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Author Claims Rolling Stones’ Brian Jones Was Murdered

Brian Jones' Funeral
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

In his 1994 book ‘Brian Jones: Who Killed Christopher Robin?,’ writer Terry Rawlings asserted that the mysterious circumstances surrounding the Rolling Stones co-founder’s death were a cover-up for murder — and he’s renewed those allegations in a recently released updated edition.

MOJO spoke with Rawlings for a cover story about the reissued book, and he doesn’t mince words in the interview, flatly stating that Jones “was definitely murdered and there was a cover-up.” Aware that some have questioned his findings, Rawlings added, “It’s not a crackpot theory; it’s what happened.”

Jones — who’d been fired from the Rolling Stones a few weeks before — drowned in his pool on July 3, 1969, following an evening during which he played host to a group of guests that included a contractor named Frank Thorogood. In the original edition of ‘Who Killed Christopher Robin?,’ Rawlings pointed the finger at Thorogood, saying that tensions between Jones and his employee turned violent during a shared swim. Allegedly, Thorogood confessed to the deed on his deathbed in 1993, telling the band’s former road manager Tom Keylock, “It was me that did Brian. I just finally snapped.”

The book’s update includes findings gleaned from a videotaped interview with Keylock, who apparently admitted that — contrary to his long-held assertion that he’d been away from the house on an errand for Keith Richards — he was actually at the house when Jones died. And although Keylock himself passed away in 2009, it’s worth noting that Rawlings is far from alone in his beliefs.

In fact, Anna Wohlin, who was involved with Jones and on the grounds when he drowned, backed them up in a 2013 interview with the U.K.’s Daily Mail. “I don’t know if Frank meant to kill Brian,” she admitted. “Maybe it was horseplay in the pool that went wrong. But I knew all along he did not die a natural death. I’m still sure of it.”

Police reviewed their investigation into Jones’ death in 2009, after a journalist unearthed hundreds of documents pertaining to the incident — including a claim from Thorogood’s daughter that Richards and Mick Jagger had been in the midst of a potentially violent argument with Jones over who owned the rights to the Stones name. Ultimately, however, the case remained officially closed.

Next: Inside the Rolling Stones' First Show Without Brian Jones

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