How Did Jimi Hendrix Die?

By
© Jim Marshall Photography LLC

 

One tragic morning in the fall of 1970, 27-year-old Jimi Hendrix choked to death on his own vomit after consuming a fatal combination of alcohol and sleeping pills. Many details of the rock star’s last 24 hours are disputed.Was America’s “Black Elvis” just another druggie swallowed whole by the rock and roll revolution? Or was he the victim of malevolent forces beyond his control? Here’s what we know about the Jimi Hendrix death.

How Did Jimi Hendrix Die?

Jimi Hendrix died of complications related to drug consumption. It was not a drug overdose, but the side effects of prescription barbiturates that did it: He had to vomit and the sleeping pills he had taken inhibited his gag reflex, so he asphyxiated on his own upchuck.

But why did it happen?

Did the experimental youth intend to kill himself? Did he simply abuse his own limits with little thought of the consequences? Or worse, was the death a set-up – the skullduggery of a mysterious person or group who wanted this legend-in-the-making dead?

Although his death was never ruled a homicide or suicide, there are many who, decades later, believe there is much more to the story. There are a number of reasons to suspect foul play.

Whodunnit? Drug Addiction

There is no doubt many young musicians from the 60s and 70s succumbed to the drug-fueled excesses of the rock ‘n roll lifestyle – Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, and more.

But Jimi Hendrix was not a drug addict. He didn’t even have very much alcohol in his system at the time of death – the equivalent of four pints, according to the autopsy.

As for the meds, Hendrix was a chronic insomniac who often used sleeping pills to get enough rest for his grueling touring schedule. The drug that suppressed Jimi’s gag reflex has long since been pulled from the market. Such high-risk barbiturates are no longer used for routine sedative purposes, but in Jimi’s day, the risks were poorly understood.

It is possible that the nine barbiturates found in Hendrix’s lifeless body were nothing more than the restless superstar’s honest attempt to get some shut-eye before an impending trip to the United States.

Whodunnit? J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI

Some people insist that the Hendrix death has all the marks of a homicide, but why? In the weeks before his death, Hendrix indicated that he believed he would not live much longer. He is said to have remarked, “the next time I go to Seattle will be in a pine box” and “I’m not sure I will live to be 28 years old.”

But who would want to murder the shy peacenik guitarist?

How about J. Edgar Hoover? The notorious director of the FBI until 1972 had numerous Black leaders critical of the status quo offed in the name of national interests. We now know that Hoover ordered the Bureau to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit and otherwise neutralize” African-American organizations and leaders as part of the bloody COINTELPRO campaign.

We also know that Hendrix was being investigated by the FBI at the time of his death. Agents had a lengthy dossier on him, along with other high-profile radicals of the civil rights, Black Power and anti-war movements – some of whom died similarly abrupt and weird deaths at the height of their influence.

COINTELPRO tactics were ruthless and highly personalized. It was all part of an attempt to stifle the spread of anti-establishment ideas. Jimi’s meteoric rise to fame and his public affiliation with revolutionaries would have made him an obvious target of COINTELPRO.

Although we can’t say for sure if Jimi’s undoing was political – perhaps involving the forced ingestion of pills? – there are too many suspicious details to dampen enthusiasm for this popular political assassination theory.

Whodunnit? The Road Manager

We reserve the most suspicious character of all for last: Mike Jeffery, Jimi’s money-grubbing mafioso manager.

Allegedly a former MI6 spy for British Intelligence and rich with connections to organized crime, Jeffery’s influence on the young star was, by most accounts, shameful and abusive. It seems he embezzled away most of Hendrix’ fortune to offshore bank accounts, something Jimi was just catching on to at the time of his death.

It has been misreported that Jeffery had an insurance policy taken out on Hendrix prior to his demise. It is true, however, that the opportunistic manager proceeded to cash in on a treasure trove of unreleased Hendrix material as soon as the casket was closed.

We know Jeffery was in Spain the night of the Jimi Hendrix death, so he did not personally kill him. But did he use his Mafia ties to engineer the profitable demise of one of rock’s greatest? Even more disturbing, did he help Hoover’s FBI get rid of one of America’s most inflammatory public figures?

How did Jimi Hendrix die, really?

We may never know.

