Critical Analysis of The Claim that Elvis Presley’s Death Was Faked

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About this sample


Words: 1376 |

Pages: 3|

7 min read

Published: May 14, 2021

Words: 1376|Pages: 3|7 min read

Published: May 14, 2021

The famous American singer, musician and actor, Elvis Presley became popular in the 1950s and 1960s. Elvis was known as the King of Rock and Roll and considered one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century. Presley was born on the 8th of January 1935 and supposedly died on the 16th of August 1977, however, there are many conspiracies revolving around his death. Most people believe Elvis Presley died in 1977, after conducting a survey, it was proved that only 4% of the people believed that he was still alive while 93% were certain he was dead. The main theory is that he is alive and in hiding, there are many theories that can support this concept and an abundance of supporting evidence. Towards the end of his life as a singer, his career started going downhill and some believe that Elvis is still alive and just faked his own death in order to escape the limelight. The purpose of this critique is to discover whether or not Elvis faked his death or died 42 years ago.

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The claim is that Elvis Presley’s death was faked, and he is alive and in hiding. There are many reasons why Elvis is believed to be alive, one of the most popular theories is that Elvis was enlisted by the FBI in 1976 to go undercover and infiltrate a criminal organisation. Apparently, he was found out to be a mole and was placed under witness protection by the FBI. This was cited by Gail Brewer-Giorgio, the author of the 1988 bestselling book Is Elvis Alive, she also states that Elvis’ involvement in the FBI can be proven through documents and interviews. She was also quoted saying “Elvis faked his death because he was going to be killed and there was no doubt about it”. However, there is no mention of Elvis aiding the FBI when investigating more than 760 files that were released by the federal agency. “Those FBI files are available to the public……There’s nothing in there,” said Patrick Lacey, an Elvis Presley researcher who wrote Elvis Decoded. This shows that Elvis did not associate with the FBI in the way the so-called evidence states as there is no documentation of Evils going undercover for the FBI and no mention of him being in witness protection. Another piece of evidence is the miss spelling on his tombstone, fans believe this indicates that Elvis faked his death at that time as it would be offensive to have the correct spelling of his name on the headstone if he was indeed alive. Allegedly Elvis wanted to change his name from Aaron to Aron, to represent his stillborn twin, however the name on the headstone is Aaron. Although he wished to change his name, his legal name is actually Aaron, therefore the spelling of his name is not wrong on his headstone. There have also been multiple alleged sightings of Elvis since his supposed death in 1977. On his 82nd birthday, fans noticed a man who appeared to be around 80 years old, he is believed to be Elvis due to the security guards behind him and the sunglasses he is wearing when no one else is, it is believed that he was wearing sunglasses to hide his face and keep his identity a secret.

Another alleged sighting of Elvis Presley was of a man matching his description headed to Memphis airport purchasing a one-way ticket to Buenos Ares, Argentina under the name of ‘Jon Burrows’. This was the name Elvis use when booking hotels, meaning this man could have been Elvis fleeing the country in order to go into hiding. There are a few other sightings since his supposed death, one of these is in the pool house photo, where a man matching Elvis’ description was sitting in his pool house. However, in an interview it was declared that the person in the pool house was not Elvis, but Al Strada, nevertheless, some people are not convinced. None of these theories based on the fake death of Elvis Presley can be tested, this makes it almost impossible to prove to make them facts, all of this evidence is based around of assumptions and none of the ideas are simple making them unlikely to be correct. The only piece of evidence that does not make as many assumptions is the number of sightings, however these are all eye witness testimonies and they cannot be trusted as they are unreliable and can be influenced by confirmation bias. The only other explanation for Elvis Presley’s disappearance in 1977 is that he actually did die. Evidence shows that Elvis died in his Memphis mansion in Graceland, on the 16th of August 1977 at the age of 42. On that afternoon he was found by his girlfriend Ginger Alden unconscious on the floor of the bathroom, where he was then taken to the Baptist Memorial Hospital, he was pronounced dead at 3:30pm after multiple attempts to revive him failed. His actual cause of death was heart failure; however, his heart failure is now considered to be a result of an ongoing and serious drug abuse and addiction.

Over the years Elvis became a heavy user of opiates, sedatives, barbiturates, and other prescription medication, it was also discovered through the toxicology report of the singer’s blood that there here high quantities of the drugs codeine, Demerol, dilaudid, Percodan and Quaaludes. Instantly after the singer’s death the medical examiner, Jerry Francisco, issued a statement stating the drugs found in his system were unrelated to the cause of death, stating that “had the drugs not been there, he still would have died.” It was almost two years after Presley’s death that the possibility of his death being drug related began to be seriously reported. Elvis was provided a constant supply of amphetamines and opiates, although he didn’t see anything wrong with the drug abuse because he was getting it from a doctor and not off the street like a common junkie, it was affecting him more than he thought. By 1976 he was around 40 years old and battling a serious drug addiction, due to the abuse, Presley was grossly obese and suffering from glaucoma and irritable bowel syndrome. Elvis also suffered from Fatigue, fainting spells and high blood pressure, add obesity , type II diabetes, an enlarged heart, and the drug addiction, it was a guaranteed disaster. One of his guitarists remembered Elvis slurring through songs and his performances were generally disasters, that was the effect if long standing drug abuse, if he didn’t die of the 16th of August, he wouldn’t have lived much longer anyway due to the negative effects of the drugs. In the last 20 months of his life he was given over 12,000 pills and narcotics, nearly 20 pills a day, and carried three suitcases of the drugs with him when he travelled. However, the reasoning for the number of drugs was that it was for Presley’s entourage. There are other controversies surrounding his death that are less extreme than the ones supporting the idea that he is still alive, like did he die while using the toilet, or stood up and fell, another is that drugs played either a smaller or larger part in his death than discussed. This hypothesis is testable through an autopsy and is simple with a limited number of assumptions making it reliable and trustworthy to be used as fact.

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By examining both the claim and the alternate hypotheses, it is clear that there is a stronger hypothesis. The alternate hypothesis stating that Elvis died in 1977 is stronger as it can be tested through autopsies and toxicology reports, it is also the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions as all the evidence presented can be supported and proven. Whereas there is no solid evidence to support the claim that Elvis is alive, it is full of assumptions and cannot be tested or proven, making it lose credibility and reliability. The assumption that Elvis is alive is huge and not provable due to the lack of supporting evidence and all the evidence about Presley only supports his death. Therefore, the alternate hypothesis is most likely to be correct and more reasonable when referring to the criteria of adequacy.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Critical Analysis Of The Claim That Elvis Presley’s Death Was Faked. (2021, May 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 11, 2023, from
“Critical Analysis Of The Claim That Elvis Presley’s Death Was Faked.” GradesFixer, 14 May 2021,
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