NPR logo Was Brian Jones Murdered?

Was Brian Jones Murdered?

My favorite Rolling Stones records were with Brian Jones. Jones was the band's other guitarist, but really he was so much more: Think of Jay Bennett and Wilco. Brian Jones helped take the Rolling Stones in interesting new directions. He played sitar on "Street Fighting Man," a recorder on "Ruby Tuesday," the marimba on "Under My Thumb," Mellotron on "We Love You," oboe on "Dandelion," and autoharp, dulcimer, saxophone and so much more. He's why I loved the Rolling Stones; I was so sad when he died.

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Time was not on his side. (Roger Jackson / Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

There have always been rumors that Jones' drowning death in 1969 was more than a drug-fueled accident. Now, the Associated Press is reporting that police are taking another look at the evidence. The decision to re-examine the case came after an investigative journalist gave police in Sussex, England, more than 600 pages of documents, including an interview conducted with Janet Lawson, the woman who discovered Jones' body.

According to the AP, a coroner originally said Jones drowned while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. But many speculated that it wasn't an accident. Two 1994 books (Paint It Black: The Murder of Brian Jones by Geoffrey Guiliano and Who Killed Christopher Robin? by Terry Rawlings) claimed that Jones was murdered by a man named Frank Thorogood, and that Thorogood even admitted to the killing. According to Rawlings' book, Thorogood told Rolling Stones manager Tom Keylock that "It was me that did Brian. I just finally snapped." Both Keylock and Thorogood have since died.

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