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10 Comments

  1. nfg

    nfg

    September 1, 2016 at 4:45 am

    this world holds too many secrets…everything is upside down…discrepancies between moral platitudes and cultural values…many died fighting for freedom,many spoke of unreal truths but were silenced or ignored and even discredited.yes something wants us all to live with fear if you live for truth…not only Hendrix but Bob Marley too(poison somehow,not cancer that totally killed him)even Prince I feel he was trying to expose something …he’s dead now too…

  2. Scott Feeney

    Scott Feeney

    July 17, 2016 at 9:19 am

    What I’d like to know is this one… If Obama is the good guy he claims to be, why hasn’t he helped restore the constitution Bush 2 and his evil thieving. Buddies ripped up for toilet paper…? Seems to me democracy is well and truly finished… Am I wrong..? All there’s left is trolling Internet n I bet NSA wants to control that too… Sigh…

  3. Scott Feeney

    Scott Feeney

    July 17, 2016 at 9:14 am

    Well said Boru.. I just watched a part of quite disturbing Documentary on this.. Seems fairly certain that he was ” water boarded” with wine, and drowned in it before alcohol even really got in his system…

    One thing noticeable about what happened AFTER was the ( sloppy ) shoddy railroading of exeedingly glaring inconsistencies in ” the story” laid out in Media as ” true” …

    … In other words a wash over of the facts, kangaroo justice, and character assasination in the media version after… As mentioned in the documentary. These seem consistent with ( Intelpro and CIA probably) tactics known to have been used at the time in many cases…

    A while back I saw an even more disturbing and quite thorough documentary detailing such things in relation to the death of Dr Martin Luther King…

    Example A of the patent lies peddled.. The supposed ” lone gunman” in this case could not possibly have shot King from where he was because 1 the angle was wrong, and 2 a very large tree blocked his view.. Evidence shows that THAT tree was removed within a day of Dr Kings shooting. ( I guess not all Government killers are sloppy morons…but the arrogance of their manipulations are a similar pattern all the same…

    The King documentary demonstrated repeatedly that numerous aspects of the ” killers” purported actions even did not stack up at all… ( again a deliberate and arrogantly shoddy set up for the guy. ( FALL GUY). Even Kings own family later stated they DID NOT believe be killed him…

    The sad reality is that the CIA and their like have proven themselves to not believe in Democracy nor justice and have over and over again worked to further a highly right wing and well bluntly a Facist agenda… Beyond merely preferring to support and instal Dictators in foriegn lands, one wonders how they get away with such farcical and exeedingly illegal actions even inside USA for so long…

    One even begins to wonder if they are sloppy on purpose to remind us what happens to people who stand up to them..? Kind of like Putin and his murder you with Polonium “gag”…

    Anyone find it vaguely creepy that ex KGB Putin is Russia’s dictator and at least one ex president. Was CIA boss too ( at least once…) funnily enough the US media never minded at all.. Hmm…

    Ps Gmen please don’t drown me in Wine… That’s a bust boys. I don’t drink wine… And go F yourselves you evil bastards… Democracy, say it like you mean it, Facists…

    • J. M.H.

      J. M.H.

      September 18, 2016 at 9:25 pm

      You know the truth

  4. Monica Gerber

    Monica Gerber

    June 8, 2016 at 5:08 am

    ITS VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY SAD THAT JIMI HENDRIX HAD TO DIE FROM DRUGS AND TAKING SLEEPING PILLS AND HE WAS A GOOD ROCK AND ROLL STAR AND I BET HE WAS IN A LOT OF PAIN AND HE WAS VERY VERY SICK FROM THE DRUGS THAT HE TOOK AND THATS TERRIBLE AND HE SHOULD HAVE GONE TO THE HOSPITAL TO GET SURGERY AND MAKE HIM FEEL BETTER AND I BET HIS FAMILY AND HIS FRIENDS REALLY MISS HIM AND HE HAD TO VOMIT FROM THE DRUGS AND ALCOHOL AND THATS TERRIBLE HE SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN TAKING DRUGS BECAUSE THEY CAN BE DANGEROUS AND POISON AND HE SHOULD HAVE USED GOOD THINKING AND THAT IS THAT

    • Jovan F Holley

      Jovan F Holley

      June 25, 2016 at 2:59 am

      He wasn’t on drugs he took sleeping pills because had insomnia did you even read it all the way through before you comment

    • boru

      boru

      June 25, 2016 at 3:41 am

      Children shouldn’t comment on things they don’t understand. All signs point to an accident or foul play, not him being a drug addict

    • nfg

      nfg

      September 1, 2016 at 4:15 am

      Screw you rightwinger Monika Gerber

    • nfg

      nfg

      September 1, 2016 at 5:02 am

      Richard Nixon of all people said once that the media has the power to shape public opinions…with that I say it’s time we the people start thinking on our own and stop believing everything being advertised or imposed on us…the truth has a past and it’s still out there!! We need more people with courage and that are never gonna give up on the truth….no matter what it is…Bless you all brothers and sisters of all colors

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