“I pick up my axe and fight like a bomber now,
but you still blast me down to the ground.”
Before becoming Jimi Hendrix’s manager, Michael Jeffery had been a covert operator for British Intelligence. According to one of his original clients, Eric Burdon of the Animals, Jeffery often boasted of his 007 escapades during the cold war – staging assassinations in Greece, torturing KGB agents, blowing up Russian/Egyptian bases in the Suez.
The Animals’ singer, Jimi’s future close friend, took these stories as drunken tall tales until, early one morning, the former MI6 agent invited him out to the London harbor where the U.S. Seventh Fleet happened to be trolling for some lost nukes. His manager emerged from the water in scuba gear, holding a black box. Grinning, pointing out to the armada, the ex-spy pulled a switch: suddenly the harbor was rocked with underwater explosions.
“Like most people of felonious intent,” Burdon wrote in his memoir, “he was charming, attractive, and sometimes a riot to be around.”
Jeffery had made the transition from demolition and espionage to rock and roll by studying under “The Al Capone of Pop” himself, Don Arden. Also known as “The English Godfather” and “Mr. Big,” Arden, Sharon Osbourne’s father, went on to manage the Small Faces, Electric Light Orchestra, and Black Sabbath. Known for his old-fashioned business methods – bribery, blackmail, assault, kidnapping – the diminutive Jewish businessman and his muscle had dangled rivals from windows, rearranged their kneecaps, and extinguished cigars in their faces. Jeffery proved his own mettle against his mentor when he stole the Animals away from him without losing life or limb.
The retired spy parlayed his MI6 and Arden experience into becoming a rock and roll Dr. No. “His own mob sprang up around him like morning mushrooms,” Burdon wrote. “His main enforcer was The Turk, a nasty bastard whose tools of choice were an ax and two highly trained German shepherds.” The singer went on to describe how Jeffery burnt down his Club Marimba for the insurance money, then how he absconded with the Animals’ money.
In the fall of 1966, the Animals’ bassist, Chas Chandler, discovered Jimi Hendrix in New York, flew him to London, and introduced him to Jeffery. The two co-managed the guitarist and helped him assemble the Experience. Several years later, Chas and Jimi became estranged due to creative differences. “The window of opportunity was there for Jeffery to scoop it all up,” he said. “I knew that something dodgy was gonna happen. But I never dreamt it would lead to his [Jimi’s] death.”
In his own memoir, bassist Noel Redding described Jeffery’s fondness for guns, throwing knives, electronic bugging devices, and roadie spies. As for his financial skills, to discourage frivolous audits, the ex-spy kept all his business records in Russian.
Jeffery toured Jimi and the Experience relentlessly after their apotheosis at Monterey Pop in 1967. By ‘69, the guitarist was earning $100,000 per gig, but was too exhausted and drugged out to realize that he was virtually broke while Jeffery was a multi-millionaire with off-shore numbered bank accounts.
At last, burnt out on touring, Jimi told his manager he was disbanding the Experience. No sooner did he reveal his intention than he was busted for heroin possession in Toronto. He came to suspect that Jeffery, desperate that he might lose his cash cow, had engineered the bust so he, Jimi, would be forced to keep the Experience alive to foot his legal expenses.
Four months later, just after Woodstock, Hendrix was kidnapped at gunpoint, held hostage for several days, then “rescued” in a dramatic shoot-out at his Woodstock compound. Soon he came to suspect that his manager was behind this intimidation too.
Still refusing to surrender to Jeffery and revive his golden goose, the Experience, Jimi formed the Band of Gypsies. At their premiere Madison Square Garden gig in January of 1970, Jimi collapsed on stage after only a few songs. Buddy Miles insisted he’d seen Jeffery slip him two tabs of bad acid. “He didn’t want Jimi playing in an all black band,” the Gypsys’ drummer declared. “One of the biggest reasons why Jimi is dead is because of that guy.”
Later that summer, Hendrix escaped New York for London, telling his friend and future biographer, Sharon Lawrence, “Lately I’ve been thinking that I’m circled by wolves.”
By this time, terrified of Jeffery, the star was in secret negotiations with Miles Davis’s manager, Alan Douglas. Hearing through one of his informants in Jimi’s entourage of the possible defection, Jeffery confronted Douglas accusing him of “trying to steal my artist.”
After the Isle of Wight concert, Jimi lay low in London trying to avoid Jeffery who had followed him there. Meanwhile, he finalized a new management deal with Douglas.
On the morning of September 17, Douglas phoned Hendrix’s New York lawyers, informing them that he would be relieving Jeffery of his management duties. Meaning, not only was Jeffery losing his cash cow, his nemesis Douglas would, in taking over the books, discover his embezzlement and mismanagement over the years. Meaning the end of Jeffery’s career, if not imprisonment.
