Man dies inside Capitol Hill’s Club Z

A man died of an apparent drug overdose inside a room of Capitol Hill sex club Club Z just before midnight Tuesday.

Police were called to a reported drug overdose as Seattle Fire responded to the 24-hour club in the 1100 block of Pike just before midnight. According to radio dispatches, a person at the club was attempting CPR to revive the victim but arriving emergency crews found the victim — a male in his 30s — dead in a third floor room of the building.

The King County Medical Examiner is investigating to determine the cause of death.

CHS last reported on an overdose death at Club Z in the summer of 2012 and has reported on a handful of non-fatal overdoses at the business over the year. The men’s bathhouse lists a no alcohol, no drug policy for entry. It has operated in the neighborhood since the late 1970s. The current management company was formed in 1993 and is run by ownership in Montana. The Marleau family — featured in this excellent 2006 history of the club and its 1906-built building — continues to hold the property.

Subscribe and support CHS Contributors -- $1/$5/$10 per month

12 thoughts on “Man dies inside Capitol Hill’s Club Z

  1. Dying from a drug overdose in the room of a sex club on a Tuesday night. How incredibly sad for this person.

    There seems to be a death there every few years. Perhaps more action – other than posting signage – is needed.

    • It could be worse. Somebody died on the toilet at the Eagle a couple of years ago. I don’t think it was a drug overdose, but I can’t think of any less-dignified way to go.

      These places do search people for drugs but how much can you do? In the last couple of weeks alone, we’ve had people on Capitol Hill dying from drug overdoses in cars, on sidewalks, at Cal Anderson, in apartments. To some extent, you can’t protect people from themselves, and if they want to do it, they will.

      • In the Stranger article that was linked, it said: “When Handsfield was the director of Public Health, Seattle and King County’s STD prevention program, he never urged the closing of Seattle’s bathhouses because numbers have always shown that HIV spreads at the same rate in cities that have bathhouses and in cities that don’t. He concedes that if people can find meth in bathhouses, that makes them more dangerous from a public-health perspective, but he added, “If you cracked down on that–not using ‘crack’ for any particular reason–would meth use change? Or just happen elsewhere? I don’t know.””

        I think it would just happen elsewhere. I don’t think that a lack of awareness or education is the issue here.

      • I agree, Jim. My heart goes out to this person’s family and friends. And the others who die in such senseless ways.

        I wish I had an answer and we had more outreach to support those who go so far down the path of drug abuse. However as a community we can keep eyes on our friends and help keep them safe. I do this with my friends.

  2. I just read the Stranger article you linked to. Are there any plans on the horizon to redevelop? What stopped it in 2010? I’m just curious. I’m sure that if I had been reading CHS daily at the time I’d know! It just seems interesting that with all the places that have been redeveloped over the last year or two in the area that this building wasn’t one of them, especially now with the proximity to the Starbucks roastery.

    Not to sound insensitive to this person’s death. My thoughts are with him.

  3. My understanding is the family entity that owns the property ran the numbers, and the bathhouse gave them a greater return than the redevelopment.

    As a general rule of thumb: money trumps all.

    • The family probably saw how fast property values were going up, and decided waiting for a few more years would be financially smarter in the long run than selling then. They were probably right. I be very surprised if the sex club was making any tons of money compared to what they’ll make when they cash out on that building.

  4. I walk past Club Z almost daily, and the drug issues is not just in the club it is on the street as well. There are always users camped out in the door ways of the businesses on that block or at the bus stop with needles hanging out of their arms while they’re passed out cold. And I’m not talking about 3 or 4AM this is more like 10:30 or 11. The alley to the side of Club Z constantly has people shooting up during the day light hours without a care in the world that someone might see them. It is a sad sad problem, but it seems to be everywhere…what’s even sadder is that I’ve gotten used to seeing it and it doesn’t shock me anymore.