On June 25, 2009, the world was shocked as the most celebrated musician of all time, Michael Jackson, was discovered lifeless in his Los Angeles residence.
Michael Jackson, an iconic singer known for his electrifying performances, was 50 years old when he passed away.
The news of Michael Jackson’s death rocked his loyal fan base, who eagerly anticipated his comeback concert titled “This Is It.”
This tragedy was so all-encompassing that it even drew criticism from prominent personalities who felt it overshadowed other crucial global concerns.
How did Michael Jackson Die?
Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson’s physician, made a heart-wrenching discovery on June 25.
Just two minutes after administering medication to aid the singer’s sleep, Murray found Jackson unconscious, without a pulse and no longer breathing.
Murray began performing CPR while the security team contacted emergency services.
When the paramedics arrived, they continued providing care to Jackson for 42 minutes.
Michael Jackson was transferred to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center around 1:14 P.M.
The medical team at the hospital tried to revive the artist for over an hour.
Despite their exhaustive efforts, Jackson was declared dead at 2:26 P.M.
There have been conflicting reports regarding Michael Jackson’s health leading up to his death.
Some biographers have claimed that Michael was in a fragile state in his final months, dealing with issues such as insomnia, low body weight, lupus, and vitiligo.
Also, it’s alleged that Jackson’s family had expressed concern for his health and urged him to seek medical attention.
One biographer disclosed that the pop icon had a history of addiction to prescription pain medication, a statement that his dermatologist supported.
On the other hand, a medical professional claimed to have seen Jackson just days before his passing and reported that he appeared physically and mentally strong.
According to reports from his stage crew, Michael Jackson appeared lively and in good health during a rehearsal the day before his untimely death.
The rehearsal continued until past midnight, after which the pop star spent time greeting fans outside his home.
It was only later that night that he began to complain about insomnia.
In the early hours of June 25, Jackson reached out to Dr. Murray, who gave him a blend of drugs to help him sleep.
Despite multiple injections, the singer remained awake and requested propofol, a drug he had previously used as a sleep aid.
At 10:40 A.M., with Jackson still unable to sleep, Dr. Murray administered propofol mixed with lidocaine.
The findings of Michael Jackson’s autopsy raised several concerns among investigators.
The report revealed that Michael Jackson had been administered various benzodiazepines, including midazolam and lorazepam, alongside propofol.
In addition, Dr. Murray had given Jackson multiple drug injections to help him sleep.
Unfortunately, the combination of these drugs and doses of diazepam and Ativan proved to be fatal.
Aside from this, Michael Jackson received a positive health assessment, with his heart being in good condition and only a minor lung inflammation being the sole notable health issue.
His weight was healthy, his lungs were clear, and his arteries displayed no plaque build-up except for a minor build-up in one leg.
A report released by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner on August 28 declared Michael Jackson’s death a homicide.
According to the report, Jackson’s death was caused by a combination of drug intoxication, with propofol and lorazepam being the primary culprits.
The report also stated that diazepam, lidocaine, midazolam, and ephedrine contributed to his death.
However, it’s important to note that the full toxicology report was not disclosed to the public.
Dr. Murray’s Trial
On September 27, 2011, Dr. Murray went to trial and was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter a mere 24 days later.
He was kept in custody without bail, with his sentencing set five days after his conviction.
The jury found several factors of interest in delivering their verdict, including Dr. Murray’s testimony that he had performed CPR on Jackson after finding him.
However, other medical professionals challenged his technique when they discovered Dr. Murray had tried to resuscitate Michael Jackson on his bed instead of a hard surface.
Additionally, he used one hand when he was trying to resuscitate him and placed the other hand under his back, which goes against the standard technique of using two hands for CPR (unless it’s being performed on a child).
Dr. Murray’s actions on the day of Jackson’s death were highly controversial.
He did not call 911 once he found Michael Jackson unconscious.
Rather, the doctor claims that he was uncertain about the address and there was no landline.
It was later discovered Dr. Murray had made several private cell phone calls during that hour and he had not disclosed that information to the investigators.
Dr. Murray’s assertion that the musician still had a pulse when emergency services took him away was contradicted by the paramedics who claimed that Jackson was in full cardiac arrest and that his condition did not improve during transportation.
Furthermore, his resuscitation efforts lasted only ten minutes, but it was not until 12:21 O.M. that a security guard finally called 911.
By then, Jackson had already lost his pulse.
Dr. Conrad was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in November 2011 and was kept in isolation from the general inmate population, with the sheriff’s office describing him as a model prisoner.
He was sentenced to four years in prison but was released after serving nearly two years due to good behavior and prison overcrowding.
Michael Jackson’s father filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Dr. Murray a year before but withdrew it in 2012.
Katherine Jackson later filed an unsuccessful wrongful death lawsuit against AEG Live, Dr. Murray, and Jackson’s former employer, in which the doctor refused to participate.
Dr. Murray’s medical licenses have been suspended in the states where he used to practice medicine.
Michael Jackson’s Funeral
The family of Jackson organized a commemorative ceremony that was broadcasted on television before his burial.
The live memorial service, held at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles, was watched by an estimated 2.5 billion people worldwide, making it one of the most-watched events in television history.
Additionally, over 1.2 million people applied for 17,500 tickets that were distributed via online lottery to attend Michael Jackson’s funeral.
Michael Jackson’s funeral was attended by numerous celebrities.
Some of the most notable figures who attended the funeral include Stevie Wonder, Jermaine Jackson, Lionel Richie, and Mariah Carey, who performed some of Jackson’s popular songs.
To pay tribute to the King of Pop, each of his brothers wore a single, white, sparkling glove.
During the service, Paris, Jackson’s 11-year-old daughter, became emotional and broke down while addressing the audience.
In a famous quote, Marlon Jackson expressed hope that Michael would finally be left alone.
Jackson’s body was buried in a solid-bronze casket that was worth $25,000.
The funeral service reportedly cost $1 million, with over half of that amount allocated to purchase Jackson’s crypt.
The iconic singer was laid to rest in the Holly Terrace section of the Great Mausoleum in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California.
Today, Jackson’s crypt is under private security and can only be accessed under specific conditions.
Why Did Michael Jackson’s Burial Take So Long?
The burial of Michael Jackson’s body was delayed for several weeks because doctors removed his brain for examination to determine the cause of his death.
It was not until almost two months later, in August 2009, that his brain was finally returned to his body, allowing the family to give him a proper burial.
What Were MJ’s Last Words?
The last words reportedly spoken by Michael Jackson have become a popular story.
As the story goes, the singer’s final words were for more “milk,” a nickname for the anesthetic propofol he had been using to help him sleep in preparation for a series of concerts.
2022 Documentary on Michael Jackson’s Death
A 2022 documentary named “TMZ Investigates: Who Really Killed Michael Jackson?” was released, revealing the late musician’s struggles with substance abuse and their role in his demise.
The program’s host, Harvey Levin, argued that while Dr. Conrad Murray was a significant factor, he was not the only one responsible.
According to Levin, Jackson was determined to get what he wanted.
He would find someone to provide it for him, even if they said no initially.
The documentary features guests who provide insightful commentary, including Debbie Rowe, Michael Jackson’s ex-wife, and Conrad Murray, who shares his perspective on the events.