golf cart when it crashed and walked away uninjured, has pleaded guilty to three charges including not wearing a seatbelt and using a mobile phone while driving.</p> <p>Appearing in court on Thursday for the first day of his hearing, he pleaded not guilty to the charge of driving without due care and attention causing death. </p> <p>Taking to the witness stand, Mr Awad said the couple had decided to leave the resort to get something to eat before the crash. </p> <p>“We were leaving Qualia [resort] in the buggy, I was driving, I drove toward the exit of Qualia, I waited for the [gates] to open. We drove out of the gates at 5 or 4 km/h,” he said.</p> <p>The 32-year-old told the court that at the time of the crash, he was using his phone to follow directions, even though his wife warned him not to look at his phone while driving. </p> <p>“I was looking for directions on how to travel to the marina.”</p> <p>“My wife said, ‘Get off your phone’. I said, ‘What is the worst that could happen? No worries,’ and I put the phone in my pocket.’”</p> <p>Mr Awad said the couple decided to travel back to their resort after noting that the golf cart wasn't working properly, as it started to slow down when it began travelling up a hill. </p> <p>“I would estimate it was travelling less than walking speed. A very slow walk,” he said.</p> <p>“’By the time I got to the top of the hill, it was barely moving.”</p> <p>“[Once I got to the intersection] I could see it was very steep and I couldn’t see around the bend. I looked straight and saw there were no cars, the buggy was moving one metre every two seconds, so I drove the buggy into the flattest part.”</p> <p>He claimed the buggy accelerated unexpectedly, as he was making the U-turn. </p> <p>“As I was accelerating, I was moving the steering wheel, but because the buggy wasn’t moving, I ended up doing full turns, then I heard ‘vrrrroom’ and the buggy accelerated very quickly,” he said.</p> <p>“I started to have the thought, ‘Oh, the buggy might tip over,’ but by the time I could have finished the thought, it had already tipped over.”</p> <p>Mr Awad’s defence lawyer argued the “tragic accident” was caused by an issue with the battery in the golf buggy. </p> <p>“It fell over and killed his poor wife and he was devastated — and still is,” he said.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook</em></p>

Legal

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Daughter of former All Black charged over alleged hit and run death

<p>The daughter of former New Zealand All Black has been charged over an alleged hit and run that left a 65-year-old man dead in Auckland. </p> <p>Helena Jade Cribb, the daughter of Ron Cribb, was charged earlier this year after Jason Collins' body was found by a member of the public on O'Brien Rd, Lucas Heights in the early hours of December 7. </p> <p>The 22-year-old previously had a name suppression, which has now lapsed. </p> <p>Earlier this year, Detective Sergeant Ben Bergin said the driver allegedly involved had been identified not long after Collins' death. </p> <p>"A thorough investigation has been underway into the tragic circumstances by the Waitematā CIB and we have reached a point where charges have been filed," Bergin said.</p> <p>Collins has been remembered as a devoted father, husband and friend. </p> <p>"The tragic loss of Jason has left an unfillable void in our hearts," a statement on behalf of his family read. </p> <p>"...his absence is a constant ache, a relentless reminder of what we've lost.</p> <p>"Taken from us too soon, his departure is a profound and senseless blow that we struggle to comprehend.</p> <p>"Each day is a battle against the overwhelming emptiness left in his wake.</p> <p>"We ask for privacy at this time as we continue to grieve."</p> <p>The 22-year-old reportedly faces a charge of operating a vehicle carelessly, causing death while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. </p> <p>She is set to reappear in court in September. </p> <p><em>Image: NZ Police</em></p> <p> </p>

Legal

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Distressing twist in sudden death of former MAFS groom

<p>Just days after the shocking death of former <em>Married At First Sight NZ</em> contestant Andrew Jury, shocking new details have emerged about his final weeks before his <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/health/caring/married-at-first-sight-groom-dies-at-just-33" target="_blank" rel="noopener">passing</a>. </p> <p>The 33-year-old Auckland-based builder passed away in recent weeks, as his untimely death was announced by two of his former <em>MAFS</em> contestants on Sunday.</p> <p>Now, Jury's father Roy confirmed to the <a href="https://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/married-at-first-sight-nz-groom-andrew-jury-dies/47OQFBCORZHARPILFOEA65N7SE/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>New Zealand Herald</em></a> that his son was on remand in Mt Eden Corrections Facility prison at the time of his death. </p> <p>Andrew had been just hours from a scheduled court appearance, where he was facing charges that included “assault with intent to injure, wilful damage and possession of an offensive weapon.”</p> <p>His father also told the publication that he’d been worried about his son’s mental state ahead of his court hearing, adding that his family were “bewildered” and “deeply saddened” by the tragic turn of events.</p> <p>Roy said that his son had been arrested on April 2nd and had told his relatives he was “struggling” in prison.</p> <p>“It should have been a red flag when Andy stopped communicating with family and friends,” he told the outlet.</p> <p>Andrew's death was announced by former <em>MAFS NZ</em> stars Brett and Angel Renall, and Benjamin Blackwell who wrote a joint statement to the <em>New Zealand Herald</em> to break the news of his passing. </p> <p>“It’s with the heaviest hearts we’ve come together to acknowledge the passing of Andrew Jury,” they said. “We had the absolute pleasure of filming and participating in a show which leaves us intricately linked for a lifetime."</p> <p>“Despite his struggles, Andrew was always friendly and the life of the party during our shared experience, and he really valued his time on the show."</p> <p>“At this time, our entire cast wishes to send our deepest condolences and love to his family.”</p> <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1rem;"><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

