Did Elvis Presley commit suicide?

Young Elvis

Elvis in the early 1970’s


Autopsy report

Elvis Presley has been called the World’s Greatest Entertainer. But on August 16, 1977, his life came to a shocking end.  At first, it was said he died of a heart attack.  Later reports blamed a massive drug overdose.  But Presley’s own stepbrother, David Stanley,  is convinced that The King’s death was not accidental.  He says that Elvis committed suicide:

“Elvis Presley woke up on the 16th of August, premeditated, planned, took, and killed himself deliberately.”

Most people refuse to believe that Elvis Presley might have killed himself.   However, David Stanley’s eyewitness account, along with the physical evidence, makes a compelling case.

Drugs were a part of Elvis Presley’s daily routine — 3 times a day, on a strict schedule, nearly a dozen different prescription drugs were administered to him by members of his entourage.  These drugs included Seconal and Demerol.  Insiders say that this dangerous cycle of drug use began in 1958 when Elvis was drafted into the army and sent overseas.
Red West was one of his closest friends:

“I went to Germany with him after I got out of the Marine Corps.  He was on guard duty on the Russian front, and if you went to sleep and got caught asleep, you’re in trouble. So this sergeant said, “Take these little things here. They’ll keep you up.”  And, wow, man, it started feeling good and that’s how it began.”

Elvis and Memphis friends

After the army, Elvis returned to his life as an entertainer, and according to pop culture historian Chuck Harter, he had high hopes for becoming a serious actor:

“Elvis’ greatest desire was to be a serious dramatic actor, and this was denied him because his management felt that they wouldn’t make as much money if they put him in a dramatic role. They wanted him to be in the formula. So this depressed him a great deal.”

Elvis was frustrated by lightweight movie roles and overwhelmed by the endless demands of his fans.  He retreated behind the gates of his Memphis mansion, Graceland.
Chuck Harter made this observation:

“Elvis sort of put himself into a cocoon. And Graceland, more or less, became a tomb for him, or a cave to go hide from life. The windows were sealed. The outside did not enter in. So his day-to-day touch with reality had really been removed.”

David Stanley, Elvis’ stepbrother, had this to say:

“People would say, what do you think the most difficult part of Elvis Presley’s life was?  Being Elvis Presley, looking out a window, seeing 10,000 people who think you can walk on water; walking out on a stage and seeing 22,000 flashbulbs going off; thinking you are a king.”

Elvis was administered medication on a daily basis

The combination of high times on tour and isolation at home took its toll on Elvis.  His absences, affairs, and drug use led to the end of his stormy 6-year marriage to Priscilla.
David says this was a difficult time for Elvis:

“He would get himself in a rage over that. You know, he would get himself so worked up over it, that he’d begin to take the medications to deal with the depression of the rage. And then suddenly, some shows are starting to be canceled.”

Insiders say that, by the mid-70s, Elvis was so dependent on drugs that he required supervision around the clock.  David Stanley and a group of men known as “the lifers” gave him anything he wanted:

“We were the ones who were with Elvis all the time. Elvis needs something to eat. Elvis needs to be woken up at a certain time. Elvis needs his medication.”

Three former employees wrote a tell-all book

Elvis demanded that everyday he receive 3 separate doses of drugs that he called “attacks.”  Each “attack” contained a dangerous combination of pills or shots of Valium, Nembutal, Demerol, Quaalude, and Seconal.  David Stanley says the first “attack” was usually given between 2 and 3 a.m:

“After he’d take his attack, attack one, he would have a couple of cheeseburgers, potatoes. The “attack one” effect would get him groggy and sleepy. We would have to watch Elvis, ’cause sometimes he would be eating and just fall asleep with food in his mouth, oftentimes choking on his own food.”

After sleeping for a few hours, Elvis would receive “attack” number two:

“That would last for several hours. Now you’re in the morning hours. You know, you’re looking at 10:00 or 11:00. Then it would be attack 3, which was the same contents of attack one and 2. So you’re talking, by the time you got done– let’s just call it 11 sleeping pills per attack– that’s 33. Let’s call it 3 shots of Demerol per– that’s 9 shots. And some people would say, “Well, golly, that’s 6 months worth.”  That was a nightly dose.”

