When the 32-year-old Clueless star died suddenly in 2009, the Los Angeles Coroner's office determined that she died of complications related to pneumonia and anemia. Her husband Simon Monjack died several months later of the same causes. The coroner never tested for poisonous substances.
Dissatisfied with the coroner's ruling, Murphy's father Angelo Bertolotti sued the police for samples of Murphy's hair, blood and tissue, so that he could have her cause of death verified independently.
In documents obtained by the Examiner, the independent testing found that:
Ten of the heavy metals evaluated were detected at levels higher that the WHO [The World Health Organization] high levels. Testing the hair strand sample identified as” back of the head” we have detected 10 heavy metals at levels above the WHO high levels recommendation.
If we were to eliminate the possibility of a simultaneous accidental heavy metals exposure to the sample donor then the only logical explanation would be an exposure to these metals [toxins] administered by a third party perpetrator with likely criminal intent.
Metals mentioned in the report are often found in rat poison and insecticides. Murphy and Monjack also exhibited symptoms consistent with poisoning, including headaches, dizziness, abdonimal cramps and pneumonia.
“Vicious rumors, spread by tabloids, unfairly smeared Brittany’s reputation,” Bertolotti said in a statement. “My daughter was neither anorexic nor a drug junkie, as they repeatedly implied. Brittany and Simon were ridiculed by The Hollywood Reporter, when they complained of being under surveillance and in fear for their lives. I will not rest until the truth about these tragic events is told. There will be justice for Brittany.”
When Bertolotti sued the Los Angeles Police Department for access to Murphy's remains in 2012, believing that toxic mold in the actress' home had caused her and Monjack's deaths.
"He's grieving his daughter's death," Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said at the time. "I don't blame him [for filing the suit.]"