Did Elvis Fake his own Death?

Updated for 2017: 

Oh Elvis where art thou? It's been nearly forty years and we still want to know. It appears, as do most “conspiracies” that the ‘Elvis is alive’ theory has its roots from the beginning of Elvis’s announced death. The ‘Elvis is still alive’ mindset has even become ingrained into the mindset of Pop Culture, where no matter the generation everyone has gotten used to hearing the crazy tales of ‘Elvis was spotted at the KFC’ on Main Street somewhere in Bumfuck, Wyoming. There is no denying that Elvis WAS the Greatest performer that ever lived. His onstage charisma and ability to control the audience is UNMATCHED. Period. Even when drunk or stoned out of his mind he still had the crowd in the palm of his hand. This astonishing stage presence, along with his incredible singing voice makes up for the fact that Elvis never wrote any of his songs. Elvis recorded more than 600 songs throughout his career, but didn’t write a single one of them. 

Despite his incredible talent, he was in fact just another factory issued, media-made celebrity. Besides Frank Sinatra, Elvis was one of the first teenage superstars and thanks to his appeal, helped pushed Rock n’ Roll into the mainstream and forefront of Pop Culture. An art form that prior to the King’s influence was only to be found in Black neighborhoods, concocted in mashed up experiments with the blues. Being a poor boy from the deep south, Elvis was exposed to this music at an early age. While his career was taking off he was forced into the Army and went along with everything asked of him, performing for the troops and helping to keep morale high while being stationed in Germany. It was during this spell in the Army that Elvis’s mother died, an event that mentally tortured  him for the rest of his life. The death also made it easier to emotionally manipulate Elvis, now suspect to Monarch Butterfly Mind Control methods. He was the choice role model for America and came along at exactly the perfect time during the rise of the most perfect tool ever created for mind control – the Television. 

After being discharged from the Army, Elvis was given a huge welcome home bash by Frank Sinatra at the Fountain Bleau in Miami Beach. The special was broadcast on CBS and was a huge success, garnering the highest ratings up to that point in the history of television. Elvis was put through the wringer in Hollywood, and forced to “act” in countless crappy movies the studios turned out for huge profits. The Elvis model would inevitably set the bar for all other future superstars to be modeled after. Lost to the world, and even himself would be the ‘real’ Elvis which is understandable since for more than twenty years Elvis was nothing but a puppet, used as his handlers saw fit. Whether it was on stage, in the movies or the recording studio, the name Elvis Presley meant big dollars. Poor Elvis had grown sick of it all. He couldn’t go out in public without being recognized, this torment forced him to experiment with various wigs and beards. For all intent and purposes Elvis was dying not to be Elvis anymore. He had grown depressed and fat, his fans and the media made fun of his karate-chopping antics and over the top diet. If a man wants to eat a bacon, peanut butter and cheese sandwich covered in maple syrup, who the hell are we to deny him? 

Needless to say the ‘King’ was exhausted at being famous and bored with being a prisoner. He apparently also had an epic drug problem, and loved prescription pills so much he kept an Encyclopedia of all the various pills and what effects they were good for handy at all times. Liveleak reports:

One report, by BioScience Laboratories, found fourteen different drugs in Elvis’ system, ten in significant quantity. Elvis’ personal physician, Dr. George Nichopoulos, was found to have written Elvis 199 prescriptions totalling more than 10,000 doses of sedatives, amphetamines and narcotics in the first 8 months of 1977. Dr. Nichopoulos was charged with prescription fraud (criminally) and was threatened with the loss of his medical license. He defended himself by saying that he was actually trying to get Elvis to stop taking so many drugs. The whole story of Elvis’ drug abuse is amazing. Elvis had a history of disrupted sleep, sleepwalking and nightmares going back to childhood. It intensified after the death of his mother and after he was drafted into the army in 1957. By the mid-1950’s, Elvis had started using amphetamines; they were legal as appetite suppressants until 1965. They kept him going and they kept his weight down. They also, of course, kept him awake. 

After Priscilla left him in 1971, Elvis’s behavior became more erratic. He spent more and more time in a chemical fog. In 1973, he overdosed twice on barbiturates. He began cancelling shows more and more often. At the end of the year he was admitted, semi-comatose, to Baptist Hospital in Memphis. This time, he had been secretly seeing a doctor in Los Angeles. He was suffering from poisoning from cortisone injections (probably for rheumatoid arthritis), and had become addicted to the very potent opiate Demerol. 

Dr. Nick put him on methadone, and tried to stop the flow of other mediations from other doctors. “Elvis’s problem,” Dr. Nichopoulos has said, “was that he didn’t see the wrong in it. He felt that by getting it from a doctor, he wasn’t the common everyday junkie getting something off the street. He was a person who thought that as far as medications and drugs went, there was something for everything.” One time when he was in the hospital, Dr. Nick and Elvis’s road manager, Joe Esposito, raided Elvis’s bedroom at Graceland. They found three giant pharmacy-sized jars, each containing 1,000 high-dose Seconal (a barbiturate), Dexedrine (an amphetamine) and Placidyl (a tranquilizer). There were even vials of pills hidden in the seams of the curtains. 

Dr. Nichopoulos testified that if he refused to give Elvis what he wanted, Elvis would just find another doctor. “He’d get mad at me, and he’d get on his plane and fly to Vegas or Palm Springs or California and stay for a few days and get what he wanted. And I’d have to take it away from him when he got back home.” After a series of embarrassing on-stage disasters and show cancellations when other doctors tried their methods on Elvis, Dr. Nick became the regular tour physician. Licensed only to prescribe drugs in Tennessee, he would stock up on “supplies” before leaving the state. After the first couple of times out, he got to know what he would need in advance. He began each tour with three locked suitcases filled with prescription drugs. Dr. Nick tried to control the drugs for Elvis.