Legal

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Daughter stunned by little-known iPhone feature after father's sudden death

<p>Queensland woman Carrie Payne was unable to access her father's phone after he died unexpectedly last month due to Apple's policy. </p> <p>The policy is that devices locked with a passcode and therefore protected by passcode encryption, cannot be accessed without erasing the contents on the device. </p> <p>Apple has refused to create software to hack into the iPhone for security reasons, and for grieving families who don't have access to their loved one's phones, this could mean that hundreds of photos and memories could be lost. </p> <p>After losing her father unexpectedly from intracranial haemorrhage, Payne did not have access to his phone, which made it difficult for her to contact his friends and colleagues to inform them of his death. </p> <p>“We also then couldn’t use any of the family photos he may have had on there in his funeral service,” she said.</p> <p>“In the end, we are at peace with things now and haven’t pursued anything. We may still investigate this once we have all the legal documents to confirm his passing/the terms of his estate, but we are weighing this up with his right to privacy in death. The immediacy of needing access has gone, so we are instead focusing on remembering him.”</p> <p>While she has tried almost everything to gain access to the phone, she has had no luck, and now she wants to prevent the same thing from happening to someone else. </p> <p>Payne, an estate planning lawyer, shared the little-known iPhone feature, called a Legacy Contact. </p> <p>This can be set for your Apple ID on an iPhone (starting from iOS 15.2), iPad (iPadOS 15.2) and Mac (macOS 12.1). </p> <p>The Legacy Contact gets access to data stored in your Apple account after your death including  iCloud photos, contacts, calendars, messages, mail, voice memos, notes, files stored in iCloud drive, apps you have downloaded and device backups.</p> <p>But, data like payment information and passwords remain off limits. </p> <p>To add a Legacy Contact on your iPhone or iPad, you go to settings, tap your name, tap sign-in &amp; security, and then tap legacy contact.</p> <p>On a Mac, click the Apple menu, then system settings, then Apple ID, then sign-in &amp; security, and legacy contact.</p> <p>After your death, your Legacy Contact will need the access key that you generate when you choose them as your contact and your death certificate.</p> <p>The Legacy Contact will have access to your data for three years from when the first legacy account request has been approved. </p> <p>In Australia, next of kin can request access to an account with the right legal documentation if they don't have a Legacy Contact access key. </p> <p><em>Images: Carrie Payne</em></p>

Technology

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Disturbing development in Matthew Perry's death

<p>An investigation into Matthew Perry's death is rounding out, and authorities reportedly believe that  "multiple people" should be charged for his untimely death.</p> <p>The <em>Friends </em>star was found dead eight months ago at the age of 54, in the hot tub of his Los Angeles home, with an autopsy revealing that he had died from the "acute effects of ketamine". </p> <p>A police source has told  <em>People </em>that investigation into the star's death is "nearing its conclusion". </p> <p>“A law enforcement investigative source (says the) investigation into Matthew Perry’s ketamine death is ‘nearing its conclusion’ and police believe ‘multiple people’ should be charged,” the source told People</p> <p>“The source says the US Attorney’s Office will make the ultimate decision on whether or not to press charges.”</p> <p>It is understood that Perry was undergoing ketamine infusion therapy to treat anxiety and depression at the time. </p> <p>The autopsy noted that the levels of Ketamine in Perry's system were in the same range for surgical general anaesthesia, which prompted the LAPD to investigate how he received the drug. </p> <p>The LAPD has been working on its investigation since December in conjunction with Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the U.S Postal Inspector. </p> <p>“Law enforcement sources tell us there is an ongoing investigation into where Matthew got the ketamine that ended up playing a part in his death - and the main questions are who provided the drug, and under what circumstances,” TMZ reported at the time.</p> <p>“We do know they’ve already interviewed some key people in Hollywood.</p> <p>“While our sources could not provide names they told us investigators have approached and spoken to people who are known to have a history of drug use or abuse.</p> <p>“We’re told those people are not necessarily the actual source of ketamine, but they could have information leading to the source.”</p> <p>Drowning, coronary artery disease and  buprenorphine effects were also listed as other contributing factors in his passing.</p> <p><em>Image: Warner Bros Tv/Bright/Kauffman/Crane Pro/Koba/ Shutterstock Editorial</em></p> <p> </p>

