All eyes were on the trial of Dr Conrad Murray, the doctor charged with the death of legendary musician Michael Jackson on Tuesday, but no one was prepared for the kind of opening statement the trial would make – a picture of the dead singer on a gurney after years of keeping it away from being sensationalised.
The picture pulled out by Los Angeles deputy district attorney David Walgren showed the singer, lying lifeless on a hospital trolley with tape like fixture between nose and mouth, to the jury; it was juxtaposed with the singer singing and dancing during his last rehearsals for his comeback tour — This Is It.
Walgren also played an audio tape of the singer slurring while talking of his plans to give the biggest entertainment show ever, do charity and create a huge hospital for children, to show that he was under some kind of substance influence. Fans of the late singer had swooped outside the courtroom, standing vigil, while the picture sparked off shock, grief, outrage and debate on the ethic of releasing pictures of the dead.
And just as in life, the drama around Michael Jackson’s death continues to be as bizarre.