On tour, Elvis would come to him at regular intervals: on waking; before the show; after the show; and at bedtime. Each time, he would be allowed specific uppers and downers in the lowest doses Dr. Nick thought he could get away with. At home, without the excuse that he needed amphetamines to perform, Elvis was given just the manila envelopes of sleeping tablets — “bedtime packet number one” and “bedtime packet number two” — to be handed out separately during the night. During the 10 years he treated him, Dr. Nick never knew Presley to sleep for longer than three hours at a stretch without waking up, looking for more pills. Elvis Presley died on August 16, 1977. At the time of his death, he was suffering
from glaucoma, high blood pressure, liver damage and an enlarged colon. All of these ailments were aggravated, if not caused, by drug abuse. “He didn’t have any major heart problems. Even with his obesity and everything – that’s what really surprised me. I was dumbfounded that he died.” 

The Medical Board heard evidence of astounding volumes of prescriptions written by Dr Nick. Between 1975 and 1977, he had prescribed 19,000 doses of drugs. In the first eight months of 1977 alone, he had written 199 prescriptions totalling more than 10,000 doses of sedatives, amphetamines and narcotics: all in Elvis’s name. (That’s 40 doses a day!) The board found him guilty of over-prescription, but decided that his actions were not unethical. In 1994, the inquiry into the death of Elvis was re-opened. “There is nothing,” said coroner Dr Joseph Davis, “in any of the data that supports a death from drugs. In fact, everything points to a sudden, violent heart attack.” So in one hand we have proof that Elvis had a Godzilla like drug habit, but in the other it appears that drugs didn’t play a hand in his death and that a sudden, conveniently timed heart attack did him in. Even one of his Doctors claimed that Elvis didn’t have a drug problem! 

What does the autopsy have to say about all of this? We will examine those shady documents a little later, but first let’s get back to that famous last image that the collective consciousness has of Elvis. The ‘King’ had been suffering from constipation, an uncomfortable side-effect from painkillers, when he went to take a dump on his gold-plated reclining toilet and apparently had a heart attack while trying to pry one loose. Elvis slumped off the toilet and died on the floor still plugged up, the last book he was reading about the ‘Shroud of Turin’ lay beside him. So begins the legend of Elvis Presley’s death, providing one of the greatest conspiratorial rabbit holes one can go down. Elvis has always been a mysterious dude and his overall tale is indeed strange. He had a twin brother that died stillborn. Elvis believed that his brother’s death allowed him to gain physic powers and that he was in communication with his dead brother up until his teenage years. Elvis also had an overactive imagination, couldn’t sleep very well and even had frequents bouts of sleepwalking. By the time Elvis supposedly died he couldn’t sleep for a consecutive of more than four hours without the use of pills. Now that Elvis finally kicked the bucket at Graceland, on August 16, 1977 he could finally get some rest, no more paparazzi, no more media demands, no more dieting or having to look hot for the cameras. Yes, Elvis had finally left the building. Or did he?… 

Faking your own death would create an end to the never-ending list of public demands that celebrities have no choice but to deal with. It would make sense that at 42 Elvis would be more than fed up with being the most famous man in the world. Keep in mind, faking your own death isn’t actually illegal. It only becomes illegal if you cash in a life insurance claim when you’re not dead. 

Via Patrick Lacy: One of the biggest go-to pieces of evidence for those who believe Elvis is alive is the ‘King’s’ Llyod’s of London insurance policy. Which they claim was purchased but never cashed/paid out. Thus, they reason, the insurance policy supports the hoaxed death theory since Elvis and the estate would be guilty of insurance fraud if the policy had been paid out. First, this policy was never purchased. Second, this theory ignores the fact that Elvis Presley and his family had multiple insurance policies that would have been affected upon Elvis’s death. Or, are we to believe that one the biggest earners in the entertainment industry had just one insurance policy? Really? Just one? Finally, this piece of evidence, like so many other pieces of evidence offered up by the aliver’s, is researched only so far as it supports their death hoax theory. Once they decide a fact supports their theory, they stop researching. In this case, someone (who?) reports that a life insurance policy is still active, and well, that’s good enough for them. No research into whether the policy was purchased. No research into who reported that a life insurance policy was purchased. No research into how this information was obtained (since insurers closely protect customers’ medical and insurance information). No research into other insurance policies, and whether they were cashed or are still active. Nothing. To make a long story short, the estate deposited a lump sum death benefit check from the United States Treasury on February 21, 1978. This eliminates the “Lloyds of London” theory the aliver’s use to support a death hoax, since this check represents a financial benefit for the estate as a direct result of the death. 

Although the insurance claim has been debunked, there’s still a lot more surprising things to look at, most of which can’t easily be explained. Let’s continue to explore some of the other theories that might support the fact that Elvis faked his own death. First is the theory that his Autopsy report is only two pages long. This seems weird when the average report is around fifty pages. This is because what people mistake as the Autopsy report is actually the Medical examiner’s report. Postmortem #A77-160 was put together by the Baptist Memorial Hospital pathologists who performed the autopsy and is the sole property of the Presley family. It is not “under seal,” nor is it, as a private medical record, subject to judicial seal. Because the autopsy report is a private medical record, it will not be released at any time. 