Legal

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Teen athlete's tragic death just weeks before Paris Games

<p>A young Olympic hopeful has tragically died just weeks out from making his debut at the Paris Games. </p> <p>Jackson James Rice, 18, was found dead after a diving accident in Faleloa, Tonga on Saturday from a “suspected shallow water blackout”.</p> <p>The teenager had been set to become the first caucasian to represent Tonga at an Olympic Games, having qualified for the new kite-foiling event.</p> <p>He had been free diving from a boat when the tragedy unfolded. </p> <p>His body was found beneath the boat and despite several resuscitation attempts, he could not be revived. </p> <p>Rice's heartbroken father confirmed the news of the teenager's death to the Matangi Tonga newspaper, as tributes flowed for the young athlete.</p> <p>Rice’s sister Lily paid an emotional tribute to her brother on social media on Sunday, as she wrote on Facebook, “I was blessed with the most amazing brother in the whole world and it pains me to say that he’s passed away."</p> <p>“He was an amazing kitefoiler and he would have made it to the Olympics and come out with a big shiny medal … he made so many amazing friends all over the world.”</p> <p>Other friends paid tribute to the teenager on social media, with one writing, “I can’t begin to put into words what I’m feeling right now. I still cannot believe it, when I woke up to this news I thought you were playing around. You’re the most amazing friend anyone could ask for and anyone who has spent time with you would agree.”</p> <p>Rice was originally born in the US but moved to Tonga at a young age with his British-born parents. </p> <p>He grew up in Haʻapai, where his parents run a tourist lodge, and always viewed himself as Tongan.</p> <p>The talented athlete qualified for what had been due to be his first Olympic Games last December, after placing eighth at a Sail Sydney event.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

Caring

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"Do not cry for me": Teacher announces own death

<p>A teacher and mum-of-two who chronicled her breast cancer journey online has announced her own death, through a social media post written before her passing. </p> <p>"If you're reading this, it means I have died," Kate Rackham, 45, shared on her <em>Teacher With Cancer </em>X account. </p> <p>"But do not cry for me. I have lived my life on my own terms, the way I have wanted to."</p> <p>The mum told her followers that she joined X, formerly Twitter, as she "needed an outlet", but "what I got was so much more". </p> <p>"You made me feel validated in my feelings and much less alone. Thank you."</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">If you’re reading this, it means I have died. But do not cry for me. I have lived my life on my own terms, the way I have wanted to. I joined X because I needed an outlet, what I got was so much more. You made me feel validated in my feelings and much less alone. Thank you ❤️</p> <p>— Teacher with Cancer (@kate_rackham) <a href="https://twitter.com/kate_rackham/status/1801137648146243756?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 13, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>The British mum was only 39 when she was diagnosed with  incurable oestrogen-receptive breast cancer and spent the past six years fighting the disease. </p> <p>She began documenting her journey online, and explained that she had no obvious risk factors leading to the disease. </p> <p>Just before her passing, she was admitted into hospital and was told by doctors that "there is nothing more we can do" and that she "needed a bit of time" to process the news. </p> <p>"I'm now home, where I want to be. With Mark and the girls. Surrounded by love, family and friends," she shared at the time. </p> <p>"Everyone is rallying around and I have so much support. Despite everything I feel blessed."</p> <p>Many have shared their condolences, including friends and those who are also battling breast cancer. </p> <p>"When my time comes, I can but hope I display the dignity and strength of character you did. Much love and condolences to your family and friends," one wrote.</p> <p>"I hope you are free from the pain. You still live in your children your husband. Your legacy," another said.</p> <p>"Thank you for sharing your journey with grace and dignity," a third added. </p> <p>"I hope wherever you are you are no longer in pain. Sending love and thoughts to your family."</p> <p>Rackham is survived by her husband Mark and their two daughters Ruby and Nancy. </p> <p><em>Images: X/ Nine</em></p> <p> </p>

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Michael Mosley's cause of death revealed in autopsy

