Will Elvis Presley See Revenge Against Media Mogul Rupert Murdoch?
By Chet Flippo (CMT News)
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The following is an interesting article by Chet Flippo, the Editorial Director for CMT.com. It sure is an MUST to read to shed a little more light into the how and
what was involved in how "Elvis: What Happened" came to light, what money changed hands for the stories and that it was Rupert Murdoch who saw to it that
Steve Dunleavy, the slimy sensationalist tabloid writer would be the one to work with Red, Sonny West and Dave Hebler.

In case you’ve been hiding out in a hole deep in the Sahara Desert, there is a very messy and convoluted media scandal underway here in the United
Kingdom involving Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch. What it essentially boils down to is this: Murdoch's
News of the World tabloid -- which has been
the best-selling tabloid paper in the English-speaking world -- has hired detectives over the years to hack into the cell phones of thousands of politicians,
celebrities and other prominent people.

That practise turned deadly toxic with the newspaper turning to hacking into the cell phones of ordinary citizens, including a missing 13-year-old girl (who was
murdered), the families of London train bombings terrorism victims and families of slain soldiers in Iraq. The scandal has angered so many people here in the
UK, they have forced Murdoch to shut down the News of the World.

In the 1973 Murdoch bought out two American newspapers, the Texas based
San Antonio News and the San Antonio Express. He then combined both
newspapers and launched the
San Antonio Express-News, but early on, he instructed the News staff to turn the paper into a "screamer." And the paper
soon did so. With a vengeance. The staff began introducing Murdoch's patented tabloid formula of sensationalism, sex, celebrities, crime and corruption. The
facts be damned

Murdoch also ran his newspaper with an institutionalised anti-rock policy which may well have been what led to the book that may have helped to kill Elvis

The 1977 book Elvis: What Happened? was a very messy tell-all expose, based entirely on interviews with three of Elvis' formerly trusted aides and
bodyguards who had recently been fired by Elvis' father Vernon as part of a cost-cutting operation. The bodyguards, the cousins Red and Sonny West and
Dave Hebler, felt betrayed after being summarily dismissed after years of what they regarded as devotion to the King.

They seemed to seek revenge. And they got it in
Elvis: What Happened?

"We lost money," Murdoch told Esquire magazine in 2008 in talking about the New York Post's finances. "Until one of our reporters wrote the 'true story' of
Elvis Presley. We said we would serialise it, and it came out the day Presley died, completely by coincidence."

The instalments had actually been planned to run later, but Elvis' sudden death prompted Murdoch to pounce.
The New York Post began printing
instalments from the book the day that Elvis died. The first headline read, "New Book Tells of His Decline in Drug Nightmare."

Objectively speaking, the book was a true
MURDOCH HATCHET JOB. It laid out all of Elvis' dirty laundry that you didn't want -- or need -- to know. And it
was all hear-say from the three bodyguards. No other sources are cited in the book at all.

There are no voices to answer for Elvis. The book's copyright is by Murdoch's News Corporation. It became a best-seller, and the profits went to Murdoch's
News Corporation, not to the author. It was written by Steve Dunleavy, a hard-drinking, controversial Australian reporter greatly favored by Murdoch.

I did some lengthy interviews with Dunleavy (who has since died) for a story in Rolling Stone about the life and practices of a sensationalist tabloid journalist.
Dunleavy proved to be the perfect example of a Rupert Murdoch mad-dog journalist, for whom anything goes to get a story. He told me that when he was once
competing with his father -- also an Australian reporter -- on a crime story, Steve slashed his father's tires to prevent him from getting to the crime scene.

When I met with Steve, he was then working for Murdoch's grimy New York Post, as well as writing a column for Murdoch's Star supermarket tabloid, and all of
our interviews seemed to somehow end up taking place in Manhattan bars. I learnt a lot of tabloid journalism tips from Steve. For example: "You know, Chet,
when we write about an actress's 'charms,' that's shorthand for 'tits.'" He was serious.

Dunleavy told me the assignment to do the Elvis book came from the very top. When I pressed him about his financial arrangements about the book, Dunleavy
would only say, "Mr. Murdoch took care of me very well for the book."