Apparently DNA from Elvis’s 1975 liver biopsy doesn’t match the DNA found in his autopsy report, according to the claims made by Bill Beeny…Beeny’s incredible story involves him being invited to the home of a prominent Memphis doctor who had in his possession the aforementioned items. The doctor had heard one of Beeny’s many media interviews on Rock 102 radio station in Memphis about the ‘Is Elvis Alive?’ theme and contacted Beeny’s son, Andrew, following the interview. Andrew is apparently a prominent lawyer in St. Louis. The Memphis doctor had obtained the autopsy report and tissue samples from Dr Harold Sexton, one of the pathologists involved in the autopsy of Elvis. Apparently, Dr Sexton was fearful of all the media and public suspicions about a cover-up and wild rumours following Elvis’ “alleged’ death, that he made a copy of the report and other documents relating to Elvis’ “alleged” death to protect himself. 

Beeny states (p.13): “The cries of “cover-up” dominated headlines.” Not only did the mystery doctor have the full autopsy report, but he also had samples of Elvis’ DNA from his two liver biopsies and autopsy!!! 

Beeny (p.14) says the doctor had “… actual body tissue of Elvis”. Beeny also states that the Presley family requested an autopsy as if the authorities had initiated it it would have had to be made public. This is a true statement in that family initiated autopsies cannot be made public without the consent of the family. In the absence of being able to examine and have retested the tissue samples obtained by Dr Beeny, it is not possible to directly substantiate the findings in his book. Despite this, EIN has examined its contents and found a fatal flaw in its case. Realistically, what do we make of Bill Beeny’s story? There are a number of fundamental questions at the heart of his case, which need to be asked and satisfactorily answered: 

Q: Did the Presley family request the autopsy? 

EIN’s (Elvis information Network) response: This claim is true; Vernon Presley signed an autopsy permission form. However, it was not signed immediately after Elvis’ death as Beeny claims (p.13), rather it was signed after Dr Nick had spoken to Verno about it. In the context of his conspiracy driven narrative, Beeny’s use (p.13) of the words: “immediately after Elvis’ so-called death the family ordered an autopsy performed on the body, on the advice of their lawyers…” This implies something more sinister, and ignores other reports that it was in fact Dr Nick who persduaded Vernon Presley to sign the autopsy permission form. 

Q: How valid is Beeny’s claim that if the autopsy is initiated by the medical authorities the report must be made public and in reverse it can be sealed for 50 years if sought by the deceased’s family?
EIN’s Response: Following an internet and library search EIN was unable to fully establish the rules governing release and protection of autopsy reports in Shelby County. However, we did find evidence supporting Beeny’s claim (Guralnick, p.649). Our research also found that in a number of cases involving an autopsy, the state had refused to provide autopsy details including in the case Ronald Patrick Swiney v. State (1993-1999: death of Betty Snow). What this indicates is that the state does not always move to make autopsy results public. Beeny’s release of autopsy claim
is not materially affected by this finding. 

Q: Would a copy of the autopsy report have helped or protected Dr Sexton, as is claimed? 

EIN’s response: This is a difficult question to answer. Without knowing exactly what Dr Sexton was fearful of, if he in fact actually was, it is hard to judge Beeny’s claim. On the surface there doesn’t appear to be a tangible argument to support the claim, particularly considering any conspiracy idea was several years away from media prominence. 

Q: Bill Beeny has read the full autopsy report? 

EIN’s response: We only have his word for it. 

Q: The tested tissue samples are all from from the body of Elvis Aaron Presley? 

EIN’s response: Beeny’s claim that all three samples are from Elvis is insufficient. Given the lack of ‘chain of custody’, one or more of the samples may not have been from Elvis’ body. So is Bill Beeny’s book a clever scam, or does it actually contain evidence supporting the idea that Elvis did not die at Graceland on August 16, 1977? The bottom line: In the absence of physically being able to substantiate the validity of the tissue samples it is not possible to discredit the Lab Corp test results. However, there are flaws in the Beeny argument as outlined above, and crucially, his DNA evidence will not stand up in a court of law as a secure “chain of custody” has been broken. The reality is that Dr Beeny’s case totally unravels on this one, crucial point! It is its fatal flaw!

Elvis’s official death certificate won’t be released until 2027 and there are no existing photographs of Elvis’s body during the autopsy. A report already muddied by bizarre claims that Elvis was only 170 pounds when he died and had he had a huge scar running over his chest. Elvis was much heavier than 170 pounds and didn’t have any scars over his chest. There are even some people that believe Elvis wrote his own autopsy report as funny joke to those in on the epic hoax. Moving on to the curious reports that Elvis was secretly working with the Feds and that they had a hand in putting him in the witness protection program, thus making it easier for him to disappear. It’s no secret Elvis loved the law, he was an honoree sheriff in many towns and even met with then President Nixon to discuss how he could be used to spy on various groups, including the Black Panthers in an effort to help the government. Maybe Elvis was more brainwashed than we could have ever imagined? After all he was in the military and would have been a perfect choice to try out future MK-ULTRA techniques on.

According to lore Elvis had been tapped by the F.B.I. to help infiltrate the mafia and by August, 1977 the F.B.I. figured to have enough evidence to bring the mob to justice. On August 15th Elvis spoke with a Grand Jury in a downtown Memphis courthouse, but the conversation was never recorded nor were any indictments ordered. It would be interesting to know what was actually said during this meeting considering that Elvis would be dead less than twenty-four hours later. Maybe it was a high-level Black Ops meeting discussing the King’s “death”? Even if Elvis’s life wasn’t in danger, maybe he was sick of being famous to the point of wanting to fake his own death as a way out of the public eye? He definitely had the money and connections to pull it off. 

