Scott “Bam Bam” Bigelow
Sep 1, 2010 - by Steve Gerweck
“Autopsy report rules Bigelow’s death an accident”
Former professional wrestler Scott “Bam Bam” Bigelow died of an accidental drug overdose according to the Pinellas-Pasco County Medical Examiner’s Office, which released the autopsy results on Monday.
Bigelow, 45, who grew up in Neptune and lived in Monmouth County most of his life, was found dead on Jan. 19 in the home where he had been living in Hudson, Fla., about 40 miles north of Tampa.
“The death was found to be from multidrug toxicity,” said Director of Investigations William Pellan. “There was also a contributing factor of cardiovascular disease.”
According to a toxicology report prepared by the Pinellas County Forensic Laboratory, Bigelow died from a lethal combination of cocaine, pain-killing medications, antibiotics and a tranquilizer.
The 6-foot-4, 300-pound Bigelow had been under the care of a pain management physician due to the effects of a 16-year pro wrestling career, which resulted in numerous injuries and surgeries. But he was apparently taking more than the prescribed dosage.
The report indicated that there should have been 47 more pills of the pain-killer Oxycontin from the original prescription than were found at the scene. Methadone was also found in his system.
He had gone through a rehabilitation program for an addiction to pain killers several years ago.
Bigelow, who was diabetic, had been on antibiotics to treat a staph infection on his right leg. The autopsy also revealed the presence of the tranquilizer Benzodiazepine.
According to the initial incident report filed by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, the first officer on the scene noted remnants of a kind of steel-wool scouring pad also used to fashion a homemade crack pipe, on a living room table.
In addition to the toxicology report, the autopsy revealed a blockage of the right coronary artery, as well as an enlarged heart.
“The case is pretty much closed now,” noted Kevin Doll, director of information for the Pasco County Sheriff’s Department.
Bigelow, who placed at the NJSIAA Wrestling Championships in 1978 and 1979 for Neptune High School, began his professional wrestling career in 1985. He remains one of the only wrestlers to have an impact on all three major wrestling groups in this country, in addition to becoming a top draw in Japan.
Written by: Stephen Edelson, Asbury Park Press