Jerry Stauffer – Assistant District Attorney General
Stauffer was present at the Homicide Department on the afternoon of August 16, 1977, when a call came in from Baptist Hospital alerting them to the fact that Elvis Presley, “had been transported to the hospital and was apparently DOA, dead on arrival.”
Stauffer accompanied the MPD detectives to Graceland so he could observe, “how they processed a scene and how they conducted an investigation.”
Stauffer first went with McCachren to Baptist, before they went to Graceland, where they met with Maurice Elliott of Baptist. In Elliott’s office McCachren spoke with Joe Esposito and Charlie Hodge, and during this discussion Stauffer learned, as the story was told to McCachren, that, “Ginger Alden had found Elvis and yelled downstairs for help.” This meeting and brief interview took place at approximately 4:00pm, before any TV news reporters had spoken to Esposito and Hodge.
Stauffer considered himself a “guest of Lt. McCachren” on the trip to Baptist and then to Graceland.
Upon arriving at Graceland and being escorted to Elvis’s upstairs suite, McCachren, Dan Warlick, and Stauffer were informed that the bathroom had been cleaned up.
Stauffer states that he overheard Warlick interviewing Ginger and recalls that she said she had woken up “some hours later” after Elvis had gone into the bathroom. Stauffer stated that he thought Ginger said she had woken up “somewhere close to noon” and when she saw that Elvis wasn’t in bed she went into the bathroom and found him on the floor. The interviewer does not ask about Stauffer’s reference to Ginger saying she found Elvis “somewhere close to noon.”
Of the search in the suite, Stauffer says that, “If there was a search, it was a casual thing where he [Warlick] looked across [the bedroom] and saw what there was obvious to see.”
Stauffer says he saw “quite a number of guns” in the bedroom, as well as a syringe “in plain view.” Stauffer adds that a second syringe was found, “in the room where Miss Alden was interviewed,” which would have been Elvis’s office.
Consider this exchange:
And the kicker:
Let’s think about this. There are four investigators present at Graceland in the upstairs suite, along with several of Elvis’s close associates in different rooms of the house. These associates include his closest advisors and friends, his girlfriend/fiancée, his personal physician, and his on-premises nurse. The investigators (ME investigator Warlick, plus MPD detectives Millican, Peel, and McCachren) are supposedly trying to ascertain what had happened that day regarding Elvis’s medical emergency and subsequent death. What are the associates doing? They are answering questions about Elvis’s activities, movements, and general health. But it is important to understand that there is a wall between these two camps. Where one camp (the investigators) was (supposedly) trying to learn about anything that may have contributed to Elvis’s crisis and death, they were met with the other camp (the associates) obviously trying to keep the drug situation under wraps. See the conflict? We do not have two sides working towards the same goal, we have one side actively and effectively blocking the other side from learning critical facts. While we see an absurdly weak investigative effort on the part of those assigned with investigating the case, we must assume that had they all been working towards the same goal, and the investigators had been made aware of what was really going on (for example, drug stockpiling and dispensing out of a trailer in the backyard), the investigators would have asked substantially more, and substantially different, questions. There would have been no discussion of alcohol and monitored hypertension and racquetball, there would have been questions about massive numbers of Schedule II and Schedule III prescriptions, Schedule II and Schedule III drug storage, the handling of these drugs, the dispensing of these drugs, the access to these drugs, etc. But did any of these questions get asked of anyone present? No.
And did we see any of the associates provide facts regarding these drugs, or these syringes? No.
Stauffer notes that the first syringe was found before Warlick spoke with Ginger, so when Warlick interviewed Ginger and asked her questions, the glaring omission is the syringe. He didn’t think the syringe was worthy of an inquiry.
Taking this one step further, and to emphasize the point, let’s not forget the absolutely epic failure of the entire group of investigators where they see TWO syringes in the vicinity of where a man has just died unexpectedly and without obvious cause, and not one of the four investigators, plus the tag-along Assistant DAG, bothers to ask even one question about these syringes. Imagine finding a single vehicle smashed into a tree, the driver is dead, and there’s an empty Jack Daniel’s bottle in the passenger seat. If you were investigating this case, would you ask the driver’s friends and family about a drinking problem? Of course you would. In the case of these investigators, they opted for other, fairly innocuous questions. No concern about the syringes. Just ignore them. Look at the commode.
It truly boggles the mind.
Up next, Dan Warlick.