It’s interesting to note that a few of his prized possessions, including a family Bible, several pharmaceutical books, Cheiro’s Book of Numbers, the Autobiography of a Yogi, extensive amounts of jewelry, pictures of his mother and his private plane along with over a million dollars from a private checking account all disappeared and were never recovered after his death. His behavior before dying was also odd: In the weeks preceding his alleged death, Elvis’s actions were not those of a man who was about to embark on an extensive US tour. He ordered no new suits despite having gained 50 pounds since his last tour, and he bid “adios” at his last show in Hawaii. He had never done this before. Adios, like the French adieu, has the significance of being a final good-bye as opposed to an “I’ll be seeing you on my next tour” kind of good-bye. 

Others were intrigued by the King’s decision to sign a lucrative TV deal with NBC that would cover the tour. It was unprecedented for a network to pay such a large amount up front, in cash, for such a deal. Many wonder why Elvis even agreed to the deal since his vanity discouraged him from making public appearances due to his obesity. RCA showed uncanny (and unbelievable) foresight by mass producing millions of Elvis’s current and previous recordings and merchandise. This is standard practice for an act that is about to go on tour, but the numbers in this case were beyond reasonable expectations. The announcement of Elvis’s death caused record sales to skyrocket. Elvis did other unusual things that created suspicion. First, he fired several employees that he had relied upon for a long time. Also, two days before his alleged death, Elvis telephoned a friend of his named Miss Foster. He told her that he wasn’t planning on going on the upcoming tour. She asked him if he had canceled it, and he said that he had not. When she asked if he was ill, he said that he was fine, and that she should not ask any more questions or tell anyone anything, and that she should not believe anything she read. He told her that his troubles would all soon be over, and that he would call her in a few weeks. 

The author of ‘Elvis Where Are You?’ writes that Miss Foster took a polygraph test regarding this story, and that she was not lying. The day after Elvis’s alleged death, a woman named Lucy De Barbon, a former lover of Elvis, received a single rose in the mail. The card indicated that the flower was from “El Lancelot.” This had been her pet name for Elvis, and it was a name that no one else knew. Flowers can’t be sent from beyond the grave. This was Elvis’s way of letting her know that he was not dead, even though he didn’t want to be found. Elvis had a fascination with numerology – an interest he fed by reading Chiro’s Book of Numbers. 

The theory that the King orchestrated his death is further supported when considering the significance of the date of his alleged death. The date in question is August 16, 1977. By adding the numbers in the date, 8, 16, and 1977, you get 2001. This is the title of Elvis’ favorite movie in which the hero plans his immortality in the bathroom. Elvis spent a considerable amount of time doing the same: planning his afterlife on the john. Elvis spent so much time in the bathroom that he had his toilet converted into a reclining comfy chair. Coincidentally, the bathroom is also where Elvis’s body was reportedly found. Given Elvis’s religious affiliation (Christianity), he had a fascination with things that come in threes i.e. father, son, and holy ghost. The sum of the digits from his favorite film (2+0+0+1) is three. Let’s consider the triad of the repetition of the number 24. 2001 (favorite film) less 1977 (year of death) is 24. The two numbers from the day of death (8/16) when added up equal 24. The sum of the digits in the year of death (1+9+7+7) also equals 24. That is 3 occurrences of the number 24 which is divisible by 3, and when divided by three the result, 8 has a perfect cubed root (2x2x2=8). 

Elvis loved numerology, and when you consider the numeric significance of the date of his alleged death, it is clear that if indeed he did plan to fake his death, he could not have chosen a better date. Elvis was a prisoner of his own fame. He had many other reasons to leave his life behind. Because of his incredible popularity, he was the recipient of several death threats, and he was concerned about the safety of his wife and daughter. Sometimes when he wanted to leave Graceland, he would send out look-alikes to distract would be followers. Elvis was also known to ride in the trunk of someone else’s car to avoid detection. Once, when he fell ill in Las Vegas, he couldn’t get proper medical attention because the hospital was overwhelmed by fans. At the time of his alleged death, Elvis was nearing the end of his career. He was 42, his hair was graying, he was grossly overweight, and his voice was starting to weaken. He was going down hill, and he was too proud to go out with a whimper. He would never want his fans to see him in such an unhealthy condition. 

Elvis had shown a fascination with death on several occasions. In the days leading up to his alleged death he was reported to have visited funeral homes at odd hours of the night with close friends. Was he doing research? Elvis once faked his death by setting up an elaborate shooting in which a would be killer fired blanks at Elvis who had a blood pack which he discharged. It was Elvis’s intention to see how the people closest to him would react to his death. Perhaps what he learned convinced him to do it for real. Finally, one of Elvis’ favorite books is the spiritual Autobiography of Yogi. One of the central themes of this book is the relinquishing of one’s wealth and earthly possessions to achieve spiritual oneness. Elvis could do this, as well as address his other concerns of sanity and safety by faking his death and living in exile. Elvis had the means to fake his own death. He is accused of destroying himself with drugs. In reality, Elvis was a pharmaceutical expert. He took a lot of drugs, but he knew what he was doing and was extremely careful. He knew what drugs he could self-administer to create a deathlike state. Further, Elvis’s experience with the martial arts was such that he could slow his heart rate and breathing in order to feign death. Elvis’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, had once created a new identity for himself. He came to this county as an illegal immigrant from Holland, but through various connections managed to create an elaborate identity complete with a passport, birth certificate, drivers license, and social security number. He would have known how to give Elvis a second life. 

