From firstname.lastname@example.org Mon Dec 11 10:55:01 CST 1995
Re: Stu's injury caused by John?
Re: Stu's injury caused by John?
X-PipeGCOS: (M Kintyre)
X-Newsreader: Pipeline USA v3.3.0
The Goldman inspired innuendo that John was responsible for Stu's death has
surfaced here before. As a Neuro Nurse, I was always curious about how Stu
died and compiled the following "faq" of the medical probabilities and am
reposting it for those who are interested. It is a little heavy, but there
will not be a quiz at the end!
The information we have is pretty thin when it comes to facts. In this
category would be things that were documented at the time by medical
personel and therefore retrievable from Stu's medical records:
1. Stu visited a doctor in Hamburg in Feb, 1962 complaining of episodes of
severe headaches. X-rays did not reveal any problem.
2. Stu died in an ambulance enroute to the hospital on April 10, 1962.
3. His autopsy showed cerebral hemorrhage (bleeding in the brain) with
bleeding into the right ventricle.
THE TESTIMONY OF WITNESSES
According to statements from Astrid and her mother, Stu had his studio in
the attic of Astrid's mothers home, and was living in the house at the time
of his death. Astrid reports that Stu had terrible headaches. Bill Harry
in"The Complete Beatles Encyclopedia" quotes her as saying that "the
headaches became violent, they seemed like fits." Information on how long
he had the headaches is sketchy, but according to some sources, his mother
believes they began about a year before his death. Astrid's mother reports
that he fell down the attic stairs but it is difficult to ascertain whether
this was weeks, or days before his death. Astrid states she found him
unconscious in his bed on April 10 and called the ambulance.
There are stories of John and Stu being involved in a fight in a Liverpool
or Hamburg alley, in which Stu was kicked in the head. Some Beatles
historians believe this is Beatle Mythology, not fact. The date of the
fight is unknown, but unless it occurred during Stu's visit home at
Christmas 1961, (four months before his death) it would have had to have
been before they went to Hamburg in March of 1961 (a year before his death)
since Stu stayed in Hamburg when the others returned to Liverpool. Even
if the fight occurred in Hamburg it would have had to have been about nine
months before his death as the Beatles left Hamburg in mid-summer of 1961
and returned in April of 1962, the day after Stu's death.
THE MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS
The possible causes of cerebral hemorrhage are:
Trauma (a blow to the head)
STROKE is virtually unheard of in people Stu's age as it is the result of
atherosclerosis and/or high blood pressure.
A BRAIN TUMOR may cause bleeding, however the presence of a tumor large
enough to cause bleeding would have been obvious on autopsy.
A blow to the head can cause three possible types of bleeds.
1. An EPIDURAL BLEED. A ruptured artery rapidly pumps blood into the
skull and the brain is compressed by the growing blood clot. The patient
becomes unconscious within hours after the injury and dies within about 24
hours if it is not treated. This could be the result of the fall down the
stairs. In this scenario, however, there would be no history of headaches
(though the headaches may have been coincidental) and the blood clot would
not be in the ventricle. Since John was not in Hamburg immediately
preceding Stu's death, he could not have caused an epidural bleed.
2. A SUBDURAL BLEED. A ruptured vein oozes blood into the skull. The
patient deteriorates slowly over a period of about two weeks,
(occaisionally several weeks) with unsteady gait progressing to confusion,
then lethargy and coma. Several things rule out a subdural bleed as the
cause of Stu's death.
a. A subdural is easily identifiable on autopsy and the blood clot is found
on the surface of the brain, not in the ventricle.
b. There is no evidence that Stu experienced progressive deterioration.
Death from a subdural would have resulted in Stu being confused and unable
to walk several days before his death, then difficult to wake up, and
finally comatose for several hours to a day or more before his death. It
is inconcievable that Astrid watched him slowly deteriorate to a coma
before deciding to take him to the hospital which is what she would have
had to do in order for him to die enroute.
c. All reports are of episodes of headache. Any headache caused by a
subdural would be nearly continuous and they are not generally reported as
If John had kicked Stu in the head it would have had to have been almost
four months before his death (at Christmas time). This is again outside of
the necessary time frame for John to be implicated in Stu's death if it
were due to a subdural bleed.
3. An INTRACRANIAL BLEED.
A severe blow to the head can cause bleeding deep into the brain, fequently
with rupture into the ventricles. Death can be rapid, but the patient may
last up to about 3 days and during that three days the patient is near
comatose or comatose. This fits the situation only if the fall down the
stairs occurred just before he died. Neither Astrid or her mother reported
that. Again, John was not present in the necessary time frame to have
cause the injury.
ANEURYSMS are weak spots in arteries. They are present from birth and
gradually enlarge. They most frequently rupture in patients over 30.
Although there may be some warning headaches, most often there is simply a
single, explosive headache. Half of aneurysm patients die immediately. The
location of most aneurysms makes bleeding into the ventricle very possible.
An aneurysm is certainly a strong possibility in Stu's case.
An AVM, also present from birth, is a malformation in the connection
between an artery and a vein. The veins in the area have arterial blood
pumped into them. Because veins are not made to handle the high pressure
of arterial blood, the become enlarged and eventually bleed. They
frequently have repeated small bleeds causing severe episodic headaches
before a large bleed occurs and seizures ("fits") are common. The large
bleed can be fatal. AVM ruptures are most common in teens and young
adults. Bleeding into just one ventricle is less likely with an AVM than
an aneurysm, but the history of headaches, age, and rapid death make AVM a
very strong possibility.
In summary, the two causes of death that best fit the scenario are aneurysm
and AVM, both congenital and unrelated to any blow to the head. None of
the causes of death from a blow to the head fit the time frames or history
we have on Stu. More importantly to this discussion, John was not with
Stu in the four months prior to his death. No head trauma causes cerebral
bleeding and death that long after injury. Therefore, John could not have
been responsible for Stu's death.