Elvis' #1 Pop Singles on Cashbox, USA:
Heartbreak Hotel (1956)
Don't Be Cruel (1956)
Hound Dog (1956)
Love Me Tender (1956)
Too Much (1957)
All Shook Up (1957)
Teddy Bear (1957)
Jailhouse Rock (1957)
Stuck On You (1960)
It's Now Or Never (1960)
Are You Lonesome Tonight? (1960)
Good Luck Charm (1962)
Return To Sender (1962)
In The Ghetto (1969)
Suspicious Minds (1969)
Burning Love (1972)
(The Cashbox chart is now defunct)
Elvis was 5' 11" tall
Elvis' natural hair color was dark blond
Elvis' blood type was O Positive
Elvis' shoe size was 11D
One of Elvis'( maternal) ancestors, Morning White Dove (born 1800, died 1835), was a full-blooded Cherokee Indian
Elvis' uncle, Noah Presley, became Mayor of East Tupelo on January 7, 1936
The Presley family moved to Memphis on November 6, 1948
Elvis was issued a Social Security card in September 1950 with the # 409-52-2002
In 1954 some of the shows played by Elvis & The Blue Moon Boys were at the Overton Park Shell; the Bel-Air Club; Sleepy-Eyed John's Eagle's Nest Club and the Louisiana Hayride
Elvis' first manager was Scotty Moore, then Bob Neal, before signing with Colonel Tom Parker
The first DJ to play an Elvis record was Fred Cook (WREC), not Dewey Phillips (WHBQ). However, Dewey had the distinction of being the first DJ to play an Elvis record in its entirety
Elvis once dated famous stripper, Tempest Storm
Elvis was filmed from the waist up only during his 3rd and final appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show
In the 50s Elvis was friendly with rising stars, Natalie Wood, Robert Wagner and Ty (Bronco Lane) Hardin
Gladys Presley was 46 years old when she died, not 42, as many books suggest
The Roustabout album sold 450,000 copies on its initial release, 150,000 copies more than any of the preceding three soundtrack LPs. It was Elvis' last "soundtrack" album to reach #1 on the major album charts in the US
Elvis received $1m for filming Harum Scarum (aka Harum Holiday). The film grossed around $2m in the US
Elvis and Priscilla married on May 1, 1967
They were officially divorced on October 9, 1973
Elvis earns nearly $3.5m in 1968 and pays just over $1.4m in income tax
Elvis' return to live performing in Las Vegas on July 31, 1969 was in front of an "by invitation only" audience. Stars in attendance included Wayne Newton, Petula Clark, Shirley Bassey, Burt Bacharach and Angie Dickinson
On January 9, 1971, the national Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees) announced Elvis as one of "The Top Ten Young Men of the Year". Elvis spoke at the official awards ceremony on January 16
"Elvis: Aloha From Hawai" made entertainment history on January 14, 1973, when it was beamed around the world by satellite. In the Philippines it drew 91% of the audience, in Hong Kong 70%. The viewing audience was estimated at more than 1 billion
For his 4 week Hilton Vegas season in August 1973 Elvis received $610,000
Sales of Elvis' 1973 album, Raised On Rock, were less than 200,000 units on its initial release
Elvis paid $2,959,000 in income tax in 1973
In December 1976 Elvis was sworn in as a special deputy sheriff of Shelby County (Memphis) by Sheriff Gene Barksdale
Elvis' final live concert was in Indianapolis on June 26, 1977
When Elvis died, he and his father Vernon, were embroiled in an FBI investigation called Operation Fountain Pen
More than 1,500 books have been published about The King in more than 30 languages
At Dec 2005 Elvis' biggest selling album in the US is the budget priced, Elvis' Christmas Album, with accredited sales of 9 million units (fingers crossed it reaches 10 million to give Elvis his first "Diamond" award)
By early2006, Sony BMG's "collectors label", Follow That Dream, had released more than 50 Elvis CDs
During the 1980s, tour guides at Graceland stated that Elvis' biggest selling album (globally) was Moody Blue, with sales exceeding 14 million
While Sony BMG estimates Elvis' global sales exceed 1 billion, the company is unable to substantiate this figure. Accredited sales worldwide are estimated to be less than 400 million
Did Elvis really die in August 1977?
This article was prepared by Nigel Patterson, with the assistance of JNA & Associates, Investigative Consultants
"And unless you understand that Elvis Presley was more than anything a spiritual leader of our generation, there's really no way to assess his importance, much less the meaning of his music"
Dave Marsh., rock critic for Rolling Stone magazine, in his obituary "How Great Thou Art"
It has always been EIN's position that Elvis Aaron Presley did die on August 16, 1977. We have long argued that most of the so-called evidence supporting the contrary argument can be quite easily dismissed or adequately explained. The spelling of Aaron/Aron, "alleged" photos of Elvis post August 1977, death certificate etc, all have prosaic explanations.