Red West, Elvis’ lifelong friend, tried to intervene:

“I talked to him about drugs. I said, “You don’t need this stuff.”  He said, “Nuh-uh. You’re wrong. I do need it.” And that’s when I threw my hands up and said, “I’ve done all I can do.”  And I was gone shortly thereafter.”

Elvis’ became more and more depressed in the weeks before his death.  Despite the millions he’d made, he was short of money.  He was overweight, in poor health, dreading his next tour, and reportedly impotent.

But perhaps Elvis was most upset about a book some former employees were about to publish just before his next tour.  Chuck Harter knew Elvis was concerned about the tour:

“This would be the first time that the fans saw him overweight, not looking good, with the knowledge of what the book contained. And it was, “Oh, my god, they’ll know.”  And he knew the whistle had been blown on his clean image, and he was terrified.”

David Stanley witnessed Elvis’s decline:

“You could see the, “God, I don’t know if it’s worth going on” mentality. Kind of dreading the tour one day, “I don’t wanna go on tour. They’re gonna think this, they’re gonna think that.”  He was just really confused.”

“The last time I saw Elvis, he said good-bye to me. He was crying. ‘I love you.’  He hugged me. ‘I’ll never, ever see you again.  The next time you see me, it’ll be in a higher place and a different plane.’”

The day Elvis Presley died was different than most.  He ignored his usual late-night feast.  He was given his 3 “attack” envelopes — nearly 3 dozen pills and 9 syringes full of drugs — at their usual times, but Elvis left them untouched.

Ginger Alden, Presley’s girlfriend, was the last person to see him alive.  According to reports, around 9:30 a.m., Elvis got out of bed and went to the bathroom to read.   And a few hours later, that’s where his body was found.  Paramedics were already there by the time David Stanley arrived.

David says he found all 3 “attack” envelopes and several Demerol syringes nearly empty.  He believes Elvis took all 3 “attacks” at once purposely, to end his life:

“I looked and saw Elvis in the fetal position and knew he was gone. The first thing I said was, ‘You son of a bitch!’ I knew right there and then at that time that Elvis said, ‘I am out of here.’”

The official autopsy found that Elvis died of an irregular heartbeat due to severe cardiovascular disease.  Dr. Kevin Merigian has studied the official coroner’s toxicology report:

“I don’t think there’s any evidence that there was a tremendous amount of drug abuse or anything misuse. I know there’s been a lot of theories and there’s been a lot of conjecture. There’s always a debate. That kind of adds to the mystique of Elvis. But he didn’t die of an overdose. He died of some event, probably cardiac in origin.

David Stanley disagrees:

“I’m telling you what I know. And the fact is, that much medication will kill you. And Elvis knew that.”

Red West, Elvis’ lifelong friend, doesn’t accept the suicide theory:

“I know him like a book. I know he was religious, and I know what he would do and what he wouldn’t do.  And he would not kill himself purposely.”

Exactly how did Elvis Presley die? This controversy may one day be settled.  Elvis’ father Vernon Presley reportedly commissioned a private autopsy after the official report was completed.  Exactly what those doctors found is still unknown.  At Vernon Presley’s request, the results will remain sealed until the year 2027.

Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season ten with Robert Stack and in season one with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.


