Michael Jackson’s Cause of Death and Autopsy Report: Unraveling the Mystery

Michael Jackson's cause of death
Heart of Oakderivative work: BadMuroZ, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

This article provides an overview of Michael Jackson’s cause of death, including information on the police investigation, autopsy report, and more.


Known around the globe as the King of Pop, Michael Jackson delivered chart-topping hits and outstanding live performances to audiences worldwide. With a long list of number-one hits such as “Billie Jean,” “Thriller,” and “Rock With You,” the entertainer enjoyed success throughout his life.

While preparing for an upcoming performance, Jackson was having trouble sleeping. He felt that sleeping was essential to his ability to deliver such outstanding performances. I’m sure most people feel the same way. In his own words, he said, “If I can’t sleep, I can’t function.” It is unclear if this was an ongoing problem. Or if it was related to the stress of his upcoming concert performance.

What happened on the night Michael Jackson died?

On June 25, 2009, the singer left the performance rehearsal and returned to his home. His home was on North Carolwood Drive in the Holmby Hills section of Los Angeles, California. During the rehearsal and retiring to bed, Jackson complained of exhaustion. According to reports, the pop icon was dehydrated and having trouble sleeping.

During that time, the singer/performer was under the care of Dr. Conrad Murray. The doctor, a cardiologist, acquired and administered the drugs each night to help Jackson get an appropriate amount of rest. That night, Dr. Murray administered the drugs and was the last person to see him alive. Then, at around midnight, the doctor determined that Jackson wasn’t breathing. He attempted to revive him by performing CPR and calling paramedics.

Paramedics from the Los Angeles Fire Department arrived at approximately 12:26 AM. At the scene, they determined that the singer was in cardiac arrest. Next, they continued to perform CPR. Also, they injected epinephrine and atropine. Yet, he remained unresponsive. So, they rushed him to a nearby hospital, the UCLA Medical Center. Unfortunately, they could not revive him, and he was pronounced dead. The time of death was 2:26 AM on June 25, 2009.

The Investigation

The circumstances of Jackson’s death raised questions that led to a thorough investigation. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) played crucial roles in examining the events leading up to that fateful day. One key aspect of the investigation focused on the role of prescription drugs in Jackson’s life, a topic that had been a subject of speculation and concern.

Michael Jackson’s cause of death: The Autopsy Report

The official autopsy report, conducted by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office, played a pivotal role in shedding light on the cause of Michael Jackson’s death. Released on August 28, 2009, the report revealed that Jackson’s death was caused by acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication. Dr. Conrad Murray, Jackson’s personal physician, became a central figure in the investigation, as he had administered the drugs to help the pop star sleep.

The autopsy report detailed the presence of propofol, a powerful anesthetic, and various benzodiazepines, which are central nervous system depressants, in Jackson’s system. For example, Clonazepam, Diazepam, Lorazepam, Irazodone, and Flomax.The combination of these substances led to respiratory and cardiac arrest, ultimately resulting in his untimely death. The report highlighted the dangers of using such medications outside of controlled medical settings.

The L.A. Times published a copy of his autopsy report.

In addition, the report revealed several other things about his body, including:

  • First, his lips were tattooed the color pink
  • Also, his eyebrows were tattooed a dark color
  • In addition, the front of his scalp was tattooed with black
  • He suffered from vitiligo, a skin condition

However, despite these oddities, Jackson had no illness or disease that contributed to his death. Doctors speculated that he would have lived an average lifespan if it weren’t for the overdose.

What was his condition on the night he died?

He weighed just 132 pounds.

He was only 50 years old.

Fox News reported that the pop star was emaciated at his death. However, the coroner’s report states that he was still relatively healthy.

What was Jackson’s Estate Worth?

After he died, the IRS valued his estate at approximately $1.3 billion. According to the star’s will, he left 40% of his estate to his three children. Also, he left approximately 40% to his mother, while approximately 20% went to various charitable organizations.

Dr. Conrad Murray faced legal consequences for his role in Jackson’s death. In 2011, he was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for administering the drugs that led to the pop star’s fatal overdose. Murray was sentenced to four years in prison but was released in 2013 after serving less than two years due to good behavior.

Legacy and Impact

Michael Jackson’s death marked the end of an era and left an indelible impact on the music industry and his millions of fans worldwide. The investigation and subsequent legal proceedings brought attention to the risks associated with the misuse of prescription drugs and the responsibilities of medical professionals in ensuring patient safety.

Questions and Comments

The investigation into Michael Jackson’s death, coupled with the revealing autopsy report, provided a glimpse into the complex circumstances surrounding the demise of one of the greatest entertainers in history. The events that unfolded in the aftermath of June 25, 2009, not only shaped the legacy of Michael Jackson but also prompted a broader conversation about the intersection of fame, health, and the responsibilities of those entrusted with the care of public figures.

If you have any questions or comments about Michael Jackson’s cause of death, please post a message below.

Learn more about other celebrity death investigations.


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