<p>The sudden and tragic death of renowned TV doctor Michael Mosley has left his fans and family in deep sorrow. New details from an initial autopsy report reveal the beloved health expert likely died of natural causes during a challenging trek on the Greek island of Symi.</p> <p>Mosley disappeared on a Wednesday afternoon after bidding farewell to his wife on Saint Nikolas Beach. He inadvertently took a wrong turn, embarking on a gruelling two-hour hike in intense heat. According to The Sun, he tragically collapsed near a beach bar at Agia Marina, just a few metres away from safety. His body was discovered five days later by a television crew from Greece's ERT public channel.</p> <p>The initial autopsy indicated that Mosley most likely succumbed to natural causes at around 4pm on the day he went missing. The scorching temperatures, exceeding 40°C in the rocky terrain, contributed to the arduous conditions he faced. The post-mortem examination revealed no external injuries that could have caused his death. The position of his body suggested that he had sat down to rest against a wall before losing consciousness and passing away.</p> <p>CCTV footage captured Mosley walking slowly through the mountainous area, indicating exhaustion. His last recorded sighting was at 2pm in Pedi, implying he had been navigating the rough terrain for nearly two hours. The grainy footage showed him collapsing near a wall and barbed wire fence, just 100m from the beach resort and shoreline.</p> <p>Despite extensive search efforts, including drones, helicopters and specially trained dogs, Mosley’s body was not found until five days later. The condition of his body made it challenging to pinpoint the exact cause of death, but it was clear he was extremely close to reaching safety before he collapsed.</p> <p>The search for Dr Mosley mobilised the small island community of Symi, with 2600 residents and numerous volunteers talking part. His wife, Dr Claire Bailey, expressed her profound grief in a heartfelt statement.</p> <p>“I don’t know quite where to begin with this,” she said. “It’s devastating to have lost Michael, my wonderful, funny, kind and brilliant husband. </p> <p>“We had an incredibly lucky life together. We loved each other very much and were so happy together. I am incredibly proud of our children, their resilience and support over the past days. </p> <p>“My family and I have been hugely comforted by the outpouring of love from people from around the world. It’s clear that Michael meant a huge amount to so many of you. </p> <p>“We’re taking comfort in the fact that he so very nearly made it. </p> <p>“He did an incredible climb, took the wrong route and collapsed where he couldn’t be easily seen by the extensive search team. </p> <p>“Michael was an adventurous man, it’s part of what made him so special. </p> <p>“We are so grateful to the extraordinary people on Symi who have worked tirelessly to help find him. </p> <p>“Some of these people on the island, who hadn’t even heard of Michael, worked from dawn till dusk unasked. We’re also very grateful to the press who have dealt with us with great respect. </p> <p>“I feel so lucky to have our children and my amazing friends. Most of all, I feel so lucky to have had this life with Michael.”</p> <p>Dr Mosley was a respected and beloved figure in the medical and television community. Known for his insightful health advice and engaging personality, he had a significant impact on many lives. His adventurous spirit and dedication to promoting health and well-being will be remembered fondly by all who knew him.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock Editorial / Facebook</em></p>

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COVID vaccines saved millions of lives – linking them to excess deaths is a mistake