The next morning an ambulance, called by an unidentified party, screamed to the Samarkand Hotel where Hendrix was staying with his girlfriend, Monika Danneman. The paramedics found the door open, the flat abandoned, and a body on the bed covered in vomit.
Dr. John Bannister, the physician on duty at St Mary Abbot’s hospital when the ambulance arrived, later testified: “Jimi Hendrix had been dead for some time…Red wine was coming out of his nose and out of his mouth. It was horrific.” He described how he tried to clear Hendrix’s windpipe with an 18-inch metal sucker but finally gave up due to the inexhaustible volume of liquid.
“Someone apparently poured red wine down Jimi’s throat to intentionally cause asphyxiation after first causing barbiturate intoxication,” Dr. Bannister concluded. “Without the ability to cough he was easily drowned.”
Waterboarding and forced ingestion were commonly used by MI6 and other intelligence agents during the Cold War. It was a preferred interrogation or assassination technique since it left no marks on the body.
Almost no alcohol was found in Hendrix’s blood. Moreover, friends stated that he didn’t drink red wine.
The coroner, Dr. Gavin Thurslon, listed the cause of death as “inhalation of vomit following barbiturate intoxication.” As for the cause of this fatal condition itself, the pathologist left an “open verdict.”
The paramedics, doctors, and hospital staff did not learn that the victim was Jimi Hendrix until later on. To them the body seemed to be just that of an another anonymous black man who had OD’ed.
Within hours of Jimi’s death, all his hotel rooms and crash pads in London as well as New York were turned over: clothes, instruments, writings, drugs – everything vanished. An investigation was not launched until 23 years later when all evidence was long gone.
“I don’t believe for one minute that he killed himself. That was out of the question,” stated Chas Chandler who died in 1996.
Noel Redding, who died all but penniless in 2003, wrote that murder was “a distinct possibility.”
In his 2009 book Rock Roadie James Wright wrote that Jeffrey, his employer, confessed to the murder in 1971. “That son of a bitch was going to leave me,” the manager said. “If I lost him, I’d lose everything.”
Instead, he gained a fortune: his management contract was renewed by default, he reaped the immense profits of posthumous record sales, and he collected on a $2 million insurance policy which he had taken out on the star.
Michael Jeffery reportedly perished in a plane crash over France in 1973. But his remains were never found. Eric Burdon, Noel Redding, and others believe he may have checked luggage but slipped away during the boarding process. Jeffery was due in London court the very next day to defend himself in several huge lawsuits relating to his embezzlement, money laundering, and fraud.
A quick visit here will reveal that the British Government is closing down the Forensic Science Service citing lack of funds as the reason. It seems that justice may be being placed out of reach for many others in the UK inclusive of Jimi Hendrix.
This last interview of JH shows he seemed pretty content with his future. Not to want to commit suicide. I think there was a quickening that happened that night. And all the signs point to murder. So obvious to us now, then before.
jason hall •
i think its disgraceful how such a major figure like hendrix could be treated in this fashion either by his so called friends or the the police/medics. how can a murder inquiry not even take place? i hope those involved, people like eric burdon and various others who new him and new what happened can live with themselves.
This is stuff that any first year criminology student or detective would have seen right away. The reason it wasn’t investigated at the time is because Jimi Hendrix’s death was a political assassination.
British tabloids did CIA’s COINTELPRO dirty work by announcing Jimi had died from a heroin overdose even though the coroner said there was ZERO trace of heroin in his system or any traces of heroin use on his body. To this day, even with this screaming evidence of Jimi’s murder being so obvious and so brazenly denied by the authorities, Jimi’s death is still announced by those fascist Nazi murderers as being a moral lesson and drug overdose.
Some people need this interpreted to them. Jimi’s UPI reporter friend Sharon Lawrence heard about mess at Jimi’s death scene and spoke to Monika at the hotel Eric Burdon had her hiding out in the day after Jimi’s death.
Monika was mainly interested in discussing her new career as a Hendrix painter, an opportunity Jimi’s death now provided. And this was 24 hours after Jimi died in her flat. Sharon Lawrence said this strange detachment was creepy. She then asked Monika about the wine that was spilled around Jimi at the death scene. Monika’s reaction was to moan, whine, and whimper in response to the question. For those who are slow on the uptake the reason Monika reacted that way to the question is because she was aware Jeffery had waterboarded Jimi to death with wine and was cornered by something she hadn’t expected to be asked.
Again, for those who need this explained to them slowly, Monika’s response to Lawrence that she "washed 'sick' off Jimi’s face with wine" was the quick off-the-cuff excuse she thought-up at the moment and nothing else.