In addition to Elvis’s ties to the government through his testimony against the Fraternity, Elvis was known to interact with the President of the United States. He was reported in government documents to use the name John Burrows as an alias when he wanted to travel. Some people believe that Elvis worked for the government as a drug agent. He did, after all have extensive contact with many people in the music business who, as we know, tend to dabble in illegal substances. (Remember Payola?…) And, of course, we must allow that Elvis’s connections to the government gave him access to the Witness Relocation Program. If they can turn the Simpsons into the Thompsons, they can relocate anybody. Many believe that Elvis couldn’t have given up performing cold turkey. I imagine that after a while the desire to perform grew once he started his life in exile. The story of Orion supports the theory that Elvis attempted an incognito comeback. Shortly after Elvis’s death, a masked singer by the name of Orion emerged on the scene. He was big like Elvis, and he sang just like Elvis. Because of the mask, no one could tell his true identity. One fan described seeing Orion from near the stage. She claims that Orion left the stage between songs, and when he appeared moments later the sweat was gone from his armpits and back and she thought that his costume looked slightly different. After the song he left the stage, and the original Orion returned. Another fan described how she rushed into a tour bus at an Orion show only to see two Orions in the back of the bus. She claimed that one ducked into the bathroom before she could get a good look at him, but he appeared to look like Elvis Presley. 

What’s even more remarkable is the fictional story called Orion that was written by Gail Brewer-Georgio about a legendary performer who had several identities and wanted to fake his death. The story was written and submitted to the William Morris Agency for publication consideration after Elvis’s death and before the real Orion ever performed. As it turns out, there are many ways in which the real Orion mimicked the events as described in the book. For example, the performers’ managers had the same name. Also, without knowing it, Brewer-Georgio wrote of events in Orion that had actually taken place in Elvis Presley’s life. It was a case of life imitating art. 

In 1981, 20/20 did an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the alleged death of Elvis Presley. The investigative report was very convincing Oddly enough, within two weeks of the report, the singer, Orion, disappeared and was never heard from again. The book, Orion disappeared from shelves across the country. It had been recalled by the publisher which was associated with the William Morris Agency. Incidentally, the William Morris Agency is the same agency that represented Elvis Presley. Of course Orion wasn't Elvis Presley, he was just another country boy that happened to sound eerily like the king. Orion's tragic end came from an armed robbery gone wrong. Murdered for nothing while running a pawn shop deep in the heart of the south. A chilling documentary about his life can currently be seen on Netflix. 

Perhaps the most perplexing part of the Elvis faked his own death theory, and the one that makes the whole case baffling is the King’s public funeral. First off, why so soon? The funeral was only one day after Elvis’s death and the Coffin weighed an amazing 900 pounds! How was the Presley family able to find a nine hundred pound coffin so fast and why the hell would they need one? 

The spectacle of watching a mass of Elvis pall bearers struggling to carry the massive coffin is enough to make you laugh or at least scratch your head in wonder. People who attended the funeral claim that areas around the coffin seemed colder as if there was an air conditioner attached. Keeping the temperature low would be necessary if the body in the coffin was a wax replica of Elvis, a theory which might be true. For example, the only known post death pic of Elvis is the coffin pic, this photo clearly doesn’t look like the fat Elvis that was living during that time. The nose is different… the hands were not rough enough. Elvis was a brick busting 6th degree black belt. Even one of the King’s famous sideburns appeared to be loose and falling off. Beads of sweat, or drops from the glue or wax were noticed by onlookers, a hairdresser later reported gluing the sideburn back on the body. The funeral wasn’t even attended by Elvis’s father or closest friends. They had a private gathering a week later…Cameras weren’t allowed at the funeral either, the famous photo above was ran on the cover of the National Enquirer on September 6, 1977, just weeks after Elvis passed away. 

Who took the photo was the object of speculation for years. It was later confirmed by a tell-all book by Enquirer editor Iain Calder that Elvis’ cousin Billy Mann was paid $18,000 to sneak a photo of Elvis in his coffin. Elvis’ cousin Billy Smith also corroborated this claim. (Some sources erroneously claim the cousin was “Bobby Mann” which is inaccurate. Some sources claim it was $10,000, some say $30,000, and others say $75,000.) This cousin should not be confused with Billy Smith, who was a first cousin and close confidant of Elvis. There are also strange reports claiming a black helicopter was seen at the Graceland estate the day Elvis died. Did Elvis get on that helicopter? Monte Nicholson, a veteran with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Dept. writes in his novel The Presley Arrangement about a government helicopter hovering over Graceland, and finally landing in the back. Nicholson was informed there were pictures of Elvis getting on the helicopter during the early afternoon of August 16. 

Others report seeing a helicopter – including Larry Geller who says he saw from his window at Howard Johnson’s helicopters hovering over Graceland. Elvis was wearing a jogging suit with the DEA logo during the early morning hours of August 16, 1977. Elvis was pronounced dead at 2:56 PM. Between that time and when the body was viewed the next day, there seemed to be enough time to do all of the following…Autopsy and embalming were completed, – the body was back at Memphis Funeral Home around 8:00 PM, – sixteen white limousines were ordered, – a white Cadillac hearse was readied, – a specially designed casket was ordered and flown in, – a casket blanket of 500 red roses was made, – the security and police were ordered, – the tour was canceled, – personal calls were made by Vernon to fan club presidents asking that they not attend, – clothing was chosen, – songs were chosen, – ministers contacted, – the procession planned, and – the body was put on private display by 11:30 the next morning...

