Body Found in Closet at Hollywood's Magic Castle

Courtesy of Magic Castle Inc.

The magic-themed club has identified the man as a magician named Daryl whose death was ruled an accidental hanging following an autopsy.

The body of an illusionist performing at the Magic Castle was found in a closet on the club's premises in Hollywood Friday night.

The Magic Castle released a statement Saturday morning that the death has been ruled as suicide by LAPD.

The statement identified the illusionist as Daryl, who was performing at the Castle this week. The coroner office’s online records also confirmed a body was identified at a place of business with the name Daryl Easton, 61, on Friday.

The coroner who performed the autopsy on Saturday ruled the death an accidental hanging, Lieutenant David Smith, the medical examiner's watch commander for the day, told Reuters. The finding was that Easton's hanging was self-inflicted, but not ruled a suicide. "Our doctor closed it as an accident," Smith told Reuters, but he did not provide additional details.

Daryl was a gold medal-winning illusionist for over 40 years. He spent seven years performing as a headliner at Caesar's Palace. "Daryl has performed literally thousands of shows for audiences as diverse as the Witch Doctors on the South Pacific island of Vanuatu to the movers and shakers of the political world at the Presidential Ball in Washington, D.C.," read a statement from the Magic Castle.

The man was discovered with a bag over his head, fully clothed, by an employee of the Castle, according to reports by TMZ. A Hollywood police spokesman told the New York Daily News that employees found the magician in a closet.

Daryl Easton last posted on Facebook a week ago that he would be spending a week performing at the Magic Castle. He posted, "Thinking of all our SoCal friends... stay safe in this storm! I'll be heading down that way myself tomorrow for a week at The Magic Castle."

In 2015, Magic Castle founder Milt Larsen and his niece Erika Larsen, the current president of the Academy of Magical Arts, which runs the storied membership club, were embroiled in a legal battle over a 5.5 percent royalty from annual food and beverage sales at the venue, and in 2016 a class-action lawsuit was filed that alleged the management of the club had not paid at least one hundred hospitality workers’ wages in full.

The Magic Castle is famous as a haven for magicians from around the world, offering intimate magic shows for members and guests. 

The full statement from the Magic Castle is below.

The Academy of Magic Arts (AMA) and the Magic Castle mourn the passing of celebrated magician and AMA family member, Daryl.

Daryl, who was performing at the Magic Castle this week, was found dead on the club’s premises on the evening of Friday, Feb. 24, and his death has been ruled a suicide by the Los Angeles Police Department. The magic community mourns the loss of one of our most beloved and talented performers and the AMA’s deepest regrets and heart-felt sympathy go out to Daryl’s family.

Daryl was a World Champion, first-place FISM Gold medal winning, close-up magician with over 40 years of experience in both performing and selling the finest magic in the world. Daryl performed as a headline act at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for seven years fine tuning his already encyclopedic knowledge of magic. Daryl has performed literally thousands of shows for audiences as diverse as the Witch Doctors on the South Pacific island of Vanuatu to the movers and shakers of the political world at the Presidential Ball in Washington, D.C.

About the Academy of Magical Arts, Inc. The Academy of Magical Arts (AMA) is a unique non-profit. The AMA’s membership – including the world’s most pre-eminent and celebrated magicians and illusionists – lives by the “Magic First” creed, devoted to the advancement of the art of magic and preserving its history. Its headquarters and private clubhouse, the Magic Castle, has been an internationally revered gathering place for the magic brotherhood since opening its doors in 1963. Located in historic Hollywood in an elegant, Victorian-era mansion, the Castle is an experience within itself—a remarkable meeting spot that captures a lost era and is timeless in its appeal, having hosted generations of magic enthusiasts from around the globe, as well as show biz elite from Cary Grant, Tony Curtis, Johnny Carson, Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Alexander (all performing members) to Katy Perry and Johnny Depp. The Magic Castle was founded by writer, actor, magician and entrepreneur Milt Larsen and his late brother, Bill Larsen, Jr. Visit us online at: www.MagicCastle.com

Feb. 25, 6:50 p.m. Updated with statement from medical examiner

Feb. 25, 8:03 a.m. Updated with statement from Magic Castle

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