WASHINGTON, November 7, 2014 — The Los Angeles coroner confirmed that Robin Williams was struggling with a myriad of issues at the time of his death, including Parkinson’s disease, depression and paranoia. The official death certificate also states that Williams’ body was cremated the day after he died, his ashes scattered in the San Francisco Bay according to the official death certificate
The coroner’s inquest report confirms that Williams died after he hanged himself with his belt in his Marin County home. The report also notes that it appears Williams attempted to cut his wrists with a pocket knife before his suicide. A damp, white washcloth with what is presumed to be blood was found on the bathroom sink counter.
The report contains the first public disclosure that Williams was suffering from paranoia, but the diagnosis may provide more insight to Williams’ thoughts at the time of his death. Williams reportedly had “a recent increase in paranoia,” choosing to sleep in a stepson’s bedroom because of insomnia and anxiety associated with Parkinson’s, according to the coroner’s report.
Wife Susan Schneider says the couple slept in separate rooms because Williams had been having trouble sleeping and would move around a lot in bed and talk loudly in his sleep.
The pathology report confirms that Williams was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in November 2013, several years after he first noticed symptoms such as tremors in his left arm and a slowing of his left-hand movements. He was taking the medicine levodopa to assist with the effects of the Parkinson’s.
TMZ reports that the night before Robin died, he placed several wristwatches in a sock and gave them to someone because he was worried about their safekeeping.
Schneider report’s that the evening before his death, he seemed to be “OK”, that he had called her about picking up magazines at the bookstore at 7:08 pm, a call that lasted approximately 38 seconds. The last times she saw her husband alive was near 10:30 pm on Sunday night, saying he was “excited.”
Schneider also said that Williams had earlier sought his iPad, which, according to TMZ she interpreted as a good sign as her husband hadn’t even watched TV or read anything in approximately six months, presumably due to depression.
Authorities did ask Schneider if Williams was into auto erotic asphyxiation, which claimed the lives of actor David Carradine and singer Michael Hutchence, which Schneider denied. She recalled that Williams worked on a movie several years ago, World’s Greatest Dad, in which the character who played Williams’ son died of autoerotica, and the scene was “very difficult and emotional for Mr. Williams.”
Before Williams’ body was removed from the home, his wife stopped and prayed for her husband — a moment Sheriff’s deputies present joined in on — and which is a testament to how much Robin Williams was loved not only by his family, friends and fans, but the community in which he lived.
Robin Williams enjoyed a long career. He was notable for his manic, improvisational comedy as well as acting performances in which he was able to transport the audience deeply into the characters he played. He won an Oscar for playing a therapist in the 1997 film “Good Will Hunting.”
A number of his other films, including “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “Patch Adams,” were huge box-office hits. Williams was also active in a number of charitable causes including Comic Relief with good friends Billy Crystal and Whoopie Goldberg and frequently took part in USO tours, providing support and a respite from the rigors of military life away from home, to soldiers stationed around the world.
At the time of his death, Susan Schneider released the following statement, worth repeating.
“Robin spent so much of his life helping others. Whether he was entertaining millions on stage, film or television, our troops on the front lines, or comforting a sick child — Robin wanted us to laugh and to feel less afraid.
“Since his passing, all of us who loved Robin have found some solace in the tremendous outpouring of affection and admiration for him from the millions of people whose lives he touched. His greatest legacy, besides his three children, is the joy and happiness he offered to others, particularly to those fighting personal battles.
“Robin’s sobriety was intact and he was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety as well as early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly.
“It is our hope in the wake of Robin’s tragic passing, that others will find the strength to seek the care and support they need to treat whatever battles they are facing so they may feel less afraid.”