Jackson Doctor Under Increased Scrutiny

Singer Michael Jackson generic 1958-2009 AP Photo

"I hope he's got a good lawyer."

Investigative reporter Diane Dimond says the cardiologist who was with Michael Jackson when the pop icon collapsed, Dr. Conrad Murray, may need one.

"If he was the only doctor on the scene and, as we heard in the 911 call (audio of which was released by the Los Angeles Police Department), worked on Michael Jackson for quite awhile before they called 911, he may be culpable of something," Dimond, who's covered Michael Jackson for years, said to co-anchor Chris Wragge on The Early Show Saturday Edition.

In the 911 call, made from inside the L.A. mansion that Jackson was renting, the caller is heard saying, "He's not breathing. He's not breathing."

The operator asked if anyone witnessed what happened, and the caller said, "Um, no, just the doctor, Sir. The doctor's been the only one here. ... He's pumping. He's pumping his chest, but he's not responding to anything."

"Mystery surrounds Murray," observes CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker.

And L.A. cops want to question him.

"It's very important to interview everybody who was in contact with Mr. Jackson immediately prior to his demise. ... particularly anybody involved with his physical care ... so it's very important to talk to the doctor," LAPD Deputy Chief Charlie Beck told reporters.

A vehicle reportedly driven by Murray was towed from the rented Jackson mansion as part of the probe of the singer's death, Whitaker reports.

"The vehicle was impounded because we are still actively trying to assess what the nature of Mr. Jackson's death is, and whether or not any prescription or other medications were involved," Beck added.

Police say Murray has agreed to speak with investigators, and insist he's not currently under investigation, Whitaker points out.


Complete Coverage of Michael Jackson's Death

But some of Jackson's friends are saying they've long-feared his use of prescription drugs would lead to tragedy, Whitaker continues, and now emphasis will be placed on who may have supplied them and exactly what he was taking.

Results of autopsy-related toxicology tests won't be available until a month from now, officials says.

Dimond told Wragge she was "stunned to learn this doctor (Murray) was hired by the concert promoter (AEG Live), I guess at Michael's request. He wanted to have a doctor with him. I worked in Hollywood for many years, (for) most of the '90s, and when the celebrities have a personal doctor, it's really a prescription writer; it's really a personal drug supplier."

Dimond says she's "covered Michael Jackson since 1993. He has always had an entourage of people around him of people who do exactly what he says, or they're not there anymore. As to who is responsible, I believe in personal responsibility: You put a pill in your mouth, you did that, you put a needle in your arm, you did that. But ... there were enablers around him."
Does she truly believe drugs played a role in Jackson's death? She's referred to Jackson in the past as a drug addict.

"I think so, especially - and I'm not the only one who says he's a drug addict. ... But I think so. The coroner said (they saw) no visible signs of trauma, so that tells me his anorexia did not cause a diseased heart. They didn't say they saw a diseased heart or a bad ventricle or artery. So, it's something else that killed him."

Dimond notes that, in 1984, Jackson was doing a Pepsi commercial, and his hair caught on fire and, "At that point, my sources inside the Jackson family and company, said he became addicted, first of all, to the painkillers he took for that, but also to the cosmetic surgeries that followed. He had to have some surgeries done on that bald spot on his scalp, and then the rest is history, on his face."

She says Jackson was apparently on a "cocktail" of prescription meds and she expects toxicology tests to show "that his system was full of narcotic drugs. Even his friend, Liza Minnelli, said, when the toxicology test comes out, all you-know-what's gonna break loose. And I believe that's true."
  • CBSNews

Comments