“Just after 2:00 p.m., Central Standard Time, on Tuesday, August 16, 1977 Ginger Alden found Elvis, face down and obviously unconscious, on the floor of the master bathroom at Graceland. Wearing only a blue top and yellow pajama bottoms, Elvis was found crouched over with his face dark and bloated. At approximately 3:30pm Elvis Presley was pronounced dead after an extremely frantic ambulance ride to Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis. At the hospital, a throng of highly trained medical specialists battled to save his life but to no avail. The official medical verdict was death by heart failure. Officials from Baptist Memorial Hospital reached Vernon Presley by telephone to tell him that his son was dead. Half an hour later, on the famous steps of Graceland, a very grief stricken Vernon Presley announced to the world: ‘My son, Elvis is dead…’ Vernon Presley died two years later from a broken heart.”
“On August 18, 1977 a funeral service for the late Elvis Presley was held at Graceland mansion. The funeral service was followed by a ceremony and the burial of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. A motorcade of 14 gleaming white Cadillacs moved in procession through the streets of Memphis from Graceland mansion to the Forrest Hill Cemetery. Those attending the funeral included, Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie Presley, Vernon Presley, Minnie Mae Presley, Chet Atkins, Caroline Kennedy, Ann Margaret, Colonel Tom Parker, James Brown, Charlie Hodges, George Hamilton, Ginger Alden, Sammy Davis Jr. and Linda Thompson. Jackie Kahane gave the eulogy and Kathy Westmoreland sang Heavenly Father. The pallbearers at Elvis’ funeral were, Jerry Schilling Joe Esposito, George Klein, Lamar Fike Billy Smith, Gene Smith, and Dr. Nichopoulous. ‘Son, Daddy will be with you soon,’ cried Vernon Presley. He died two years later from a broken heart.”
This is the real true story behind the famous Elvis in his Coffin Picture that appeared on the front page of the National Enquirer tabloid on September 6, 1977. This is not a story dealing with the supposed wax dummy that was placed in the King’s coffin instead of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll himself. That is another story altogether…
Iain Calder, veteran Editorial Director of National Inquirer wrote a book entitled, The Untold Story: My 20 Years Running the National Enquirer. Calder admits they acquired the photo from Elvis’ cousin Bobby Mann for $18,000. They bribed Mann to sneak a camera into Graceland and take a picture of Elvis’ corpse in the coffin. The shocking photo appeared on the cover of the Enquirer and led to a record-setting sale of 6.5 million copies for the issue. It has since become the most famous cover picture ever. The return on the $18,000 investment brought National Enquirer over 1000% profit.
Ever wonder about the casket chosen for the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll? Here is the truth. Robert Kendall was Elvis’ funeral director at the Memphis Funeral home where the arrangements were made for his burial. Having arranged the funeral service for Gladys Presley 19 years earlier, Mr. Kendall naturally thought it only appropriate that Elvis should be buried in an identical $8,000 casket as his mother. This particular model of copper lined casket also provided a 2 by 4 inch stainless steel cylinder for the purposes of identification in the event the remains were ever exhumed in the future. Such ID vials included the pertinent information on specially chemically treated paper. The contents of Elvis’ ID cylinder vial in his casket read as follows:
Elvis Aaron Presley
Born: January 8, 1935 – Died: August 16, 1977
Funeral: August 18, 1977 at Elvis Eulogy: 2:00pm at Graceland
Interment same day at Forest Hills Cemetery (Midtown Memphis, Tennessee)
Elvis stayed up all night on the day of August 16, 1977. This was not unusual behavior for the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, for earlier, Elvis had entertained some friends, played the piano and sang, and even played racquetball in the early morning hours that day. Elvis retired to his bedroom sanctuary at approximately 8:00 am that morning. His fiancée, Ginger Alden, was staying with him, but sleeping in a different room. She was the last person to see him alive.
In the hazy moments before his death it is obvious that Elvis was sitting on the toilet and reading a book. There are some witness contradictions as to whether Elvis was nude or wearing pajamas at the time of his death. Examination of the scene revealed that the bathroom had been cleaned prior to the medical examiner arriving. Bodily fluids were cleaned from the bathroom shag carpet and there were no prescription medicines at the scene of death. Elvis had probably been dead for many hours by the time his body was found, but it is not really known for sure.
At 2:33 pm, a Memphis Fire Department ambulance from Engine House 29 responded to the emergency call, resuscitation was attempted, and by 2:56 pm, Elvis was quickly taken to the emergency room of Baptist Memorial Hospital. Elvis Presley was officially pronounced dead by attending medical personnel at 3:30 pm. The very sad announcement was made to the public at 4:00 pm.
The autopsy commissioned immediately after his death involved draining all body fluids, removal of all vital organs, and sent to a pathology lab for testing to ascertain the cause of death. Subsequently, it was ruled that Elvis died as a result of coronary arrhythmia (an irregular beating of the heart resulting from myocardial infarction). The contents of Elvis’ digestive tract, essential for determining intoxication levels, were not saved, and to this day prevents a realistic and conclusive official cause of death.
The wonderful and inspiring visage of our Online Elvis Shrine has been available to the public for a couple of years now on the internet. At a routine staff meeting, the attending Elvis Shrine Management received an eMail alert in the Shrine’s central inbox that informed us of our Number Four ranking on Google. It has been a great year at the EricHatheway.com Elvis Shrine. Thank you. Thank you very much. We’re just TCB here at the EricHatheway.com Elvis Shrine. Providing you with the best online shrine experience available in cyberspace. Thanks for visiting and please come back often!
We are preparing, with great fervor, the best Elvis Shrine on the web for the annual Elvis Week of festivities here at EricHatheway.com. The yearly wax removal was successfully completed and the proceeds were donated to various wax museums around the globe. New candles and new receptacles are being installed now by our waxworks and lux division. We eagerly anticipate many billions of hits during Elvis Week. And, don’t forget our award winning Elvis articles from the Clog will be featured all week from August 11 to 16. Thank you very much!
The wonderful and inspiring visage of our Online Elvis Shrine has been available to the public for a couple of years now on the internet. At a routine staff meeting, the attending Elvis Shrine Management received an eMail alert in the Shrine’s central inbox that informed us of our Number 4 ranking on Google! It has been a great year at the EricHatheway.com Elvis Shrine. Thank you. Thank you very much. We’re just TCB here at the EricHatheway.com Elvis Shrine. Providing you with the best online shrine experience available in cyberspace. Please visit often.
The wonderful and inspiring visage of our OnLine Elvis Shrine has been available to the public for a couple of years now on the internet. At a routine staff meeting, the attending Elvis Shrine Management received an eMail alert in the Shrine’s central inbox that informed us of our Number Two ranking on Google. It has been a great year at the EricHatheway.com Elvis Shrine. Thank you. Thank you very much. We’re just TCB here at the EricHatheway.com Elvis Shrine. Providing you with the best online shrine experience available in cyberspace.
TCB Report … Next Installation Update Will Be On August 16, 2010