Jim Morrison: the truth behind an old case – the last 24 hours


July 3 rd ’71  Morrison death -Nightclub boss claims rock star was killed by heroin overdose, drug dealers launched cover-up by moving body.

For more than four decades it has remained one of rock music’s most tantalising mysteries. Article by Peter Allen – Mail online The official death certificate states he died in the bath of “natural causes”.

In an  interview with The Mail on Sunday. According to Sam Bernett, Morrison died of a massive heroin overdose in the toilet of a nightclub he was managing, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus on the French capital’s fabled Left Bank.

Bernett,   a French-born former New York Times journalist, claims the death was then covered up by two drug dealers who transferred Morrison’s body from the club to the singer’s apartment and dumped it in the bath.

Jim Morrison first arrived in Paris in March 1971.  In the early hours of 3 July 1971, the underground disco was heaving with 500 revellers, including 24-year-old British siren Marianne Faithfull who had recently split up with Mick Jagger. Morrison, who was living in Paris with his girlfriend Pamela Courson, arrived at about 1am.

“I greeted Jim as I always did,” recalled Bernett from his home in Paris.  “He didn’t look in great form, and immediately went to his usual spot at the bar and ordered a bottle of vodka. He was also drinking beers. “He’d come in to pick up heroin for Pam. He was always collecting drugs for her and the club was full of dealers.”

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Jim  disappeared to the toilets at around 2am. “Then, about half an hour later, a cloakroom attendant came up to me and told me someone was locked in one of the cubicles and wasn’t coming out. It was then that I got a bouncer to smash the door down.’

Bernett was met by the sight of Morrison’s body, slumped on the toilet. “Seeing Jim in such a bad way was pretty awful. We were certain he’d been snorting heroin because there was foam coming out of his lips as well as blood. He was scared of needles so never injected drugs. He just snorted them.

Bernett’s first reaction was to send for one of his regular customers, a doctor. The medic,recognised Morrison but kept his cool. Very calmly, and expertly, he examined the body for a few seconds.

“It was a quick and professional examination. His diagnosis was very confident: ‘This man is dead. Apparently the victim of a cardiac arrest.’ The doctor was not stupid and spoke of a lethal overdose.”

In the meantime, Morrison’s two “friends” from the bar who had sold him the heroin had arrived. Ignoring the doctor’s verdict, they insisted the singer ‘had just fainted’ and they would take care of him.

Then, according to Bernett, they lifted Morrison’s body out of the toilets and along a corridor that linked the Circus with Alcazar, the club next door which still exists today it would have been easy to place Morrison in a car or van waiting in the small side street outside, and then take the body to the singer’s apartment across the river in Rue Beautreillis.

Bernett adds that he saw little point in calling the emergency services, as he was convinced Morrison was already dead and nothing could be done for him.

Incredibly, after Morrison’s body was found in his apartment, no proper investigation into his death was carried out.

Pamela Courson, Morrison’s girlfriend   swore on oath that her lover had been alive and well the night before. She told police they had been to the cinema together and then returned home at 1am – the time Bernett claims Morrison was arriving at The Circus – where she did the washing up and he watched a film, before they retired to bed to listen to music.

Then, in the middle of the night, Morrison had woken up coughing and she had watched him leave the room to take a bath “and relax”.

Max Vassille, a compliant French doctor, was happy to write off Morrison’s demise as “death from natural causes”, pointing out that the singer had been suffering from a serious stomach ulcer and asthma attacks after moving from America earlier in the year.morrison

He ruled that no autopsy was required, as there was “no evidence of foul play”.

Vassille and Pamela Courson have both since died. As for Marianne Faithfull, Bernett says she and Jean de Breteuil left Paris for Morocco the moment they heard about Morrison’s death.


“De Breteuil was Pam’s dealer, and had supplied the heroin on the night,” said Bernett. “He and Marianne immediately packed their bags and headed for Casablanca, where De Breteuil had relatives. They didn’t want to hang about

Marianne Faithfull said in a recent interview that her boyfriend at the time, a heroin dealer named Jean de Breteuil, was responsible for Jim Morrison’s death in the summer of 1971.   “He went to see Jim Morrison and killed him,” Faithfull told Mojo. “I mean, I’m sure it was an accident. Poor bastard. The smack was too strong and he died.



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