Hoaxes & Rumors

Urban Legend: Is the Elvis Dead Body Photo a Hoax?

Urban Legend: Is the Elvis Dead Body Photo a Hoax?

When the National Enquirer ran the infamous photo of Elvis Presley in his casket, conspiracy theorists immediately decried the photo as fake.

Sponsored links

Elvis Dead Body Photo

The photo ran on the cover of the National Enquirer on September 6, 1977, just weeks after Elvis passed away. The photographer was the object of speculation for years, but it was later confirmed in a tell-all book by Enquirer editor Iain Calder that Elvis’ cousin Billy Mann was paid $18,000 to sneak a photo of Elvis in his coffin. Elvis’ cousin Billy Smith also corroborated this claim. (Some sources erroneously claim the cousin was “Bobby Mann” which is inaccurate. Some sources also claim it was $10,000, some say $30,000, and others say $75,000.) This cousin should not be confused with Billy Smith, who was a first cousin and close confidant of Elvis.

Questions About the Photo…

  • Body Too Thin? It has been said that Elvis looks too thin in the casket photo, and more like Elvis from 1957 instead of 1977. Some reports claim that those who attended the funeral claim that Elvis did not resemble the photo that was on the cover of the National Enquirer. One defense of the photo states that Enquirer retouch artist Robert Stevens may have been a little too generous in his retouching efforts. Others claim that he merely appears thin because he is laying on his back.
  • Nose Not Right? It has been claimed that the nose seen in the casket photo looked flat and was not the same as the nose of Elvis Presley. This theory bolsters the claim by some that it was a wax dummy in the coffin, and not Elvis. Those who defend the photo have said that the “wrong nose” is again due to over-retouching by Robert Stevens. It has been claimed that Elvis collapsed face-first and broke his nose when he died, which could also explain the “pug nose” in the coffin.
Sponsored Links

Other Rumors

There are so many other rumors about the death of Elvis Presley, that volumes of books have already been written on the subject. We, however, are focused purely on the photo that appeared in the National Enquirer.

2015 Satire Report

In January 2015, fake news website Empire News posted a story claiming that an 80-year old homeless man found under and overpass in San Diego was identified as Elvis Presley. Readers looking up the veracity of that fake story have found this article in search results. Empire News publishes fake, outlandish stories which are not real. The story about a homeless Elvis discovered in San Diego is a work of fiction.

Bottom Line

There has been much debate about a photo supposedly showing Elvis in his casket. This has been used in a larger debate regarding Elvis’ death and claims that a wax dummy or a lookalike was in the coffin. As far as the photo representing what was in the casket, it appears to be genuine, although it was retouched by an artist at the National Enquirer. Elvis’ cousin Billy Smith has confirmed that the photo was taken of Elvis, and did not dispute the image’s veracity. Unless the body is exhumed, it’s doubtful that the debate on the contents of the casket and the infamous photo will ever end. For those of us on the sidelines, both sides of the debate are fascinating.

Further Reading

Updated May 22, 2016
Originally published May 2012

Sponsored links

    It was not to save a life, that is a cover story. It was to escape fame

  • Bobby Angell

    I don’t blame you for what you did I know you had to and I hope one day I get to meet you just like my dad did when he had the opportunity to drive your lemo for you when you came through Chatsworth IL he was only 18 working at the gas station you stopped at.

  • Agnes

    Ha ha huuuuu haaaaa.
    Is it true that. Jessi story?

  • Ricky

    I knew Elvis for years been to his home in Memphis and in Palm Springs California Visited him a Many of time He was a wonderful Person with a heart of gold if he liked you , You had a friend for life I helped his dad with the horses at Graceland after Elvis died was very sad seeing his Dad so sad after losing his son. Elvis body was at Graceland 3 Days before he was put to rest Lisa was there what a sad little girl back then. I can tell you that was Elvis in the Casket The paper did doctor the picture up it was no wax dummy it was Elvis I touched him and held my hand over his hand and his forehead Yes friends it was Elvis wish it was a wax dummy but it was the real deal Elvis . Elvis has Left the Building . ( R I P ) My friend ALWAYS LOVE YOU. R Ray

  • Janet Lynn

    My cousin and I saw Elvis in his coffin inside Graceland’s foyer. It was him…and he’s dead.

  • Eve

    he did fake his death. that body in the casket, is a wax dummy. he’s in Hiding. but he’s finally found the peace he never found when he was in the public eye. I just pray no one ever finds him. so he can live the rest of his days in joy, love, happiness and peace.

  • Eve

    He did fake his death. I won’t tell you how I know this, because I don’t want to put his life in danger. But I will say this, he’s found peace. he’s in Hiding. but he’s found the peace he’s never had, while he was in the public eye.

