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November 9, 2011

Did MJ foreshadow his own death?

Posted: 09:15 PM ET

Michael Jackson is considered one of the greatest songwriters to ever make music. His lyrics were laced with stories of pain, deception by women and pleas for a better world.  One subject rarely covered in his catalog was drugs.

That was until 1997 on his remix album, “Blood on the Dance Floor.” “Blood” is widely considered Jackson’s darkest album, and was a change of pace for the artist, following his admission of addiction to pain killers in 1993 and child abuse allegations the same year. The track that best embodies this shift in Jackson’s mood is a song titled “Morphine.”

It’s a haunting song, solely written, composed, and produced by Jackson. The song seems to rebuke untrustworthy handlers and deceptive women at first; but in the hook, Jackson gets to the subject at hand. Singing from the perspective of morphine, Jackson pleads:

Trust in me

Just in me

Put all your trust in me

You're doin' morphine

Jackson then goes a step further as he sings about the drug’s effect. The most jarring section of this song, which is over six minutes long, shifts from a focus on morphine to another highly addictive drug, Demerol.

Relax

This won't hurt you

Before I put it in

Close your eyes and count to ten

Don't cry 

I won't convert you

There's no need to dismay

Close your eyes and drift away

Demerol

Demerol

Oh God he's taking

Demerol

Demerol

Demerol

Oh God he's taking Demerol

He's tried

Hard to convince her

To be over what he had

Today he wants it twice as bad

Don't cry 

I won't resent you

Yesterday you had his trust

Today he's taking twice as much

The section about Demerol also makes a huge shift in mood. Jackson goes from a hard rock sound to a ballad, as if singing a love song about the drug.

During Jackson’s autopsy in 2009, it was discovered that Jackson had prescription meds in his system. Part of Dr. Conrad Murray’s defense is that Jackson’s insomnia was caused by an addiction to Demerol, and Jackson was so desperate for sleep, he gave himself the anesthetic propofol to get to sleep. During court on Thursday, Dr. Robert Waldman, an addiction specialist for the defense testified, “I believe there’s evidence he [Michael Jackson] was dependent on Demerol.” Waldman also testified that Jackson was given large doses of the drug while being treated by his longtime dermatologist, Dr. Arnold Klein.

Could Jackson have been trying to make his fans aware of a Demerol addiction as far back as 1997? Was this song a cry for help? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.


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Filed under: Conrad Murray • Drugs • Michael Jackson


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October 28, 2011

Who's to blame: MJ or Dr. Murray?

Posted: 08:05 PM ET

So how exactly did Michael Jackson die? Experts from both sides have now had their chance to weigh in. We heard from the  prosecution's anesthesiologist earlier in the trial who said the only way Jackson could have died is by an IV propofol drip, which was set up by Dr. Conrad Murray. The defense got a chance to shoot down that theory on Friday when their own anesthesiologist took the stand.

Dr. Paul White testified that Jackson probably died after injecting himself with a fatal dose of propofol. He says the anesthetic was stacked on top of several lorazepam pills, which could have been taken without Dr. Murray's knowledge.

So what about Dr. Steven Shafer's IV demo, which he set up in court? It seemed pretty convincing. He showed everyone how he believes Dr. Murray placed a propofol bottle into a slit IV bag and infused the anesthetic into Jackson's body. Well Dr. White totally dismissed the whole thing, calling it "befuddling."

"Why would you go to all the hassle?" Dr. White asked.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Filed under: Conrad Murray • Drugs • Michael Jackson • Testimony • Witnesses


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October 27, 2011

Propofol lollipops anyone?

Posted: 09:28 PM ET

Dr. Paul White testified that lollipops laced with propofol may be an effective way to sedate patients without having to give them an IV, because the anesthetic can be absorbed through the tissues in the mouth.

The anesthesiologist also gave his opinion on a study done by the prosecution's witness, Dr. Steven Shafer. That research was conducted in Chile where 6 humans drank propofol with no adverse reactions.

Dr. White agreed with Dr. Shafer saying that propofol can't be absorbed through the stomach, and that he never concluded Jackson died from drinking it. He just speculated that it could have contributed to his death.