In True Disbelievers: The Elvis Contagion, Professors Denisoff & Plasketes provided a well researched and cogent alternative to the "is Elvis alive?" arguments, their case embedded with "facts", an element sorely missing from the rhetorical accounts of the false prophets peddling a clever story which appealed to deeply rooted psychological needs within the "believers". As pointed out by Denisoff & Plasketes the belief that Elvis is alive mirrors similar views throughout history, particularly those based around extreme religious beliefs.
A prominent example are Henry Miller's "Millerites" of New England, who fervently believed in the literal fulfillment of biblical prophecy, including the end of the world, and that the second coming of Christ would occur in 1843. When the expected events did not occur, bewilderment gave way to rationalisation and a renewed, stronger belief and commitment to what believers saw as the "truth".
Only two pieces of information are not so easily explained, at least on the surface. These are the:
Apparently, Dr Sexton was fearful of all the media and public suspicions about a cover-up and wild rumours following Elvis' "alleged' death, that he made a copy of the report and other documents relating to Elvis' "alleged" death to protect himself.
Beeny states (p.13): "The cries of "cover-up" dominated headlines."
And not only did the mystery doctor have the full autopsy report, but he also had samples of Elvis' DNA from his two liver biopsies and autopsy!!! Beeny (p.14) says the doctor had "...actual body tissue of Elvis".
Beeny also states that the Presley family requested an autopsy as if the authorities had initiated it it would have had to be made public. This is a true statement in that family initiated autopsies cannot be made public without the consent of the family.
In the absence of being able to examine and have retested the tissue samples obtained by Dr Beeny, it is not possible to directly substantiate the findings in his book. Despite this, EIN has examined its contents and found a fatal flaw in its case.
The major issues Beeny offers about the full autopsy report is that, like the death certificate, it states Elvis' weight was 170lbs and the autopsy apparently revealed a long scar, running perpindicular on the chest. The scar had been healed for some time. Elvis obviously weighed more than 170lbs at the time of his death and there was no record of an operation which would account for the scar.
Accordingly, Beeny suggests (p.14) that these two issues imply "...this cadaver could not possibly be Elvis."
EIN Response: Assuming Beeny did read an autopsy report purporting to be Elvis', could it have been a clever fake? This of course begs the question...why would a prominent Memphis doctor be involved with a bogus autopsy report? There are a number of possible answers, from the doctor himself believing the report to be bona fide, to an attempt to obtain financial gain (although this is not a matter suggested in Dr Beeny's book).
Beeny claims the Memphis doctor had biopsy test specimens relating to liver biopsies Elvis had done on 15 October 1973 and 28 January 1975. These were tested (compared) by Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp) against body tissue from the August 1977 autopsy.
Had the tissue samples from the two liver biopsies matched with the tissue sample from the autopsy this would have indicated Elvis was indeed dead. However, Lab Corp found the samples did not match. To Dr Beeny this means only one thing: that Elvis is alive!
Beeny's argument is centered around Baptist Memorial Hospital records confirming the liver biopsies are Elvis'. Proving that the samples tested were indeed taken from the body of Elvis Aaron Presley is only one obstacle Dr Beeny needs to prove.
EIN Response: The claim is by itself insufficient as it fails to satisfy the crucial "chain of custody" principle as the records and biopsies were obtained from a third party, the unnamed Memphis doctor.
The chain of custody principle
In a court of law Dr Beeny would need to prove the samples were indeed from Elvis' body and satisfy the "chain of custody" principle:
There are strict rules at law regarding the "chain of custody" for evidence (eg. DNA samples). It requires that there is a register recording all entries of movement, and to whom, in a chronological order.
On this basis alone questions must be asked about the authenticity/validity of the Beeny samples:
Where were they over the years?
Who had (access to) them?
What did they do with them?
Are we talking about the same item (ie. Elvis' sample/s)?
These questions open up a Pandora's Box of arguments undermining Beeny's claim about the validity of the DNA samples. Because the "Beeny" samples were outside a carefully controlled "chain of custody" environment for two decades, any number of people could have tampered with or substituted the samples over the years!
In court you must be able to "prove a continuing chain of custody and control" for the evidence.
The slightest hint of "third party" tampering or opportunity for tampering with the evidence, and your case is scuttled. This of course doesn't mean the samples aren't genuine...but once the "chain of custody" is breached, definitive proof is not possible.
The "chain of custody" principle begs an important question: why didn't Bill Beeny's son, Andrew, a noted St. Louis attorney who would be very familiar with the importance of the principle, draw it to his father's attention?
Realistically, what do we make of Bill Beeny's story? There are a number of fundamental questions at the heart of his case which need to be asked and satisfactorily answered:
Q: Did the Presley family request the autopsy?
