Let’s take a look at the Stanley brothers and the Howard Johnson’s Motel just north of Graceland on August 15 and 16, 1977. Some of this comes from previous commentary and analysis, but a few new questions are worth asking:

Dick Grob claims that David Stanley and Rick Stanley were at the Howard Johnson’s Motel, a “block-and-a-half” north of Graceland, on the morning and early afternoon of the sixteenth. Grob suggests that Rick Stanley arrived there sometime just after 12:00 a.m. [364–365], and that David Stanley arrived there shortly after 4:15 a.m. [367]. Rick was there until David woke him that afternoon by banging on the door, at which time he informed him that Elvis was dead [365]. David was also at the motel, in a different room, and he did not return to Graceland until 2:30 p.m. At that time, he drove to the back of the house and heard from someone that Elvis was dead [367]. This account is in direct conflict with nearly every account of Rick Stanley being at Graceland, passed out on Demerol, or at Grisanti’s for lunch, and David Stanley being on the property, shooting pool with a friend who was whisked away from the estate when David heard that Elvis was having difficulty.

On page 256 of “The Death of Elvis,” Grob is quoted (from another source) as saying that, “Ricky was downstairs zonked out of his gourd.” So Grob is saying that Stanley was partying at the Howard Johnson’s Motel, and that Stanley was at Graceland (presumably) passed out. The information pertaining to the whereabouts of Rick and David would have been obtained a short time after Elvis’s death, while Grob’s statement in “The Death of Elvis” was made several years later.

On page 364 of his large word-filled book, Grob claims that Rick Stanley admitted that he and his brother were at the Howard Johnson’s Motel and not at Graceland. And according to Grob [363], David Stanley confirmed that Rick was at the HoJoMo, and he confirmed that he (DS) was also at the motel [367].

Keep in mind: Dick Grob states that Rick Stanley probably left Graceland to go to the motel “around two in the morning” [363] Grob states that David Stanley went to the motel at “around four or four thirty in the morning,” according to the motel night manager. Grob states that David said he left Graceland at about 4:15am. But wait a minute. In Grob’s 1979 book synopsis, he says that at 8:00am, “Ricky Stanley was posted in the house and everything seemed as it should be.” How did Grob write as part of his 1977 “investigation” that the Stanley brothers were at the HoJoMo, while in his 1979 synopsis he places Rick Stanley at Graceland? And then in his 1995 book, he moves Rick back to the motel…? See that? Grob says 1977…motel; 1979…Graceland; 1995…motel. Then, to top it all off, he says in the 1979 synopsis that his proposed book will “[raise] a question regarding the whereabouts of Ricky Stanley during the time he was supposed to be posted outside Elvis’ door.” Does this sound like Grob had confirmation of the Stanley brothers at the HoJoMo, or that he was just “raising” a question? And more importantly, if Grob had Rick Stanley and David Stanley off their posts that day, why did he pivot so quickly and thoroughly to Ginger Alden?

Rick Stanley, on page 337 of “Elvis, We Love You Tender,” is described as busying himself with various chores at Graceland and waiting for his brother, David, during the late morning hours that Tuesday.

Just to show the inconsistencies regarding Rick Stanley’s whereabouts, let’s look at his alleged location/actions on the morning of August 16, 1977:

  • Rick is at the Howard Johnson Motel with a female friend doing drugs and drinking.
  • Rick is passed out on Demerol in the basement of Graceland.
  • Rick is busy doing chores and getting ready for the tour.


If Rick Stanley was at the motel, then he wasn’t getting things ready for the tour.

If Rick Stanley was at the motel, he wasn’t passed out on Demerol in the Graceland basement.

If Rick Stanley was at the motel, he was not talking to his brother at 12:noon at Graceland.

If Rick Stanley was at the motel, he was not at lunch at Grisanti’s.

If Rick Stanley was at the motel, he did not have a feeling that “something was wrong,” a feeling that compelled him to go to Graceland (this was a go-to story for Rick Stanley for decades).

If Rick Stanley was at the motel, and he left after David Stanley informed him of Elvis’s death, then he did not return to Graceland and ask why “the men” were not doing their work.

If Rick Stanley was at the motel, then someone else picked up and delivered the Dilaudid prescription (though the pharmacist identified Rick as the person who picked up the drugs).

If Rick Stanley was at the motel, someone else delivered either one or two drug packets to Elvis early that morning.

See how one lie causes a ripple effect through all the relevant information and accounting? If Rick Stanley was at the HoJoMo, then his entire narrative falls apart. And this is even more complicated (messy) because Rick Stanley and Dick Grob were the two most prolific liars in all of Elvis World.

According to Grob, he was told by the HoJoMo night manager that both Rick and David “had been in that day and both had rented rooms for the night.” This has to refer to the night of the 15th. But why did Rick get a room at the motel if he was scheduled to work, had no one to cover for him, and didn’t leave work until Elvis told him not to “bother” him until a wake-up call later that afternoon? More amazing mental powers from Rick Stanley, I guess.

[Note that as part of Grob’s masterful detective work he did not speak with the daytime motel manager, who would have provided some interesting and very useful information to him. Or…did he…?]

Rick Stanley told Grob he had “just met” the girl he was with at the HoJoMo. Grob says the girl told him that she had known Rick for “some time.” (Note: They’re both lying.)

Switching now to David Stanley’s whereabouts:

Grob claims David Stanley was playing pool with a male friend on the evening of August 15 [366] while every other account places the pool game on the early afternoon of August 16. David Stanley has been repeating variations of this story for four decades…that he was playing pool with his friend when he learned that Elvis was having a medical emergency. If David Stanley was at the HoJoMo early that afternoon, then his “shooting pool” story, and all his other accounts from this time period, fall apart. See also, here.

David Stanley told Grob (according to Grob) that he awoke at about noon at the HoJoMo, “horsed around” for awhile, and then drove to Graceland alone around 2:30pm, at which time he heard that Elvis had died. Grob writes that Stanley was heard “by several people” to say, “I killed him,” but no source/witness is named [367].

Around 1:00pm, Aurelia Dupont claims that David Stanley and Mark White came by her house and David said, “We just killed Elvis.” This would have occurred during the “horsing around” block of time.

What time did David inform his brother of Elvis’s death? Had to have been after the initial trip to Graceland at 2:30pm, and yet David says he went immediately to Baptist Hospital.

If David was alone at Graceland at 2:30pm, then what do we make of the “I had to drive my friend off the property” claim, re: Mark White?

To close, if Rick Stanley and David Stanley were at the Howard Johnson’s Motel at the times outlined above, then everything they have said about their actions and whereabouts that day is part of a deliberately false narrative. Why?