To the shocked world Elvis was dead, but apparently just four months after his death he was caught in an irrefutable photograph sitting in his favorite chair overlooking the throngs of admirers visiting his grave. 

He even appeared at Graceland this past Christmas looking fatter and grayer than ever...

The Elvis lives continued to grow throughout the ensuing decades with reports of him appearing all over the world. He even had time to act as an extra in the popular movies Home Alone and Finding Graceland. Finding Graceland was produced by his daughter Lisa Marie, who Freudian slipped on Larry King that “Elvis loves Football” D'oh! 

The problem when examining the death of Elvis, is that he was loved by so many people and because of that they will look for and find anomalies that make them believe Elvis is indeed alive There are plenty of weird things that can be made for this claim, one is the existence of a dude called Jesse, who at seventy years old looks like an aged Elvis. He even has similar bone and facial structures in the only picture that we have of him, released in a book from 2004. A Tennessee doctor alleged he had been treating Jesse (Elvis) for years and the picture was snapped when Lisa Marie took her son to see his grandfather Elvis. Unfortunately there is no other footage or images to go on and the whole story is basically second hand: The book, written by a board-certified psychiatrist named Dr. Donald Hinton and his mysterious co-author Jesse, claims that Jesse was actually Elvis, having faked his death with the help of his manger, Colonel Tom Parker. Jesse, by the way, was the name of Elvis’ identical twin brother who was stillborn. According to Dr. Hinton, Jesse had to get away from the life of Elvis for several reasons, primarily because of his poor health and due to threats against him and his family. Col. Parker agreed to help because he could earn lots of money from doing so, Dr. Hinton said. Indeed, Elvis has been at or near the top of Forbes’ list of the highest earning dead celebrities for years. 

Dr. Hinton said he treated Jesse for nearly six years for pain management due to his arthritic condition and other medical problems. He claimed that Jesse opened up to him and told him of his true identity. His book included many handwritten letters by Jesse and said it was Jesse’s way of re-introducing himself to the world. There were a few problems with Dr. Hinton’s story. One was that he promised in the book that Elvis/Jesse would reveal himself to the world in 2002. Obviously, that never happened. Another was that the book led to an investigation of Dr. Hinton for mail fraud, by the Missouri Attorney General’s office, as well as by the DEA and Missouri Healing Arts Board for illegally prescribing medications to Jesse. Dr. Hinton actually lost his ability to prescribe medicine and was placed on 5 months probation by the medical board. The Dr. Hinton investigation did lead to an interesting place…When Dr. Hinton came under attack, his patient, Jesse, wrote a letter to the Attorney General supporting Dr. Hinton and refuting the mail fraud claims. He included the following in his letter: ‘Sir, I don’t know if you believe in my continued existence or not, but if I continue to expose myself like I did in the book, I will be eliminated very easily. Pure and simple as that.’ The Attorney General’s office had the letter analyzed by a special type of handwriting expert, Shirley Mason, who was a certified graphologist. Graphology is commonly used by the FBI and throughout Europe, but is not universally accepted. Mason worked for the Kansas City Bureau of Investigations for many years, successfully using graphology as evidence in criminal court cases. Shirley Mason reported that she compared the Jesse letter to past letters written by Elvis. So what did she have to say about it? Not only did they match, Mason wrote, but she would testify in court, under oath, that Elvis “has to be ALIVE.” She felt the handwriting was “UNMISTAKABLE”. 

The attorney general’s office cleared Dr. Hinton of all charges. A television reporter in Cleveland, Suzanne Stratford, began investigating. She interviewed Dr. Hinton on camera and analyzed the evidence, including the Mason report, a picture taken 6 months after the funeral of what looked like Elvis peering through a screen door (and certified by Kodak). The fact Elvis’ tombstone lists his middle name as “Aaron” when official records show his true middle name to be “Aron”. [See the pictures below on this point]. Stratford also reported that Dr. Hinton had passed a lie detector test they had administered. There’s more… Stratford reported she was contacted by Jesse. She asked for, and received, a sample of Jesse’s DNA, in 2002, so it could be tested. FOX 8 News did in fact test the DNA sample against known “control” samples of Elvis, including a1975 liver biopsy sample and tissue from his autopsy. The problem was that they didn’t match. Again, another interesting turn. Not only did the “Jesse” sample not match the other two samples, but they didn’t match each other. In other words, Elvis’ autopsy tissue did not match the liver tissue from 1975. So where did the autopsy sample come from? Does this mean that Elvis’ autopsy was faked? Maybe…But, of course, there’s only one person alive (other than Jesse, of course) who can definitively prove or disprove that Jesse is Elvis … Elvis’ daughter. 