Let me frame what is happening in this discussion between Sharon Lawrence and Monika Dannemann on September 19th 1970 in London. Sharon is curious about exactly how Jimi died. Monika is aware Michael Jeffery murdered Hendrix but is trying to lay low and play it off as an accident.
Sharon sees all the clues but she doesn’t come to the correct conclusion and ultimately writes in her book "Jimi Hendrix Betrayed" that Jimi may have committed suicide. Sharon wrote the book prior to all this Tappy Wright confession business. She, or anyone else, could have pursued this by asking: "Why then did you say Jimi only had a trickle of vomit on his chin? And that if he only had a small drool of vomit running down his chin then why would you need to wash 'sick' off Jimi's face with wine of all things? Especially when the small flat had warm water and a towel nearby and just as close as any wine would have been?" Nobody ever asked these basic questions until now.
Again, for those who need this interpreted slowly Monika either committed suicide or was "suicided" right before being forced into court by Etchingham to answer these questions. It’s very obvious to anyone with any common sense why that happened.
No one bothered to point-out to Monika that the ambulance men witnessed a Hendrix with a face full of vomit that hadn’t been "washed off". Besides what person who isn’t retarded reacts to a choking dying person by washing their face with wine instead of trying to revive them by slapping the vomit out of their throat and getting them to breathe?
Face it, everything we know tells us Monika and everyone else knew Jimi was dead and that he had been murdered by Jeffery. Devon knew this which is why she was found under the 8th floor window of the Chelsea Hotel 5 months later.
The so-called "Hendrix Community" has taken a pass on this evidence. They have no credibility. They are basically spineless jellyfish who see it as easier to let Jimi flap in the wind murdered than disrupt their hedonistic sucking-off his music and talent. This is something that hasn’t changed since the day Jimi was murdered. I condemn them.
What needs to be done here is either a mock trial needs to be filmed and presented showing the real evidence and how it was criminally-avoided by the British Government -or- a movie needs to be made showing the real story. As sinful as Jimi personally was himself, his story is very Christ-like. Christ’s story being the "Story of you and me". Jimi knew he would be murdered by Jeffery for firing him.
I’d like to add that denial of the screaming evidence for murder in Hendrix’s case is a typical example of people wanting to believe their government doesn’t operate like an evil machiavellian cult and that all the obvious evidence like Monika Dannemann being caught in outrageous lies about that morning, or Michael Jeffery’s visible-in-plain-daylight MI-5/mafia background and motives, or the forensic evidence, all don’t point towards murder. It’s pretty ridiculous to think classic government conspiracy theory slander would cover all the normally obvious intrigue involved in Hendrix’s death. That intrigue is easily shown and available in deep detail if one makes even the most simple effort to look into it – which the murder deniers grant themselves the privilege of not doing.
When Jimi died a forensic clock started ticking. That clock froze a 3.9mg blood level of barbiturate in Jimi’s blood. It also froze a 5mg/100ml blood alcohol content into place for the autopsy to register. The autopsist, Dr Teare, also found undigested rice remnants in Jimi’s stomach. These three items create a forensic “triangulation” that can’t be fudged or distorted.
We know Jimi got back to the Samarkand Hotel with Monika shortly after 3am. We also know Eric Burdon admitted Monika Dannemann called him at around 5:30am. If we apply the forensic graph containing this triangulation to the time period between 3am and 5:30am we can show conclusive forensic proof of murder. This is something the British Inquest into Hendrix’s death never bothered to do.
A 3.9mg percent of blood barbiturate content is a knock-out dose, therefore Jimi was unconscious when he died. A forensic clock starting ticking backwards when Jimi died. This was the minimum time period for him to die with only a 5mg/100ml blood alcohol content. That time period is very short, especially when a doctor witnessed “bottles worth” of wine inside Jimi and his lungs. In fact, the period needed is so short that it isn’t long enough to allow Jimi to be conscious while the wine was introduced into him. And that is conclusive scientific forensic evidence of murder. It can’t be any other way. You are battling the clock ticking on the barbiturate dose absorption vs the alcohol absorption. It will show that Jimi would have been passed-out at the point of time on the forensic graph that would have allowed a 5mg/100ml blood alcohol content. And people who are passed-out can’t drink “bottles worth” of wine – nor can “bottles worth” of wine only register a 5mg/100ml blood alcohol content. The forensics clearly lock-in the fingerprint of a fast death after being drowned in wine.
Stomach contents usually pass through the stomach in 4-5 hours. Since Jimi was witnessed eating that rice at a party at around midnight that means he died somewhere around 4-4:30am. The forensic evidence locks-in that time. If you look at the circumstantial evidence, confession, forensic evidence, and lies used by Monika Dannemann to cover the real time of death you can’t escape the fact all evidence points towards Jimi being waterboarded with wine in combination with barbiturates, a classic intel method of covert murder.