Steve would not say if he or the Post had paid for interviews with the three bodyguards for the project. Given the Murdoch empire's lengthy history of
buying interviews and paying out bribes, I suspect that was very likely the case
. There were no cell phones back then, so they couldn't have been
hacked. But Dunleavy didn't really need phone hacking. He got his dirt straight from Elvis' former guys.

For the first time, the book revealed the full extent of Elvis' complete and total dependence on a long list of prescription drugs. And it was not a pretty story. It
was a virtual pharmacopia of drugs and other sundry and tawdry personal details about Elvis.

Close Elvis associates have said the book had a devastating effect on Presley. He read portions of an advance copy of it, became alternately
depressed and enraged
and was agitated to the point of talking about luring Red and Sonny to Graceland and then killing them. The book was published in
early August of 1977. Elvis died on the floor of his bathroom in Graceland two weeks later, on Aug. 16, 1977.

Elvis Presley...A tragic and devastating "Tell All" end to an amazing career!
Rupert Murdoch...Anything for a buck!

Ida Ritter (September 23, 2011)
After reading all the comments on the Elvis What Happened subject I as an Elvis fan would like to state my opinion as I did before, I do not think that you help a
friend by exposing all his faults, you try to do that in other ways, and when I saw the video when those guys were interviewed by the media I heard very well
when West said that he was so angry because of being fire and the way he talked indicated that he did it because of all that.  

I give them the benefit of being human and I could very well understand that it was not easy living with Elvis, but they also chose to be there with him instead of
walking out, so as Marty says and I respect him a lot for always coming to the rescue when somebody is talking and making false statements about Elvis, I am
entitled to my own opinion and I do not have any respect for them for writing to the world such a nasty book, but I do believe that this subject should go to rest
and let the man and them be in peace.
Kenny Littlemark (July 22, 2011)
From what I can make out from reading several books, Elvis had to do away with Red, Sonny and Dave because they were out of control. They were beating
fans up left right and centre but it wasn’t those getting sued by everyone, it was Elvis who was picking up the bill.
Something I really don’t get with Marty is that he is all against Sony releasing the Elvis outtakes and private recordings by saying they were never meant to be
released and Elvis would not want them released, and yet has no problem with anyone releasing a book revealing the intimate, private life of Elvis. You can't
object to one and not the other surly?
Marty Lacker (July 21, 2011)
Tom, And so you know they did it out of vindictiveness and not to try to make Elvis see what he was doing to himself?  And where do  you get your brilliant
insight from seeing that you don't know either one of them?

They did not know at the time that Elvis told his father what to pay them and tell them.  I found out shortly after from someone who was in the room when Elvis
told his father what to do and it was someone who has never lied to me. So they thought that came from Elvis not Vernon,that Vernon was just the messenger.

However, all that is moot now, it's 34 years later, let it go along with your uninformed theories.  They did not seek slimy Murdoch out,their agent made the deal
and they did not know at the time what kind of lowlife scumbag Murdoch or Dunleavy were.

That is what I previously meant by  give it a rest.  My comments were only directed toward Chet Flippo wanting to dredge this whole mess up all these years
later and use Elvis.

Be happy and live a long life and leave this alone,it really doesn't concern you or the rest of the fans.   I just don't like the fact that Elvis is being bought into
this crap because Murdoch and his minions are finally being exposed for what they are.
Tom Morrison (July 20, 2011)
Eyes opened is right. After 30 odd years we finally find out more behind how the book came about and it was all down to Murdoch who wanted to hire out some
people who would throw dirt at Elvis in order to create tabloid trash that would sell and make a good serialisation in his newspapers around the world.
To say the release of "Elvis What Happened" had nothing to do with Elvis Presley's death is as informed as someone saying it did! Marty does not know it
didn't and I do not know it did! But anyone must logically conclude that the release was not the best thing for a man in his condition and could only put a huge
amount of extra stress into his life.

