Minnesota Daily 25.06.1986
Mystery clouds singer's death
Doubts circle drowning in East Berlin
News reports about the death last week of Dean Reed, an American folk singer who was living in East Berlin, contained rumors and conflicting information.
Dixie Lloyd, who claimed to be Reed's manager, was quoted in the Sunday Times of London as saying she thought Reed was murdered, but friends ans associates of Reed say she is not his manager and that her statements are speculative.
Lloyd said she was convinced he was murdered because he had talked openly about leaving the Soviet Bloc.
Reed, 47, was reported drowned in a lake near his home in East Berlin last week. Am memorial was held Tuesday and an autopsy was scheduled to be released last night.
A spokesman from the East German Embassy in Washington, D.C., said he did not have any information regarding Reed's death and said the matter "did not interest (him)."
Will Roberts, an independent film maker who made a documentary about Reed's life, An American Rebel, went to East Germany from Ohio this weekend to find out the circumstances surrounding Reed's death, according to Ann Donohowe, Roberts' wife.
"I feel very uncomfortable with the circumstances of his death - something is wrong," said Donohowe, who was one of the associate producers of the film.
The Associated Press reported Reed died Tuesday while swimming and was also said to have been in the hospital. But Donohowe said Reed had not been sick and that he visited a friend Thursday evening. She said his wife called the police when Reed missed an important meeting Friday.
The police called her on Sunday and said they had found his car near the house and his body underwater in the lake.
Marv Davidov, a Minneapolis political activist and close friend of Reed's, said there are too many unanswered questions about the death, but he would not speculate whether murder was a possibility. He also said Lloyd was not Reed's manager and her statements that he was killed because he wanted to return to the West from East Germany "were nonsense."
Davidov said that as far as he knew Reed had no intention of leaving East Germany.
Donohowe said Roberts and other members of Reed's family were in East Berlin to investigate his death. Roberts told Donohowe by phone that Reed's body was fully clothed.
In November Reed was in Minneapolis and at the University promoting An American Rebel. He grew up in Wheat Ridge, Colo., and left the United States in 1962. He later moved to East Berlin and lived as a movie and music star with his wife, Renate Blume, a famous Soviet bloc actress.
Reed was a modest success as a singer in the United States, bus his concerts drew millions in the Soviet Union and South America.
Davidov met Reed during the draft resistance protests in 1966 and said Reed was loved throughout the world because of his exuberance and energy. "He gave his whole artistic life on the behalf of struggling people, especially in the third world," Davidov said.
Reed was arrested in six countries and fought for socialist change throughout his life.
According to Davidov, Reed was the first to bring rock 'n' roll to the Soviet Union and he was described by the New York Times as "the Johnny Cash of communism."
Donohowe said Reed was currently working on a film about Wounded Knee and was to start shooting the movie in the Soviet Union this summer.
She said An American Rebel would have to be altered because of his death. "The film is no longer finished."
By Laurie Fink