CNN has shared a massive three-part report that is catnip to true crime obsessives and music nerds alike. In short, the bombshell story casts suspicion on the death of James Brown, floating the possibility that the Godfather of Soul was murdered.
The story focuses on the allegations of Jacquelyn Hollander. The singer was close with Brown until, she claims, he raped her in 1988. After that point, Hollander began collecting evidence about Brown and his associates to bolster her case against him.
“When you’re up against the most powerful person in the world, you have to document, and you have to investigate yourself, and you’d better prove everything you’re saying,” she said. “Because nobody’s going to believe you unless you can prove it.”
While gathering all that, Hollander came across evidence that Brown's third wife might have been killed. Unveiled writings from a police informant say that Adrienne Brown was murdered by a doctor who replaced her medication with drugs that would lead to her death.
Things only get stranger from there, as almost a dozen of Brown's associates suspect foul play in James' 2006 death.
Brown's attending physician was immediately suspicious of his death. While the official line states that Brown died of congestive heart failure related to pneumonia, Dr. Marvin Crawford said that he would not have suspected Brown to die when he did.
"He was a patient I would never have predicted would have coded," he told CNN. "But he died that night, and I did raise that question: What went wrong in that room?"
Crawford recommended an autopsy but his family declined. 12 years later, several associates are calling for an exhumation and a full account of what killed Brown.
Put aside some time and take in the whole saga here.