Tag Archives: manslaughter

MJ’s Death Explained


MJ - before and after cosmetic surgery

The Los Angeles County coroner has ruled Michael Jackson’s death a homicide, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press and MSNBC. The term homicide is rather confusing, especially to countries in the British Commonwealth. Briefly, homicide means  to take the life of someone or to kill a person, but does not necessarily mean a crime was committed.

Although this term is used widely in the US, it had its origin in ancient British law. There are several types of homicide which include non-criminal causes like self-defense, insanity or when a criminal is hanged by order of the court (capital punishment). In the case of MJ’s doctor, it was reported that he was to be charged with a type of homicide called manslaughter, which is criminal in intent but just falling short of murder.

I had highlighted in an earlier post soon after MJ’s death (“What Killed Michael Jackson?”) that a likely cause of his death would be a cocktail of sleeping pills, each given in the correct dose one after another when the desired sleep effect did not occur. This has been confirmed by the coroner’s report, which mentioned that he was first given a 10 milligram tablet of diazepam (Valium) at 1.30am, then an intravenous injection of 2 milligrams of lorazepam(Ativan) at 2am followed by 2 milligrams of midazolam (Dormicum) around 3 a.m., and repeats of each at 5 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. respectively.

Even this did not put MJ to sleep.


Propofol -used commonly by anaesthetists to induce sleep.

The doctor told detectives that around 10:40 a.m. he gave in to Jackson’s “repeated demands/requests” for propofol, which the singer referred to as his “milk” but often referred to by doctors as the ” milk of amnesia“. He administered 25 milligrams of the white-colored liquid, — a relatively small dose — and finally, Jackson fell asleep. He left MJ for a few minutes but returned to find that he “had stopped breathing”.

The above facts lend credence, in my opinion, that the various cocktails of drugs, although each given in the proper doses, had caused additive effects leading to the breathing centre of the brain to stop functioning (these drugs are known to cause this) and consequently depriving the heart of the much-needed oxygen causing the heart to also stop functioning. “This is polypharmacy at its worse”, said a source familiar with the case.

Some of the lessons we need to learn here are that sleeping pills, if it has to be used, should be on short-term only and must not be mixed, not even with alcohol. It is common to find that those on long-term pills will eventually get addicted to them and require progressively higher doses to get the required effect.

See my other article Death of the Stars…Learning from Their Mistakes” to pick up other tips.

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