Guilty! But Dr Murray’s Not The Only One

November 8, 2011

Dr Conrad Murray, the man charged with looking after Michael Jackson at the time of his impending 50-date tour at the o2 in London, was found guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter of the pop star after a six week trial. The little shriek in the court as the verdict was read out came from Jackson’s sister, Latoya. Meanwhile, outside the court, Jackson’s fans, some who are totally off the scale in their devotion, were dancing like the munchkins in the Wizard Of Oz, on hearing the wicked witch was dead. Dr Murray has been placed in the county jail, pending his sentencing on the 29th of this month. He’s looking at up to four years behind bars.

Dr Conrad Murray

“Yes, sir. Life’s good. I got the job of looking after the King of Pop. It doesn't get any better than this…”

Dr Murray quite rightly had to take the rap for his negligence. His (literally) fatal error was to not call the emergency services straight away once it was clear the administration of propofol, an anaesthetic that can knock out a horse at 20 paces, had been too effective at putting Jackson to sleep. In his understandable panic, because it’s not every day you get to look after someone so important, then kill him, he didn’t call the ambulance, then lied about the use of propofol when they eventually arrived. If the ambulance had been called earlier, perhaps Jackson would still be alive today and we wouldn’t have known about that incident. But there you are. Our Conrad will soon have plenty of time to reflect on the Faustian pact he made by taking that job. Dr Murray’s fateful (and fatal) act was the full stop on the sad life of Michael Jackson, but there were plenty of people who took him to the airport of celebrity dysfunction. Destination: misery. The cosmetic surgeons who should’ve refused to work on his face, but couldn’t say no to the mighty dollar, so he ended up looking far scarier than his zombie in that video; the doctors who could’ve found a way to wean him off his addiction to painkillers rather than feed it; the people who thought it was a good idea to ramp up his UK tour to 50 dates instead of 10, as originally planned. Even if he wanted to do the 50 dates, someone should’ve said no. The pressure would’ve been on. Maybe he needed more medication to cope. He got his wish. He’s dead.

And then there’s the family. Leaving aside the well-documented story of the father’s mistreatment of Jackson as a child, I feel conflicted about this one. I heard some callers on a radio phone-in last night asking: “where was the family?” Suggesting they allowed him to fall. Others suggested they’d done very well out of him. I had asked the same questions and came to the same conclusions. But I had to step back a bit and think about it, because we don’t really know what goes on behind the scenes. Families around the world are trying every day to help an addicted sibling or parent. Sometimes, they can turn them around, sometimes, sadly they cannot. Certainly for the Jackson family, the guilty verdict of Dr Murray will prove to be a hollow victory, because it doesn’t bring their brother back and any guilt they may feel about not doing enough for him while he was alive will remain. But maybe I’m being too generous, because La La land being what it is, with the residents not living the same code as the rest of us, they’ll continue to keep the coffers flowing in MJ’s name for as long as they can.

C’est La Vie.



  1. There are a lot of other guilty persons in this case who will never be charged. Murray took a huge pile of cash to administer hospital-grade drugs unsafely to a rich addict at his home, and he will pay for it. But that family is a flock of ghouls rivaling even the Memphis Mafia who continue to profit from Elvis’ addiction and death.

    No one said no to Michael, because he was the golden goose. That sealed his fate. He didn’t have a chance.

    • I’d forgotten about the Elvis one. Several years ago, they tried to shut down a memorabilia shop in London called Elvisly Yours, because the man who ran it used the name Elvis Presley on all the bits and pieces he sold, including watches and toiletries. It was thrown out of court because apparently the Memphis Mafia, as you call them, didn’t have sole rights to the name. I don’t know if that shop is still around, but that was a victory for the little man.

      Given how badly things seem to end up for people like MJ and Elvis and the subsequent milking of their productions in perpetuity, I wonder if it’s actually dangerous to be supremely talented. It certainly doesn’t seem to be much fun, if you don’t have the right support.

  2. I personnaly think that the other Dr. Cline he had alot to do with michael death too because he was a part of that cocktail when do he get his verdict

    • I don’t know who this other doctor is, but he would be but one of a long line of ‘professionals’ who were anything but. They must all be breathing a sigh of relief that Murray took one for the team. But they shouldn’t get too comfortable. Any one of them could be caught out one day, if not for what they did to Jackson, perhaps some other celebrity.

      Welcome to my blog, Diane. You can comment on anything you fancy.

  3. His life was blessed and it was a damn tragedy as well. He seemed to be very susceptible to influences and not strong enough to make his own way in the world. It’s a sad life. The plastic surgery overdose should have gotten him help but it didn’t. Everybody just kept taking from him. Celebrity is kind of ugly sometimes.

    • You would’ve thought the excessive plastic surgery gave a bit of a clue to how he was descending into his own private hell, but as has been said so many times, he was too big a gravy train for too many people. He isn’t the first and he won’t be the last.

      Celebrity’s a bitch.

  4. Sad situation. Money isn’t everything, is it? Great article, Pie.

    • If you’re damaged from the off, having lots of money won’t make things better.

      There’s nothing wrong with money per se, because it’s an important form of exchange for goods in this society, but if you don’t have the inner balance to use it wisely and not allow it to rule, it can only lead to your ruin. And if your life is run by the pursuit of the currency of your choice, you can quite easily ignore the signs of your money maker’s mental and/or physical decline, as long as they can still produce.

      Thanks for your kind compliments, Team Oyeniyi and welcome to my blog.

  5. If he was driven by greed, then maybe his astronomical fees included the risk, knowing a few years inside would still be worth it!

    Loving the blog, Pie! You’ve got another fan 🙂

  6. I don’t think someone so greedy would’ve considered building that kind of event into his fees. That would be calculating beyond measure and works on the belief that he could make a fatal error one day, the kind of thoughts you can’t afford to have swimming in your head as a health professional. He would’ve wanted that golden goose to be in as good a shape as possible.

    No amount of money will make his jail sentence easier to bear, or regain his medical licence. it would be of no surprise to me at all if he made the news again in around five to ten years time, due to a cancer diagnosis, heart attack or a stroke. The amount of stress he’s endured and will continue to endure would be just the trigger for diseases like these.

    Welcome to my blog, Dotti. You can comment on anything at anytime.

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