  1. orion

    David Stanley said:(utube)
    august 14,1977 I walk into Elvis Room
    The last time I saw Elvis presley alive.
    I was go out of town for couple of days.
    For tour,8-16-77,open Portland maine.
    I walk into To tell Elvis that I was leaving,
    for a couple of days do you need anything,
    and when i walk in Elvis was sit on his bed,, He was reading his bible,He look at me,Elvis said,Who am I.which I thought,
    was puzzling question,So I replied, Well you are Elvis presley the King.He held up the bible ,”No,there only one king”.
    He said come over here talk to me.
    So I (David) sat on the bed. We talk about his father (Vernon ) and my mother (Dee) they were going through a
    separation (8-14-77) they were about to
    get a devorce and He said, what do you think about it? I said, Elvis …..Then Elvis said something puzzeling,”David I want you to know something,next time you see me,i will be in higher place (plane)
    different plane”,I didnt know what that meant at the time.I was puzzeled by what he said to me.
    The last 6 months of Elvis Presley life,(didnt Stanley boys take drugs?)I mean Elvis addictions was driven by the doctor over prescription drugs, The doctors didnt kill Elvis, The (elvis)management didnt kill Elvis. I (david Stanley) didnt kill Elvis. Elvis made decision. but people need to understand something….
    Two Days later,(8-16-77)back at Graceland,when i (David) walked into the bathroom,after several others ,had conversed upon the scene we discussed- we discovered Elvis lifeless body and I (David) thought to myself.
    Was Elvis try to let me know..
    Nancy Rook said: 8-16-77 David Stanley start up the stairs he was with friend, then David went back down,He said Elvis with Ginger Alden.So i leave them alone.
    Nancy Rook said: (after Elvis gone ambulance)aunt Delta told me to come with her to clean up Elvis room and bathroom.
    David Stanley said he clean up drugs in Elvis
    room and hid them.
    David Stanley said me and my brothers brought Elvis on a tray,package,which called attack.
    Elvis didnt eat his meal(feast) hamburger/fries.
    Joe Esposito said He clean up Elvis room and
    got rid of drugs and he was use drugs too..
    Ginger alden said she never saw Elvis take drugs. (she never saw Elvis eat banana sandwich)Ginger mother claim Elvis promised to pay for house loan. That day spoke of get married.But that day never came .Others claim that Elvis spoke to ginger about come on tour. Ginger said not going. Elvis said he get another gal to take her place.(if a man told girlfriend that he would get another girl friend to take her place would that make that girl mad at her bf?)
    Why did it take Ginger so long to call .She called Maid Nancy Rooks. Nancy told her that only maids here, so Nancy the Maid ran upstairs.(before Nancy Maid said gave phone to Al Strata ) Then Al strata came through doors, Strata ran upstairs, Then Strata ran down stairs,Then Joe Esposito ran upstairs,then Vernon ran upstairs.
    Why did take so long to call ambulance?
    Dr Nick was called he came when ambulance came.(Maids,Billy -Jo Smith,Dr Nick,Ricky Billy David Stanley,Joe Esposito,Dick Grob,Al Strata,Charley Hodge ,etc Who tell truth?)


  2. Mike

    Bob Joyce is pastor at
    1154 Salem Rd
    I have matched the voices , it is Elvis !


    • USMCEE1



  3. William McDonald

    My contention has always been that all that would have to be done to prove or disprove that Rev. Joyce is Elvis is to do a comparative voice print of them singing the same song. I don’t have the capability, but I hope someone eventually does it. I, for one, don’t believe Joyce and Presley are the same person. Bob Joyce is simply too young to be Elvis.


    • Chris Bucksey

      Hi William. I’m undecided, but if you listen to the song, ‘ Come Unto Me’ as sung by Bob Joyce, particularly the version where he talks the intro and explains how God gave him the song, the listen to Elvis 1964 vesrion with excactly the same intro. It was actually written in 1908 by somebody else, however these two versions provide a pretty similar voice pattern


  4. Loretta androus

    No if Elvis faked his death the kennadys helped him to fake it and if veren made it clear that no one can get until 2027 that is what they have to go by and Lisa Marie married Michael Jackson so it doesn’t matter


  5. Anonymous

    he did not kill himself, at least not on purpose. years of drug abuse killed him, and he took the drugs, so in that sense he was killing himself a little at a time, over years, but it was not suicide. his body just gave out. you can abuse drugs only so much before the body just wears out. no one around him had the balls to say “no” so he just did more and more. a classic case of being so rich and powerful that no one can tell you “no” and you then go on doing bad stuff, and more and more bad stuff, and eventually your body wears out and you die. just that simple. we have so much fun shouting about conspiracies, but this in one case that is just what it seems: he drugged himself to death.