But to say one of the reasons they wrote the book was because of the way Vernon fired them really does sound vindictive. Elvis told Vernon to tell the guys he
will hire them back later and to give them $5,000 each. But because Vernon ignored Elvis and only gave them 2 week pay and said nothing about them
coming back, they decided to get even by seeking out Murdoch, the slime King (even back then) to write a book. Sounds like they should have written one
about Vernon seeing as it was him who did the dirty on them and not Elvis.
Marty Lacker (July 20, 2011)
Maral, I appreciate the fact that you want to protect Elvis' memory but your answer is typical of someone who never spent a moment with Elvis and you don't
know his real personality away from the stage. You also don't have a clue about Red & Sonny and their feelings toward Elvis then,before then and now. Just
as you didn't/don't know any of the rest of us. You could say the same about us if we commented on what kind of person you really are because we don't know

The best analogy I can give in regards to what Red & Sonny tried to do is the old adage about hitting a stubborn mule upside his head with a brick to get his
attention. Look at the book as that brick and you may understand what I'm saying.

That so-called dirty laundry is what eventually killed Elvis and they were trying to prevent that from happening,unfortunately they were too late.
You and others have a right to your opinion albeit an uninformed one. I state mine from first hand knowledge and 20 years experience being close to Elvis and
the guys. I'm not trying to argue with anyone,I'm just trying to give you the benefit of that knowledge and experience.
Maral Galvani (July 19, 2011)
I have never EVER believed the intention of the book was to help Elvis. You don't help a friend by putting his dirty laundry in a book that can be read by
everyone. I'm sorry Mr Lacker but that is just not logical. I'm not saying it was the main reason for Elvis' death. Fans are not blind, we know Elvis had a
problem. But to say that Red and Sony did this out love is a load of you know what. That just book added more stress into Elvis' life. And those guys knew
exactly what they were doing while writing the book.
Marty Lacker (July 18, 2011)
I understand where Jeannie Taylor and Leon Gold are coming from and trust me when I say I did not lose sight of the bigger picture but what I was commenting
on was Chet Flippo's opening up the can of worms about Red * Sonny and their book.  As evidence of what I'm saying, here is the rest of my comments that
appeared in EIN....
But it is finally coming to light what kind of greedy, low life scumbag Rupert Murdoch is as the English authorities have discovered
his long underhanded and what I consider criminal dealings in furthering his power and influence through his media entities. He saw an opportunity to try to
tear down a historical cultural icon in Elvis with no regard to what it did to Elvis, his family or hundreds of millions of fans or for that fact Red & Sonny, however
he did see that the disgusting things he allowed Dunleavy to write would bring him millions in sales of the Star and Elvis What happened.

So he assigned someone as nasty as he is to write the book with Red, Sonny and Dave. As I said the guys wrote the book mainly to try to get Elvis to
see what he was doing to himself and they did that out of love for him. The other reason they did it is because of the way Vernon Presley let them go. Elvis
had told his father to give them each $5,000 as severance pay and let them know they'd be hired back later. Instead Mr. Presley gave them two weeks pay
and said nothing about hiring them back. This after Red had been close to Elvis for over 20 years and Sonny for 18 years as his protectors. They had families
who now were left with no income to live on.

They were inexperienced about book publishing and certainly about what kind of people Murdoch and Dunleavy were and so they went for the deal that
provided them with the most money,as most authors do, so that their families could be taken care of while they searched for employment. Because of their
publishing inexperience their deal with Murdoch and Dunleavy did not allow them to change the way Dunleavy wrote the book and they did not know what he
wrote until it was finished. And as usual the fans always zero in on the negative things people write about Elvis even if they are a small part of the book. They
wrote many good things in EWH but the fans choose to gloss over them.

Murdoch and Dunleavy are the villains in Elvis What Happened and the world is finally finding out what kind of human beings they really are.
Murdoch operates the same way here in the US with his Fox News TV Channel, he has the rotten Republicans in his pocket so he allows the Channel to make
up lies about everyone else in the other party in US Politics. The British authorities are arresting his executives but what they need to do is put him in prison
for the rest of his life along with his minions who did his dirty work. His tentacles, they have revealed, reaches all the way into Scotland Yard and England's
government. Put him in prison for what he did to people like Elvis and all the other lives of people he besmirched, all for money.

