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From An Interview With Paul Lichter

Posted by Mickey Moran on September 25, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Q - I've saved the most controversial question for last. Did a mail truck come up the driveway at Graceland on the morning of August 16th, 1977 to deliver a Special Delivery letter which Elvis signed for you and it came from you? Did you send a Special Delivery letter to Elvis?

 

A - Yup. That's all true.

 

Q - Elvis did sign for it mid-morning?

 

A - First of all, you're the first person to ask, other than a Gail Brewer-Giorgio... those people believe he's still alive. First of all, the letter was not an accident. The letter was supposed to refute the book that was coming out by Sonny and Red West and Dave Hebler (Elvis: What Happened?) So, the letter itself and it's contents were refuting all that. It was sent to RCA, to the Columbia office, everywhere there would be a possibility that he would get it, including Graceland. Here's the odd thing...he got it. First of all, I'm not saying that I believe Elvis is alive. What I am saying is that the events didn't happened exactly the way the time frame that's been released. For reasons left unsaid, there was a lot going on there before they called the hospital. I'm sure if you read The Death Of Elvis, you know what's going on. It was a cover-up, OK? I'm not saying that he's still alive. What I'm saying is, he didn't die at the time they said he did. Ultimately he signed for the letter. Here's the history: after it happened, I was asked not to discuss it by RCA and the Colonel. After those initial interviews in the days after, I never did. What happened was, the green card, the Post Office gets a card, you get a card back when it's certified, registered. I got the card back. It was signed by him (Elvis) and it's the time they say in all these conspiracy things. A marketing company bought my name, image and likeness for a lot of money in the days following Elvis' death. In those few weeks, they sold close to 11 million products through TV. One of the commercials they were showing, the letter was part of a give-away they were giving with The Elvis Legend Lives On book. While they were filming the commercials, the actual green card was stolen, which actually would have had Elvis' last autograph, if you believe he really signed for it.

 

Q - Do you believe he really signed for it?

 

A - If you've seen pictures of the receipt, the original receipt was stolen, but we were able to get a copy from the Memphis Post Office and it certainly looks just like Elvis' signature to me and anyone else that's ever seen it. The odd thing is, about 10 years ago, whoever stole the green card and wherever it wound up, actually put it up at auction. They contacted me, but they wouldn't tell me who was offering it to them and they refused it because it was stolen.

 

Q - When I interviewed Elvis' stepbrother, David Stanley, some years ago, he told me Elvis would never walk down the driveway to get mail.

 

A - Well, first of all, he didn't walk down the driveway. All he did was walk to the front door. The truck drove right up Graceland's gates 'cause they were let in. Quite frankly, I was just as happy for people to forget the letter, because even though it's a part of history and it happened, the bottom line is, it involved me with everyone of these conspiracy lunatics who believe he's alive.

 

Q - Did the green card show the time he signed for the letter?

 

A - Yeah. It was either 9:30 or 10:30 in the morning. The story was, the mailman went to the door. To further the conspiracy crap these people talk about, again, I wasn't there, they claim the regular mail guy wasn't on. Whoever it was, a sub or a temporary guy came. And he's the one who brought it up, but even Marty Lacker said I had the United States government involved in this conspiracy. In my book, Elvis: The Legend Lives On, there's a picture of it there for anybody to see. Did Elvis sign it? I believe he did. Can I swear to it? No. I wasn't there. I have nothing to gain by telling you this 30 something years later.

 

Q - When I interviewed Nancy Rooks, Elvis' cook and maid, she said she heard a loud noise in Elvis' bedroom on August 16th, 1977, between 9:30 and 10 o'clock in the morning. Now, you can't have Elvis signing a green card for a special delivery letter between 9:30 and 10:30 in the morning on August 16th, 1977 and dying of a heart attack upstairs in his bedroom between 9:30 and 10 in the morning. Something is not right here.

 

A - I'll add something to the mystery. If you get a hold of the official death report from the police station, you'll see they have the drawing of the body and the hours are missing, as to what time they found the body and the whole deal of what went on. Keep in mind, it was 2:30, 3:30 in the afternoon when the EMTs arrived. It also took so many hours to clean the place up before they called 'em. It's not really an important thing simply because whether he died at 6 in the morning or 9:30 in the morning or 12 o'clock in the afternoon, the first fact of the matter is that he passed away. And the fact of the matter is they tried to clean up the place before they reported it. Obviously Joe Esposito (Elvis' road manager) couldn't give mouth-to-mouth to a body that had rigor mortis. And they've changed their stories time and time again. That's because it didn't happen they way it allegedly happened. It doesn't mean it didn't happen. If you want to be a conspiracy guy, how did RCA have ready all those millions of records ready to ship to every store within an hour? How did the Colonel have all the memorial posters and t-shirts they were selling at the gate before the body was returned to the house?

 

Q - Did you see Elvis in the casket?

 

A - Yup.

 

Q - Did it look like Elvis?

 

A - Well, first of all, let me say this to you, it's the only dead body I've ever seen, thank God. Did it look like Elvis? It didn't look anything like Elvis looked the day before when he was alive. But, did it look like Elvis? Yeah. You have to keep in mind that he was dead and these stories you hear that he was perspiring and it was a wax figure; to me his hair wasn't combed the way he would have combed it, but he was dead. But, I have no doubt that was Elvis. I'd love for it to be otherwise. I'd love to be proven wrong. But, I have no doubt that he's gone. People loved him so much that they didn't want to let go. The one person that knows most of what went on that day (August 16th, 1977) is Al Strada. He's the one person who never comes to Memphis. He's never written a book, never given an interview, and most people don't know if he's dead or alive. He's been rumored to be dead for years. Don't you find it strange that the guy who actually came in and saw the body first has never said a word? And how about that Ginger Alden?

 

Q - I heard she's writing a book.

 

A - She's been writing that book for the last 15 years.

 

Q - She's another one who has never said anything.

 

A - Yeah. Don't you wonder why?

 

Q - I do.

 

A - How about confidentiality clauses. How about pay-offs. I don't know that for a fact. I think Ginger is a wonderful, sweet person. Her family is very nice. But keep this in mind, everybody loved Linda Thompson and they all hated a poor girl who was 18 years old. The bottom line is, at the end of the day, could anybody have saved Elvis? And if they could have, what would have happened the next day?

 

Q - It would've been a repeat of the previous day.

 

A - Exactly. And remember Linda left, OK? I think she's a great person, but the fact of the matter is, history paints whatever picture these lunatics want to say. If you wrote a book like Elvis: What Happened? and you claim that you wrote this book because you wanted to help him...

 

Q - Which is what Sonny West told me.

 

A - OK. Well, Sonny is a good guy. He tells a great story. I'm sure he saw the timing of the book, but the bottom line is, they were unhappy ex-employees that didn't have a paycheck coming in. They sold the book to anyone that would buy it, which was The Star. They revealed those stories and they hurt Elvis and that certainly didn't help him. It hastened what happened. So if you take a wounded animal and you rub salt in the wounds, you're not helping him. The bottom line to the story here is, what happens in the future? Can you imagine that Elvis fans pay to have those guys come talk at their conventions? It's like asking Judas to come to a Jesus convention. Unfortunately, Elvis spirit died long before 1977. Only somebody whose appeal and magnetism was unbelievable could survive the desecration of his memory to where it really doesn't make a difference anymore, no matter what they say.

 

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