  6. Anonymous

    Bob Joyce is my new Pastor, I’ve watched most of his sermons and I listen to his music
    Elvis and IO almost share the same birth date, he being one year older. I truly believe that
    Pastor Bob Joyce is Elvis and I think he has tried to tell us in his songs. God Bless Elvis


    • Elizabeth

      I believe Elvis planned and faked his own death. I believe he is alive today. Loved Him and his music. But never realized how heavily involved in the occult he was .He was into New Age ,he was a standing member of the Theosophical Society, and embraced Helena Blavatskys writings , Numerology . Sadly, he seemed to embrace everything but the Lord and Savior the true King of Kings , Jesus Christ. He knew of the Lord, but I don’t think he truly gave his whole heart to the Lord. In regards to Bob Joyce being the former Elvis Presley. I doubt it . I wish it were true , but seriously doubt it . We do change over time as we get older,and its possible to get a nose job. And, ones voice can deeper and change with age ,and although I think Pastor Bob Joyce preaches some good sermons, if you close your eyes and listen, he sounds nothing like Elvis when speaking . He does sing like him, but not when speaking . Maybe Elvis thought it was necessary to lose his accent and inflection? Maybe , but I don’t think so. He also does not look in his 80’s. Perhaps Pastor Bob was an ETA at one point and passed his love of doing that onto his own Son Matt. Nothing wrong with that. Also, Elvis was quite ill before he walked away from it all. He would be an 81 year old Man with Colon Problems , and Elvis had Glaucoma in the eyes . Pastor Bobs eyes look alright to me . What I have noticed is that every few years a new crop of people show up on the scene , the internet and are passed off as Elvis, because they talk like him ,can sing like him .A few years ago it was Jon Cotner . Where was Bob Joyce then ? People make videos on Youtube to do nose , mouth, teeth ,eye, comparisons and go to great lengths to prove Elvis is this person or that person. When in reality , its all heavily based on supposition. One day, the Man who use to be Elvis Presley will die and leave this world. I pray he found Happiness , Forgiveness , and Love.


      • Carolyn

        All of you need to know he was really spiritual and he serve God and Jesus Christ. He had a spiritual mentor and hair dresser that started him on a spiritual journey. He didn’t die of a drug overdose.


    • Dwayne

      so bob joyce is your pastor where does he pastor at and what state ive saw a few videos of him singing even with a young guy named matt joyce he does sound more like elvis than anyone ive ever heard i have heard alot of voices that were pretty close from jon cotner to jon burrows doug church and orion none of them has the voice bob joyce has he is the best ive ever heard dwayne


  7. Anonymous

    First question, where does the Autopsy report come from ? Elvis’ Autopsy report is private property of the Presley family, and has not been released, the document you show is supposed to be, a copy of a Medical examiner’s report, not an autopsy report, where does this document come from ? Second, how do you know the document is even official or Genuine.


  8. Anonymous

    Elvis, adored by millions, died of a lonely heart.


  9. Anonymous

    Vernon is now dead, couldn’t Lisa Marie get access to the autopsy released? She is his heir after all.


  10. Anonymous

    Yeah sure, David. Elvis took an overdose, then sat on the toilet so it would look like he was taking a shit when he died. David Stanley is an attention seeking douchebag.


  11. Agnes

    He had he s doughter to live for
    And take care of her !
    For sure he would not kill he s self!


  12. Barb DeMott

    I have noticed that the same people who have ties to Jon Cotner seem to also have ties to Bob Joyce. Why is that ? Why would Bob Joyce on FB say he likes Jon Cotner’s music and not mention liking any other ETA. ? Its as if they are all in this ETA Club and promote each other. The closest Photo I have seen to Elvis being alive was at the 1st Obama Inauguration.There’s a video on Youtube ,He is sitting next to Muhammad Ali’s wife. That is him for sure. Not Bob Joyce, not Jon Cotner.


