Update II: Cops now say a 17-year-old boy was the one who handcuffed and masked Mazzola, though it was a consensual arrangement, of course. The teen then left and discovered Mazzola dead the next day. Authorities are still investigating whether anyone else came to the house that night.l (Morning Journal)
Update: Yeah, the coroner now is officially saying Mazzola died from an "accident during sexual role play." He had a sex toy in his mouth. Add that to the list of ways we don't want to go. (Cleveland.com)
There was nothing straightforward about the life of Sam Mazzola, and the same holds true for his death.
When the controversial animal enthusiast who kept bears and other beasts on his property was found dead Sunday, we held off on the news because we had an inkling that there would be more to the story. Initially, reports said Mazzola was discovered on his bed by a teen who worked at the house. Now... well, there's more.
The Chronicle Telegram reports that the coroner says Mazzola was found handcuffed to his bed, wearing a mask, with chains attached to his body. We're not the only ones thinking a bad S&M accident, are we? According to the coroner again, Mazzola died of asphyxia; an "object" was found in his mouth. Keys and other items were found in the bedroom.
Cops say they are treating the death as a suicide or accident, but don't currently know if anyone else was with Mazzola when he died. Surveillance tapes from the property are being reviewed.