Michael Jackson died one year ago Thursday. Unless, that is, you believe that the pop legend didn't die, in which case Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of his faked death.
In honor of the latter milestone, we've mined the leading theories as to how and why Jackson pulled an Elvis. The list is best read with an open mind—if not an invisible suit:
1. He "Was Under Enormous Pressure." This per, Cassandra Gretchen-Sims, widely ID'd on Jackson death-hoax sites and message boards as a Jackson insider. In an interview on journalist Derek Clontz's Website, Gretchen-Sims says Jackson faked his death in order to relieve the stress weighing upon him, and asserts the singer intends to reappear this month for a world tour. Aside from the world-tour part, this claim is not unique—MJ death-hoax mythology is built on the belief that the singer wanted to get away from it all.
Say, did we mention there's nary a mention of Gretchen-Sims outside of the death-hoax world? And did we mention Clontz used to be executive editor of the Weekly World News?
2. The Autopsy Was As Fake As MJ's "Death." A living man can't be autopsied, now can he? This is another leading tenant in the MJ death-hoax world: that somehow a person and/ or persons other than the King of Pop were examined by the Los Angeles Coroner's Office. According to this YouTuber, officials, with the help of evil TMZ, tried to confuse the public with contradictary and outright fake autopsy results.
Oh, and did we mention, the alleged contradiction—that the coroner's office announced the anesthetic Propofol contributed to Jackson's death, and later said no pills or illegal drugs were found in Jackson's system—is not a contradiction?
3. MJ Is a Master of Disguise. In order to keep the ruse going, but still get out now and then, Jackson reputedly has donned a number of disguises. He has appeared on Larry King Live as disfigured child-abuse survivor Dave Dave (scroll down to the Sept. 3, 2009, entry, "The funeral," at Michael Jackson Death Hoax Investigators for the "Thriller" eyes mix-and-match). Per the same autopsy-skeptical YouTuber, Jackson showed up at his own funeral as "fedora-hat guy" (skip ahead to the 6:15 mark on this clip). Per another YouTuber, Jackson is none other than Dr. Conrad Murray. And here we learn that the MJ ghost supposedly spotted at Neverland last year, might have been MJ himself in, yes, an invisible suit.
4. ThIs Is It Explains It All: The famous Cassandra Gretchen-Sims has confirmed it, so it must be true: There are 33 clues in the hit Jackson concert movie that detail how and why the entertainer opted out of his public life. And if you understand any of them, and how they relate to the Christian Gnosis (for Cassandra Gretchen, natch), you deserve a medal in reading comprehension.
5. "Liberian Girl" Really Explains It All: The 1989 music video in which a bevy of stars (Steven Spielberg, John Travolta, Whoopi Goldberg, etc) gather on a set to await Jackson only to learn that he—crafty, fun-loving MJ—has been filming them all along seems to be the one thing, perhaps above all others, that gives the death-hoax believers hope. This fan-made clip imagines Jackson's own funeral as a "Liberian Girl" remake, with, now as then, Jackson alive and laughing at the end of it.
Did we mention this one's actually sort of poignant?
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Remember the King of Pop in our photo gallery, Michael Jackson: A Life.