Jimi Hendrix was murdered.
The official story goes like this: already in poor health, Jimi Hendrix joined the 27 Club as a result of asphyxiation. After a night of partying in London, he returned to then-girlfriend Monika Danneman’s apartment and, unaware of the half-tablet dosage, took nine times the recommended amount of her sleeping pills.
Intoxicated on barbiturates, he vomited (mostly red wine) and subsequently choked in his sleep. Danneman, who later found him unresponsive, gave conflicting reports of events and muddied the waters, but based on his history of mixing alcohol and drugs, few questioned the guitarist’s demise—at the time, at least.
Years later, however, a number of people have come forward claiming that his death was not an accident, ranging from the ridiculous to the (slightly) more credible. A 2009 book written by one of Hendrix’s roadies, James “Tappy” Wright, argues that Hendrix’s manager Michael Jeffery confessed to stuffing a handful of the pills down the musician’s throat to save himself.
"Jimi was worth much more to me dead than alive,” Wright quotes Jeffery as saying. “That son of a bitch was going to leave me. If I lost him, I'd lose everything.” Then there are all the other possibilities floating around: he killed himself, he was waterboarded with red wine, he was killed by the FBI’s Counter-Intelligence Program, etc.
Hot take: “Anyone who would use his death as a warning to stay away from drugs should warn people against the other things that killed Jimi—the stresses of dealing with the music industry, the craziness of being on the road, and especially, the dangers of involving oneself in a radical, or even unpopular, political movement.”—John Holmstrom