August 24th, 2009
08:59 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Coroner says Michael Jackson overdosed on propofol

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/SHOWBIZ/Music/08/24/michael.jackson.propofol/art.diprivan.fda.jpg]

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

A paper bombshell exploded today when a Houston court released documents showing that Michael Jackson died of lethal levels of the powerful anesthetic propofol.

According to the search warrant and affidavit unsealed just hours ago, the Los Angeles coroner reached that conclusion after reviewing toxicology results from tests on Jackson’s blood. The documents are a window into the powerful mix of drugs Jackson was given in the hours leading up to his death. The warrant says Dr. Conrad Murray, Jackson’s private doctor, told a detective he gave the singer three other medications to help Jackson sleep before finally administering 25 mg of propofol on the morning of June 25.

And that’s not all—the Associated Press is quoting a single law enforcement official, who says the L.A. County Coroner has ruled Michael Jackson's death a homicide. The Los Angeles County Coroner's office told CNN they had "no comment" on the report. An LAPD spokesman says the story did not come from their department.

We’ll have the latest on all of this breaking news.

360° M.D. Sanjay Gupta will also take us into the operating room to show us how quickly propofol works on an actual patient. You’ll see why patients must be carefully monitored while under its influence.

The Justice Department has launched a criminal investigation into harsh questioning of detainees during President George W. Bush's war on terrorism. Attorney General Eric Holder said he has chosen a veteran prosecutor to determine whether any CIA officers or contractors should face criminal charges for crossing the line on rough but permissible tactics. The announcement coming as a newly declassified report on alleged detainee abuse describes harsh tactics used by interrogators on terror suspects after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, including making threats to kill one suspect's children and to force another to watch his mother sexually assaulted.

Did the CIA go too far? Is it productive to dredge up these past incidents, which were already investigated during the Bush administration? We’ll dig deeper tonight.

Today brought a grisly twist in the murder investigation of a former swimsuit model Jasmine Fiore. The man police believe killed her was finally found—dead–in Canada after being on the lam. We’ll have all the details.

We’ll also return to New Orleans, four years after Katrina’s floods devastated an already ailing school system. The catastrophe provided an opportunity to rebuild the city’s entire approach to education—and today some are saying the storm may have been a blessing in disguise, at least for NOLA’s children.

We’ll show you why. It’s part of our week-long series on New Orleans post-Katrina.

All that and much more on AC360° tonight. See you at 10 p.m. eastern!

Filed under: Cate Vojdik • The Buzz
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Jim

    SUPRISE,SUPRISE,SUPRISE!!!!!!!!! Drug Addict Overdoses with help of Doctor- Film at 11:00
    & Then people wonder Why We the Public are skeptical about Health Care Reform in this Country- The Fox gaurding the Hen House- Yeah, Right. We have a Government that has put us in Debt for DECADES to come, Spends Money like it grows on trees giving us the BIGGEST deficits in History While John Q. Public is Unemployed,
    has to watch EVERY penny he spends just to survive.Then the FAT CATS wonder why the POOR are UPSET. Just Remember There IS another Ellection in the future, & There is a Judgement day comming.

    August 25, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  2. jonmills

    i think that you have a rather large story on your hands, ie. michael jackson was an unfit parent. the news reels all reported yesterday that he has been so tolerant to the drug regime that it wouldn't have been just a a day or two to get that way. remember him holding the kid over the railing in a hotel some years ago, well that may have already been his impaired judgement due to his drug injestion. if he had that many drugs and that many aliases to obtain drugs then anyone else would have had to forfeit custody of children. just because he had handlers and staff around doesn't mean his parenting was not in jeopardy. staff are not parents, and thus if he exhibited so much need for drugs the whole law is a farce, since any ordinary pleb would have been to court a dozen times under the same circumstance, but mj was a noted star and left until death due us part before everyone is screaming about the cupability of this or that guy. mj was the one who impersonated different alias in order to obtain drugs. i don't know what else, but usually that is a reason to investigae and perhaps charge.
    plain and simple. mj was a drug addict and a crook from the alias set up to feed his addiction. thus also a neglectful parent because of it all.it is time to tell the facts instead of giving credence to him being a victim. he was a major player in his own death outside of the doctor or doctor. mj could not stand the test in the court room under these reported circumstance, unfortuanately you can,t try the dead as well as the living.

    August 25, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  3. Linda

    I don't know how Dr Murray could consider himself a doctor, he acted no differently than a drug dealer. Clearly driven by greed. Rather than enabling Michael, he should have gotten Michael the help he desperately needed to overcome his insomnia, addiction and other issues.

    August 25, 2009 at 10:04 am |
  4. Jan Hood

    It's my understanding that Diprivan is sold only to hospitals because it is to be only administered in a hospital by an Anestheologist. If that is the case, from where did Dr. Murray obtain his supply of Diprivan?


