Investigators probing the death of Michael Jackson are awaiting the results of a toxicology report before determining whether the superstar’s sudden cardiac arrest on June 25th can be ruled an accidental overdose or homicide, Los Angeles Police chief William Bratton told CNN: “We are still awaiting corroboration from the coroner’s office as to cause of death. That is going to be very dependent on the toxicology reports that are due to come back,” Bratton said. “And based on those, we will have an idea of what it is we are dealing [with]: are we dealing with a homicide or are we dealing with accidental overdose?” While Bratton would not confirm what items were seized from Jackson’s home, the chief’s comments make it clear prescription drugs are at the center of the department’s investigation.
CNN also unearthed a 2004 document stating Jackson reportedly took 10 Xanax a night and that the King of Pop asked his own employees to obtain prescription drugs under their own names. The document comes from the statements of two former Jackson bodyguards interviewed by Santa Barbara County law officials when Jackson was awaiting trial in 2005 for child molestation charges. In fact, one of the guards questioned in the document said that at one point Jackson was consuming 30 to 40 pills of Xanax a night as the singer struggled with insomnia. At one point, Jackson “fell on his face” and injured himself, sparking one of the guards to quit his post.
The Jackson family has been made aware that investigation into Jackson’s death may turn into a criminal trial, CNN reports, quoting a source close to the family. “I do believe it was foul play,” Michael’s father Joe Jackson told ABC News. “I do believe that. Yes.” The DEA agents assisting with the investigation have already questioned many doctors linked to Jackson, and those who have not cooperated have been hit with subpoenas, CNN reports. Five doctors were among the names listed in the 2004 document CNN uncovered, but it’s unclear if they were among those questioned in the investigation.
As Rolling Stone reported shortly after Jackson’s death, a nurse/nutritionist who treated the star spoke out publicly about her fears that Jackson had gotten his hands on a powerful sedative called Diprivan or Propofol that’s used in hospitals. Since then interest in Jackson’s relationship with prescription medication has spiked, and yesterday CNN revealed more details about an alleged intervention sister Janet tried to stage in 2007 as the family’s concerns over Michael’s drug use escalated.
Jackson was honored at an all-star memorial service in Los Angeles on Tuesday. Check out photos from the event, and read tributes to the fallen icon by Adam Lambert, Stevie Nicks, Chris Cornell and more.
• Report: Janet Jackson Planned Intervention For Michael in 2007
• DEA Joins LAPD Investigation Into Michael Jackson’s Cause of Death
• Michael Jackson “Desperately” Sought Sedative, Nutritionist Says