Joined: 6:05 AM - Mar 15, 2018

9:35 AM - Sep 27, 2018 #21

John Coffin:

Checking back, we could argue that we don't even know about the police finding him. We have by now three versions. He fell from a running board, or fell and hit his head on a car...in daylight. He was found, reeking of alcohol, and assumed to have suffered from a blow, during the night.

Unlike Bix, he did die in the hospital. The differing versions have been blended in the telling over the decades. The 'friends' bringing booze is a plausible, but unverifiable, detail. He may never have regained consciousness from the reports that have shown up here.
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You didn't know about the police finding Don Murray. But I certainly do and said so. I have a collection of contemporary newspaper stories, amongst other documentation. I know the names and histories of the cops who found him, as well as the registrar at the morgue, the autopsy surgeon (there was no autopsy as I also explained, but that is the title of the doctors employed by the morgue), the very well-known coroner, some hospital personnel, mortuary officials and others. I have photos of nearly all those people and places, as well as other cases where those people served. I have consulted with a medical examiner and the L.A. police. The fact about the police discovery is not debatable. 

The running board story is fabrication. If someone had seen that happen, if a witness had been named or come forth, if any identifications or descriptions of a vehicle had entered the investigation, it would have been reported. It was not. If it was not witnessed nor materially substantiated, it's just belated unsupported gossip. You think there are three versions of Don Murray's death? There are at least five. 

Where did you get the idea Murray's injury happened in daylight? I already told you: Murray's unconscious body was found by police at about 10 p.m. And in an open street, in a Hollywood residential area (not that far from where Xavier Cugat then lived.) I know that neighborhood and have photos of what existed there in Don Murray's era. 

"Reeking of alcohol" is your rather mean-spirited invention. You haven't accurately retained factual information provided here. Or distinguished between fact and speculation. The only mention of alcohol in any evidentiary document I've examined is the death certificate. And that IS on this board, though it's not free of errors, such as providing the wrong birthdate. 

"Friends" inflicting  booze - on an unconscious, critically injured man (he died, you know) - is not plausible, despite your assertion. 

Alcohol was not the cause of Murray's death, even if he had been drinking or carrying alcohol the night he was found.

Don Murray died of traumatic brain injury. Beyond his having sustained blunt injury, there was no definitive theory presented at the inquest as to what occasioned his death. Police had initially leaned to assault by an unknown assailant - which I have begun to consider not impossible. The inquest ruled his death Accidental. The only other legally defined manners of death are Natural Cause, Homicide, Suicide and Undetermined. The last means nobody has a clue why the deceased died. Well, in this case, they believed they did.

There's a mystery about this death. Mysteries perplex people so they try to create a sequence of events. However, ignoring available facts is no way to proceed. Instead, I chose to conduct research, and pored through newspapers, magazines, books (not excluding autopsy textbooks and studies) as well as contemporary and more recent medical, coroner's and mortuary records online and physically elsewhere. I'm frank about what I don't know but wish I did. Nonetheless I know considerably more about Don Murray's death than has ever appeared in any Bix Beiderbecke biography. You do not. There's no reason why you should - unless you want to contribute a well-informed statement. All you seem to be doing is challenging what is known and incorrectly summarizing what I've said.
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Joined: 8:41 AM - Mar 16, 2018

11:41 AM - Sep 27, 2018 #22

"Mysteries perplex people so they try to create a sequence of events."

I couldn't agree more! Here is another example - one of your own - this time concerning Bix's death:-

"Maybe Bix tussled and got entangled in the fringes, and -- most probably disoriented -- scratched, bumped and injured his arms on the frame or on something under the bed. In Bix's disordered mind, the fringe evoked "Mexicans," and the abrasions and lesions were injuries caused by "knives." A fragmentary visual impression and multiple sensory impressions combined."
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Joined: 4:56 PM - Mar 15, 2018

3:10 PM - Sep 27, 2018 #23

The accounts of the accident, as dubious as they are in comparison to the police assumption of deliberate blunt force trauma, describe Murray encountering friends on the street. This would suggest daytime for them to recognize him. This is the kind of detail that clings to a story like a barnacle. For that matter, Murray could have been mugged in daylight,and lain undiscovered until after dark. What 'proof' can be found now that would make for absolute certainty?