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/paul-hunter-991309">Paul Hunter</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-east-anglia-1268">University of East Anglia</a></em></p> <p>A recent <a href="https://bmjpublichealth.bmj.com/content/2/1/e000282">study</a> has sparked another <a href="https://nypost.com/2024/06/06/us-news/covid-vaccines-may-have-helped-fuel-rise-in-excess-deaths-since-pandemic-study/">round of</a> <a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2024/06/04/covid-vaccines-may-have-helped-fuel-rise-in-excess-deaths/">headlines</a> <a href="https://www.gbnews.com/health/covid-vaccine-side-effects-deaths">claiming</a> that COVID vaccines caused excess deaths. This was accompanied by a predictable outpouring of <a href="https://x.com/DrAseemMalhotra/status/1797922073798717524">I-told-you-sos</a> on social media.</p> <p>Excess deaths are a measure of how many more deaths are being recorded in a country over what would have been expected based on historical trends. In the UK, and in many other countries, death rates have been higher during the years 2020 to 2023 than would have been expected based on historic trends from before the pandemic. But that has been known for some time. A couple of years ago I wrote an article for <a href="https://theconversation.com/summer-2022-saw-thousands-of-excess-deaths-in-england-and-wales-heres-why-that-might-be-189351">The Conversation</a> pointing this out and suggesting some reasons. But has anything changed?</p> <p>The authors of the new study, published in BMJ Public Health, used publicly available data from <a href="https://ourworldindata.org/COVID-vaccinations">Our World in Data</a> to determine which countries had “statistically significant” excess deaths – in other words, excess deaths that couldn’t be explained by mere random variation.</p> <p>They studied the years 2020 to 2022 and found that many, but not all, countries did indeed report excess deaths. The authors did not try to explain why these excess deaths occurred, but the suggestion that COVID vaccines could have played a role is clear from their text – and indeed widely interpreted as such by certain newspapers.</p> <p>There is no doubt that a few deaths were associated with <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/25166026211053485">the COVID vaccines</a>, but could the vaccination programme explain the large number of excess deaths – 3 million in 47 countries – that have been reported?</p> <p>Based on <a href="https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/articles/excessdeathsinenglandandwales/march2020todecember2021">death certificates</a>, during 2020 and 2021 there were more deaths from COVID than estimated excess deaths in the UK. So during the year 2021 when most vaccine doses were administered, there were actually fewer non-COVID deaths than would have been expected. It was only in 2022 that excess deaths <a href="https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/articles/deathregistrationsummarystatisticsenglandandwales/2022">exceeded COVID deaths</a>.</p> <p>If the vaccination campaign was contributing to the excess deaths that we have seen in recent years, then we should expect to see more deaths in people who have been vaccinated than in those who have not. The most reliable analysis in this regard was done by the UK’s <a href="https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/articles/excessdeathsinenglandandwales/march2020todecember2021">Office for National Statistics (ONS)</a>. In this analysis, the ONS matched death registrations with the vaccine histories of each death recorded. They then calculated “age-standardised death rates” to account for age differences between those vaccinated and those not.</p> <p>What the ONS found was that in all months from April 2021 to May 2023, the death rate <a href="https://www.ons.gov.uk/redir/eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJpbmRleCI6MSwicGFnZVNpemUiOjEwLCJwYWdlIjoxLCJ1cmkiOiIvcGVvcGxlcG9wdWxhdGlvbmFuZGNvbW11bml0eS9iaXJ0aHNkZWF0aHNhbmRtYXJyaWFnZXMvZGVhdGhzL2RhdGFzZXRzL2V4Y2Vzc2RlYXRoc2luZW5nbGFuZGFuZHdhbGVzIiwibGlzdFR5cGUiOiJyZWxhdGVkZGF0YSJ9.Cot-XDe8Rr07paGllBNnVVz1nTqnXfVafn2woA3tk0c">from all causes was higher</a> in the unvaccinated than in people who had been vaccinated at least once.</p> <p>That deaths from all causes were lower in the vaccinated than the unvaccinated should come as no surprise given that COVID was a major cause of death in 2021 and 2022. And there is ample evidence of the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10492612/">protective effect of vaccines</a> against severe COVID and death. But what is even more convincing is that, even when known COVID deaths were excluded in the ONS report, the death rate in the unvaccinated was still higher, albeit not by very much in more recent months.</p> <p>Some COVID deaths would certainly not have been recognised as such. But, on the other hand, people with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, were a high priority for vaccination. And these people would have been at increased risk of death even before the pandemic.</p> <h2>Possible causes</h2> <p>If the vaccine is not the cause of the excess deaths, what was?</p> <p>The major cause of the excess deaths reported in the first two years of the BMJ Public Health study was deaths from COVID. But by 2022, excess deaths exceeded COVID deaths in many countries.</p> <p>Possible <a href="https://theconversation.com/summer-2022-saw-thousands-of-excess-deaths-in-england-and-wales-heres-why-that-might-be-189351">explanations</a> for these excess deaths include longer-term effects of earlier COVID infections, the return of infections such as influenza that had been suppressed during the COVID control measures, adverse effects of lockdowns on physical and mental health, and delays in the diagnosis of life-threatening infections as health services struggled to cope with the pandemic and its aftermath.</p> <p>We do need to look very carefully at how the pandemic was managed. There is still considerable debate about the effectiveness of different behavioural control measures, such as self-isolation and lockdowns. Even when such interventions were effective at reducing transmission of COVID, what were the harms and were the gains worth the harms? Nevertheless, we can be confident that the excess deaths seen in recent years were not a consequence of the vaccination campaign.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/231776/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/paul-hunter-991309">Paul Hunter</a>, Professor of Medicine, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-east-anglia-1268">University of East Anglia</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/covid-vaccines-saved-millions-of-lives-linking-them-to-excess-deaths-is-a-mistake-231776">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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1 in 5 deaths are caused by heart disease, but what else are Australians dying from?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/garry-jennings-5307">Garry Jennings</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p>Nobody dies in good health, at least in their final moments. But to think the causes of death are easy to count or that there is generally a single reason somebody passes is an oversimplification.</p> <p>In fact, in 2022, four out of five Australians had multiple conditions at the time of death listed on their death certificate, and almost one-quarter had five or more recorded. This is one of many key findings from a <a href="https://pp.aihw.gov.au/reports/life-expectancy-deaths/what-do-australians-die-from/contents/about">new report</a> from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).</p> <p>The report distinguishes between three types of causes of death – underlying, direct, and contributory. An underlying cause is the condition that initiates the chain of events leading to death, such as having coronary heart disease. The direct cause of death is what the person died from (rather than with), like a heart attack. Contributory causes are things that significantly contributed to the chain of events leading to death but are not directly involved, like having high blood pressure. The report also tracks how these three types of causes can overlap in deaths involving multiple causes.</p> <p>In 2022 the top five conditions involved in deaths in Australia were coronary heart disease (20% of deaths), dementia (18%), hypertension, or high blood pressure (12%), cerebrovascular disease such as stroke (11.5%), and diabetes (11.4%).</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="MzQHA" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/MzQHA/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>When the underlying cause of death was examined, the list was similar (coronary heart disease 10%, dementia 9%, cerebrovascular disease 5%, followed by COVID and lung cancer, each 5%). This means coronary heart disease was not just lurking at the time of death but also the major underlying cause.</p> <p>The direct cause of death however was most often a lower respiratory condition (8%), cardiac or respiratory arrest (6.5%), sepsis (6%), pneumonitis, or lung inflammation (4%) or hypertension (4%).</p> <h2>Why is this important?</h2> <p>Without looking at all the contributing causes of death, the role of important factors such as coronary heart disease, sepsis, depression, high blood pressure and alcohol use can be underestimated.</p> <p>Even more importantly, the various causes draw attention to the areas where we should be focusing public health prevention. The report also helps us understand which groups to focus on for prevention and health care. For example, the number one cause of death in women was dementia, whereas in men it was coronary heart disease.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="NosVz" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/NosVz/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>People aged under 55 tended to die from external events such as accidents and violence, whereas older people died against a background of chronic disease.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="1l3OS" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/1l3OS/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>We cannot prevent death, but we can prevent many diseases and injuries. And this report highlights that many of these causes of death, both for younger Australians and older, are preventable. The top five conditions involved in death (coronary heart disease, dementia, hypertension, cerebrovascular disease and diabetes) all share common risk factors such as tobacco use, high cholesterol, poor nutrition, physical inactivity, or are risk factors themselves, like hypertension or diabetes.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="7Eb8O" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/7Eb8O/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>Tobacco use, high blood pressure, being overweight or obese and poor diet were attributable to a combined 44% of all deaths in this report. This suggests a comprehensive approach to health promotion, disease prevention and management is needed.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="2MmGg" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/2MmGg/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>This should include strategies and programs encouraging eating a healthy diet, participating in regular physical activity, limiting or eliminating alcohol consumption, quitting smoking, and seeing a doctor for regular health screenings, such as the Medicare-funded <a href="https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/your-heart/heart-health-checks">Heart Health Checks</a>. Programs directed at accident prevention, mental health and violence, especially gender-related violence, will address untimely deaths in the young.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/231598/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/garry-jennings-5307"><em>Garry Jennings</em></a><em>, Professor of Medicine, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/1-in-5-deaths-are-caused-by-heart-disease-but-what-else-are-australians-dying-from-231598">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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“Australia is a sadder place": Shock as John Blackman's death confirmed