    August 25, 2009 at 8:10 am |
  5. michelle

    this is all so depressing, i wish none of this happened

    how can a doctor be so stupid, can they arrest him already?

    August 25, 2009 at 3:52 am |
  6. Valentina

    By the way,

    To the two children and especially THE PARENTS OF THE CHILDREN whom accused Michael Jackson before.....
    Now that he is GONE, you say to millions and millions of peopleAROUND THE WORLD ACROSS THE NEWS.....

    That played a HUGE ROLE in his DEALTH

    August 25, 2009 at 3:01 am |
  7. Stephen Sheffield

    Anderson Cooper,

    It is important that the news media does not accidentally mis-represent some of the drugs related to Michael Jackson's death.

    I am a 65 year old guy who has never abused drugs. I have a moderate case of cerebral palsy and have taken prescription Valium also known as Diazepam since 1965. That's 44 years. Five top neurologists who have treated me over the years tried other medications but never found another drug that would work as well for calming the jerky and uncoordinated movements of my case of cerebral palsy. My situation is not uncommon. Valium was the drug of choice for CP for many years and so far as I know quietly still is. Other drugs attempt to do the same thing but don't as well. Certainly, Valium is not necessary for most people.

    BECAUSE OF THE BAD PRESS Valium has received over recent years, it has become VERY difficult for me to find a doctor brave enough to write a prescription for my Valium even though I cannot function in public without this medication. There is a real dilemma here for people like me. There are thousands of cases of cerebral palsy and other related medical conditions in the United States alone.

    Now CNN and other news organizations have "Valium" on the top of the "Lethal Drugs" that killed Michael Jackson. No doubt I will and others will find it even more difficult as early as tomorrow to get even a very smart physician to prescribe Diazepam for a situations like mine.

    This is very unfair. I suggest you have a competent neurologist who knows cerebral palsy, maybe several physicians, to discuss this. 10 mg of Valium will not harm most people whether they have a tolerance to the drug or not. Stronger drugs than Valium killed Jackson and it may have been immaterial whether or not Jackson had Valium in his system.

    CSS Aug. 24 2009

    August 25, 2009 at 2:57 am |
  8. Valentina

    Michael Jackson,

    I really hope you can REST IN PEACE now. As you WERE NEVER ABLE TO ON EARTH WITH US!!!!!

    IF you can only hear what people have to say now!
    Now that you're gone.
    All the kind words and gestures.
    If only you had that when you were alive!!

    No one on EARTH can touch you know and can't BOTHER you ANYMORE!!!

    August 25, 2009 at 2:54 am |
  9. Valentina

    Dr. Murray, but also the first doctor who introduced propofol to treat Michael Jackson’s insomnia and clearly laid the foundation for this tragic lethal path. Also, why has Dr. Murray given Mr. Jackson that many sleeping sedatives in such short succession for six weeks every night – their effects are additive and they each suppress breathing (and I”m not even a doctor). Having suffered from severe insomnia myself , I know how not being able to sleep for an extended period of time does change your body physically and mentally. Also Mickael Jackson should have NEVER been given PROPOFOL at his HOME, where it is ONLY GIVEN in a HOSPITAL SETTING so that DOCTORS COULD MONITOR EVERYTHING that would have been required to CLOSELY MONITOR!!!!! When you suffer from a traumatic event/s such as Michael Jackson has in the last 10 years or actually the most part of HIS LIFE, with all the court alleged accusations, people treated him with such strong judgments should first look at themselves. Their is only ONE JUDGE and some day we will ALL have our time to answer for, "DO ONTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD LIKE THEM TO DO ONTO YOU". All of this lifetime of TRAUMA would have most definitely put Michael in a great deal of Depression and Anxiety. I, being a fan since I was a child at a very young age whom I TRULY ADORED and LOVED DEARLY, at a young age although at which point I knew who Michael Jackson was at such a young age (THE KING of POP) first off SHOULD NEVER HAVE GONE THROUGH WHAT HE HAS (COURTS, JUDGMENTAL COMMENTS, HIS CHILDHOOD ETC... ). I think by staying such a true and loyal fan through thick and thin, I NEVER ONCE DOUBTED his past in any case, shape or form. Only those who know what it feels like to be in his shoes would feel sorrow and pain for him as I do!! I speak from experience as I too Suffer from Depression, Anxiety, and also Prescription Habituation. Yes, I had many enablers but it is so hard to get a handle on something that ends up controlling your every minute of every day just to be able to get up out of bed and work and go about with your day, as I said would only know if they even have been through even partial of what I just mentioned and most importantly what Michael Jackson TRULY TRULY FELT DEEP DOWN and what HE WAS CONSTANTLY THINKING OF but put up a good FRONT, a FACADE so no one would read through HIS PAIN and ANGUISH!! In any case, no patient cannot be blamed for requesting prescription medication if needed, and it is the doctor’s negligent behavior that is to be exclusively blamed, which in this case leads only to DR.CONRAD MURRAY and ALL OTHER DOCTORS OR ENABLERS(if you will). Lastly, in my case once again, because it is quite similar in a lot of ways, my doctor controlled and helped me get off my pain and other medications which when he knew for the first time, he (my doctor) immediately stopped giving me my prescriptions no matter how much PAIN I was in or that I couldn't sleep at all, it just didn't matter because the fact of the matter is, YOUR DOCTOR is YOUR LIFELINE and if they keep enabling you, such as in this TRAGIC situation with MICHAEL JACKSON, someone could get badly hurt or even worse FATALLY DIE as what this case is!!!!!!!

