Original Rolling Stones member Brian Jones was found dead in his swimming pool forty years ago. Long thought to be a casualty of hard drugs and fast living, UK police are reviewing new evidence pointing to Jones' death as a possible murder.
On July 3, 1969, Brian Jones, a founding member of the world-famous Rolling Stones rock band, was found dead at the bottom of the swimming pool at his home on Cotchford Farm, located in East Sussex in Southeast England. At the time of his death, the coroner's report declared the musician's fatality a death by misadventure, noting that Mr. Jones' heart and liver were enlarged by alcohol and drug abuse.
Today, the UK Daily Mail reports that Sussex Police are re-opening the investigation into Jones' death as a possible murder by Frank Thurgood, a construction contractor who had been renovating Jones' Cotchford home at the time, and who was living there along with Jones and his Swedish girlfriend, Anna Wohlin.
It was rumored that Mr. Thurgood made a deathbed confession in 1994 to Tom Keylock, the Rolling Stones' former driver and "fixer," confirming that Thurgood had in fact murdered Jones. Mr. Keylock, who died this past June at the age of 82, denied such a confession ever took place. Adding to the confusion are reports that the inquest at the time of Jones' death determined "death by misadventure," yet no illegal drugs were reportedly found in Jones' system. Only three and a half pints of beer, according to the official record.
At the time of Jones' death, many believed him to be a victim of fast living and hard drugs, a not uncommon fate among rock musicians of the chaotic 'sixties and early 1970s. The last known photographs of Jones, taken by schoolgirl Helen Spittal on June 23, 1969, showed Jones as "bloated, with deep-set eyes," giving added credence to the theory that Jones' death two weeks later was inevitable given his lifestyle.
Yet there have always been detractors to the official story. Alexis Korner, a former member of the British band Blues Incorporated and a friend of Jones, visited Jones in late June 1969, just days before his death, and stated that Jones was "happier than he'd ever been" and was looking forward to forming a new band.
Jones' girlfriend Anna Wohlin claimed in 1999 that Thurgood committed the murder. Ms. Wohlin authored a book titled "The Murder of Brian Jones" in 2000, recounting the suspicious circumstances surrounding Jones' death that Ms. Wohlin claimed incriminated Mr. Thurgood. Ms. Wohlin's claims were supported at the time of Jones' death by PC Albert Evans, the first officer on the scene, who spoke to all the witnesses in the hours after Jones’s death and concluded he had died as a result of a fight with Thurgood.
The new investigation into Jones' death was triggered by a review of over 600 documents turned over to Sussex police by investigative reporter Scott Jones, who undertook a four-year probe into Jones' death. Reporter Scott Jones is not related to the former Rolling Stones member, whose death he investigated.