EIN's response: This claim is true; Vernon Presley signed an autopsy permission form. However, it was not signed immediately after Elvis' death as Beeny claims (p.13), rather it was signed after Dr Nick had spoken to Vernon about it.
In the context of his conspiracy driven narrative, Beeny's use (p.13) of the words:
implies something more sinister, and ignores other reports that it was in fact Dr Nick who persduaded Vernon Presley to sign the autopsy permission form.
Q: How valid is Beeny's claim that if the autopsy is initiated by the medical authorities the report must be made public and in reverse it can be sealed for 25 years if sought by the deceased's family?
EIN's Response: Following an internet and library search EIN was unable to fully establish the rules governing release and protection of autopsy reports in Shelby County. However, we did find evidence supporting Beeny's claim (Guralnick, p.649).
Our research also found that in a number of cases involving an autopsy, the state had refused to provide autopsy details including in the case Ronald Patrick Swiney v. State (1993-1999: death of Betty Snow). What this indicates is that the state does not always move to make autopsy results public. Beeny's release of autopsy claim is not materially affected by this finding.
Q: Would a copy of the autopsy report have helped or protected Dr Sexton, as is claimed?
EIN's response: This is a difficult question to answer. Without knowing exactly what Dr Sexton was fearful of, if he in fact actually was, it is hard to judge Beeny's claim. On the surface there doesn't appear to be a tangible argument to support the claim, particularly considering any conspiracy idea was several years away from media prominence.
Q: Bill Beeny has read the full autopsy report?
EIN's response: We only have his word for it.
Q: Who is the mystery Memphis doctor who allegedly has a copy of the full Elvis autopsy report and tissue samples?
EIN's response: Only the Beeny's know.
Q: Is it feasible Dr Sexton was able to take and retain part of Elvis' DNA (tissue samples) from both of his liver biopsies and autopsy?
EIN Response: While it is plausible Dr Sexton could have made a copy of the autopsy report, it stretches credibility that he could have taken and kept samples from Elvis' two liver biopsies and autopsy without their absence being noticed. DNA samples are subject to very strict storage and control arrangements, extending to the amount of sample used.
Q: Were there widespread claims of a cover-up about Elvis' death in 1977 (as indicated by Dr Sexton's concerns)?
EIN's response: Actually NO, the Is Elvis Alive? theory only took off in 1979 following the Geraldo Rivera TV investigation, "The Elvis Cover-Up", and the publication of Gail Brewer-Giorgio's novel, "Orion". Certainly, from August 1977 there were small pockets of interest in the idea Elvis was still alive, but there were no screaming headlines saying "cover up" until years later. The conspiracy theory had its heyday in the 1980s with the raft of Elvis sightings from Kalamazoo in the US to Newcastle in Australia.
But in 1977 EIN is not aware of any major headlines crying "cover-up".
Q: The tested tissue samples are all from from the body of Elvis Aaron Presley?
EIN's response: Beeny's claim that all three samples are from Elvis is insufficient. Given the lack of 'chain of custody', one or more of the samples may not have been from Elvis' body.
So is Bill Beeny's book a clever scam, or does it actually contain evidence supporting the idea that Elvis did not die at Graceland on August 16, 1977?
The bottom line: In the absence of physically being able to substantiate the validity of the tissue samples it is not possible to discredit the Lab Corp test results.
However, there are flaws in the Beeny argument as outlined above, and crucially, his DNA evidence will not stand up in a court of law as a secure "chain of custody" has been broken.
The reality is that Dr Beeny's case totally unravels on this one, crucial point! It is its fatal flaw!
This now leaves only one material issue in the "is Elvis alive" conspiracy argument...the alleged unclaimed insurance policy. The organisation best placed to clarify this issue is of course EPE.
Why EPE does not answer questions on, or clarify this issue, is anyone's guess.
He received his B.A. degree from Shurtleff and Georgetown Colleges. After working with underprivileged children he was granted a Doctor of Divinity degree.
In 1961, Beeny picketed Washington University, urging the House Committee on Un-American Activities to investigate his allegations of communist “infiltration” among university faculty -- especially those who had signed a nuclear-test-ban petition organized by California chemist and Nobel laureate Linus Pauling. He also participated in national petition drives urging the Committee to investigate the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Black Panthers.
Beeny's political and religious radio broadcasts, which began with one station in Alton, Illinois, were eventually heard on dozens of stations across the country. At the same time, the minister operated an "anti-communist" youth ranch in Wright City, Missouri; the ranch, according to Beeny's claim, drew upwards of1,500 campers per summer during the early 1960s. Beeny faced constant legal problems over questionable financial and licensing practices in running his Missouri Youth Ranch and his Denver-area radio station "The Voice of Reason."