    TINA M

    August 25, 2009 at 2:41 am |
  10. mark

    he got murder

    August 25, 2009 at 1:21 am |
  11. Ed Stralko (Arizona)

    Has It yet been legitimately recognized That during the 911 call, Michel Jackson’s name was never mentioned? Typically bringing up the name of a celebrity paramedics would have arrived asap. Not Brining up Michel’s makes me believe it was intentionally homicide. Your thoughts?

    August 25, 2009 at 1:13 am |
  12. Dolly

    stop w/the Michael Jackson coverage. Enough is enough. No one cares.

    August 25, 2009 at 1:11 am |
  13. Jan Britton

    Having worked in Healthcare Risk for 20 years, doctors are perceived not to be intentionally doing harm to their patient, however, Versed, Ativan, etc.. – he obviously had a high tolerence from taking these meds for a prolonged period of time. This to me is a malpractice suit and a lost of medical license. I don't see intentional/willful want to murder.

    August 25, 2009 at 12:15 am |
  14. Dan Stewart

    Enough with the Michael Jackson death. there are a multitude of issues facing this country that render this utterly insignificant. The ongoing reporting on CNN and the time they give this story pretty much reduce their status as a serious news organisation.

    August 24, 2009 at 11:43 pm |
  15. Cat Call

    In post WW II trials of Japanese officers, the US had taken the position that the use of interrogation technique such as "water boarding" was "torture" and appropriately considered a war crime. The Japanese officers who were found guilty of using those techniques were punish severely.

    If the 9/11 attack vindicates our use of the same techniques as "justifiable torture" or not torture at all, is this no longer a war crime?

    August 24, 2009 at 11:36 pm |
  16. A Wonderland

    Dr Conrad Murray should pay dearly for his actions and the handling of Michael Jackson. I am 40 years old and this the very first celebrity death that has brought me to my knees. I cried when Diana died but this-I am having a hard time dealing with. I know that I am not the only one out here still mourning Michael Jackson. I dont get bereathment time from work or my life and I couldnt and will never get the chance to say goodbye. Dr Pinski, you seem like you have you head on your shoulders and are very focused. I think that you should start a national membership of doctors who publicly take an addtional oath not to supply the rich and famous with un-needed drugs and when they are contacted by a celebrity or the celebrities people-then it should be noted. Also, celebrities could take and oath as well and if they slip and call out for drugs the person should say no and contact your clinic or some other valid locale. So that it is noted. We are another dollar in the celebrity commuites eyes and we cannot stage interventions or cut people off to where it will make them think twice before taking drugs. If you need my help, let me know. I hate my job(s) anyway. I would rather do something worth more value.

    August 24, 2009 at 11:30 pm |
  17. Erica

    i am sad to hear that michaels death is being ruled a homicide and at the same time my suspicsions were proven correct, i cannot believe the doctor gave him that much of a dosage of all the drugs and that he basically left him not breathing at 11 to do whatever it was he did. i am upset sad and heartbroken. its sad for me because i have realized that he didnt have to die. my prayers go out to his family

    August 24, 2009 at 11:13 pm |
  18. Cat Call

    Let's take it from the top! Are we able to establish whether MJ had been using drugs like propofol and other similar drugsover a longer period of thime than he had known Murray? He knew Dr. Murray for two months. Did MJ speak to Deepak about the feeling of being transported to the brink of death then be brought back pprior to his meeting Dr. Murray? The other questions are who prescribed and administer the drugs prior to Mrurray?

    August 24, 2009 at 11:00 pm |
  19. JC-Los Angeles

    If we provided small amounts of Diprivan to our politicians, corporate executives and leaders, maybe the rest of us could strighten things out while they caught some zzzzzzzzz.

