Journalism works! British police are reopening an investigation into the mysterious 1969 death of the Rolling Stones founder Brian Jones after a reporter handed over 600 documents from his files indicating that Jones may have been murdered.
Jones died just over 40 years ago at his home in East Sussex just a month after Keith Richards and Mick Jagger bounced him from the band he started; the official story is that his three houseguests found him face down at the bottom of his swimming pool after a night of drinking and drugging. As with the untimely passing of any great musician, Jones' death has been chalked up to any number of conspiracies, from a murderous biker gang to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards themselves.
But last year investigative journalist Scott Jones (no relation) published an exhaustive review of Brian Jones' death in the Daily Mail and found ample evidence that he may have been done in by his friend and general contractor Frank Thorogood. Scott Jones tracked down and interviewed Janet Lawson, the guest who found Brian's body. She had never given her account before, and told Jones that Thorogood seemed shaken even before Brian was discovered and knew he was in the pool before Lawson told him where she'd found him. Scott handed his findings over to the police, and now they are investigating his allegations.
It's not the first time Thorogood has been accused of drowning Jones. Two 1994 books fingered him, claiming he confessed on his deathbed in 1993. Thorogood's alleged motive isn't clear; Scott Jones suggests that Brian owed Thorogood some money. As for why the British police didn't reopen the investigation back in 1994, who knows? Scott Jones' Daily Mail story detailed extensive bungling by the cops in the initial investigation and revealed Lawson's account for the first time, so it may have elevated the accusation above conspiratorial mutterings from fans.
Scott Jones ended his Daily Mail investigation with this:
Having spent two years studying the evidence and speaking to most of the surviving players, I'm convinced Brian Jones's death was not fully investigated. The only question that remains is why?
I hope this is something the authorities will discover if they finally decide to reopen the case. It is the least Brian Jones deserves.
Now he gets is wish. So add "solve the case of the mysterious death of a rock 'n' roll legend" to the list of things that newspaper reporters can do that bloggers can't—yet! If you know who did Paul, let us know.