The following is an excerpt from a 2005 interview with promoter and film producer Jerry Weintraub, and my commentary on the interview. (The full interview can be found at the link below.) Weintraub claims that Joe Esposito called to inform him of Elvis’s death before Elvis’s body had been taken to
Q : Were you with the Colonel when you found out Elvis passed away?
A : No, I was at home and he was supposed to start a tour for me the next day in
You know, there was nobody else that was gonna handle it besides Joe. He had to get in there and take care of things and he did. Roone Arledge knew because the minute they call 911, you know, it goes out on the air and the police know and it goes on the police radio and the television people and the associated press know and it takes about one second especially for someone like Elvis. [end]
Let’s look at the facts according to Weintraub, and the implications of his statements:
1. Joe Esposito knew Elvis was dead, and stated that Elvis was dead. What does this tell us about Esposito’s subsequent statements, where he describes the life-saving measures, and rushing with Elvis (in the ambulance) to the hospital in an effort to resuscitate him? If Esposito stated that Elvis was dead, why did the paramedics continue working on the body, and then proceed to BMH where resuscitative efforts were continued for more than 30 minutes?
2. Roone Arledge of ABC news knew that Elvis was dead before 2:47pm (when the ambulance left the property). Esposito had to have called Weintraub after 2:33pm when the paramedics arrived, and before 2:47pm when the ambulance departed for BMH. The ambulance was called at 2:30pm, so sometime over the next 17 minutes (2:30pm - 2:47pm), someone notified Arledge that Elvis was dead.
3. Weintraub says that the source of the information was the 911 call, but as I point out in Elvis Decoded, there was no 911 system in place in
Also, according to "When Elvis Died," there was no activity on the wires (AP, UPI, local news organizations) until after Elvis had arrived at BMH at 2:56pm. Thus, Arledge's source could not have heard from any news organization prior to 2:47pm that Elvis had died.
Again, a 2:30pm call was placed for an ambulance, and the call supposedly referred to an adult male in distress. The address of
We can conclude that any emergency call would include the address where the victim is located, and this address would be broadcast over the radio. If the address was recognized as that of
Also, a key question arises: Esposito would not have identified the victim’s identity over the phone to the dispatcher, and even the people who are familiar with the content of the call as it came over the police/fire radio said the call was for an adult male in distress. There was no mention of Elvis, and the people who knew the address assumed the person in question was Vernon Presley. So, if there was no specific mention of Elvis on the call, how did Roone Arledge know within 17 minutes that Elvis was dead? He would have had access to no such information at that time, neither the name of the person nor the condition of the person.
Further, with no Internet and no e-mail back then, Roone Arledge would had to have received a call specifically stating that Elvis had died, and this could not have originated with an anonymous post on a message board, or a mass-e-mailing, or whatever.
Finally, if Elvis was known to be dead at
Was the body really found at 2:20pm?
Why did Esposito find it so important to notify Jerry Weintraub of Elvis’s death at such a critical time?
What did Esposito mean when he said Elvis “hadn't gone”?
To close, Roone Arledge knew before 2:47pm (CT) that Elvis had died, but the 911 (emergency) call that Weintraub cites as the source of the information would not have included the identity of the victim, nor the victim’s condition. How, then, did Arledge know that Elvis was dead?