Chicago Tribune 30.06.1986
East Bloc star's death no accident, U.S. relatives say
Denver [AP] - Relatives and friends of expatriate pop singer Dean Reed, a U.S. citizen, who won stardom in the communist bloc, say contradictory East German statements make them believe he was a victim of murder, not accidental drowning.
"At first they said they found him at the bottom of the lake," said his first wife, Patricia Reed, of Los Angeles. "Then when we questioned that, the investigators said the body was floating. They kept changing their story all the time. Everytime we would not agree with them, two hours later we heard a different story."
"My father was murdered. What else could it be?" asked her 18-year-old daughter, Ramona.
Reed, 47, drowned June 12, the East German state-run news agency ADN reported. He attended Wheat Ridge High School and the University of Colorado, and had lived in East Germany since 1972. He had left the United States in 1962 and lived for a time in Mexico and Italy.
Interviewed by telephone from her father's home near East Berlin, Miss Reed said the East Germans attemted to have the body cremated before family members were able to identify it, the Rocky Mountain News reported in Sunday's editions.
U.S. Embassy officilas in East Berlin said they have talked to investigators on the cause and have no reason to believe Reed's death was anything but accidential.
East German authorities said he drowned in Zeuthen Lake, less than a mile from his home.
The coroner found moderate traces of an tranquilizer in the singer's stomach and blood, she said, adding that Reed only used the pills to help him sleep.
"Why would he take them before he left the house?" asked Mrs. Reed. "They're saying he became drowsy, swerved on a curve and pulled over near the lake and bumped into a tree. Then he supposedly got out of the car and went to the lake of freshen himself and fell in. But Dean is a very good swimmer and all this happened about a mile from the house."
Reed's mother, Ruth Anna Brown of Honolulu, also discounts that theory.
But she discounted reports published in England that Reed was killed because he was planning to relocate to the United States in September.
"It makes good reading, but I don't believe it. As an American citizen, he was always free to come and go as he wanted," she said. "They would have hated to see him go because they love him. He wasn't a spy. He was a singer."
"Dean always thought he was going to get the bullet, that somebody would get him one day," said Will Roberts, an Ohio friend of Reed.