In 1960, accusations and lawsuits over an allegedly fraudulent bond issue to finance his ranch and broadcasting operations forced Beeny from his position as pastor of the New Testament Baptist Church, which he had founded in a St. Louis storefront five years earlier. After his resignation, Beeny took up the pastorship of the St. Louis Baptist Temple, a position he would hold until 1969.
In the 1966, Beeny formed the Counter-Revolutionary Organization on Salvation and Service (CROSS), with chapters in Miami, Florida and St. Louis. Working out of Beeny's Baptist church at 4249 Gibson Avenue, CROSS's St. Louis chapter organized several controversial "home-defense" seminars. The meetings wereintended to instruct members in fire-arms and survivalist tactics in order to fend off what Beeny called "those so-called civil-rights groups now reported to be stocking weapons" in preparation for a revolutionary uprising.
Running for Missouri Lieutenant-Governor as a Democrat in 1968 -- one of his many unsuccessful bids for state and local office -- Beeny endorsed the presidential campaign of segregationist Alabama Governor George C. Wallace. Beeny's own campaign platform, as outlined in his newsletter "The Herald of Missouri," urged "states' rights," opposed open-housing legislation and bussing for school integration, and advocated a "tough-on-crime" policy that would include ordering police to "shoot to kill" in response to civil disorders.
The minister relocated to Wright City, Missouri in 1969 after a fire at his St. Louis church. There, he operated a general store and more recently has sought to popularize his theory that the American singer Elvis Presley,who is generally believed to have died in 1977, is still living. Beeny founded the Elvis is Alive Museum in his Wright City store space, and, in 2005, he published his book Elvis' DNA Proves He's Alive (Boston: Branden Books, 2005), ISBN: 0828320896. His other Elvis related works include a booklet suggesting there is a "second" Lisa Marie Presley.
Beeny maintains a website dedicated to Presley and to his own museum at Elvis is Alive
Beeny has also resumed broadcasts of pre-recorded religious, political and Elvis Presley content, this time via the internet at Mighty Stream Radio
Beeny is married to Laura, and has two children, Billy and Kayla. Interestingly, his book, Elvis' DNA Proves He's Alive, refers to his son being Andrew Beeny.
Websites of Interest:
Interestingly, publication of two books due out in mid 2006 about the is Elvis alive? theme has slipped to 2007. The books are:
The Presley Alternative, Phil Aitcheson & Deborah Wines (dec.) - the Presley Commission case
Shadows of Reason: On the Elusive Trail of a Lost King - Elvis Presley, Post August 16, 1977, Dr. John Walker/Center for Studies in Popular Culture - academic examination of the case for and against
Diversion #1: Cover-up at Graceland
From all accounts it appears members of the Memphis Mafia present at Graceland when Elvis died conducted a "clean up" of his bedroom and bathroom. Medications were removed and the spot where a dieing Elvis had vomited on the deep shag carpet was cleaned before county officials arrived to inspect the death scene. In terms of hindering an effective analysis of the cause of Elvis' death these were two significant issues. Two tell-tale empty syringes were inadvertently left in Elvis' upstairs den/office.
It is reported that Dan Warlick, investigator for the Shelby County Medical Examiner's Office was less than impressed by the total absence of drugs of any kind, including normal household analgesics. Together with the two empty syringes, these matters fuelled Warlick's natural suspicions. He was also suspicious of the sparkling bathroom and its sanitized smell. See Cole & Thompson for a more detailed account of these issues.
Diversion #2: The "Second" Orion issue
In his book, Beeny devotes a section to the Jimmy Ellis/Orion issue. While he doesn't milk the Jimmy Ellis/Orion is Elvis argument he latches on to the second "Orion" who "allegedly" switched places with his masked counterpart during an Orion concert. Jimmy Ellis gave so many interviews after he removed his mask about how ridiculous the whole Orion is Elvis thing was that nothing more on this baseless assertion needs to be said.
Diversion #3: EPE was behind the Sivle Nora LP!
Mary Smiley, one of the Elvis "underground's" most prominent players claims Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc authorized the "Do You Know Who I Am" album by Sivle Nora. According to Mrs Smiley, if you look in the groove of the album, it says Elvis, Inc!
Diversion #4: Jesse Garon died in August 1977...not Elvis!
The most ridiculous claim was made on the "underground" messageboards in October 2005 when "dl" posted this message:
"Elvis visited me just yesterday and he told me, that he was definitely alive. His twin brother Jesse G. who worked for him as a double on some of the concerts (the colonel booked so many engagements, that Elvis had his twin brother do some of his shows) died in 1977. After that the king worked exclusively as a drug agent for the government and therefore didn't do any recordings. But he's glad that everyone likes the TTWII and EOT outtakes that he was able to smuggle out of the vaults from Turner. He wants the fans to have this material and he told me that he will release a 1974 concert from his Tahoe engagement under the name of "Last Tango In Tahoe" very soon."
