But it is also the anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley and as the story goes, he was reading a book about the shroud when he died. By some account, probably urban legend, he was clutching the book in the bathroom when he died.
What book? Does it matter?
According to the British Society for the Turin Shroud – Issue no. 52, Jan 2001 Part 2:
It’s now official. Elvis Presley died reading a book about the Shroud. A biographical feature about Elvis in none other than the London Times of April 27 reported that he ‘collapsed in his bathroom on August 16, 1977, while reading a book about the Turin shroud. Body found by his new fiancée. The post mortem verdict was ‘cardiac arhythmia’.’ By one of those bizarre coincidences the date of Elvis’s death was none other than the Feast Day that the Eastern Orthodox Church accorded to the Image of Edessa, which is thought to have been one and the same as the Shroud.
Not yet determined is which book Elvis was reading, though from the 1977 date Robert Wilcox’s Shroud, which has just been re-issued, has to be the likeliest contender.
According to 30 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Elvis over at About.com
Ever the ardent spiritualist, Elvis died reading one of his favorite books: The Scientific Search For The Face Of Jesus by Frank Adams. The King had specifically requested it a few weeks earlier, having heard that it proved the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, said to be Jesus’ burial wrapping.
Father Nicholas, a Roman Catholic priest who blogs from London seems to confirm the posting from About.com. In an article called Five Catholic Facts About Elvis in Roman Miscellany he writes:
When Elvis died in his Graceland bathroom thirty years ago today, he is said to have been reading a book about the Holy Shroud of Turin – normally identified as A Scientific Search For The Face Of Jesus (1972) by Frank O. Adams, which argues that the Turin Shroud really is Our Lord’s Shroud. It has since become eagerly sought after by Elvis fans. Less impressive is the other book he was allegedly reading – Sex and Psychic Energy. Hmmmm, we better move quickly along.
Now just yesterday, SunOfHollywood.com reported that Elvis Presley Was Reading About Jesus Christ Just Moments Before He Died
As the legend has it, Elvis said he was going to the restroom, and grabbed the book “A Scientific Search For The Face Of Jesus” by Edward Cayce. Elvis never emerged from there, and it was said that when his body was found, he was clutching the book to his chest.
Larry told us that he was in fact the person who gave the book to Elvis to read, the very same day he passed, August 16th 1977. It was just a few hours later that he would enter the restroom with the book about the Christian Savior.
According to Amazon, the “A Scientific Search For The Face Of Jesus” was written by Frank Adams and the cover shows Cayce as the author of the Forward. Any clues?