The King of Rock and Roll was tragically pronounced dead on August 16, 1977, leaving many shocked and devastated. But, there have been numerous reports from people that he has been seen alive and well, roaming around in the streets. But, how can a dead man be spotted? Well, some assume he was murdered, others say it was a drug overdose. Here a few of the theories on what happened to Elvis Presley.
Elvis Presley’s Death
On the evening of August 16th, just two months after his last single “Way Down” was released, Elvis Presley was hardly recognizable as the suave sexy young man the world went crazy over. Tony Scherman, a journalist, put it this way:
” Presley had become a grotesque caricature of his sleek, energetic former self. Hugely overweight, his mind dulled by the pharmacopeia he daily ingested, he was barely able to pull himself through his abbreviated concerts”.
And it was true. The singer was a far cry from his Tennessee heartthrob days. Physically and in behavior. He was in very poor health suffering from high blood pressure, glaucoma, an enlarged colon, insomnia, and damage to his liver. Presley had claimed to be firmly against drugs at the beginning of his career as the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, but somewhere along the way that changed. In Elvis: What Happened? released just weeks before his untimely death, an expose written by three bodyguards of the King speak in-depth on his years of drug abuse. Having been introduced to amphetamines while in the army and later multiple overdoses on barbiturates. Was it the pressure? Long days in the studio and on the road? Ailments cyclically caused by drug use? He had canceled shows in his last tour, was slurring his words, looking unwell and often a shut-in. Maybe he knew he was going soon.
The day of Elvis Presley’s death, he was scheduled to leave Memphis for another tour. Ginger Alden, his new girlfriend, found the singer on the bathroom floor around 2:30pm. Presley had fallen off of the commode and fallen straight forward in a sitting, seated position. He was rushed to the Baptist Memorial Hospital and within the hour and after several failed revival attempts was pronounced dead of a heart attack. He was buried at his Graceland mansion. An estimated 80,000 people followed the 17 white Cadillac procession to his property to witness his funeral.
The autopsy conducted the day of Elvis’ death told a different story than what the medical examiner said. There were codeine pills, Dilaudid, Percodan, Demerol, and other prescription medications. Is it presumed that the concurrent usage of prescription drugs over a long period of time was his cause of death- or played a large role. Many wanted to blame Dr. Nick, Elvis’ personal doctor for over-prescribing. The doctor lost his licensure years later for this exact reason.
Elvis has allegedly been spotted many times since he died. One was at Memphis International Airport, another in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and in Home Alone the movie. This one was debunked for obvious reasons of course. But, what if Elvis’ death indeed was faked and he’s really still out there? This brings us to the theory that he may still be alive.
Did Elvis Presley Really Die?
The first thing to think about when asking this type of question is to consider motive. Would Elvis have a motive to fake his death? Some say yes for a good reason. Allegedly, Elvis and his father had cooperated with the FBI against a mafia group calling themselves the “The Fraternity”. Some say the group swindled Elvis out of money, others say they stole his jet.
Either way, the files concerning “Operation Fountain Pen” weren’t released until almost a decade after Elvis died. Even then there were over 600 pages still labeled “top security”. Many fans believe that he went into the witness protection program, and the FBI “killed” him. Elvis fanatics have garnered evidence to add to their theories. Honestly, who knows? After being “The King” for so long, Elvis could have decided it was time to retire from the entertainment world with as much of a bang as he entered it with.
Editor’s Note: This post was updated on August 30, 2019, to reflect editorial corrections as to when Elvis Presley’s death occurred. The original post stated his death was on January 8th, 1977. Presley died on August 16, 1977.