Born: January 8, 1935
Died: August 16, 1977
“I’m going into the bathroom to read.”
By the time Elvis died he weighed in at more than 300 pounds. On August 16, the day before he was headed out for a concert, Presley’s fiancée, Ginger Alden, found him on the bathroom floor of Graceland at about 2:30 in the afternoon. Yes, those really were his last words.He had been there for nearly three hours, lying in a pool of his own vomit. Presley had been using the toilet at the time; his pajama bottoms had fallen to his ankles.
Presley was pronounced dead at 3:30 p.m. at the Baptist Memorial Hospital.An autopsy found 14 different drugs in Presley’s bloodstream, as well as toxic levels of methoqualone and 10 times the normal dosage of codeine. The singer allegedly spent at least $1 million annually during his later years on drugs and doctors’ fees. But for the record, his death was attributed to “cardiac arrhythmia” brought on by “undetermined causes.” Hey, don’t clogged arteries get any credit?
His funeral turned into a media circus; hundreds of thousands of fans lined the streets hoping to have a chance to see the open casket. (Two days after the singer’s death, a car plowed into a group of more than 2,000 fans outside Graceland, killing two women and critically injuring a third.)
He was buried wearing a white suit and tie and a blue shirt his dad had given him for Christmas; on a finger was the famous TCB ring—always Taking Care of Business this guy.
Daughter Lisa Marie, then just nine years old, asked the funeral director to place a thin metal bracelet on her dad’s right wrist; former wife Priscilla asked that the bracelet be covered by his sleeve so that no one would steal it as a souvenir. The casket was made from 900 pounds of seamless copper and was covered with roses; it costs $8,000 and was identical to the one in which his mother Gladys was buried in when she died in 1958.
Also buried with the King: a two-by four-inch stainless steel cylinder for identification purposes in the event he is ever exhumed. A chemically-treated piece of paper lists his full name, birth and death dates, as well as dates and places of his eulogy and burial. The crypt was sealed with two slabs of concrete and one slab of marble. Suspicious minds who want to know how The National Enquirer managed to nab a photo of Presley in his coffin that ended up on the tabloid’s front cover: Presley cousin Bobby Mann secretly photographed the body and was paid $18,000.We still think we last saw Elvis at the Buttocks, Montana Burger King having it his way. Want more? Buy the book.
Morbid Curiosity, By Alan W. Petrucelli