Diversion #5: Dr Nick's theory circa 1990
In 1990 Dr Nick began preparing his account of what happened to Elvis. Although his story outline was not published (the synopsis was rejected by numerous publishers), his theory of Elvis being murdered by a blow to the back of the head garnered considerable tabloid space in his name and by others running with the story. The motivation for Dr Nick appears to have been largely reactionary, in response to accusations that he had in effect killed Elvis via the staggering number of medications he prescribed for him.
Diversion #6: Elvis doctor in gruesome Elvis tour
Yahoo UK & Ireland News, March 2006
Elvis Presley's doctor is touring (the US) with a ghoulish exhibition of the drugs taken by the star at the time of his death in 1977. Dr George Nichopolous - known in Memphis, Tennessee as Dr. Nick - has already attracted 10,000 customers to his show in America. In a recent show in Mississippi, he showed the remnants of 13 medications that could have contributed to Elvis' death. He boasts, "The prescriptions were all filed a day or two before he died. Some are to do with his arthritis and high blood pressure. There are drugs for his migraines, sinus and digestive problems and things to help him sleep."
Dr Nichopolous lost his licence for over-prescribing drugs. There are no plans at present to bring the macabre tour to Europe.
Diversion #7: Saying "No" to Elvis' Dr. Nick
Nichopoulos--once and forever known to Elvis Presley-ologists as Dr. Nick, the King of Rock 'n' Roll's longtime physician and supplier of prescription drugs--was back in front of the medical examiners board in Tennessee Tuesday, trying to get his doctor's license back. But no dice--his request was rejected.
The board stripped Dr. Nick of his black bag two years ago when he was judged to be over-prescribing medication to 13 patients, including another famed (albeit, still-living) rocker, Jerry Lee Lewis, from 1987-1990.
Similar charges were levied against Dr. Nick shortly after Elvis was found face down in the shag carpet of his Graceland bathroom in 1977, dead at age 42. (Dr. Nick was already on the scene when the paramedics arrived.) And while coroner's officials declared cardiac arrest the official culprit, the Elvis' Valley of the Dolls lifestyle did not go unnoted. Traces of several prescription drugs--Amytal, codeine, Demerol, morphine, Nembutal, Placidyl, Valium and Valmid included--were found in Presley's stomach. It was later revealed that Dr. Nick had given Elvis access to 19,000 doses of medication in the final two-and-a-half years of his life.
In 1979, Nichopoulos was indicted on multiple charges of being fast and loose with prescriptions for Elvis, Lewis (again) and a dozen other pill-poppers. His license was suspended for three months in 1980. But a jury cleared him of all criminal charges in 1981. With those trials behind him and Elvis 20 years-plus in the grave, Dr. Nick, now 70, can't understand why he still takes heat for the King's death. "I worked to slow the flow of drugs that Elvis had been using for years," Nichopoulos told the Associated Press prior to yesterday's medical-board hearing. "He would get furious with me and go out of town to get what he wanted. I tried very hard to help him." Dr. Nick says he has also tried very hard to get himself help. He told the medical board that he has undergone counseling to help him "just say no" the next time a patient asks for a bunch of pills.
But in the end, board members just said no to Dr. Nick.
Diversion #8: Hinton loses licence
'Elvis doctor' loses his right to prescribe drugs
Former Independence psychiatrist Donald Hinton who claimed he treated Elvis Presley gave up his registration with the Drug Enforcement Administration after a federal investigation and more than a year of criticism from the public and state medical boards. By relinquishing his authority to prescribe controlled substances for his patients, the psychiatrist can no longer order medications his patients need including Valium, narcotics, amphetamines and tranquilizers. Missouri's Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs also said Hinton is not registered to prescribe controlled substances in the state. Hinton practices at the Picture Hills Psychiatry Center, north of Kansas City but was not available for comment. Hinton formerly worked at Independence Regional Health Center.
In November, the Missouri Board of Registration for the Healing Arts reprimanded Hinton and placed him on probation for five years after a woman concerned with Hinton's claims of treating Elvis filed a complaint. An investigation showed Hinton issued "improper and excessive prescriptions," Tina Steinman, the board's executive director, told The Examiner in November.
The settlement report and probation did not connect the Hinton's patient with Elvis, although Hinton told The Examiner in December 2001 that he is treating Elvis for "severe arthritis." Hinton claims he has been in contact with Elvis for more than five years and says he helped Elvis write his book "The Truth About Elvis Aron Presley, In His Own Words." The book says Elvis staged his death in 1977 and assumed the identity of his twin brother Jesse, who was stillborn.
