Thirty-three years after the untimely death, August 16, 1977 the secrets surrounding Elvis' autopsy is still to be laid to rest. Several year ago, the Shelby County Commission filed a lawsuit in Nashville, Tennessee asking the court to re-open the county medical examiner's 1977 autopsy report on Elvis Aaron Presley
The coroner, Jerry Francisco assisted by Dr Eric Muirhead and Dr Noel Florrendo were in charge of the 3-hour autopsy. They ruled that Elvis death was the result of coronary arrhythmia - an irregular beating of the heart resulting from hypertensive heart disease. Initially the team of Medical Examiners told the public that Elvis Presley's death had been due to a massive heart attack. Their motive for the cover-up, they have since admitted, was not to tarnish the [Elvis] image by a scandal of a drug habit...
"We are not subjected to any family pressure to limit our investigation.
For years now the battle of whether or not drugs was the only cause of death had been raging. However, till now the state medical examiner refused to be part of the gossip mongering. At the heart of the matter is a long-standing feud between Commissioner, Vasco Smith whose wife Maxine is executive director of the NAACP in Memphis and Dr Jerry Francisco the medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Elvis Presley and signed the death certificate. In response to the Maxine Smith's demands, Dr Francisco stated, The autopsy on Elvis Presley was performed under strict medical conditions.
It was a routine autopsy to discover the cause of death.
We did what was necessary with the procedures that were available at the time."
Although Elvis' major organs such as his brain and heart are still in storage at the Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, Dr Francisco believes that any further investigation and post-mortem analyses would not reveal any revelations surround the cause of death. In 1977 when Elvis' father Vernon Presley received the news that a cocktail of drugs prescribed by Dr George Nichopoulos had been the root cause of death, he panicked and bribed officials to keep the document a secret. Vernon who died of heart failure, June 26 1979 can no longer bear witness to the cover-up.However, his widow Dee Presley, who became Elvis' stepmother in 1960 says she sighted the autopsy papers and sided with her husband in his desire to keep Elvis' legacy in tact. Applaud by these events. Graceland and the Presley family members see this feud and an autopsy investigation as using Elvis as a catalyst for scandalous gossip at it's ugliest. CEO, Jack Soden and the board members of Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc which includes Priscilla Presley and Lisa Marie will keep a watchful eye on the proceedings and use all their power to over-rule any court action in regards to the matter of exhuming Elvis Presley's body. "We see this as in infringement and a sacrilege of the Elvis Presley legacy. We will take this matter to the High Court if necessary
"Elvis to be Exhumed?" UPDATE 27 MARCH 2007
A suit filed in the Superior Court of Tennessee may permit the exhumation of the late King of Rock and Roll Elvis Presley. The suit (docket # 06-08 38116) has been filed anonymously by a couple in Germantown TN in order to see if that is Elvis who is buried in the Meditation Garden at Graceland. The couple has retained famed lawyer F. Lee Bailey to represent their case. The suit contends that the public may not have been told the truth due to the suspicious nature of the circumstances surrounding the death of one of the world's greatest entertainers. In an interview on the Larry King Show Mr. Bailey said, "We all know about the 900 pound casket and the supposed air conditioning unit, but what about all the other variables.