Body-stealing plot


Elvis was originally laid to rest at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Memphis, but soon after, when a plot to steal his body failed, he was interred in Meditation Garden on the grounds of Graceland. Elvis’ father had requested that the valuable rings buried with him be removed before re-interment. I have heard that opening the casket, all present were astonished to find Elvis’ body in an uncorrupted state. Despite embalming, the corpse should not have appeared in such condition. It was not just the preservation that startled them. There was an other-worldly look about it of almost transparent beauty. Elvis was fascinated by the Yogis and Saints ability to achieve transition of this physical realm at will, and studied the teachings of Parahamsaji Yogananda, whose body remained in a perfect state for quite some time after his death transition.

- The Commercial Appeal - August 27, 1977

Body of Elvis' mother moved to Mausoleum. 'The body of Gladys Love Presley, was quietly unearthed and moved late yesterday (Aug.26) into the Mausoleum where het son was entombed last week. In a 3 hour and 17 minute operation, 11 workers at Forest Hill Cemetery Midtown unearthed the massive steel and copper casket....' 'Vernon Presley, the entertainer's  father, made the decision....'

- The Commercial Appeal - August 30, 1977

Three Charged in Body-stealing Plot. 'Three Memphis men were charged yesterday (Aug.29) afternoon with criminal trespassing in connection with what Police Director E. Winslow Chapman said was a plot to steal the entombed body of Elvis Presley'.

- The Commercial Appeal - September 8, 1977

Graceland site for Grave of Presley's. 'An application to allow the bodies of Elvis and his mother, Gladys to be moved to the Meditation Garden at Presley's Graceland Mansion was submitted yesterday (sept.7) to the board of Adjustment.....The request will be heard at the board's next meeting September 28, 1977.'

- The Commercial Appeal - October 3, 1977

Bodies of Elvis, Mother are moved. The move was unannounced. Two white hearses escorted by eight city police officers and five Shelby County deputies took the bodies of Elvis and his mother, Gladys, into the rear entrance of Graceland shortly after 7 last night (Oct.2)'.....' Only a few watchers were outside the gates of Graceland when the cortege arrived, and at first some did not realize what they had seen. The board of Adjustment gave permission last Wednesday to rebury the bodies on the south side of Graceland estatie....'

- The Commercial Appeal - October 5, 1977

Charges against 3 dropped, in Presley-body theft case. 'Trespassing charges against three men accused in a purported scheme to steal the body of Elvis were dismissed yesterday (oct.4) after the prosecutor said the city could not vouch for the truthfulness of it's key witness.'

Inside story of the Elvis bodysnatching by ex-Marine who tipped off the Police.

September 1977

MAN who took part in the attempt to snatch Elvis Presley's body told for the first time this week the inside story of the macabre plot.

Ex-Marine Ronnie Adkins, a convicted burglar, alleged that the scheme was financed by a wealthy businessman who planned to hold the rock idol's body for a $10 million ransom.

Adkins, 26, of Memphis, Term., was one of three men arrested by police who were waiting in ambush near the Presley mausoleum in the Forest Hills cemetery in Memphis last month.
A fourth member of the gang escaped in his car.

Adkins, who said he tipped off police about the snatch attempt, told THE STAR: "Another 20 minutes and we would have had the body.
If I had not told the police what was happening, there was no way they would have known about it.

"As it was, I thought they were never going to spring the trap that I knew they had set up."

The other men arrested were Raymond Green, 25, and Bruce Nelson, 30, both of Memphis.
Adkins said he didn't know the identity of the fourth man.
"The deal was we would get $10,000 each," he said.
"We would snatch the body, hand it over and get our money."
Adkins said he was first contacted about the plan by Nelson, an old schoolfriend.
"I was pretty sick at the thought of stealing a body," he said.
"I met Elvis and I had a lot of respect for the guy.
The reason why I went along with the idea was to make sure these people wouldn't be able to steal Elvis's body."

Adkins claimed that the gang made their first attempt to grab Elvis's body on August 16, the day Presley died.


- WorldNetDaily - August 15, 2002

FBI witness: Presley clan staged Elvis grave-robbing
Informant says pop hatched plot to move King's plot to Graceland

An FBI informant involved in a plot to steal Elvis Presley's body shortly after he died claims the Presley family staged the grave-robbing to persuade Memphis officials to move him from the public cemetery to Graceland, a veteran FBI agent told WorldNetdaily.

The late Vernon Presley, Elvis' father and executor of his estate at the time, wanted his son buried on the mansion grounds, but it was in an area not zoned for burials. So three weeks after Elvis died of a heart attack, he had lawyers for the Presley estate petition the Memphis Shelby County Board of Adjustment for a zoning variance. They cited what they called an attempted theft of Presley's body several days earlier and the expense of round-the-clock security. Three men were arrested Aug. 29, 1977, near the Forest Hill Cemetery mausoleum where Evis was entombed in a 900-pound copper coffin. One of them was Ronnie Tyler, who later became an FBI informant. 'The scheme had been hatched after the Memphis board had refused the Presley family's request to bury Elvis at Graceland.' he said. Ivian C. Smith, former head of the FBI's Arkansas office, says Tyler told him years later that former Shelby County sheriff's deputy Billy Talley set up  the hoax.

The Memphis board on September 28, 1977, OK'd Presley's request to move his son's body to Graceland and the singer was reburied there October 2, 1977.









Elvis at Forest Hill Cemetery, Memphis

Mug shot of Ronnie Lee Adkins, Bruce Eugend Nelson, Gary Oscar Travis, Raymond Martin Green, perpetrators in the plot to steal Elvis' body while it was interned at the Forest Hill Cemetery Mausoleum.


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