Was Dr. Nichopoulos at Graceland before the ambulance arrived on August 16, 1977? Most say he was not, and yet more than a few say he was. The ever-weakening official story goes that Dr. Nichopoulos arrived at Graceland at approximately 2:45-2:46pm, just as the ambulance was preparing to exit the property. He got into the back of the ambulance and then the ambulance proceeded down the driveway towards the gate. How, then, do we reconcile these accounts placing Dr. Nichopoulos in the upstairs suite at Graceland?
Kate B. Dickson in the Memphis Press-Scimitar, citing a statement from paramedic Charles Crosby: Dr. Nichopoulos was administering CPR when the paramedics arrived. [Also cited in “When Elvis Died.”]
William Thomas in The Commercial Appeal (August 21, 1977), quoting Paramedic Charles Crosby: “We went into the house and upstairs to Elvis’ bedroom. We saw about a dozen people downstairs and about a half-dozen or so upstairs. Then we saw Elvis lying face up on the bedroom floor. Dr. Nichopoulos was giving him cardiopulmonary resuscitation.” [Note, “bedroom floor.”]
Katherine Barrett in The Commercial Appeal (August 17, 1977), “Firemen’s Call To Graceland Was Anything But Routine”: “When Crosby and Ulysses Jones Jr., the two emergency medical technicians who handled the call, drove their ambulance up the drive to Graceland, they were taken straight to Elvis Presley’s bedroom, where he lay unconscious. With him were his doctor, George Nichopoulos and about 12 members of Presley’s staff.”
Lawrence Buser in The Commercial Appeal (August, 17, 1977): “Nichopoulos was performing cardio-pulmonary resuscitation when the ambulance arrived shortly after 2:30 p.m.”
Becky Yancey (who was not present): Dr. Nichopoulos “tried repeatedly to revive him, first by performing heart-lung resuscitation as Elvis lay face-up on the floor in blue pajama tops and yellow bottoms, and later on the way to Baptist Hospital in an ambulance.” Yancey’s book came out in 1977 so her account may have been based on news reports.
Dick Grob (who was not present): “Arriving in the upstairs room before the paramedics, [Dr. Nichopoulos] administered exterior cardiac massage.” Grob references Nichopoulos being present at least 2 more times. [“The Elvis Conspiracy?”]
Donna Presley Early (who was not present) stated that when the paramedics entered the bathroom, “Dr. Nichopoulos was working on the patient,” who was on the bathroom floor. [“Elvis Precious Memories”]
So, here we have a number of sources saying that Dr. Nichopoulos was at Graceland attending to Elvis when the paramedics arrived, and yet there is only one person in the position of an eyewitness to make such a claim: EMT Charles Crosby. Crosby was consistent in his account, having spoken to at least 2 local newspapers, and his account would have been among the first eyewitness statements available (before the flood of incorrect details).
Did these people get their information from the newspapers? If so, that source was Crosby.
Did the newspapers get their information from Crosby only, or anyone else? Hard to tell.
But here is the big question: Why did Charles Crosby, a professional paramedic and someone who, as a public servant, certainly had a commitment to the truth, and a civic responsibility to tell the truth, state unequivocally that Dr. Nichopoulos was in the upstairs bathroom when he and Jones arrived?
And the other big question: Dick Grob’s first book (which includes 3 references to Dr. Nichopoulos’s presence in the upstairs bathroom before paramedics arrived) was published in 1995, some 18 years after Elvis’s death, so why did he make this claim given all the previous claims/accounts to the contrary? Grob had 18 years to nail down the facts for his book, or at least 18 years’ worth of information to examine, and yet he still made a claim…3 times…that ran counter to most other claims, which describe Nichopoulos arriving just as the ambulance was leaving. Or, did Grob just rely on these old newspaper accounts?
Also worth noting is that in his 1979 book proposal (for “The Elvis Conspiracy?”), Grob wrote, “Finally Dr. Nichopoulos arrived and they [the people in the bathroom at the time] looked for some promise, some miracle, some hint that Elvis would be alright.” This clearly shows us that Grob was working with this information, and this specific claim, in 1979, and he then published this claim in 1995. Did he continue with this claim in his second book, “Safe and Sound,” which was published in 2018? Sure enough, he did. Grob had 41 years to examine this claim and to compare it to other claims, and yet he stuck with it when so many other accounts (even Dr. Nichopoulos’s own account in his 2009 book) do not place Nichopoulos in the bathroom attending to Elvis. Why?
And how do we explain Grob’s claim that Nichopoulos was in the bathroom attending to Elvis before the paramedics arrived, when he cites Dr. Nichopoulos as the source? In his second book, Grob writes that at the hospital, “I asked Dr. Nick what had happened and he told me.” Grob then tells us that Dr. Nick said to him, “I was driving up to Graceland to see Grandma when I saw the ambulance and rushed upstairs. [Elvis] was laying on the floor and Al was trying to do CPR on him.”
Dr. Nichopoulos had no recollection of this conversation, and said that he wasn’t even sure that Grob was in town.
Can anyone explain this? I mean, beyond the obvious…?
And back to Charles Crosby, one more time: Paramedic Crosby was quoted by several sources saying that Dr. Nichopoulos was present in the bathroom when he and his partner arrived at 2:33pm. This was not a one-off mistake that he later corrected; he repeated this account in the interviews he did just after August 16. Why?
ADDENDUM : 021721
In the August 25, 1977, morning edition of The Commercial Appeal, paramedic Charles Crosby is quoted as saying that when he and Ulysses Jones arrived at Graceland, “Nichopoulos was in the bathroom giving Elvis cardiopulmonary resuscitation”:
But in this article, Crosby specifically addresses the possibility that he was mistaken in his identification of Nichopoulos, saying he could differentiate between Nichopoulos and Vernon Presley. This indicates he was aware that his previous accounts (in previous reporting) had been disputed. In response to Crosby, Nichopoulos says that Crosby was “confused,” while Crosby counters that he was not confused.
Then, in a rather bizarre non sequitur, Nichopoulos defends his position of not having been inside Graceland at 2:33pm by saying that there were also reports of him being in the hospital with a mental breakdown, being admitted to the hospital after having a heart attack, and being dead. Really? Where were any of these claims published or spoken? Why on earth would anyone make up a story about Nichopoulos’s health and well-being on the day Elvis died?