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article imageNew book claims Jimi Hendrix murdered by manager

By Michael Cosgrove     Jun 3, 2009 in Entertainment
The book, ‘Rock Roadie’, was written by an ex-Hendrix roadie, James Wright. He claims in the book that Hendrix’s Manager at the time of his death, Michael Jeffrey, killed him in order to cash in on an insurance policy taken out by Hendrix.
Jimi Hendrix’s death is still being discussed 40 years after he died in a London hotel room on September 18 1970. He was 27. The official cause of death was recorded as being “Barbiturate intoxication and inhalation of vomit.”
The coroner’s verdict was an ‘Open Verdict.’ An open verdict in English law means that a death is suspicious but that a coroner is unable to reach any other verdict option.
But Wright claims in his book, to be issued at the end of June by JR Books, that Jeffrey told him back in 1971 that he killed Hendrix because he was worried that Hendrix was going to fire him and that the life insurance taken out by Hendrix would entitle him to two million dollars in the event of the guitarist’s death.
Wright is quoted by several music business papers as saying “I can still hear that conversation, see the man I'd known for so much of my life, his face pale, hand clutching at his glass in sudden rage."
Jeffrey is said to have declared "I was London the night of Jimi’s death and together with some old friends... we went round to Monika’s hotel room, got a handful of pills and stuffed them into his mouth...then poured a few bottles of red wine deep into his windpipe."
He apparently goes on to say that “I had to do it. Jimi was worth much more to me dead than alive. "That son of a bitch was going to leave me. If I lost him, I'd lose everything."
“Monika” is Minika Dannemann, one of Hendrix’s girlfriends, who spent Hendrix’s last night alive with him in the hotel room, at the Samarkand Hotel.
It seems certain that Wright is going to get a lot of media attention when the book is officially released because, unfortunately, Jeffery won’t be able to comment his allegations. He died in a plane collision near Nantes, France, in March of 1973. Wright is sure to be grilled on why he kept the information to himself for so long, only revealing it now that he has written his book.
There is other testimony implicating Jeffery however. Alex Constantine, in a book published by Feral House in 2000 called ‘The Covert War Against Rock,’ wrote that, two days after Hendrix’s death, Jeffrey confided to Producer Alan Douglas that he was “Implicated” in the affair. The book was about the violent deaths of several famous rock musicians.
Another element that helps keep alive the doubt surrounding the manner of Hendrix’s death is Dannemann’s testimony at the time and subsequently, which does not appear to be consistent. But she cannot be questioned on Wright’s assertions either. She committed suicide in 1996.
More grounds for doubt and rumour are to be found in the testimony of John Bannister, one of the medical team that attended to Hendrix upon his arrival at the hospital. He has said several times that although Hendrix’s lungs were full of wine, his blood alcohol level was low.
If one adds to all that the very singular personality of Michael Jeffrey, a man variously said to have been a Mafia member, close to the FBI, and fraudster, the whole affair becomes very complicated.
His relations with Hendrix were often conflictual and his contract was set to end at the end of 1970.
Mix all that together, throw in Wright’s book for seasoning, and you get an explosive cocktail that will surely stoke the fires of contention that surround Jimi Hendrix’s death for a while to come.
More about Jimi hendrix, James wright, Murder
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