Hendrix murder theory 'plausible'

Last updated 05:00 22/07/2009
An Australian doctor who failed to revive Jimi Hendrix in a London hospital nearly four decades ago believes it was possible he was murdered.
Reuters
MURDER? An Australian doctor who failed to revive Jimi Hendrix in a London hospital nearly four decades ago believes it was possible he was murdered.

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An Australian doctor who failed to revive Jimi Hendrix in a London hospital nearly four decades ago believes it was possible the guitar legend was murdered.

John Bannister has backed claims made in a new book on Hendrix suggesting the rock star was killed on the orders of his manager Mike Jeffery in September 1970.

Author James "Tappy" Wright, a roadie who worked for Jeffery, claims in his book Rock Roadie that Hendrix's manager hired a gang to break into the star's London hotel room and force pills and wine down his throat.

Bannister, who lives in Sydney but was deregistered as an orthopaedic surgeon in NSW for fraudulent conduct in 1992, was the on-call registrar at St Mary Abbots Hospital when Hendrix was brought in on September 18, 1970, drenched in alcohol.

He told The Times newspaper in Britain he believed Wright's version of what had happened to Hendrix that night "sounded plausible because of the volume of wine".

"The amount of wine that was over him was just extraordinary," Bannister told the newspaper.

"Not only was it saturated right through his hair and shirt but his lungs and stomach were absolutely full of wine.

"I have never seen so much wine. We had a sucker that you put down into his trachea, the entrance to his lungs and to the whole of the back of his throat.

"We kept sucking him out and it kept surging and surging.

"He had already vomited up masses of red wine and I would have thought there was half a bottle of wine in his hair.

"He had really drowned in a massive amount of red wine."

At the time, doctors recorded that the 27-year-old rock star had died from choking on vomit after a drugs overdose.

- AAP

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