  13. Ben Pantera

    It seems likely the fairies carried him away.

    I will pray to the fairies to bring him back.

    That involves a dance around a pentagram and much whisky.


  14. Anonymous

    After reading everything here and the comments, it leaves me with a great feeling of sadness. I understand that he was admitted to the local hospital for his health difficulties and drug issues. But what seems to add to the sadness is that if he had been able to be kept alive for only a few more years, his friends, family and staff members could have tried to convince him to check into The Betty Ford Clinic. This is a place where many celebrities now go and successfully recover from addictions using “detox” methods, etc…


  15. KAren M Fuoco

    Ok. So if Elvis is Bob Joyce well that’s just awesome. They do bear a striking resemblance to each other as done with overlays and images side by side. There is no question the voices are. Sry similar . But with age it would be normal He could not hit the high notes as he once did. But his voice is beautiful anyway
    This is the thing. We are nearly 40 years later. What harm would it do, that is if this man is ELVIS should he subject to above all a DNA . If this pops positive, why not come out and just say so.
    The majority of his fans are Baby Boomers. Most are in their 60’s 70’s and some older. So essentially because of this there would not be the same hysteria there once was when he was young.
    It all sounds good in writing . But let’s base this, if it is true on facts and not innuendos.
    If Elvis were alive he has pulled off the greatest disappearing act I have ever seen . Any of us for that matter.
    Someone get Bob Joyce or whomever he is to tell his story.
    Then we can put all this to rest.
    Whatever the case “GOD BLESS THE KING”
    He will always be loved, reverrred and admired whether he is still with us or not.
    Oh darn this made me cry.
    Always ELVIS <3


  16. Mary

    Elvis is very much alive today. Look Bob Joyce he is a preacher. You will see the man himself. Franklin Presley elvis’ youngest brother passed away with bone cancer not ELvis….


  17. dwayne

    so let me ask someone that may know do any of yall believe that bob joyce could really and truly be elvis his singing voice in unbelievable closest to elvis ive ever heard


  18. tony

    ive seen videos of bob joyce singing and preaching his singing voice is the best ive ever heard and over the years ive heard my share of elvis soundalikes bob joyce is not an elvis soundalike he dont have to be god bless tony


  19. Kay

    Why did his dad want to records sealed for so long.


    • Anonymous

      Because that would give him enough time to live the rest of his life safely, I believe he’s alive. And I agree Bob Joyce is the closest voice I’ve heard, it’s so similar I can’t stop thinking about it….Listen to Bob Joyce’s song God’s Sacrifice…so beautiful. I would rather believe he’s alive and knows Jesus than believe he died with so much sadness


  20. Franco



  21. Elvis is ALIVE!!!

    He is most defiantly alive and well.Good for him he is pastor Bob Joyce he is ELVIS no doubt in my mind.


  22. g

    Whether fast or slow…Elvis killed himself from drugs. I just hope he received Jesus.


  23. irish elvis fan

    I think he accidentally overdosed on his cocktail of over prescribed meds,he was depressed as his future was out of his control,col Tom Parker was afraid of losing his control over his cash cow,Elvis wanted to become a respected actor and Parker would lose his grip on the king and his fortune,a sad lonely end to one of the greatest entertainers ever,RIP The king.


  24. Emily

    It clearly looks like he died of an asthma attack or a delayed allergic reaction from what his dentist gave him Elvis was trying to lose some weight before his tour and before his marriage to Ginger so he was on a liquid protein diet and lost some weight playing Raquette ball so his death had probably was a delayed allergic reaction to the codeine or an asthma attack


  25. Carl

    All i careto add is. WHAT ABOUT BONZO?


  26. Chris Shultis

    Look plse stop the silliness America lost a great gift / There was an emptiness in life and in his heart all he had and had what to offer just wasn’t enough to keep the king with us.


