Did Addiction Kill the King of Pop?

Commentators look for scandal after Michael Jackson's death is ruled a homicide. Instead, they find tragedy.

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Yesterday, the Los Angeles coroner announced that Michael Jackson's death was a homocide, caused by lethal levels of a powerful anesthetic. Immediately, the scrutiny surrounding Jackson's doctor Conrad Murray intensified. Murray prescribed Jackson drugs in the weeks leading up to his death, and news outlets reported today that he is sure to be the focus of a murder investigation. Without a compelling motive, however, columnists, say they aren't sure Jackson's death is quite so salacious. They think it's more likely that addiction and incompetence killed the King of Pop than cold-blooded murder.

  • There's No Sexy Story Here, Just Rote Incompetence, says Brian Moylan at Defamer. "It's not like Jackson was murdered because of passion, revenge, betrayal, greed, or ambition. He was just killed by a doctor who should have known what the [expletive] he was doing."
  • Addiction Killed Michael, says the Atlantic's own Hannah Rosin at The Daily Dish. "Are dealers also liable when people OD?"
  • We Should Cure Insomnia Without Drugs, writes January W. Payne in U.S. News and World Report. Payne notes that Jackson was using the anesthetics to treat chronic insomnia. The lesson from his death? "It's a good time to revisit safe ways to help cure insomnia."
  • Then Again... muses Perez Hilton, why did Dr. Murray wait a reported 82 minutes after Jackson stopped breathing to call for help? "All of this, combined with the fact that the good Dr. Murray went into hiding when the coroner's office and detectives went in search of him, builds up a very strong case against the man."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.