In my opinion it is rather preposterous to try to deny this with evasions that don’t even bother to examine the otherwise screamingly-obvious evidence. The British Government is guilty of incompetence and failure to investigate evidence for murder.
If Jeffery was stealing millions from Jimi why would he need to take out an insurance policy to collect? Insurance companies are the first ones to investigate foul play. Who can identify the exact policy Jeffery collected on? (Nobody)
Jimi Hendrix was most likely killed by a CIA/COINTELPRO political assassination operation. If you follow the money Jeffery kept the money he stole from Jimi in some offshore Bahamian banks that CIA also kept some very sensitive funds in. Read Michael Collins Piper's book 'Final Judgment' to understand the connection between the CIA and mob in those banks and how they were used to channel mob proceeds into CIA black ops bank accounts. CIA had a deal with organized crime that if they helped control communism CIA would look the other way. CIA then took a cut which ended up in those same Bahamian offshore banks that Jeffery kept Hendrix's stolen money in.
I openly suspect Michael Jeffery was recruited straight out of MI-5 in order to participate in the British branch of this program. He ripped-off the Animals, before he ever heard of Hendrix, through the same banks. I suspect Jeffery was the go-between for this program and was tapping unsuspecting rock acts as a funding source for this CIA black ops program. That explains why Jeffery had no problem taking those acts over from the mob.
Jimi was murdered while he was in the process of sending his lawyers to investigate those Bahamian bank accounts. They were literally CIA's most sensitive bank accounts and were their main funding source for their worst black operations. CIA used offshore accounts in order to prevent having to explain what they did with the money or where they got it from. Those monies could then be used to fund some very wicked anti-communist operations. CIA was not interested in having lawyers snooping around those banks. Jimi was murdered by classic CIA alcoholic waterboarding in combination with barbiturates shortly after he initiated a tracing of his money. The main Bahamian BCCI Bank was shut down a decade later when it was determined it was mostly a dirty money laundry. Wikipedia BCCI Bank if you don't believe me.
Interesting that two months after confessing to Wright Jeffery was called to Majorca to help fix an electrical problem at his nightclub. On the flight back to Britain his Iberia Airlines DC-9 collided with another commercial aircraft and crashed. All 68 on board were killed. It is my suggestion that after killing Hendrix by covert means giving Jeffery a heart attack or some other covert death would be too obvious. No one, however, would question a mid-air plane collision.
While Jeffery was drawn to Majorca French Air Traffic Controllers went on strike. They were then replaced with military controllers less familiar with the operation. It was during this time that Jeffery's flight crashed. It is my direct suggestion that intel were the only ones capable of creating the nightclub electrical problem pretext, as well as getting the air traffic controllers to strike, and also steering two jets towards each other. If Jeffery died there would be no one to publicly connect him to those CIA banks or investigate his background once it was established the money was unaccountably gone. Perhaps this is why Jeffery confessed?
Jeffery's charred and mangled body was identified by a Hendrix road crew member - either Stickells or Barret, I can't recall. He identified Jeffery through his unique jewelry. And although he never saw the remains themselves they were photographed.
I'd also check out Monika Dannemann's background because it is very possible she was used as an intel infiltrator. I suspect the super-strong sleeping tablets that ended up in Hendrix's reach the night he died were swung in there by a subtle CIA black operation. And, ironically, very possibly one Jimi may have inadvertently funded himself.
So it is very wrong to the point of a fairly egregious travesty to try to blame Hendrix as being a "co-conspirator" in all this, to say the very least.
What an ugly story. I presume it's a rehash of Chapter 1 from The Rock and Roll Book of the Dead: The Fatal Journeys of Rock's Seven Immortals (2009). But what are we supposed to make of this, David? You write that Michael Jeffery hasn't been seen or heard from since 1973. But you don't mention where Hendrix's royalties have gone in the ensuing 37 years. Who is executor of Hendrix's estate? What happened to the "fortune" Michael allegedly stole from Jimi? Why hasn't Hendrix's estate sued Jeffrey's estate to recover those riches?
Also, you write that by 1969, Hendrix "was too exhausted and drugged out to realize that he was virtually broke while Jeffery was a multi-millionaire with off-shore numbered bank accounts." In your article, Jimi comes across as a helpless patsy with no ability to control his destiny. I wonder. From watching films of performances by and interviews with Hendrix, my impression is that he was an intelligent and aware man. He was also evidently self-indulgent and self-destructive. If Michael Jeffery murdered Hendrix or had him assassinated, Jimi was at least a co-conspirator.