Alan Clarke
Coroner David Bowen reports that there was apparently no third-party involved in Alan Clarke’s death. Cancer Research UK

In its tribute to Professor Alan Clarke, director of Cancer Research UK, the European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute of the Cardiff University and a leading cancer scientist, the organisation said that Clarke died while walking his dog shortly after Christmas. However, an inquest heard on Friday that Clarke was found dead by his family, wearing a rubber body suit in a “bizarre sex fetish.”

Healthnutnews reports that the 52-year-old expert indeed took the family dog for a walk in the woodlands, and he never returned home. When his wife Kathryn and neighbours searched for Clarke, they found him hanging from a tree with the rubber suit.

Citing coroner David Bowen, the Web site reports that there was apparently no third-party involved in Clarke’s death. Rather, it was the result of a “misadventure.” He explains, “I consider it far more common that his death was in this attempt of some sort of sexual gratification that went wrong.”

The dog was found safe and unharmed in the woods barking, near Clarke’s body. Some reports state that Clarke wore a blue and black suit when he took the dog for a walk. Others state he was in casual wear, but none reported him wearing the rubber suit.

Cancer Research UK, in a blog entry on Jan 7, says it was shocked and saddened by Clarke’s death. Clarke focused on cancer stem cells which are cells in tumours that usually do not respond to standard treatments. His team were studying the cells to discover new methods to prevent the return of the cancerous cells after treatment and from further spreading around the body.

In the blog, a colleague of Clarke, Professor John Chester, writes, “He has been a scientist of genuinely international reputation and impact in his field. As well as his outstanding scientific work he was central to so much that is good in cancer research in Cardiff and in Wales.”

Chester adds that Clarke was a vital driving force behind the development of the Wales Gene Park and the current genesis of the Wales Cancer Partnership. His natural, easy-going style, calm and good humour appear out of character with the man found hanging from a tree in a failed sexual gratification attempt.