FOX 8 News contacted Lisa Marie Presley’s representatives and asked for a sample of her DNA to find out the truth. She declined. The strange story of whether Jesse was actually Elvis falls apart rather quickly: In his talk “Is the King Dead?” Anthony Tambasco of the Mansfield Police Laboratory addressed a recent claim that Elvis Presley is still alive.The story starts with a doctor’s claim that he is treating Elvis Presley, who assumed the identity of his twin brother Jesse Presley after faking his death. To determine whether Elvis Presley is still alive and using his brother’s name, investigators contacted “Jesse” and performed a number of tests. Handwriting samples provided by “Jesse” were compared to letters written by Elvis, but these comparisons yielded inconclusive results. Fingerprint cards from Elvis Presley and “Jesse” did not match. DNA testing was also performed. However, finding a suitable reference sample to generate Elvis Presley’s DNA profile proved challenging. Materials submitted as reference samples included a scarf, which yielded degraded DNA and thus no suitable profile, a blood-stained pair of jeans, which yielded a mixture of male and female DNA, and tissue samples taken during two liver biopsies and Elvis’s autopsy, which yielded DNA profiles that did not match each other. None of these profiles matched that of “Jesse”to complicate matters even more, a woman named Eliza then surfaces, claiming to be Elvis’s half sister. She underwent DNA testing, and the results were consistent with her being a half sister to “Jesse” and related to a paternal first cousin, but not a maternal first cousin, of Elvis. Thus, her DNA results could not disprove the hypotheses that she is Elvis’s half-sister and “Jesse” is really Elvis living under a different name. However, as Tambasco phrased it in an interview with the media, “many unrelated people can exhibit similar DNA markers”. The evidence could all be circumstantial, and to date, there is still no conclusive proof that Elvis is still alive.

It’s hard to say whether Elvis faked his own death or not. There’s no concrete evidence to support the theory, then again there isn’t anything factual pertaining to his death either. Simply put, Elvis disappeared from public view in late 1977 and was replaced by an onslaught of marketing merchandise and well-timed posthumous album releases. The Elvis is alive theory seems to be a case of what you want to believe. For the most part, the general public believes that Elvis left the building in the late seventies, but a small minority, fueled by a culture of conspiracy stand firm that the ‘King of Rock n’ Roll’ is enjoying a triple cheeseburger dripping with bacon somewhere over the wild blue yonder.

On his last concert tour, an overweight Elvis famously warned his fans that his days of touring were numbered by saying, “I may not look good tonight, but I’ll look good in my coffin.” On a different occasion, also on the final tour he said, “I know I look fat now and I’ll look terrible for my TV special coming up. But I’ll tell you this: I’ll look good in my casket.” 

Yes, Elvis your wax body double sure did look good in that casket. Lol. Long live the King!

Extra: I was interviewed by Gary James at Classicbands.com about my Elvis is Alive book. Gary has been researching the Elvis is Alive conspiracy for over for thirty years! He brings up a lot of new information. Read the transcript of our conversation below...

