Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Big Bopper Update

Big Bopper autopsy puts rumors to rest - "KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (AP) -- J.P. 'The Big Bopper' Richardson suffered massive fractures and likely died immediately in the 1959 plane crash that also killed early rock 'n' rollers Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens, a forensic anthropologist said Tuesday after exhuming the body.

The performer's son, Jay Richardson, hired Dr. Bill Bass, a well-known forensic anthropologist at the University of Tennessee, to look at the remains in Beaumont, Texas.

There have been rumors a gun might have been fired on board the plane and that the Big Bopper might have survived the crash and died trying to get help.

Bass took X-rays of the body and found nothing Tuesday to support those theories.

'There was no indication of foul play,' Bass said in a telephone interview from Beaumont. 'There are fractures from head to toe. Massive fractures. ... (He) died immediately. He didn't crawl away. He didn't walk away from the plane.'

The rock 'n' roll stars' plane crashed after taking off from Mason City, Iowa, on February 3, 1959 -- a tragedy memorialized as 'the day the music died' in Don McLean's song 'American Pie.'"

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