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The third time—much like the first and second—will not be the charm for Michael Jackson's autopsy.
A Jackson family source tell E! News that despite a recent spate of reports claiming that Mama Katherine is so convinced of foul play in her son's death that she wants the King of Pop's body to go under the scalpel yet again, "there is neither a plan nor a need for another autopsy."
But it's not just that another autopsy is unplanned and potentially unnecessary. It may also be unfeasible, thanks to the current state of the star's already worked-over remains.
The source said that all tissues and samples needed, which include his brain, were already removed and that Jackson's body is currently embalmed and more or less "a shell" of little or no forensic value.
But whether or not Katherine's alleged paranoia is warranted, Los Angeles Deputy Medical Examiner Dr. Paul Gliniecki says a third autopsy is not.
In fact, Gliniecki even goes as far as to say another autopsy "would be totally pointless," particularly because of the detail that likely went into the first (the results of which are still pending).
"Especially in a high-profile case like this [the first autopsy] was probably done very well," he tells E! News.
Still, if the family demanded it, tests—albeit meaningless ones—could be done.
"We can still run tests, but the toxicology results are compromised because they replace blood with embalming fluids. It changes the chemistry.
"During an autopsy, everything is sliced and diced…everything mixes together. Even a second autopsy is compromised."
Bad news for the Jackson family, but good news for conspiracy theorists.
Meanwhile, in other Jackson developments, Rolling Stone reports that estate lawyers are gearing up to send formal requests to sister La Toya to retrieve computer hard drives she lifted from her brother's home in the wake of his death.
According to Frank DiLeo, the late singer's manager, more than 100 songs recorded but never released by Jackson were housed on the hard drives, with the potentially lucrative tunes spanning the decades. Per DiLeo, some of the songs were recorded circa Jackson's peak Bad and Thriller days, while others were much recent and the result of collaborations with will.i.am, Akon and NeYo.
The lawyers want to retrieve the hard drives so their contents can be properly logged.
(Originally published Aug. 6, 2009, at 10:32 a.m. PT)
Missing the King of Pop? Take a look back the good times with our Michael Jackson: A Life gallery.