<p>Australian radio legend and star of <em>Hey Hey it's Saturday</em> John Blackman has passed away at the age of 76. </p> <p>Entertainment reporter Peter Ford broke the sad news on <em>The Morning Show</em> on Wednesday morning, saying, “Australia is a sadder place with this news."</p> <p>"John was an incredible man. In the past years, he has put up a huge cancer fight,” Ford said.</p> <p>Blackman had been battling cancer for many years, undergoing numerous operations on his face and skull to remove cancerous tumours.</p> <p>John’s was first diagnosed with cancer in 2018 after visiting his doctor about a seemingly minor blemish on his chin, and he was shocked to learn he had an aggressive form of skin cancer in his mouth and jaw.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C70CkAEORnX/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C70CkAEORnX/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Sunrise (@sunriseon7)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>In a 12-hour operation, John’s lower jaw and teeth were removed, and his jaw was replaced with a part of his thigh bone.</p> <p>“It’s like I ploughed into a tree and my life changed forever,” he told the <em>Herald Sun</em> at the time. </p> <p>Blackman became a household name after his time on <em>Hey Hey It's Saturday</em>, and was known and loved for voicing the cheeky stick puppet Dickie Knee. </p> <p>John is survived by his wife Cecile and their adult daughter. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook / Seven</em></p>

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"Taken way too soon": TV star's brother breaks silence after shocking death

