Originally Published 8 June 2009
'Look how the stars shine for us!' Catherine Bore
'No, the stars do not shine for us because we both left our convents' Martin Luther
With recent news reports of the death of movie actor David Carradine by means of autoerotic asphyxiation (AEA) it brings to mind other famous people who died the same way. Recent article on Slate on the death of David Carradine tells of the first recorded case of death by AEA and that honor goes to Frantisek Kotzwara 'a famous composer from Prague who died in 1791' Another case mentioned is Vaughn Bodé an underground cartoonist who was asphyxiated to death in 1975. Stephen Milligan, who was a member of British Parliament, died in 1994 by means of AEA. And of course the one that I remember that made news back in the late 80's was INXS singer Michael Hutchence. This was the only AEA case I knew of.
That was until I read a contemporaneous account of Martin Luther's death that was written in the late 1500's just a few years after his death. Martin Luther died in Eisleben, Saxony on February 18, 1546. This account of Martin Luther’s death can be found in the series of volumes reprinted by Scolar Press in the early to late 1970's on English Recusant Literature 1558-1640. The English Recusant Literature are books written by English Roman Catholics who were exiled from England during the Protestant revolt against God. These books mainly defend the True Faith but also touch on politics and history. This English Recusant account of Martin Luther's death tells of the way in which he died, which was by strangulation. The account said that 'one of Martin Luther's nun wives murdered him by strangling Martin Luther with the bed sheets tied to the bed post' This account I think can be found in Luther’s life, 1624, by John Brereley but I am uncertain if this was the actual volume, it has been awhile since I read the work.
Update: Several years later after I had originally posted this in 2009 someone else found the Catholic source on the hanging death of Luther:
In 1606, Franciscan Heinrich Sedulius in his "Preaescriptiones adversus haereses"
"On the night before his death, Martin Luther let himself be overcome by his habitual intemperance and in such excess that we were obliged to take him, completely drunk, and place him in his bed. Then, we retired to our bedroom, without sensing anything unpleasant! The next morning, we went back to our lord to help him get dressed, as usual. Then - oh, what a pain! - we saw our master Martin hanging from the bed and strangled miserably! His mouth was crooked, th right part of his face was black, his neck was red and deformed."
"In the face of this horrible spectacle, we felt great fear! We ran, without delay, to the princes, his guests of the day before, to announce to them the execrable end of Luther! They, full of terror like us, immediately promised us, with a thousand promises and the most solemn oaths, to observe, with respect to that event, an eternal silence. Then they ordered us to remove the rope from Luther's hideous corpse, lay him on his bed, and then report to the people that "Master Luther" had suddenly abandoned this life!" Franciscan Heinrich Sedulius 1606
What is interesting is that in the Slate article mention is made that in the act of AEA more than one person is usually involved: in the act of AEA usually a woman does the strangling. So it is possible that Martin Luther died by the means of AEA with the help of his nun wife. qualis vita, finis ita (as a man lives, so shall he die).
In the year 2017 many will celebrate the 500th year anniversary of the protestant revolution, some demented Roman Catholics will even call for the canonization of the heretic Martin Luther. Hopefully my little comment on the possible cause of death of Martin Luther (AEA) will take hold on the imaginations of a few historians and these men will look further into the details of his death and so may my post help to hinder and prevent such madness as calling for the canonization of this perverted man. Certainly no need to celebrate a man who had as many wives as David Carradine and may have died in the same manner (AEA). One of David Carradine’s four wives commenting on his abhorrent and deviant sexual behavior had this to say ‘what he was doing was simply fun and relaxing for him. It was a Hollywood thing.’ Gail Jensen Both of these men Martin Luther & David Carradine were immoral degenerates…. ‘It was a Hollywood thing’