The King is Dead: Michael Jackson, Prescription Drugs and the Trial of Conrad Murray


  • Keila dos Santos
  • Thomas Whatley


Having spent a majority of the last decade refuting defamation, Michael Jackson was scheduled to embark on a final vindication tour deemed “This is It.” Ramping up public attention, 360,000 tickets were sold before public sales commenced. Once available public purchases averaged at a rate of eleven per second.(1) From a business perspective, this led to the reality that Jackson’s depleting health was a contingency that could not be neglected. In the event that he was unable to perform as scheduled, AEG, the company managing the promotional aspects of Jackson’s tour, would be financially burdened with the liability of remuneration. Thereby, they hired Dr. Conrad Murray who was medically affiliated with the Jackson family.(2) AEG Live inherently relied on Murray’s expertise to secure their investment by serving as his in-house physician, nursing Jackson into peak physical condition and ensuring that he was capable of performing at each of his scheduled engagements. In this regard, Murray was compensated approximately $150,000 per month for his discretion, prescription and his advisement six nights a week at the Jackson home.(3)