I have always whole heartedly believed that Red and Sonny tried to help Elvis see what he was doing to himself and they did it because they
loved him and still do.

People need to get real and get a life, Marty
Jeannie Taylor (July 18, 2011)
I think this time Marty needs to forget the story of Rupert Murdock. I think people are working to stop him and it has nothing to do with any of the MM.
It's Murdock who hated Elvis and his music and he's the one that has all the Tabloid News.
Not only the Newspapers but TV and other sources as well. It involves much more than Elvis. It's his news {?} Outlets that hacked into peoples lives;
government as well as private lives.

Appreciate his defence of the Wests, but this goes  much higher and has hurt a lot of innocent people. He wouldn't like it if someone had hacked into his
personal life I know. Neither do the British,  the victims of 9/11 or the people of the U.S. Hope he and others help to stop Mr Murdock and others from
spreading rumors as news .

Thanks to everyone and anyone that helps to stop the Tabloid news. Whether in print or TV.  Jeannie
Leon Goad (July 18, 2011)
Well, we've all heard this story and that story about why the book "Elvis: What Happened" was written, BUT, one thing that seems to have been left out of the
story for the last 34 years is that Rupert Murdoch pushed for the book and payed out BIG MONEY to get the tales and the dirty laundry. I presumed it was the
Wests and Hebler or the publisher who got Dunleavy involved but turns out it was Murdoch who poured out the cash to get the stories.

The book was a true
MURDOCH HATCHET JOB. It laid out all of Elvis' dirty laundry that you didn't want -- or need -- to know.

It was
all hear-say from the three bodyguards. No other sources are cited in the book at all

There are no voices to answer for Elvis

book's copyright is by Murdoch's News Corporation. It became a best-seller, and the profits went to Murdoch's News Corporation

Steve would not say if he or the Post had
paid for interviews with the three bodyguards for the project. Given the Murdoch empire's lengthy history of
buying interviews and paying out bribes, I suspect that was very likely the case.

This all opens my eyes a hell of a lot more. Ok, the book is not the worst book written, but it was the first of the worst and I always thought the book was the
idea of the bodyguards to "try and help Elvis"? But if that was the case then surely the copyright to the book would be owned by the 3 guys and not a dirt
digging, money bribing, tall tale buying, tabloid King like Rupert Murdoch.

Marty, we all know (well most) know that Elvis was not a God and was a human being with all the faults as the next man, but the fact is this book was thought
up and paid for by Rupert Murdoch to do nothing more than spread dirt and cause a scandal. I have a life but with this new information its only right we take a
look at things again. It has certainly made me see thing and people in a new light now I know the Wests and Hebler were bought by Murdoch for the private
memories of Elvis.
Marty Lacker (July 16, 2011)
I take exception to the Flippo article and his remark that Elvis What Happened helped kill Elvis. That's a crock of shit that was started by a couple of other
members of the MM who were sycophants and ass kissers and always trying to make others look bad in Elvis' eyes for their own benefit. If anyone helped
cause Elvis' demise it was Colonel Parker who ran him into the ground with those damn tours going to the same cities every month and to Vegas just to satisfy
his gambling habit and debts.

In addition Elvis partly was at fault for two reasons, he tolerated and didn't confront Parker and didn't get rid of him when he should have years before and his
over dependency on his prescribed drugs. He took too many, too often as an escape from the boredom of his life that Parker had created.

Some people, mainly the uninformed media and uninformed fans are quick to pin Elvis' death on the guys around him and neither ever spent one damn minute
with Elvis or us. They think it makes them sound good when they mouth off as if they're in the know and protective of Elvis.

Truth is they do more harm then good. They need to get real and understand that Elvis was not G-d, he was a human being just like the rest of us and had
human faults and frailties as we all do. The media,especially the tabloids sensationalize stories to make more money.

I have always whole heartedly believed that Red and Sonny tried to help Elvis see what he was doing to himself and they did it because they loved him and still
do......People need to get real and get a life.
You can respond to this matter by sending in an email to us at eer-desk@ntlworld.com
UPDATE - July 16th 2011, Marty Lacker sends in his reaction to this matter. You can read this directly below the article.