'Friends' bringing booze seems to be unsupported. But would be entirely believable if there was evidence of Murray ever being in condition to receive visitors.

Compare to the jumbled accounts of Bix's collapse in Cleveland. Finally pinned down to November 30th by Trumbauer's diary, previous reports conflate it with Margulis' account of Bix passing out on stage, the mysterious fight that left the mysterious injury, and his skipping out on care to turn up in New York.

Alcohol is implicated in a large proportion of violent and accidental deaths. Especially falls and criminal violence. MADD posts that 57% of drivers killed in car wrecks are under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. The CDC reports an average of 7,541 deaths per year from alcohol-related falls for 2006-10 (https://nccd.cdc.gov/DPH_ARDI/Default/R ... 25B9&F=&D=) In the case of a well-known heavy drinker, its ridiculous to blithely dismiss alcohol as causative. Especially when the only hard data at hand specifically mentions alcohol.
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Joined: 6:05 AM - Mar 15, 2018

6:27 PM - Sep 27, 2018 #24

Nick Dellow wrote: "Mysteries perplex people so they try to create a sequence of events."

I couldn't agree more! Here is another example - one of your own - this time concerning Bix's death:-

"Maybe Bix tussled and got entangled in the fringes, and -- most probably disoriented -- scratched, bumped and injured his arms on the frame or on something under the bed. In Bix's disordered mind, the fringe evoked "Mexicans," and the abrasions and lesions were injuries caused by "knives." A fragmentary visual impression and multiple sensory impressions combined."
I remember that speculation well.
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Joined: 11:08 PM - Mar 15, 2018

5:55 PM - Sep 28, 2018 #25

I'm not clear from the above if it's known whether Don Murray regained consciousness in the hospital or not, if so, friends bringing booze, the universal cure all, especially for a good time guy, sounds likely.enough. There's those sad stories of Chu Berry and Natasha Richardson too with their head injuries, Chu regaining consciousness at the hospital to the extent of having to be restrained from leaving with his bandmates, then dying later, and Natasha, thinking this isn't so bad and going home. If there's bleeding in the skull and swelling, it takes time for it to be disastrous, with the treatment being drilling in the skull to relieve pressure, which I don't know if was a known treatment in Don's time.
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Joined: 4:56 PM - Mar 15, 2018

2:02 AM - Sep 29, 2018 #26

Wikipedia repeats the 'fall from the running board' version. But ads the claim that the car was moving.
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Joined: 11:08 PM - Mar 15, 2018

9:56 AM - Sep 29, 2018 #27

I used the search function to learn and recall about Don. It's that spyglass symbol top right beside the register sign. Lots of posts, mostly coscannon and some earlier ones. They say Don never regained consciousness over the four days before he died. Cosca says opening the skull to relieve brain pressure was known then, but no one says what treatment he was given, though someone, the doctors, I assume, thought he was improving. They don't say if he had any visitors or just lay there completely alone and defeated, poor guy. Dedicate him a song.

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Joined: 11:08 PM - Mar 15, 2018

6:45 PM - Oct 02, 2018 #28

From Charlie Parker to Paul Whiteman in the next breath, I wonder if there's an unconscious yearning to learn whether music lost its way and where .
 These folks as far as I know made their various pilgrimages to New Orleans from different places and found they couldn't leave when they found each other and maybe.the 1910 New Orleans  source of jazz.This is only a few weeks old here in the 21st Century, like they've gone back to start all over again. I think the cornetist has acquired a new found beauty to her sound and the vocalist is her usual unbelievable magnifique, but the band seems to curb its star power to stay a cohesive unit  for the sake of the music, such that Paul Whiteman would have had to hire the whole damn band, though if Count Basie could have heard that rhythm section he might have hired a washboard player.
A musical interlude from all of RW's hard work.

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