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How Did Brian Jones Die? The Rolling Stones Guitarist's Mysterious Death To Be Explored In New Special

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How Did Brian Jones Die? The Rolling Stones Guitarist's Mysterious Death To Be Explored In New Special

It's been more than 51 years since Rolling Stones founder and guitarist Brian Jones was found dead and now, a TV show on the Smithsonian Channel is taking another, deeper look into his mysterious death. In an upcoming episode of The Curious Life & Death Of... that will air on Sunday, September September 13th, medical historian Dr. Lindsey Fitzharris looks into Jones' death at 27 and what might have actually gone on all those years ago. 

How did Brian Jones die?

What we know for sure about the tragic loss of such a talented musician.

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Brian Jones was a musician best known for founding the Rolling Stones. 

Along with Keith Richards and Mick Jagger, Brian Jones founded the Rolling Stones in the '60s. He'd also worked on social projects and with massively successful acts including The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix in his short life, even though he died at just 27 years old.  

Brian Jones was found dead in a swimming pool in July 1969. 

On July 3, 1969, Jones was found dead In the swimming pool at his home in East Sussex, England. At the time, his death was ruled a drowning, later considered a "death by misadventure," thanks to the fact that he was known for abusing drugs and alcohol. However, the true events of what happened that night have never really been confirmed, leaving it up for debate ever since.

His death took place less than a month after he left the Rolling Stones.

One of the reasons Jones' death was particularly interesting was because of how closely it happened after his departure from the Rolling Stones. In June 1969, he shared that he was leaving the band to do his own thing.

"I want to play my kind of music, which is no longer the Stones music," he said at the time. "The music Mick and Keith have been writing has progressed at a tangent, as far as my own taste is concerned."

Brian Jones' manager claimed he was "out of his mind" on the night of his death.

In a Netflix documentary about Jones' death, Who Killed Christopher Robin?, that was released last year, a 2009 interview with Jones' manager Tom Keylock was shown for the first time, with Keylock claiming that he was there when his client drowned and that, along with other guests at his home, Jones was "out of his mind" on drugs when he died, which may have contributed to his drowning.

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Did Frank Thorogood murder Brian Jones? 

In the documentary Rolling Stone: Life and Death of Brian Jones,​ which was released earlier this year, the theory was raised that Jones may have gotten into a fight with contractor Frank Thorogood, who Jones was friends with but who had fired him for "leaching" off of him, leading Thorogood to allegedly hold Jones' head under the water, causing him to drown. 

Foul play may have been involved in Brian Jones's death. 


A post shared by Smithsonian Channel (@smithsonian_channel) on Aug 25, 2020 at 4:10pm PDT

In an interview about filming the episode for the Smithsonian Channel, Fitzharris shared that the conclusions they were able to draw after their investigation were pretty mind blowing. 

“I think it was a miscarriage of justice and I think it was foul play,” she said. “It was possible it was an accidental drowning, but so much compelling evidence was covered up. Some of the women who were there said they were very intoxicated and wanted to return the next day and redo their statements but they were never given that opportunity." 

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Nicole Pomarico is an entertainment and lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in Cosmo, Us Weekly, Refinery29, and more.