<p>The grieving brother of slain TV star Johnny Wactor has broken his silence over his brother's untimely death. </p> <p>Johnny Wactor, 37, was <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/health/caring/soap-star-killed-in-robbery-gone-wrong" target="_blank" rel="noopener">killed</a> in Los Angeles in the early hours of Saturday morning when he intercepted a group of men trying to steal the catalytic converter from his vehicle, and was shot dead at the scene. </p> <p>Now, Wactor's brother Grant has shared more details on the events surrounding his Johnny's death, telling <a href="https://people.com/general-hospital-actor-johnny-wactors-brother-speaks-out-on-killing-taken-way-too-early-8654340" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>People</em></a> magazine that he had finished a shift working as a bartender at the time he was shot. </p> <p>After his shift finished at about 3:25am local time, he walked to his car with a female co-worker  when he noticed that his car had been “jacked up or lifted in some way”.</p> <p>Initially, the actor thought his car was being towed away, but quickly realised the people surrounding his car were not tow-truck drivers.</p> <p>Grant said his brother physically shielded his female colleague to prevent her from being hurt and had his hands up in the air when he was shot.</p> <p>“He did not confront them,” he told the publication. “He did not try to stop them. He was just trying to diffuse the situation by stepping back.”</p> <p>After the shooting the men fled the scene in a different car, and LAPD officer Jeff Lee said the suspects were “still outstanding”.</p> <p>Grant Wactor said his family were “hoping and praying” that the killers were found and brought to justice.</p> <p>“We just want (them to be found) as quickly as possible and correctly,” he said, describing his brother as “a good person”.</p> <p>“He was taken way too early, and no one should be taken like this at all,” he said.</p> <p>“He touched a lot of people. He believed in his core values to the end, and he lived life to the fullest the way he wanted to. And he was happy doing that.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram / Ouzounova / Shutterstock Editorial </em></p>

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"It’s a nightmare": Star golfer's cause of death revealed

<p>Two-time PGA Tour winner Grayson Murray has died at the age of 30. </p> <p>Golf officials announced his death on Sunday morning, with PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan releasing a statement. </p> <p>“We were devastated to learn — and are heartbroken to share — that PGA Tour player Grayson Murray passed away this morning,” Monahan said. </p> <p>“I am at a loss for words. The PGA Tour is a family, and when you lose a member of your family, you are never the same"</p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Murray's parents later confirmed that their son took his own life, just one day after he withdrew from the second round of the Charles Schwab Challenge - a PGA Tour event  - due to illness. </span></p> <p>“We have spent the last 24 hours trying to come to terms with the fact that our son is gone,” his parents, Eric and Terry Murray said in a statement.</p> <p>“It’s surreal that we not only have to admit it to ourselves, but that we also have to acknowledge it to the world. It’s a nightmare.”</p> <p>"We have so many questions that have no answers. But one. Was Grayson loved? The answer is yes. By us, his brother Cameron, his sister Erica, all of his extended family, by his friends, by his fellow players and — it seems — by many of you who are reading this. He was loved and he will be missed.</p> <p>“Life wasn't always easy for Grayson, and although he took his own life, we know he rests peacefully now.”</p> <p>They have also asked for privacy and for people to honour Murray by being kind to one another. </p> <p>Murray has previously been open about his battle with depression and alcoholism, according to <em>The NY Post</em>. </p> <p>He talked about turning the corner in his life and being eight months sober, after winning the Sony Open in Honolulu in January. </p> <p>“It's not easy,” Murray said immediately after winning. "I wanted to give up a lot of times. Give up on myself. Give up on the game of golf. Give up on life, at times.”</p> <p>Murray tied for 43rd last week in the PGA Championship, which earned him a spot in the US Open next month at Pinehurst No.2 in North Carolina.</p> <p>The PGA Tour commissioner said he spoke with Murray's parents about halting play, but they insisted the golf tournament to continue. </p> <p>“We mourn Grayson and pray for comfort for his loved ones. I reached out to Grayson’s parents to offer our deepest condolences, and during that conversation, they asked that we continue with tournament play. They were adamant that Grayson would want us to do so," he said. </p> <p>Monahan flew to Fort Worth, Texas, on Sunday to be with players, and many of them wore black-and-red pins on their caps - the colours of the Carolina Hurricanes, Grayson's favourite NHL team - to honour the golfer. </p> <p><em>Image: Daniel Lea/Csm/ Shutterstock Editorial</em></p>

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“My darling wife": Newlywed's tragic death overseas

<p>Madison Noronha (née Chatham) was in Amsterdam with her husband Kyle Noronha after only a few weeks of getting married when she suddenly collapsed on the street. </p> <p>When she was rushed to hospital last week, scans revealed that she had suffered a brain aneurysm and despite getting immediate surgery to relieve the pressure, she unfortunately <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">could</span><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;"> not be saved. </span></p> <p>“Madi fought like she always does right to the very end,” her heartbroken husband wrote on social media. </p> <p>She passed away in his arms and was surrounded by loved ones. </p> <p>“My darling wife I cannot comprehend what has happened, I’m in a million pieces. Forever and always babe.”</p> <p>Now, her family have set up a <a href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/madison-noronha-chatham" target="_blank" rel="noopener">GoFundMe</a> in attempt to raise funds to “help with flights, funeral costs and to help bring our beloved Madison home to be laid to rest”.</p> <p>Since the launch of the fundraiser, people have come together and raised over $30,000 for the family. </p> <p>Taylah Wicks, the organiser of the fundraiser and a family friend, said that Madison was loved and cherished beyond measure”.</p> <p>“We are all left heart broken, but can’t imagine the pain that Kyle and her immediate family are experiencing,” she wrote on the page.</p> <p><em>Image: GoFundMe</em></p>