Blood testing of one of the subjects from Dr. Shafer's study showed the presence of propofol. Dr. White said this could have been the due to absorption through the tissues in the subject's mouth.

Check out Dr. White doubting his own theory that Jackson drank propofol:

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Filed under: Conrad Murray • Drugs • Testimony • Witnesses


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Witness: Don't put words in my mouth

Posted: 04:28 PM ET

Looks like one of the defense's final witnesses wasn't ready to play nice with prosecutor David Walgren. During an intense cross examination Thursday, Dr. Robert Waldman accused Walgren of putting words in his mouth. The judge stepped in and told Dr. Waldman that that's how cross examinations usually work.

Walgren asked the judge to strike several of Dr. Waldman's responses because he was being "unresponsive." When Walgren asked him how many hours each week he did dialysis work, it took Dr. Waldman about a minute and a half of back and forth before he could explain.

"What you're asking me is extremely non-specific and I'm telling you honestly I don't measure," Dr. Waldman said.

It seems like Walgren was trying to imply that because Dr. Waldman also practices dialysis, he may not be most knowledgeable expert for this case. Dr. Waldman testified earlier that Michael Jackson was dependent on the painkiller Demerol, given to him by his dermatologist Dr. Arnold Klein.

Walgren was also able to attack the addiction specialist's credibility by getting him to admit that he is not board certified in addiction medicine.

Complete courtroom coverage of the Conrad Murray trial airs live on HLN from gavel to gavel. It’s also on In Session on truTV from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET every weekday.

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Filed under: Conrad Murray • Drugs • Michael Jackson • Testimony • Witnesses


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Doc: MJ was dependant on painkillers

Posted: 01:36 PM ET

Addiction medicine specialist Dr. Robert Waldman said Dr. Arnold Klein's records from treating Michael Jackson show the King of Pop was receiving "large" doses of the powerful painkiller Demerol for seemingly no reason.

Defense Attorney Ed Chernoff displayed the dermatologist's records for treating "Omar Arnold," one of Jackson's many aliases.  The records showed Dr. Klein injected the singer with Botox and Restylane, drugs used for smoothing wrinkles. Dr. Klein also treated Jackson to reduce "excessive perspiration" by injecting Botox into his groin and armpits.

The records also showed each time Jackson received these anti-wrinkle or anti-perspiration medications he would also receive doses of Demerol.

Dr. Waldman testified that, based on his research, the treatments Dr. Klein gave Jackson were not painful procedures and the standard of care would not require painkillers.

Dr. Klein's records began in March of 2009, just a few of months before Jackson's death. At first, Jackson would receive 200mg of Demerol during his visits to Dr. Klein. By the beginning of May 2009, Jackson could receive up to 300mg from Dr. Klein. Read the rest of this entry »

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Filed under: Conrad Murray • Drugs • Michael Jackson • Testimony • Witnesses


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October 25, 2011

Nurse: No one who cares will give you propofol

Posted: 03:10 PM ET

Nurse practitioner Cherilyn Lee testified that Michael Jackson asked her to give him propofol to help him sleep. Fighting back tears, Lee said she told Jackson that nobody who cares or has your best interests at heart will give you propofol.

When Jackson first asked Lee for the anesthetic, she says she didn’t know much about it. Lee says she researched propofol and found out pretty quickly that it wasn’t used to treat sleep disorders and it wasn’t safe for use in a home setting.

Lee says she spent the night at Jackson's house so she could observe his sleep patterns. When Jackson woke up after about three hours of sleep, she says he told her that propofol was the only thing that would get him to sleep right away.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Filed under: Conrad Murray • Drugs • Michael Jackson • Testimony • Witnesses


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Jermaine: Pressure caused MJ's insomnia

Posted: 12:00 AM ET

The defense is arguing that Michael Jackson's sleep disorder was caused by his addiction to the painkiller Demerol.

MJ's brother Jermaine Jackson stated on twitter Monday that testimony from defense witness Dr. Allan Metzger proves stress caused MJ's sleep problems not painkillers.

Jackson received treatment from Dr. Metzger for close to 20 years for multiple issues including nutrition, sleep and pain.

Dr. Metzger testified that the King of Pop had a long battle with a sleep disorder.