    August 24, 2009 at 10:55 pm |
  20. val luppino

    I keep reading that MJ died due to the lethal dose of Propofol,and I am amazed that my brother is on 150mg/hr of Propofol a day and he is awake,comfortable and very much alive. Doctors are amazed and my family and I can't explain it. He is at home and gets this dose daily. We always believed Luca (19 years old and about 40 lbs) was special but we never imaged him being super human!

    August 24, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  21. Joe Fattal

    Michael Jackson drug overdose is as Nicole smith overdoze. In Nicole Smith they all want her dead, everyone that surround her. Her son died from overdoze, they couldn't kill the baby girl, she had all the money, so they got rid of Nicole. Everybody was involved, no exceptions. In the case of Michael Jackson, they all want him dead, everyone that was around him, to include his family. The doctor that injected him with the drug wasn't but the tool needed to finish the job.

    August 24, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  22. James gashel

    This was totally expected.

    August 24, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  23. cynthia

    dr.murry should be prosucted to the fullest....he killed mj and if he wasnt given mj those drugs he would be alive. he was mj's pusher. reguardless of the demands of a patient..a doctor should know better then to just do what there patients tell them to do....i'm a hairstylist...if someone walked into my salon and demanded blond hair...and told my that they would give me thousands for turning there hair...if they werent a canidate for it i woundnt do it..knowing that they would be blad...when you deal with the public you have to say no sometimes.

    August 24, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  24. peter

    Anderson, should not the Prosecution team that literally killed Michael 's soul with all those allegations of child molestation that were proved to be false , as he was not charged, shouldn't they be or feel culpable of the physical demise of Michael? How was it going to be possible for Michael to come back after such a soul killing and try to be *Michael Jackson, the King of Pop ever again, that's what killed him! He was shattered soul who was desperately trying to hold on to fragments of his identity.

    August 24, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  25. Youhou D

    Michael Jackson case is only the tip of the iceberg of the Medical Care System in USA.
    It testifies the behavior of Doctors in this country: no ethics, only money prevails, plus milking patients insurance is the main recipe even for neighborhoody doctors...
    Maybe the governement should be more repressive about how doctors do their jobs. The country would probably save more money in HC.
    Greed will kill us all!!!!

    August 24, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  26. stephanie

    " i can't belived dr murray calls himself a doctor!!"

    August 24, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  27. Chrystal

    Although each individual should be more responsible for themselves. A doctor is ultimately responsible when it comes to the administering of any and all drugs, regardless of who the patient is or what the patient thinks they should have. Although I am not a doctor, I have the sense that I was born with, and know that no one should be given various sedatives under any condition. His actions are grave negligence, and he should be held accountable – manslaughter at the very least.

    All doctors should take their oath seriously "...to do not harm."

    August 24, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  28. planetspinz

    Maybe this was not homicide but assisted suicide

    August 24, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  29. Erin

    I really can't say I'm shocked by this news. I've had surgery many times before, and Propofol has been used in some of those surgeries, so I have some idea of how quickly and deeply it works. I figure, if they only use it in an operating room....legally...then there must be a reason for that.

    Still, just because I am not shocked, by this does not mean I am not saddened. I am saddened by this news deeply. MJ was, and will remain, such an icon of our times, that to see him meet his end in such a tragic and destructive way, breaks my heart!

    My prayers go out to his family, his children, MJ's friends and his memory.

    August 24, 2009 at 10:07 pm |
  30. Emma

    I am disgusted that a physician would agree to administer so many drugs in such a short period of time.

    Why is the LAPD taking so freaking long to arrest Murray, Klein and all the others.

    August 24, 2009 at 10:01 pm |
  31. Mike Armstrong TX.

    This doctors guilty theres no question but but Michael was just as guilty for his own death he knew the chances he was taking nobody forced him to take these drugs .

    August 24, 2009 at 9:56 pm |
  32. Heather,ca

    No none ever said drug addicts have good taste in doctors.

    This doctor took an oath to treat his patients with the proper standard of care. He had the responsibility of saying no to any patient regardless of the person. But he chose dollar signs. Then again does a doctor with multiple malpratice lawsuits against seem like the kind of doctor who really cares about the proper standard of care and following the law. He seems to be attracted to dollar singns. He should go to prison. I think in the end he got more than he bargained for. A famous dead patient and perhaps prison. Though sometimes it takes a lot even death for some to see the light.
    How the you know what did he think giving him a drug that is ONLY ever used in a surgical setting. Its outragious!

    August 24, 2009 at 9:24 pm |
  33. Annie Kate

    Actually having the drug overdose confirmed in MJ's case is a bit anticlimatic. I would have been more surprised if the toxicology report had come back clean.

    With the MJ story and the man who offed himself in Canada after killing his wife in the US it sounds like this evening is Murder are Us.

    August 24, 2009 at 9:12 pm |