Although Hinton predicted Elvis would come forward at first in August 2002 on the 25th anniversary of his death and then by January 2003 he has remained quiet about his supposed relationship to Elvis since the November reprimand.
Diversion #9: Presley Proof Positive??
by John Herrington, WMV Web News Cleveland, March 21, 1997
There still is a lot of local controversy over whether DNA test results proved that Dr. Sam Sheppard did not kill his wife. Many still believe he committed the crime nearly 43 years ago, regardless of DNA findings that indicate otherwise.
Another court hearing--they say it will be a full-scale trial--is expected on the matter later this summer. So, now, consider this news release from a few days ago:
"Categorical proof that Elvis Aron Presley was not buried August 16, 1977, came this week when a DNA laboratory on the East Coast gave a written 18-page report on two slides of tissue sent them for analysis."
Whoa! There are those who have long believed that Elvis is still alive. Foremost among them is Phil Aitcheson of the "Presley Commission Liaison Office" in Moneta, Virginia. (See "WMV Web News" story from Jan. 8: "Happy Birthday Elvis.")
And now, the head of the "Elvis is Alive Museum" in Wright City, Missouri, says that that laboratory (in North Carolina) studied two tissue samples, one taken from a liver tissue biopsy done on a living Elvis Presly in 1975, and another taken from an autopsy of the body, said to be that of Presley in August, 1977. The news release says that after an 8-to-10 week examination, "...the laboratory's report concludes positively that these two specimens are from two different people."
In other words, whoever is buried at Graceland is not Elvis Presley; or, at least, so says the "Elvis is Alive Museum" and so concurs the Presley Commission executive. The head of that museum in Missouri is Bill Beeny. Mr. Beeny is a successful, 70-year-old businessman, who owns a real estate development company, two restaurants, and an Elvis gift shop in a St. Louis mall, and who just a few years ago became convinced that Elvis is not dead.
His museum with Elvis research documents and other items is a 600-square-foot building behind his "50's Cafe" in Wright City, just off Interstate 70 about 50 miles west of St. Louis. Beeny has had the cafe about 10 years; he built the museum after he became interested in the Presley mystery (as it has been called) some four years ago.
"When I first got interested," Beeny recalls, "I thought all this talk about Elvis being alive was ridiculous. But, then," he says, "I found so many inconsistencies during my studies of information that I came to the conclusion he did not die August 16, 1977, and that he is still living." Aitcheson and Beeny believe that it is not Presley, but "a donor body" that was declared to be the dead Elvis. Who's body? Several names have been suggested, among them the stepson of Col. Tom Parker. Parker guided Presley's career for 22 years; he died this past January at the age of 87.
His stepson, according to reports, died at about the same time Presley's body was reportedly found on a bathroom floor at Graceland. Why fake Elvis' death? The contention is that Presley's life was in danger from a Mafia group because of testimony that Presley allegedly was going to give in a federal case.
"There were many death threats against Elvis and his daughter," Beeny says and Aitcheson agrees, saying Elvis may be in the federal witness protection program. Beeny says Presley's health and financial situation also were problems and that "...he just wanted to disappear."
Okay: so now they say there is this DNA report that says it isn't The King who is buried at Graceland...what next?
Beeny says he's not sure. He says he's negotiating with some national television programs about appearances (he has been on radio and television shows many times concerning Presley research), and he says there may be a book in the making over all this. Hmmm.
Well, if Elvis is still out there someplace, one might wonder if he might show up at Public Music Hall here in Cleveland next month to see "Blue Suede Shoes," another local showing of the Cleveland Ballet's production set to Presley songs. The rock ballet premiered here in Cleveland last May 29. It came back for encore performances in September, and the four Music Hall shows (April 11-13) are warm-up for the ballet's nine-city international tour of "Blue Suede Shoes."
Elvis certainly would be welcome! (Wouldn't he?) Heck; he might even want to stroll over to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for a look-around before the Hall ups its prices by a couple of bucks in May. During April, the Rock Hall is offering 2-for-1 admissions while much of the facility's main exhibition hall is shut down during the building of a new display that will highlight rock's psychedelic period from 1965-1969. (Oh, and another thing: Beeny and Aitcheson aren't sure just who is buried in Elvis' place; there are no tissue samples from whoever it is while he was alive to compare with Elvis samples. (And how did they get those Elvis tissue samples anyway? Beeny says they don't want to talk about that, but that "...we're covered, legally." He says he paid for the testing.)
Meanwhile, business at the "50's Cafe" and the "Elvis is Alive Museum" always picks up when nice weather returns. And it is springtime, now. If you happen to be on I-70 between Kansas City and St. Louis, and are interested, you can't miss the cafe: it has an Elvis theme--there's a 16-foot high statue of The King out front, and more than 3,000 Presley pictures inside--and it's just off the interstate on the north service road at the Wright City exit. The museum is the annex in back.