Defense attorney Ed Chernoff said, “At what point did Michael Jackson bring to your attention that he had a sleep disorder?”

“Long ago . . . I would say 15 or 20 years, especially after performing. He could not come down,” replied Dr. Metzger.

Dr. Metzger’s testimony inspired Jermaine to tweet his feelings on his brother’s bouts with insomnia.

Check out Jermaine's comments here:

Complete courtroom coverage of the Conrad Murray trial airs live on HLN from gavel to gavel. It’s also on In Session on truTV from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET every weekday.

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Filed under: Conrad Murray • Drugs • Family • Michael Jackson • Testimony • Witnesses


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October 24, 2011

Doc: I warned MJ about IV sleep meds

Posted: 07:09 PM ET

Dr. Allan Metzger testified that Michael Jackson asked him for IV sleep medication a little more than a month before he died. Dr. Metzger said he told the King of Pop that any IV sleep medication would be dangerous.

Jackson received treatment from Dr. Metzger for close to 20 years for multiple issues including nutrition, sleep and pain.

Jackson met with Dr. Metzger on April 18, 2009 and asked for IV sleep meds, which he called "juice." The doctor didn’t know what he meant at first.

"I don't recall him naming medicines... but I do remember him saying many medicines did not work... I had personally tried him on Tylenol PM, which did not work," said Dr. Metzger.  "We had tried Zanax... and on that visit, I gave him Klonopin or trazodone, to be used not together."

Read the rest of this entry »

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Filed under: Conrad Murray • Drugs • Michael Jackson • Testimony • Witnesses


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Your guide to the defense's case

Posted: 04:42 PM ET

The defense case will be much quicker than the state's case. It took prosecutors 16 days, they called 33 witnesses and they displayed or marked more than 200 exhibits. In contrast, the defense is expected to take just a few days and finish presenting its case Thursday.

Lead defense attorney Ed Chernoff advised the court last week that they expect to call a third expert in addition to anesthesiologist Dr. Paul White and toxicologist Michael Hanson. While Chernoff did not say who his third expert would be, Dr. Stephen Pustilnik is on the witness list. He's a medical examiner from Texas and could contradict some of the testimony given by the Los Angeles county medical examiner who conducted Micheal Jackson's autopsy.

Here is a list of possible witnesses for the defense's case:

-Dona Norris, Evidence Manager for Beverly Hills Police Department

(Norris finished testifying Monday)

- Alex Supall, a police surveillance specialist with the LAPD

(Suppall will continue with his testimony when court resumes after lunch)

-Randy Phillips, President of AEG

-Dr. Paul White, Anesthesiologist

-Michael Hanson, Toxicologist – Analyzed Jackson's stomach contents

-LAPD detectives Orlando Martinez and Dan Myers

-Amir Dan Rubin, former Chief Operating Office of UCLA Medical Center

-Dr. Stephen Pustilnik

-4 character witnesses

Read the rest of this entry »

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Filed under: Conrad Murray • Drugs • Evidence • Michael Jackson • Testimony • Witnesses


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The prosecution's case in 6 & 1/2 minutes

Posted: 03:42 PM ET

Can you believe we're now on Day 16 of Dr. Conrad Murray's involuntary manslaughter trial? Doesn't really seem like a lot of time when you consider all of the evidence we've seen and heard.

Remember the audio tape prosecutors played of a slurring Michael Jackson (recorded by Murray)? Or all of the girlfriends who paraded out on the stand (one said she recieved shipments of propofol for Murray, another said she was on the phone with him the day Jackson died)? And who could forget the shocking autopsy photo or the hours and hours of medical testimony showing how propofol should be used.

If you've been living under a rock for the last few weeks or if you suffer from a bit of short term memory and can't remember that far back, then we've got you covered. All you need is six and a half minutes. Don't think we can cram the whole prosecution's case in that short of a time? We DARE you to watch:

Complete courtroom coverage of the Conrad Murray trial airs live on HLN from gavel to gavel. It’s also on In Session on truTV from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET every weekday.

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Filed under: Conrad Murray • Court docs • Drugs • Evidence • Michael Jackson • Testimony • Witnesses


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