The rumour mills on the cause of Musician, Prince’s untimely and sudden death are running rampant as we all knew that they would. Everything from the flu to The Illuminati have been blamed thus far in tabloids, newspapers and even mainstream as well as underground media, blogs and water cooler conversations. All of us are Armchair Investigators and we all believe that we have some sort of idea as to the cause of the icon’s unexpected and sad death.
As I am writing this piece, the infamous vault in which Prince had reportedly stored over 2,000 taped tracks has been drilled open via orders from Bremer Trust after a Minnesota judge had appointed them as trustee for the late musician’s estate at the request of Prince’s only full sibling, Tyka Nelson an alleged “former” drug addict, herself.
To date, no one has come forward to petition the courts for probate and, unlike Michael Jackson whose lawyer came forward to file his Will when Jackson’s mother had tried to become the estate’s executor some 6 days after Jackson’s death, there has been no such move by any lawyer on Prince’s behalf thus far. Prince’s entire estate is now in the hands of the courts who will attempt to identify Prince’s 1 full sister and 5 half siblings where under Testate Law, the remaining estate, after governmental death taxes as well as final debts have been paid. It’s estimated that his estate is worth between $300-$500 million and growing as his record sales grow posthumously.
Also announced has been the fact that Prince’s death is now a Criminal Investigation. It’s alleged that Prince’s body was found with opiate prescription medication on or around his body as well as more having been found in his Paisley Park compound estate. Rumour has it that legal authorities have been unable to track down the source of the prescriber of these meds and may not have been legally prescribed. Allegedly, one pharmacy that Prince reportedly had visited at least 4 times in the few days before his death has been given a search warrant to find records possibly pertaining to prescriptions for these meds.
Also alleged by even Prince’s closest staff and family members, Prince had a dependency on Percocet, a prescription pain killer that one can only assume was prescribed for hip pain originally. Other rumours entail the idea Prince had also used Cocaine and hadn’t slept for 150 plus hours prior to his death. That rumour allegedly came from his brother-in-law, sister Tyka Nelson’s husband but it’s unclear whether there was any truth to that or not.
What is known is that Prince had been un-responsive while on a plane trip home from 2 make-up concerts in Atlanta, one week prior to his death. Someone aboard that plane, called ahead to say that they were landing and bringing in an “un-responsive male”. That male turned out to be Prince. It’s alleged that the hospital which treated him in Moline, Illinois had given him what was rumoured to be “the life saving shot” of Narcan, an antidote to an opiate or narcotic med over dose. Prince left that hospital and returned home within hours after being seen by doctors. He or someone taking responsibility for him at the time, had refused the hospital’s alleged recommendation that he remain for 24 Hrs. observation when it was learned that no private rooms were available. One could question this but, it makes some sense as Narcan (Naxolone) is known to block and reverse the effects of an opiate based or narcotic medication within moments and allow the patient to return to consciousness. From research on the subject, it appears that it’s rather standard/common protocol with this type of shot for the over dosed patient to be monitored for at least that many hours after a dose of Narcan so, it’s a believable and conceivable possibility.
However, there are many questions that remain wide open for speculation at this point in time. One such question that runs rampant with the imagination is the question of “why now?” By that, it’s referring to the idea that if Prince had indeed had an addiction to prescription opiate/narcotic pain meds for many years, what drove the man to this extent of usage at this particular point in time and especially, to the point of over-dosing on it now?
It’s been said incessantly that Prince had hip problems and pain from many years of wearing high heels and jumping off of places on stage during his performances, doing damage to both hips that would have required surgical intervention. Some have reported that he did have the surgeries in 2010 while others report that he had refused them due to his Jehovah’s Witness beliefs against possibly needed blood transfusions. There are media pieces that focus on the idea that it was the surgery and recovery with pain meds that got him “hooked”. Others state that it was his non-conformance with having the surgery that caused his pain and dependency then, addictions to them. Who is right and who is wrong about the reasons and, was he truly addicted to pain meds or is this all just a rumour as well, created or sensationalized to sell media?
Another factor in this ongoing mystery, seems to be the idea that Prince had allegedly assumed many different identities, “doctor and pharmacy hopping” to fill several different scripts for the pain meds with no records of any real prescriptions or prescribers for them. I’d have to ask the question of why would someone so wealthy, famous and influential, have the need to do either of those things when medications like that are simply a phone call away for him and money was no object? Secondly, how many doctors and pharmacists wouldn’t have known it was Prince no matter how well disguised so, why run the risk? Why not a staffer or other paid duty person? Thirdly, why was he running his own errands to drop off and pick up prescription meds when he had staff and Go-Fors at his beckon call? Something is not adding up with this scenario by a long shot. There are far too many holes and more questions un-answered than answered by this theory but, anything is possible I suppose.