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Line of Duty star's cause of death revealed

<p>The sister of <em>Line of Duty</em> star Brian McCardie has thanked loved ones and fans for their support since the tragic passing of her brother, while also revealing what caused his sudden death at the age of 59. </p> <p>Sarah McCardie shared a lengthy post on social media thanking people for their "overwhelming support" during the difficult time, adding that the Scottish actor will be laid to rest in a funeral on May 23rd at a church in his home country.</p> <p>She also revealed that Brian died due to an aortic dissection, a tear in the aorta.</p> <p>"The McCardie family would like to thank everyone for their overwhelming support regarding the sudden passing of Brian James McCardie - beloved son, brother, uncle &amp; friend," she wrote.</p> <p>"Brian died due to an aortic dissection, causing short pain and a sudden death."</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C7AAl3vLkfz/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C7AAl3vLkfz/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Sarah McCardie (@sarahmccardie)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"There will be a funeral mass held on Thursday 23rd May... where we will celebrate Brian's life before he takes his final bow."</p> <p>Sarah, who is also an actress, previously confirmed the news of his death in a heartbreaking tribute post to her late sibling, saying he "is gone much too soon".</p> <p>"It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Brian James McCardie (59), beloved son, brother, uncle and dear friend to so many," her post began.</p> <p>"Brian passed away suddenly at home on Sunday 28th April. A wonderful and passionate actor on stage and screen, Brian loved his work and touched many lives, and is gone much too soon."</p> <p>"We love him and will miss him greatly; please remember Brian in your thoughts."</p> <p>The post was flooded with comments of condolences, as one person wrote, "One of Scotland's greats on both the stage and the screen."</p> <p>McCardie was best known for his role as Tommy Hunter on BBC's <em>Line of Duty</em>, the show <em>Time</em> with Sean Bean, and the film <em>Rob Roy</em> co-starring Liam Neeson.</p> <p><em>Image credits: BBC / Instagram </em></p>

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"Devastated": Chris Pratt mourns sudden death of longtime friend and stunt double

<p>Superstar of big and small screen Chris Pratt is grieving the death of his longtime friend and former stunt double, Tony McFarr, who was found dead at his home near Orlando, Florida, on Monday. McFarr was 47, and the cause of his death remains undetermined.</p> <p>Pratt and McFarr began their professional relationship on the set of <em>Jurassic World</em> in 2015. Their collaboration continued on <em>Passengers</em>, <em>Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2</em>, and <em>Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom</em>. Over the years, they developed a strong bond that clearly extended beyond their work on screen.</p> <p>In an emotional Instagram tribute on Friday, Pratt expressed his heartbreak over the loss of McFarr. "We did several movies together," Pratt wrote. "We golfed, drank whiskey, smoked cigars, and spent endless hours on set. I'll never forget his toughness."</p> <p>Pratt then recalled a particularly intense moment during the filming of <em>Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2</em> when McFarr suffered a severe head injury but quickly returned to work. "He was an absolute stud. He was always a gentleman and professional. He'll be missed."</p> <p>Pratt concluded his tribute by offering prayers to McFarr's friends and family, especially his daughter. He shared a series of photos showcasing their time together on set, displaying their striking resemblance, particularly when dressed in matching costumes.</p> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2024/05/ChrisPratt_Insta02.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="970" /></p> <p>In addition to doubling for Pratt in several films, McFarr's impressive career included work on other major Marvel productions like <em>Captain America: Civil War</em> and <em>Ant-Man and the Wasp</em>. He also served as Jon Hamm's stunt double in the 2018 action comedy <em>Tag</em>.</p> <p><a href="https://www.tmz.com/2024/05/16/chris-pratt-stunt-double-tony-mcfarr-dead-dies-guardians-of-the-galaxy/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">According to TMZ</a>, McFarr's mother, Donna, reported that "he passed away Monday at his home just outside Orlando -- and while we're told the family doesn't know the exact circumstances of his death just yet ... Donna does say his passing is unexpected and shocking."</p> <p>"She says Tony was active and healthy ... and we're told the medical examiner's office is running toxicology tests now. The Orange County Medical Examiner confirms to us they have the case ... and that an official cause is still pending."</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

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