Police Believe Jackson's Physician Administered Deadly Propofol

July 28, 2009 9:12 AM ET

Investigators believe Michael Jackson's personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, administered the powerful sedative Propofol to the singer within the 24 hours before Jackson's death, a law enforcement source told the Associated Press. Authorities believe it was the anesthetic Propofol, or Diprivan as it's commonly called, that ultimately caused Jackson to suffer from sudden cardiac arrest on June 25th and die. Following this new report, Murray's lawyers released a statement declaring they wouldn't comment on "rumors, innuendo or unnamed sources." The toxicology report necessary to complete Jackson's autopsy is due this week.

After admitting he waited up to 30 minutes after discovering Jackson before calling 911, vanishing from the hospital after Jackson was declared dead and submitting to a pair of interviews with police, Murray quickly became the primary focus of the Jackson investigation. Last week, as Rock Daily reported, Murray's Houston offices were raided based on a search warrant seeking "evidence of the offense of manslaughter." Police confiscated pills like the appetite suppressant Phentermine and the anti-anxiety medication clonazepam, or Klonopin, as well as computer hard drives, Rolodexes and other documents. As the AP reports, Propofol, an IV line and multiple tanks of oxygen were discovered in Jackson's home.

In the days after Jackson's death, his nurse/nutritionist Cherilyn Lee also said Jackson was desperately seeking Diprivan in the weeks before his death, despite the dangers of the drug. Lee was also subpoenaed to hand over medical documents regarding Jackson, however she is not a suspect in Jackson's death, which will likely be ruled a homicide, Rock Daily reported. The offices of dermatologist Dr. Arnold Klein — Jackson's friend and the rumored biological father of Jackson's two eldest children — was also asked to hand over medical records. The investigation has been made more complex by the fact that Jackson often used aliases when procuring prescriptions.

Propofol, which is usually administered through an IV, is only meant to be used in hospitals. An overdose of the sedative could cause a patient to stop breathing, which leads to a buildup of carbon dioxide buildup in the body that could result in sudden cardiac arrest.

Related Stories:
Michael Jackson Doctor's Houston Offices Raided By Law Officials
Report: Michael Jackson's Cause of Death Likely to Be Ruled Homicide
Michael Jackson "Desperately" Sought Sedative, Nutritionist Says

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

More Song Stories entries »