Was Jimi Hendrix Murdered By His Manager Or His Death Was Actually Accidental?

Jimi Hendrix is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music despite his short-lived career. Furthermore,  The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame refers to Hendrix as arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music thanks to monumental albums such as ‘Are You Experienced,’ ‘Electric Ladyland,’ and ‘Axis: Bold As Love.’

The legendary guitarist was the winner of several music awards during his lifetime and posthumously influencing countless other musicians still to this day. Hendrix’s is passing created quite the controversy and some fans believe in conspiracy theories arguing that Hendrix was murdered. Let’s see if these allegations have any proof and what the science said about his death.

Some Fans Believe His Manager Killed Jimi Hendrix

After joining the so-called ’27 Club,’ his fans were convinced that Jimi Hendrix’s passing wasn’t just an accident. According to some, the guitarist committed suicide while others claimed he was murdered by his manager Michael Jeffery to make money from his life insurance policy, worth millions.

The rumors spread when a former roadie named James ‘Tappy’ Wright wrote in his book that Michael Jeffery admitted killing Hendrix. He said the manager drunkenly confessed to killing him by stuffing pills into his mouth and washing them down with several bottles of red wine.

There were two reasons behind his actions. He feared the guitarist might fire him for a new manager, and Hendrix was more profitable dead rather than alive since the life insurance policy on the musician was worth $2 million. Being the beneficiary himself, the manager thought killing the iconic rocker would bring him a lot of money.

In his book, Wright claims Jeffrey told him:

“I had to do it, Tappy. You understand, don’t you? I had to do it. You know damn well what I’m talking about. I was in London the night of Jimi’s death and together with some old friends. We went round to Monika’s hotel room, got a handful of pills, and stuffed them into his mouth.

Then poured a few bottles of red wine deep into his windpipe. I had to do it. Jimi was worth much more to me dead than alive. That son of a bitch was going to leave me. If I lost him, I’d lose everything.”

After the book was published, many fans had the reason to believe the story, and since Michael Jeffrey passed away on a place crash two years after the guitarist’s death, the theory was never confirmed. Because of this, there’s no way to know for sure if Jimi Hendrix was actually killed.

How Did Jimi Hendrix Actually Die?

Although the details regarding the last day and death of Jimi Hendrix are disputed, the guitarist spent much of his final hours with his girlfriend, Monika Dannemann, in London. The couple had dinner and shared a bottle of wine in a hotel room, and Dannemann drove him to an acquaintance’s residence after midnight.

After spending only an hour, she picked Hendrix up and drove him back to her flat at 3 a.m. According to Dannemann’s statement, the two talked for the next four hours before they went to sleep. Around 11 a.m., the guitarist’s girlfriend woke up and found Hendrix breathing but unconscious and unresponsive. After an ambulance arrived, paramedics transported Hendrix to St Mary Abbot’s Hospital, where Jimi Hendrix was pronounced dead on September 18, 1970, at 27.

A post-mortem examination was performed on the guitarist on September 21 by a forensic pathologist, Professor Robert Donald Teare. A week later, it was concluded that Hendrix choked on his own vomit while intoxicated with barbiturates which is a drug. It was later revealed that the rocker also had taken nine of his prescribed Vesparax sleeping tablets, which were 18 times the recommended dosage. Since there was insufficient evidence of his passing, Jimi Hendrix’s case was declared an open verdict.