Elvis Presley’s death was shrouded in mystery for a long time, with conspiracy theories abounding about how he died. Many thought his death was a hoax, with some believing he is still alive today. However, others have been told a gruesome story about The King’s final hours.
His girlfriend at the time, Ginger Alden, spoke in 2014 about her time with Elvis in her autobiography, in which she also described the horrific circumstances in which she found him on the day of his death, August 16, 1977.
She said: “Elvis looked as if his entire body had completely frozen in a seated position while using the commode and then had fallen forward, in that fixed position, directly in front of it…
“It was clear that, from the time whatever hit him to the moment he had landed on the floor, Elvis hadn’t moved.”
This version of events certainly implies he did die while sitting on the toilet, though others at the time reported he was found in his bathroom.
Elvis Presley death – tragic story behind his demise
Elvis Presley in his later life
Others, including the Daily Express’ Brian Vine, said he died in hospital, with the newspaper’s front-page story reading: “Elvis Presley, the King of Rock, died in hospital last night after being taken ill at his home.
“The 42-year-old star was found unconscious at his Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee.
“He was driven to the Baptist Hospital in a fire brigade ambulance and doctors fought for 30 minutes in a vain attempt to save him…
“Detectives from Memphis police department are investigating the ‘strong possibility that death was a result of an overdose of drugs’.”
A young Elvis Presley performing on stage
Having said all of this, other details later come to the fore, with some suggesting he had severe constipation due to ingesting a huge number of pills.
Many have, in their telling of how Elvis died, referenced severe health problems he developed long before his death in August 1977.
In 1973, it was reported Elvis spent three days in a coma after overdosing on barbiturates, and by the end of the year, he was in hospital over a painkiller addiction.
His reported “dependence” on drugs was excused due to his touring schedule, but soon this part of his life became well-known and impacted on every part of his life.
Elvis and Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley
According to The Mirror, The King’s guitarist John Wilkinson told of a time Elvis fell out of a limousine when he arrived for a show three years before his death.
He said: “It was obvious there was something terribly wrong with his body.
“It was so bad the words to the songs were barely intelligible. I remember crying, he could barely get through the introductions.”
In the same article, it was claimed a huge number of other health issues were found in Elvis’ system on his death, including his bowel being “twice the length it should have been and was filled with stools at least four months old.”
When it comes to Elvis’ actual cause of death, however, this is something which many disagree on, with some saying it was to do with drugs in his system, while others claim he had an allergic reaction to codeine, which he used due to a dental procedure.
Initially, the coroner released the statement that Elvis had died of “cardiac arrest,” with others later claiming the various health issues he had, such as an enlarged heart and lung problems could have added to this.
After various reports, the cardiac incident has been named the cause of death, though it is widely considered to be the case that Elvis’ drug use and other health conditions contributed to the incident.
After his death, Elvis’ daughter Lisa Marie was named as the main beneficiary of his wealth, which was kept for her until she reached her 25th birthday.