In the past four years since Brittany Murphy and husband Simon Monjack's mysterious deaths, her father, Angelo Bertolotti has been crying foul. He has gone on record saying that he believes his daughter's deaths were the result of a "murder situation." But despite findings from a toxicology test that was positive for ten heavy metals -- which could be the result of exposure to toxins by a third-party with likely criminal intent! -- some experts aren't convinced that the 32-year-old actress and her 39-year-old husband were poisoned.
Dr. Bruce Goldberger, director of forensic medicine at the University of Florida, who is also the president of the American Board of Forensic Toxicology, reviewed the lab report for CNN and was very critical.
He said, "It's ridiculous," elaborating that a conclusion of poisoning is an "inflammatory statement" and "is a baseless allegation and outrageous statement to make based on a single hair test. ... A hair test alone, without any clinical signs or symptoms, cannot be used to establish poisoning."
Plus, he says the autopsy showed no physical signs of poisoning and the report also showed a normal level of arsenic, which would have been elevated if rat poisoning was involved. What's more, he notes that the "numerous hair treatments" Brittany was sure to have had as a "beautiful woman" means "chemicals in the hair treatment would alter the chemistry of her hair sample."
All points well taken, I suppose, but the report's findings -- 10 heavy metals?! -- are completely disconcerting. Where would that come from? Could a bit of hair dye or a straightening treatment really throw those results off? And in light of those findings -- whether or not they're "baseless," as Dr. Goldberger says -- the coroner's conclusion that Brittany died from a combination of pneumonia, an iron deficiency, and multiple legal drug intoxication still doesn't seem to tell the whole story.
Really, who could blame Bertolotti for pursuing further testing and investigation? Who could blame anyone for wanting to know why a healthy, happy, successful woman passed away at 32 years old?
Perhaps the data doesn't add up right now to rat poisoning, but something's clearly off. And the Los Angeles coroner, which "has no plans to reopen the inquiries into the deaths of Miss Murphy or Mr. Monjack," owes it to the deceased and their loved ones to consider coming up with some thorough new answers.
Do you think the L.A. coroner owes it to Angelo Bertolotti to investigate Brittany Murphy's death further?
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