The Unsolved Hollywood Murder Case of Jimi Hendrix’s Death
Jimi Hendrix was born on November 27, 1942 and died on September 18, 1970. Although he was not high on drugs at the time of his death, his death remains shrouded with mystery.
Hollywood Death and Murder
Just like many other Hollywood murder cases marred by drug overdose and unproven suspicion of foul play on deaths of Hollywood icons , Jimi Hendrix’s death is no exception. His death and the controversies surrounding it may have even almost equalled his fame as a legendary rock luminary of his time.
Born as Jimmy Allen Hendrix on November 27, 1942 in Seattle, Washington, Jimi Hendrix was a guitarist, singer, songwriter and record producer. He was considered the greatest electric guitarist in the rock music history by his colleagues and commentators in the music industry. Best known for playing his electric guitar using his teeth, the success of Jimi Hendrix in the music industry started in 1967 after his performance at the Monterey Music Festival. Jimi Hendrix won so many prestigious awards in his lifetime and was even touted to be one of the most important and influential musicians of his era, crossing all genres of music. His presence as a music icon was so strong that his death on September 18, 1970 while on tour in London and at the peak of his career came as a shock to Hollywood and to the music industry worldwide. He was 27 years old.
The circumstances of Jimi Hendrix’s death in London have never been fully explained. Reports from autopsy data states that Jimi Hendrix’s death was caused by suffocation of his own vomit, particularly of red wine which flooded his airways. Jimi Hendrix was found dead in the apartment of his girlfriend, Monika Dannemann, at Samarkand Hotel, 22 Lansdowne Crescent, Notting Hill a few hours after midnight. But there was no precise estimate of the time of Jimi Hendrix’s death in the initial investigation.
Speculations that continue to circulate around this Hollywood murder case until today are as follows:
1. In her original statement, Monika Dannemann claimed that after coming home with her
to the apartment from a party in London, she did not know that Jimi Hendrix took 9
tablets of her prescribed sleeping tablet, Vesperax. Vesperax is a German brand sleeping pill.
Reports said that the normal medical those for this tablet is only half a pill, which Jimi
Hendrix was not aware of. Dannemann further claimed that she discovered that Jimi
Hendrix was unresponsive and unconscious after 9 am, but he was still alive when he
was carried to the ambulance at about 11 :30 am and she rode with him on the way to
the hospital. However, this statement was later denied by the ambulance crew. Police
reports revealed that there was no one with Jimi Hendrix in the flat when the
ambulance arrived at 11 :27 am and had already been dead for sometime and was
fully clothed. If that was the case, why did Monikka Danneman lie ?
Years later, Monika Danneman claimed that Jimi Hendrix’s former road managers,
Gerry Stickels and Eric Barrett, were present when the ambulance was called.
According to her, both men took Jimi Hendrix’s possessions and recent messages.
Because of the inconsistencies in her statements pertaining to Jimi Hendrix’s death, a
libel case was filed by Hendrix’s English girlfriend Kathy Etchingham against Monika
Dannemann in 1996. However, Dannemann committed suicide before she could tell
the truth. This aroused more speculations about her involvement in Jimi Hendrix’s
death especially since only Monika Dennmann witnessed the last few hours prior to his
2. In a book ( Rock Roadie) written by James Wright, a former close aide of Jimi Hendrix,
he revealed that Jimi Hendrix was murdered by his manager, Michael Jeffrey, as part of
an insurance scam. According to Mr. Wright, Hendrix’s manager drunkenly confessed to
him in 1971 that he murdered Jimi Hendrix by ramming sleeping pills into his mouth
and washing ithem down with bottles of red wine. In the book, Jimi Hendrix’s manager
was quoted as saying:
"I was in London the night of Jimi's death and together with some old friends... we went around 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."
Allegedly, he had taken a life insurance policy for Jimi Hendrix worth US$ 2M ( about £1.2M at that time) with him, Michael Jeffrey as the beneficiary.
This angle over Jimi Hendrix’s Hollywood murder case was unfounded by any investigation because of the death of Michael Jeffrey on a plane crash 2 years after his confession to James Wright.
Nearly 40 years had passed but until today, the Hollywood murder of Jimi Hendrix remained unsolved. Although police reports officially declared his cause of death as suffocation from his own vomit, the report remains open ended. Despite being one of the most influential and heralded personality who ever graced Hollywood, the question still remains. Who killed Jimi Hendrix?