Was beloved TV legend Andy Griffith secretly poisoned to death by his own home?
That’s the question many folks are now asking after the recent report by Radar. The online magazine uncovered an inspection report — a document showing that the late Griffith’s home, which he shared with first wife Barbara Griffith, held a very deadly secret. That secret? Reports show that the home had a pervasive asbestos problem.
So many Americans tuned into the Andy Griffith Show throughout the 60s and then, later, to watch Matlock, in the mid-80s through the mid-90s. As such, a lot of us feel a personal connection the beloved TV sitcom star, and his death in 2012 was heartbreaking.
But, according to Radar, the events surrounding Andy Griffith’s death do prompt some unanswered questions.
Radar’s Report and What It May Mean
The Radar staff drew a lot of suspicion to the events surrounding Griffith’s death. According to Radar, the asbestos inspection report might reveal the truth behind Griffith’s “mystery illness,” which was subsequently diagnosed as inflammation of the nerves.
When Griffith’s cause of death was noted as a heart attack on July 3rd, 2012, Cynthia Knight, the star’s third wife, rushed Griffith’s body to the grounds of their North Carolina home, where he was buried quickly without an autopsy. In fact, according to reports, the burial was so rushed that Griffith’s own daughter was unable to make it in time from her home in Colorado.
Much attention was drawn to Griffith’s illness. He was forced out of his acting career when he came down with a horrible flu-like condition, a condition that was accompanied by a terrible cough. Later, he was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a rare nerve disorder that is often linked to the flu as its root cause. Interestingly enough, asbestos-triggered disease, including mesothelioma, can also display flu-like symptoms in its initial stages.
Asbestos Lurking in Griffith’s Home Poses a Mysterious Question
According to Radar’s report, licensed asbestos inspector Jerry L. Boyce of Boyce Consulting Services, analyzed 11 total samples in the Griffith’s North Carolina home. Of those 11 samples? Five of them tested positive for asbestos. It was found throughout the house: in the pantry, in the bathroom floor tile, in a closet, and inside the master bedroom.
Asbestos is a fibrous, naturally occurring mineral that was used in many products throughout the 20th century. More importantly, asbestos is a known and recognized carcinogen. Because of asbestos’s connection to lung cancer and mesothelioma (an exclusively asbestos-caused cancer), many of the corporations who used asbestos in their products are now defending themselves in court, and often paying out millions of dollars in lawsuits to people and families injured by their negligence.
The lethal mineral is now under further scrutiny by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In fact, asbestos might be 1 of the first substances that the EPA reinvestigates for a potential ban. Some members of Congress, including Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), are making a strong push for this.
Asbestos’s Deadly Legacy and Mesothelioma Awareness Day
Unfortunately, Griffith isn’t the only beloved American celebrity who asbestos has killed prematurely. It’s also taken famed musician Warren Zevon and Hollywood icon Steve McQueen.
The sad truth is that, by some estimates, asbestos claims up 15,000 American lives each and every year. The diseases that asbestos causes — mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis, to name a few — are incurable and almost always fatal. Each year, there are around 3,200 new cases of mesothelioma diagnosed in the U.S. alone. This horrifying figure can be largely attributed to the fact that industry is still importing asbestos from countries like Russia and Brazil at the rate of 1,000 metric tons per year.
Because of the corporate greed that has kept the asbestos industry alive and thriving to this very day, it is important that the public recognize the plague that it has waged against humanity, and do something about it — whether it be writing a Congressman or woman, demonstrating support of robust chemical-industry reform, or through simply spreading awareness of mesothelioma and other asbestos-triggered diseases.
Next week, on Monday, September 26th, Americans will have the opportunity to show their support on Mesothelioma Awareness Day. The day, sponsored by the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (MARF), aims to spread the knowledge of what mesothelioma is, how it caused, and how we, as a population, can show our support for those whose lives have been cut short by a senseless and preventable disease.