Some have postulated that Prince knew he was dying and thus, his statement at the Atlanta concert of holding off and not wasting prayers on him for a few more days as a proclamation of him knowing about his upcoming death or there having been some sort of premonition that a known-only-to-him, health issue that would end his life. However, were that to be the case, one would also have to ask why Prince would have remained alone in that rambling estate, by himself when he was able to be surrounded by friends, staffers and family? It’s highly unlikely in my mind that Prince “knew”, intended or even had a premonition of his own upcoming demise. Add to that, the idea that a man, so meticulous in details would have foregone having a Will done, even in his pre-death days and you’ve got an incredulous situation that I can personally, discount as being a viable theory.
There was no cell phone or phone (even cordless) found near or around Prince’s body in the elevator in his Paisley mansion. That, to me, doesn’t seem to indicate that Prince felt that he was under any threat of a pre-existing health issue.
The last time anyone saw Prince alive was at 8 p.m. on the Wednesday evening prior to staff coming to find him dead in the elevator on Thursday morning. That was the point at which Prince had been driven to his pharmacy, picked up a prescription and was dropped off by a friend. First of all, had he not been feeling well or in any danger at that point in time, it would be highly suspect if that friend had have simply dropped him off and not checked in with him again afterwards at the least. Was there such an attempt by the friend? Was he simply refused and his calls gone un-taken? Why did he not notify authorities if he felt Prince didn’t look well enough to be alone in such a large estate and under those types of conditions? And, if this friend did notice Prince feeling un-well and did try to get in touch with him later on in the evening and got no response, it would have been even more reason to have had someone go to check on him, even if it were a staff member. It’s my personal conclusion that Prince appeared to be well enough when dropped off to be on his own.
Now comes the question of whether Prince had swallowed some of the pharmacy contents prior to getting onto that elevator and it caused his demise? Whether a bad mixture of meds both prescription and OTC meds or an overdose, it’s hard to fathom that Prince foresaw any sort of danger to himself. The lack of phone capability to call for help, seems to indicate that Prince was either too doped up to think of taking a phone with him or was trying to get to a stash of possibly, Narcan kept in his private residence but, didn’t make it on time before collapsing in the elevator. Narcan can be bought over the counter in both Illinois and Minnesota at several chain pharmacies so, it’s possible that he kept a kit on hand. What doesn’t make sense is that he’d have taken a lot of the medication and be without a phone nearby. Like all addicts (if that was the case), Prince knew how much to take but may have pushed the boundaries that night or perhaps, mixed a bad combo of both OTC and prescription meds accidentally.
Sadly, it’s likely that Prince had died at some point later that evening or into the early morning hours of Thursday, long before staffers had arrived to find him dead. The 911 call an unknown male made from the musician’s body seemed to not know the address of the Paisley Park estate. That makes it even more curious as to why a staffer wouldn’t have known the address and had to ask others who were allegedly there at the time as well. Did everyone show up at once? If so, why did none of them, appear to know the address? The male caller had to look at mail to get an address from to give to the 911 operator or something along those lines. He and whomever else was there, did not know the address. One person not knowing the address, ok. More than one not knowing, is less than believable as staff members. So, who was that caller? Who was that un-identified male? How did they get in and if another staff person had let him in, why hadn’t they found him and called for help or, have known the address?
One thing was for certain. The transcripts of that 911 call to notify authorities, proved that the caller was absolutely certain that Prince was dead and identified him as Prince. To me, that says that Prince had been dead for quite some time before anyone found his body as there were indisputable signs that he was dead and had been for awhile if a lay-person could easily say that he was dead for certain and “people are freaking out”.
I should make it known that while I liked a few of Prince’s songs, I am not nor was I, a “Prince Fan”. I was as shocked as anyone else in learning of his sudden and inexplicable death at that age. Most people know who Prince was no matter what genre of music one listens to on a regular basis. So, why am I writing about his death and delving more deeply into it than I should be, given that he really wasn’t a big or even significant part of my life nor, my enjoyment of music?
From my little corner of life, I didn’t believe the initial reports of such an active, lively, healthy and young-ish man could die like that from “the flu”. Is it possible? Of course. We are warned about it daily and every early Fall when the flu shots are being brought in. We are told to get our shots and many of us ignore them but, the reality is, I wasn’t buying the entire flu death idea. I still don’t buy into it and continue to question his real cause of death. However, I’m not naive enough to believe that the reality behind his cause of death may never be revealed to the public and we may get a neatly wrapped and sugar coated version in explanation when the entire report becomes available in weeks to come. This is one case in which I will likely always question the reality behind it as well as the media accounts. I’m sure I won’t be alone in that questioning either.
One thing is for sure…we’ll likely still be hearing from Prince through his music and newly released albums for decades to come. There’s said to be enough recorded tracks in that vault to release an album a year for the next 100 years. Thank you Prince even though you have stated that it likely wouldn’t be you who released it to the public.