  27. private

    He is alive as Bob Joyce


  28. daniel

    elvis killed himself in 1977 , david stanley is right….


  29. Anonymous

    Love Elvis.


  30. annonomous

    this was all a cover up. he was alive still until 2015 where his body was found under a bridge and it was confirmed by DNA that it was him and that he was in witness protection.


  31. skylyn

    I think it is really sad that he died


  32. Harley

    I dont think he died when everyone said he did. i think he was done with plausibility.


  33. UnknwnA

    So 50 Yrs after his death is when we find out the truth. That’s strange. Why wait that long?


  34. RON



  35. Savannah

    I think that Elvis died from drug overdose.


  36. Debbie

    My cousin had à heart attack while trying to use the bàthroom. She too was straining because of constipation. The doctors believes that’s what caused the heart attack, maybe the same happened to Eĺvis.


    • Emily

      I’ve done research on allergies to codeine and it looks like Elvis Presley had an allergy to that and I think that the codeine affected his whole body from the inside out which caused him to be overweight and constipated which caused his death


    • Linda Pierczynski

      Elvis Did Not Die Aug 16 T H In 77.He Staged His Death.Elvis Is Right Here Today.82.


  37. Jolie

    Why doesn’t David Stanley petition a court to get the private autopsy results opened sooner, since he and Lisa Marie are the only ones alive that probably legally could? I think this would put many more at ease.
    OR, if you believe Men In Black, he just went back home….


  38. koudejah



  39. gwen 24

    A lot of controversy remains as to what is truth of fiction – do we believe all we read so 2027 is when all will be revealed, interesting.


  40. Anonymous

    He Gone


  41. Jan Thomson

    It is sad enough that he died so young. What a massive loss to the world of music and to all his many fans.


    • Anonymous

      I believe what they said about him being on drugs I don’t believe he killed his self here’s what I believe I think when he went to Las Vegas I think you ran into his brother I believe when his brother was supposed to been dead at Birth I think a woman there at that time she lost her baby I think she switched her baby with Aaron his brother and there you go Alice’s brother died at Birth when Elvis got older it went into the military I believe he was drafted by the FBI or Naval intelligence because of his singing career when he got out of the military and got back to his music when he went to Las Vegas to do his tour I believe he ran into his brother at that time I did not know that was his brother but the colonel told him we can use him as a look alike see at that time Elvis had serious threats made against him somebody was trying to kill him they even snuck a bomb or tried to sneak a bomb on his plane so he bought him another plane when those planes take off no one knew who were the real Elvis was after checking with DNA I found out that that was his brother but his brother was sick I believe the doctor that was taking care of Elvis at that time snuffed out his brother that was staying at is pool House in the back I think he died they put that man on life support and waited until Elvis was ready to fake his death now if this is true then when Elvis stayed out of the spotlight for over 20 years. And when he made his announcement and he was still alive nobody believed it even when he did a movie called Lonely streets nobody thought it was him but here’s the strangest I believe very strongly they’re his daughter Lisa new everything and kept it from her mother and family and friends but there is one family member that knows the whole story and I cannot figure out which one it is I don’t know if it’s his cousin or half-brother I’m leaving on his half-brother I know his doctor was in on it the colonel wasn’t because he panicked that’s the reason they open the casket for a showing instead of leaving it closed for respect July 8th 2015 the FBI found a bearded man under a California Bridge he had no ID but when I pulled his DNA it came back Elvis Aaron Presley you can look this up on the FBI website


    • Emily Michalski

      I have been doing a lot of research on Elvis Presley and it clearly looks like he died of either of an delayed allergic reaction or of a asthma attack I have read in between the lines of almost every book I have and read and that there was no sign of drug abuse what so ever


    • Emily Michalski

      are you sure that Elvis Presley could have died of a asthma attack because I have that and almost died myself


    • night justice

      with all do respect check your facts before dragging the king of rocks name through the mud, elvis brother was named Jesse Garon Presley and he was still born Aaron is elvis presleys middle name