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Brian Jones

Brian Jones

On 3 July 1969, Brian Jones was found dead in his swimming pool. Speculation has existed for 40 years as to whether the death was an accident or murder. In 1968, builder Frank Thorogood had moved himself and a girlfriend, Janet Lawson, onto Jones's property. His explanation was that it was more convenient to conduct his renovations. The couple ultimately ended up moving directly into the musician's home. Supposedly, things began to disappear from the estate, unauthorized items were ordered in Jones's name, and little work, but a lot of drinking, became the order of each day. On 2 July 1969, Jones decided that the laborers had exceeded their welcome. He invited Thorogood and Lawson to drinks at his pool to break the news. Thorogood's story was that he and Jones were alone at the pool; Thorogood went to fetch a cigarette, and upon returning, found the musician floating in the water. Attempts to revive him failed.

In 1993, just prior to his death, Thorogood had a different tale: "It was me that did Brian. I just finally snapped - it just happened." Two of Thorogood's crew confessed that a group of them had pounced on Jones, forcing him under the water. Both men claimed it was Thorogood that was holding Jones under at the time of his death. According to Jones's friend (and uber-groupie) Pamela Des Barres, Jones received his astrological chart at the end of 1968. It read, "Be careful swimming in the coming year. Don't go into the water without a friend."

On 10 July 1969, Brian Jones was buried 12-feet deep in Prestbury Cemetery, Prestbury, Gloucestershire, England. Regarding his former bandmates, only Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts attended the funeral. Mick Jagger, on his way to Australia to film Ned Kelly, stated that his contract did not allow him to delay the production to attend the funeral. It was said that Keith Richards remained in the recording studio.

Brian Jones's grave

On 31 August 2009, the following report was posted on CNN.com.

Police Review Death of Rolling Stones Founder Brian Jones

LONDON, England (CNN) -- British police are reviewing the death of Rolling Stones founder Brian Jones, 40 years after the hard-living rocker was found dead in a swimming pool.

Police in Sussex, in southern England, have confirmed they are examining documents given to them by an investigative journalist who has been researching events surrounding Jones' death.

Scott Jones, who is not related to the musician, has spent four years reviewing the evidence and speaking to key witnesses in the case.

In an article published in the Daily Mail in November 2008, Jones wrote, "I'm convinced Brian Jones' death was not fully investigated. The only question that remains is why?"

Brian Jones' body was found in the swimming pool after a party at his home in Cotchford Farm, East Sussex in July 1969. He was 27.

An inquest returned a verdict of death by misadventure, despite post mortem results showing he had not taken illegal drugs and had only consumed the alcoholic equivalent of three and a half pints of beer.

One of the most popular conspiracy theories that followed was that Jones was murdered by his builder, Frank Thorogood.

The theory gained credence after Thorogood allegedly confessed to the killing before his death in 1993. The storyline formed the basis of the 2005 film "Stoned."

Sussex police told CNN they could not say how long it would take to review the new material, nor whether it could lead to a full investigation.

There have been repeated calls for closer examination of the case since Jones' death, which came just three weeks after he left the Rolling Stones.

His drinking and drug-taking had taken a toll on his health and the band, and in 1969 Jones announced he was leaving.

In a statement he said, "I no longer see eye-to-eye with the others over the discs we are cutting."

Last year, Scott Jones published an article containing contents of an interview he conducted with one of the people present at Jones' home on the night of his death.

In the article, published in the Daily Mail, Jones' said Janet Lawson, the girlfriend of Rolling Stones tour manager Tom Keylock, gave him a version of events that contradicted her official police statement.

She is reported to have called her original statement, "a pack of lies... total rubbish."

Lawson's revised version of events is among the documents Jones has supplied to Sussex police. It is also believed to include previously unseen files released by the Public Records Office.

Lawson died of cancer soon after telling Scott Jones her new sworn testimony.