And in Memphis, the folks at the much bigger edifice really don't think too much of all this stuff about Elvis still being alive. If one were to listen closely, one might even hear something that sounds like, "You're Nothing but a Hound Dog," wafting from Graceland toward Wright City, Missouri, and Moneta, Virginia.
But then again, maybe not.
Diversion #10: Elvis, or someone else, was murdered in Graceland!
"JustMe" posted this message in August 2003 on an Elvis "underground" messageboard:
"It's well documented a murder occurred August 1977. Its just a question of the identity of the "murder" victim. Was it the "double" who was to go on Tour? Who committed the murder? Doctor Nick stated on television it was David Stanley who committed the murder. The murder was mentioned on Geraldo, and other talk shows.
Donna Presley Early mentions the murder in her book, and stated that Vernon asked Dick Grob to investigate David Stanley's whereabouts the time of the "murder." David, himself, stated in his book that Vernon suspected him of the murder. Thompson and Cole mention the Murder in their book, but reported some people thought it was Elvis who committed the murder. Dick Grob mentions investigating the murder in his book. The murder is common knowledge among "some" Gatheringites.
Ellen Marie Foster mentions the "murder" in one of her letters to Pat Elliott, and indicated the body was poisoned with "arsenic" in his whiskey. Ellen says simply it was "arsenic in whiskey."
Ellen looked like Gladys Presley, and Elvis gave her his mother's ring. Ellen donated it to a museum...... Ellen was an "insider," and was good friends with Aunt Delta."
Diversion #11: Elvis living in his plane!
"The Elvis Special" ran this item in its newsletter:
'We have received startling news from four different people from Louisville, Kentucky. A TV news program ran a story that a plane has been found registered to Elvis and apparently being lived in by an unknown person. The plane is large, with all the comforts of home and even has a swimming pool area. People are asking if Elvis is living in it.'
Diversion #12: The Presley Commission 'watching' Mary Smiley
Diversion #13: Elvis insane from childhood!
Messageboard posting by JOEORMARY May 21, 2003
Elvis was "insane" since childhood! He was a victim of incest, and physical abuse! He was a dual personality! This is in books! The Fairytale book for one reports the physical abuse in vivid detail!
The "den" scene aluded to what occurred. It's devasting! Elvis came out looking like a "mummy," meaning frozen in shock. The Fairytale book describes the horrifying scene. I cried on and off for hours
Diversion #14: The Wanda Hill Phone Transcripts
The story goes that Ms Hill taped her phone conversations. This is an alleged excerpt from acall to Graceland in 1969:
Priscilla Presley: Not this man! He said what he felt for me was something unreal, too hard to put into words, and went beyond mere love. That it was something more we had to do on this earth and he cared more for me than himself. When the time is right, he said, then I'd understand what he meant! Je gave me that old double talk, but he didn't make love to me. He wouldn't let me do anything! "L.", Elvis-if he hasn't been cheating, hasn't had sex of any type at all for at least 7 months! Not with me!
"L.": My God Beau! I think you should insist he see a counselor. You can't go on living like that! If he's just angry about [name omitted] then you must get it out in the open! It's not natural, is he, Beau, is he having a problem sexually? Maybe that's his hang up.
PP: No, that's not it. He's capable. He just refused to allow any contact that might lead to sex. He's loving in other ways, bringing me nice gifts, giving me flowers, and he's polite. He kisses and cuddles. I've thought he wanted sex, but if I try he's turned off! I just don't know what to do with him anymore.
"L.": Could it be the religious thing's he's into now?
PP: I think that's a big part of it. Elvis said the energy used for sex was tremendous, that channeled in the right direction, it could benefit him directly, that it was good to be chaste. It deepened the love nature, enriched the soul and made you stronger! Its sinful when used as a game, or just fun and that it should be one of mediation and prayer, treated as a gift from God! He went on and on about it, then said from now on I have to listen to him and practice what he did because from now on sex was going to be "right" or not at all! I think he's trying to force me to take part in his religion by withholding his affections this way.
"L.": He sounds a little warped out Beau. I really believe he needs to talk to someone not one of those religious nuts he sees either! That's crazy. You are married. It's not a sin!
PP: That's not all he thinks either. He sits for hours at the pool in the moonlight, stares at the water and talks to himself! He says he sees and hears voices talking back, that he can see people in the water! Then he lights candles and chants! He spends hours mediatating and won't talk to anyone! Or even move! I caught him teaching Lisa to do the same thing at the pool the other day. I told him to stop it. He got so angry he stormed away in a huff to the barn. I can't talk to him anymore about anything without him getting uptight or mad. I really think he doesn't love me anymore, that he wishes he were free.