  • Eve

    Elvis is Not Dead. I will not say How I Know this.. because I don’t want to put his life in Danger. But, he is Not Dead. I hope someday you can meet him, if he is in fact part of your blood family. right now, he’s in Hiding. that’s all I’m saying.

  • Eve

    he did. fake his death I mean. he did it to get away… to save his own life. no one really cared about him. and the Mafia was after him. they were trying to kill him. they still are. he has a peaceful life now.. tho he’s living under an assumed name, in Hiding, far far away from Tennessee. and he’s undergone plastic surgery to make him look like someone other than who he really is. I will Not tell you where he is, or what his new identity is, or anything we’ve discussed (he & I), because I don’t want to put his life in danger. But I will say this, please folks.. let him be. let him live the rest of his natural days.. in Peace. Oh, and he’s been Substance Free for the past 30 plus years, and he is Married to a woman who Truly loves him. She and a Very Select Few, are the Only ones who knows the Truth. I only know this because he’s had Close Ties to my family since I was a toddler. He Met My Mom, before she met my Dad. Before they were married. And they stayed Friends, even after she met my dad, and Married My Dad. Let “Elvis” Live in Peace. Thank You.

  • Eve

    No he didn’t. I’ve thought for so many years, that was true. but I’ve learned of Recent, that he in fact, Did Not Die. He is Alive & Well. Well, for as well as he can be at his age, of Almost 82yrs old. He’s had a few Heart Attacks… and other health complications. But aside from that, He’s Still Alive. The Body in the Casket was Not real. It was a Wax Dummy. that photo of Elvis in the Casket, was Too Young to be the Real Elvis. Elvis did Not look like that when he supposedly died. I was almost 7 when he supposedly died. I saw him shortly before he supposedly died. He looked Nothing like what the photo shows. He looked like that when I First Met him, a few years or so Prior, but he didn’t look like that when He “died.” Elvis’s death was a Hoax.

  • Eve

    I Won’t say the name you go by now. But I Know it’s Not Elvis Aaron Presley. I am wondering tho, if that Homeless Man in San Diego that was found to be you, was that really you? I won’t discuss on here the things You & I discussed on the phone recently, But from what I’ve read, it leads me to believe that you were the man they found in San Diego near the Underpass. I Truly hope you’re life goes better for you Soon. And I Pray the Mafia never finds you. Please Don’t Trust Anyone you Do Not Know Personally, If someone else arrives to pick you up, and take you back to Graceland, to take care of the things you told me, you need to take care of… Especially if you Do Not Know this person, Please Do Not Go with them. The last person you told me about who showed up to pick you up, and take you home.. would’ve left me on edge too. Thank You for Not going with him. I do not want anything to happen to you. My Thoughts & Prayers & Heart is with you Always. God Bless You.

  • Kimmy Stewart

    Im a bit late commenting, but i totally agree! Looks like E from the 50’s. I have wondered whether the picture was overly touched up by whoever delt with the photos at the enquire ?

  • Kimmy Stewart

    Can i come visit? ?

  • E Fan!

    Elvis’s name is spelt, Elvis Aron Presley, this is on his birth certificate and school report card.

  • E Fan!

    If Elvis is dead or alive, people need to just allow him to have peace and happiness.. Leave him alone already!

    • Eve

      I Agree. Let the man be. Let him live the rest of his days in peace. He so very much deserves it. He’s already given more of himself than he should’ve. let the man have some peace and happiness. everyone deserves that.

  • waffles

    There is some rather interesting info on this topic here: http://www.elvis.com.au/presley/article_aron_or_aaron.shtml

    The link above asserts that Elvis had expressed the desire to start using two A’s to match the spelling of Aaron in the Bible.

  • George Vreeland Hill

    Elvis is dead.
    He died on August 16, 1977.
    The body is real.

    George Vreeland Hill

  • Robert Burns Glennie

    According to my understanding, Presley looked so thin in the coffin, because his being overweight was due to an excess of fat, but a dangerous buildup of fluids due to drug abuse and other excesses.

    Post-mortem, this fluid was drained and thus Elvis lost a substantial amount of weight…

  • CW Leaver

    Don’t you mean Elvis Aron Presley? (spelled correctly)

  • Yaelsen

    I’ve read a number of well-researched Elvis biographies, several of which report that Elvis was dead for hours before the paramedics were called. One also reported that his body had bloated and turned black, and that the paramedics – unaware of who he was – marked him down as African-American in their paperwork. His discoloration was supposedly a result of the combination of the huge quantities of drugs he had been taking for years, and the face-down position the corpse had lain in for hours. If that’s true, I sincerely doubt that even the most skilled undertaker would be able to make Elvis’s corpse took as good as it did in that photo.

Hoaxes & Rumors

More in Hoaxes & Rumors

Celebrating the weird and fake since 2008.

Copyright © 2008-2016 Wafflesatnoon.com, Inc. Theme by MVP Themes, powered by Wordpress.