Initially, it was the sad death of a 72-year-old. Then it was a suicide. Then there was a rope found around his genitals. Now investigators are suggesting screen legend David Carradine accidentally killed himself during a practice known as erotic asphyxiation, or intentionally cutting off oxygen to the brain for sexual arousal.

If true, it wouldn't be the first famous case of erotic asphyxiation gone terribly wrong. After the jump, some other prominent people who may have paid the ultimate price in their quest for the ultimate sexual high.

In 1791, composer Frantisek Kotzwara was the first recorded death by erotic asphyxiation. He was strangled with a rope during sex with a prostitute. The hooker -- who claimed Kotzwara opted for EA only after she refused to cut off his testicles -- was acquitted of his murder.

After strangling her lover to death in a mutual sex game, Sada Abe caused a sensation in 1936 Japan after being arrested with his genitals in her handbag. She served five years in prison, and we have no idea if it was a Hello Kitty handbag.

Underground comic-strip artist Vaughn Bodé in 1975 either died in a motorcycle accident or of erotic asphyxiation, depending on whom you ask. We prefer to think he was attempting erotic asphyxiation while riding his motorcycle.

Michael Hutchence
, the Morrison-esque frontman of INXS, remains the poster boy for auto-erotic asphyxiation gone terribly wrong, although his 1997 passing is still officially listed as a suicide.

In 1994, British MP Stephen Milligan delighted the Fleet Street tabloids by being found dead of suspected erotic asphyxiation combined with self-bondage.

In 2004, British National Party member Kristian Etchells also accidentally offed himself via EA. This is why the English laugh at our silly political sex scandals involving oral sex and wide stances.

As a Public Service Announcement to our readers, we suggest that if you do decide to combine any sort of strangulation with self-gratification, you first find a like-minded masturbator and use the buddy system.