"L..": Oh I hope not! You need to see someone, [here she goes on about them being perfect together] Elvis is such a nice guy. He loved you so much he couldn't just change like that! It must be the crazy things they're teaching him at that retreat! It must be that!
PP: I'd like to blow the place to bits! Since they've had their hands on him he has become a different man!
"L.": He's so sexy...[part cut out here]
PP: He used to be...but that was before the baby came....
"L.": And before he joined the religious center--
PP: It was.
"L.": I think that's it. He told G. something about his wanted to be a priest! Wanting to gain the knowledge and the power to help people. He said it was difficult. He had so many bad habits to overcome. Maybe sex is one of them? In his mind, I mean.
PP: It is. I'm sure of it! But I'm his wife, doesn't that count! My God, I have got to get him aways from those...people!
"L.": I hope you can soon. I'd hate to see Elvis ruined.
JNA & Associates Pty Ltd (Investigative Consultants)
Careless Love The Unmaking of Elvis Presley, Peter Guralnick
Elvis' DNA Proves He's Alive, Bill Beeny
Elvis The Secret Files, John Parker
The Death of Elvis: What Really Happened, Charles C. Thompson II & James P. Cole
The Tupelo-Memphis Murders: A Psychological Study of Self Destruction and Murder!, Anonymous
True Disbelievers: The Elvis Contagion, Serge Denisoff & George Plasketes
"Evangelist Says He Resigned as Pastor over 'Differences,'" St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 9 April 1961
"Evangelist Sees U.S. Officials on Red Inquiry," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 12 April 1961
"Evangelist Beeny Tells of Penchant for Sticking Head in Lion’s Mouth," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 23 April 1961
"Beeny March Supports War," Springfield Press Leader (MO), 1 November. 1965
"Beeny Displays Weapons for 'Home Defense,'" St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 27 June 1966
"The Rev. Bill Beeny Endorses Wallace," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 24 July 1968
"Voice of Reason, Inc.," Federal Register, vol. 35, no. 85 (1 May 1970), 6988-9"Bill Beeny is Refused Broadcasting License," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 5-6March. 1971
"What Ever Happened to Bill Beeny," St. Louis Globe-Democrat, 14-15 August. 1976
Underground Websites, Messageboards & Chat Groups (most are no longer active):
Mary Smiley's 'Molly & Joe' board
Mary Smiley's Private Messageboard
"Elvis Presley is the supreme socio-cultural icon in the history of pop culture"
(Dr. Gary Enders)
"Elvis is the 'glue' which holds our society together....which subconciously gives our world meaning"
"Eventually everybody has to die, except Elvis"
(humorist Dave Barry)
"He is the "Big Bang", and the universe he detonated is still expanding, the pieces are still flying"
(Greil Marcus, "Dead Elvis")
"I think Elvis Presley will never be solved"
"He was the most popular man that ever walked on this planet since Christ himself was here"
"When I first heard Elvis' voice I just knew I wasn't going to work for anybody...hearing him for the first time was like busting out of jail"
"When we were kids growing up in Liverpool, all we ever wanted was to be Elvis Presley"
(Sir Paul McCartney)
"You can't say enough good things about Elvis. He was one of a kind"
"And don't think for one moment he's just a passing fancy....he's got enough of it to keep him on top for a long time"
(R. Fred Arnold, Fury magazine, Aug 1957)
"It isn't enough to say that Elvis is kind to his parents, sends money home, and is the same unspoiled kid he was before all the commotion began. That still isn't a free ticket to behave like a sex maniac in public"
(Eddie Condon, Cosmopolitan)
Elvis records reaching #2 & #3 on the Cashbox Pop Singles chart:
#2: A Fool Such As I (1959)
#2: A Big Hunk Of Love (1959)
#3: Hard Headed Woman (1958)
#3: One Night (1958)
#3: (You're The Devil) In Disguise (1963)
Tickets for Elvis' show on March 29, 1957 in St. Louis cost $2.00 to $2.50
While in Germany Elvis was hospitalised with tonsillitis in October 1959
Despite being an illegal immigrant, photographic evidence shows Colonel Tom Parker traveled to Canada with Elvis in 1957
Elvis strongly believed there weren't enough good songs in King Creole to justify releasing a soundtrack album. RCA initially agreed, releasing two very successful EPs from the movie. A soundtrack LP eventually followed
During the 1960s Elvis had his own football team, Elvis Presley Enterprises, which played in the Menphis touch football league. In the 1962 final, EPE narrowlt lost to Delta Automatic Transmission. 6-13
In Clambake, (Elvis) Scott Hayward's driving licence shows February 23, 1940...taking 5 years off Elvis' real age
In the 1970s Elvis was ofered $5m to stage a concert in front of the Pyramids in Egypt. When the Colonel declined the offer, Saudi billionaires raised the offer to $10m