The ubiquitous “gurney” photo of Michael Jackson released during the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray this week is indeed disturbing. What I have yet to hear is who took this photo and why. It’s not standard protocol for doctors or staff to take photos of recently the deceased, even if they are celebrities. It’s not uncommon for family and friends to take such a photo as a “last memory” but the person responsible for taking this photo has not been given as of yet. I’m by no means trying to fuel a conspiracy theory – I just think it’s a piece of information that should have been released with the photo.
*10/12/11 Update: The picture of Michael Jackson’s autopsy can be found here.
At least we know it’s a real photo of Michael Jackson, unlike the flimsy attempt by forensic experts to portray how he might have looked.
One good aspect of the Michael Jackson death photo is that it has been officially recognized by the prosecution (and thus by extension, his family) as Michael Jackson which could keep conspiracy theories relegated only to the extreme outer fringes. The disputed Elvis Presley photo, for example, only fueled the fire of rumors of his purported faked death. At this point, however, few are doubting that is in fact Michael Jackson upon his death.
The photo is included below, slightly enlarged, with minimal sharpening and some color correction.