Q - I've talked to people on both sides of this issue. I've talked to Gail Brewer Giorgio. I've talked to Phil Aitcheson. I've talked to Larry Geller. I've talked to Sonny West. I've talked to Jerry Schilling. I've talked to Billy Stanley. I've talked to Linda Hood Sigmon. 
A - Oh, man. She hates me. (laughs) On, my God, you should see the endless amount of e-mails she sent. (laughs) 
Q - Did you ever talk to her? 
A - Yeah. I was nice with her. She doesn't like it that I said something about one of the researchers in the book. I can't remember (who). But she doesn't like me. 
Q - I was the first person to interview her in the world. I found her to be a very nice lady. 
A - I don't really have a problem with her, it's just that you can't be taken serious when all you have is one picture. 
Q - She has a lot more than that, that she offers on her website. She's got handwriting documents that have been authenticated by handwriting experts as being written by Elvis. She's received letters from Elvis, who she refers to as Jesse. 
A - Right. (laughs) You're gonna tell me you're the only person in the world that this guy is communicating with? I mean, c'mon. 
Q - Page 152 of your book, "Yes, Elvis your wax double sure did look good in that casket." Let's talk about the was dummy theory. What I'm about to read you is from an Ann Landers column back on October 23rd, 1988. A reader from Stanford, Connecticut writes: "I attended his (Elvis') funeral and lingered at the casket for quite awhile before the guards made me move on. Elvis was not in that casket. It was a wax dummy. I stood very close and had the opportunity to look at him for a long time. I would bet my life on it." I did an interview with Elvis tribute artist Sammy Stone Atchison. He told me, "David Lloyd, who is the son of Harold Lloyd, Elvis' first cousin, told him, Sammy, "When you see the white hearse tomorrow, Elvis won't be in there. It's a wax dummy." A - What? 
Q - I interviewed Phil Aitcheson, who spent fifteen years and $15,000 of his own money investigating the whole Is Elvis Alive? issue. He came to the conclusion that Elvis did fake his death and is very much alive. He interviewed a sheriff who was at the closing of the Underground Museum in Atlanta, Georgia. This sheriff told him Vernon Presley, Elvis' father, and a couple of other guys bought a wax dummy of Elvis. As he was leaving Vernon remarked to a guy from the museum, "Wait 'til you see what we're going to do with this." And then we have singer Tanya Tucker, who was at the viewing of Elvis' body at Graceland, say on national TV that it wasn't Elvis in coffin. If everything I just told you was included in your book, it would be more convincing to people that something was going on, wouldn't you think? 
A - Yeah. I remember hearing about Tanya Tucker. I might have learned that afterwards. 
Q - Then, Phil Aitcheson of The Presley Commission told me about the paramedics who arrived at Graceland on August 16th, 1977. Ulysses Jones, one of the paramedics said it wasn't Elvis on the floor. He knew Elvis all his life and it didn't look like him. Jones and his partner, Charlie Crosby, went back to their firehouse and told the Captain, their supervisor, it wasn't Elvis. They knew were knocking and shaking. They were told not to repeat what they saw. Charlie Crosby didn't take the advice. He was murdered. He was pushed out of an airplane. That is something you rarely hear about, but I'm including it in this interview.
Q - Phil Aitcheson also said, "Even if it was Elvis on the floor, it didn't mean he was dead. He was capable of putting himself into a deep trance where he could lower his heart rate and blood pressure." 
A - I heard that one because I had like a Secret Service, C.I.A. guy harass me for awhile, trying to tell me Elvis was a martial arts expert and he could slow his heart rate down. I kind of heard that one before a little bit from that guy. I think at the time of his death he was so overweight and out of shape, it wouldn't have mattered. Q - Again referring to Phil Aitcheson, "We have two aides of Elvis stating that another cadaver was placed in the bathroom prior to Ginger Alden waking up and moving toward the bathroom to get ready." Have you heard about another body being placed in the bathroom that day? 
A - Not at all. 
Q - On page 77 of your book you ask, "How was the Presley family able to find a 900 pound coffin so fast?" I may have an answer for you. Once again let me quote from the Ann Landers column of October 23rd, 1988, a reader from Henderson, Kentucky wrote in and said, "My uncle works in a place that manufactures coffins. The elaborate coffin that Elvis was buried in can be obtained only by special order because it takes a long time to construct. Elvis' coffin was ordered several weeks in advance, which proves that his death was planned long before the public was told that he died." Have you heard that before? 
A - I didn't hear that specifically, but it would make sense that a casket that intricate couldn't be done in twenty-four hours. 
Q - Did you talk to Detective Monte Wayne Nicholson? 
A - I didn't specifically talk to him, but I read what he had to say. 
Q - He told me if you run Elvis' social security number, it doesn't come back "Deceased", it comes back "Retired." 
A - What? Wow! 
Q - That's right. He also said Elvis' driver's licence was never cancelled. And someone is using Elvis' credit card to run up charges across the U.S. It's not against the law because the charges are being paid, but it does raise the question; Who is using Elvis Presley's credit card? 
A - (laughs) That's a good question. 
Q - I realize I'm doing all the talking here. 
A - That's alright. You're teaching me. 
Q - Elvis was appointed as the first Federal Agent At Large in the history of of the U.S. government. You know that, right? 
A - Right. 
Q - He was appointed to the Denver Police as a Lieutenant working a task force investigation on organized crime activities during the mid-'70s. 
A - That's crazy. 
Q - There was a DNA testing of two samples of Elvis' tissue done in 1998, a 1975 liver biopsy done on Elvis to check for hepatitis, which his mother suffered from, and the other was an autopsy sample. They did not match. I believe that's from Bill Beaney. Did you talk to him? 
A - I talked about him in the book. 
Q - Then you have Elvis' nurse, Marion Cocke, who was at Graceland on August 16th, 1977. She saw Elvis alive in the trophy room later in the day. 
A - No way! Same day? 
Q - Same day. Unbelievable isn't it? 
A - Yeah. It's crazy. 
Q - Xaviant, this is just a sampling of the material that's out there. I could go on and on and on. You call the book The Elvis Conspiracy. Why? 
A - Okay, here's my take on the title, Elvis Is Alive: The Complete Conspiracy. I got so many people pissed at me because of the title. I'm like if it goes over your head, I'm sorry. How i explain it is this, 'cause it's what the book meant to me as well. I'm discovering Elvis, so I basically wanted to put together something that is sort of like a biography as well. If you didn't know anything about Elvis, I wanted this book to be the one that's going to want you to learn about this guy, right? So to me, Elvis is alive because of his spirit in the music, his art. He's so amazing. I had no idea. It was all news to me. It was unbelievable. I came from the Hip-Hop culture where Elvis was hooked on Black music. So, learning all this was fantastic to me. Elvis Is Alive is a play on words. Elvis is alive in spirit. The sub-title is The Complete Conspiracy because all the stuff people believe about Elvis, right? So, I wanted to be able to tell a little biography and at the same time touch each conspiracy that I could and see if I could debunk it or just write about it basically according to the facts that I could find. I believe there's a 20% chance he faked his death. I would love if he did do that. That's amazing. That's some Elvis shit. Who else could go to The White house any time he wanted and hang out with The President, you know? 
Q - Not too many people. 
A - Exactly. Like no one. Definitely no one now. To me it was important that this guy and it touched me a lot 'cause I learned about his spiritual side and all the metaphysical books. I read all that. I was into all this. To learn that this guy was reading this stuff too was "whoaa!" It blew my mind. It was great. I hope that comes through in the book and I hope that people will learn more. I know there are a lot of experts and a lot of people love Elvis. The range is ridiculous. My friend's mother visiting from California, I gave her a copy and she's 85 and she loved it. I'm just like, "Wow!" So, it's a testimonial to Elvis and all of the conspiracy stuff. Everything there is. I wanted to compile it and have my little take on it. The truth is, I don't know. Nobody knows unless you know, I guess. One guy is mad at me 'cause he's been telling me Elvis is alive and living down in Louisiana. Someone else is mad at me because he's up in Michigan. He was hanging out with Mohammed Ali and there was a picture taken, after the fact, right? So, I think it's great. Unless he comes to hang out with me, and even if he did how could you know that's for sure Elvis? You'd have to have been there in the time like when he was around to really have a true sense of who that guy was. 

Elvis Is Alive: The Complete Conspiracy  

by Xaviant Haze is available now

Xaviant Haze

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