Michael Jackson – pop culture symbol, sex offender, and legend – died in his bed on June 25th, 2009, due to a drug overdose, specifically acute propofol intoxication. Recently, an investigation of the King of Pop’s personal physician Doctor Conrad Murray has been underway to examine his involvement in Jackson’s death. Last week on November 7, 2011, the jury finally reached a verdict: Dr. Conrad Murray is guilty of involuntary manslaughter and currently faces up to four years in prison and the possibility of losing his medical license.
The heart-wrenching delivery of Murray’s sentence circulates the Internet, as many news organizations broadcast prosecutors’, defenders’, family members’, and fans’ reactions to the ruling. Dr. Murray, most noticeably, is stoic and apathetic in a video provided by Fox News; he does not seem surprised or even moved by the verdict. Others, however, feel differently. LaToya, Jackson’s sister, shrieked upon hearing the report, while Jackson’s brother Jermaine consoled his mother, Katherine. Riot members outside the courthouse collectively screamed “This Is It!” quoting Jackson’s final tour series while also conveying the determinacy of the verdict.
So, how exactly did Michael Jackson, King of Pop, die? We may never know the specifics of that fatal night, but we do know one thing: Jackson suffered from extreme insomnia. His doctor shadowed him and even toured with him so that he could administer propofol, a sedation drug normally employed during surgeries in hospitals, to him when he had trouble sleeping.
On the night that Jackson died at age 50, either one of two things happened. One, Murray delivered an improper dosage of propofol and neglected to watch over him, or two, that Jackson himself committed suicide by injecting propofol into his system while Murray was not watching.
Many, including the prosecutors, agreed that the latter theory was improbable, even crazy; Jackson was in the middle of a tour he called “phenomenal, amazing.” After this tour, he wanted to be known as “the greatest entertainer in the world.” Why would he kill himself now, of all times?
Murray attested to administering the drug every night after rehearsals for the tour, but insisted that on the night of Jackson’s death only a small dosage had been given. Murray had even been trying to wean him off of the drug, fearing addiction. However, when Murray left his bedside and returned a few minutes later, Jackson was not breathing, and most likely dead.
Next, Murray panicked. He administered CPR to Jackson on his soft bed instead of the hard floor, and then made several calls on his cell phone, including one to his girlfriend. He also attempted to hide his medicine bottles and IV equipment in order to make a quick escape before emergency services arrived.
Murray’s gross negligence was the grounds for the indictment, and Murray received the lowest possible felony charge involving a homicide. He leaves for jail on November 29th.
Conflicting views and contrasting stories lead us to one conclusion: the mystery of Michael Jackson’s death behind the closed doors of his Los Angeles rented mansion may never be solved.