Rolling Stones founder Brian Jones 'murdered', his daughter claims

3 July 2019, 10:08 | Updated: 4 July 2019, 09:34

Founder of the Rolling Stones Brian Jones was "murdered", his daughter has told Sky News on the 50th anniversary of his death.

Jones, a multi-instrumentalist, was found dead at the bottom of his swimming pool at Cotchford Farm in Hartfield, East Sussex, on 3 July 1969. He was 27.

Barbara Marion, who only discovered that she was Jones's daughter in 2002, also claims his death was not properly investigated.

His death is a "bit of a mystery", she told Sky News close to his grave in Cheltenham.

She added: "I think he was murdered and I think the police did not investigate it the way they should have.

"I would love to have them reopen [the case] and to get some answers."

Jones struggled with drugs and alcohol and had a heavily enlarged liver and heart when he died.

A coroner recorded his death as a result of misadventure.

Ms Marion said her views came from her "own research" and her "own feelings".

She also feels her father did not get the credit for what he achieved.

"He formed the Rolling Stones," she said. "He chose every member, he got them their gigs. If it weren't for my father, Mick Jagger would be an accountant somewhere."

Jones gave the Stones their name when they were established as a British blues outfit in 1962.

Frontman Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards took over the group's musical direction as Jones's role started to fade in the years that followed.

Because of his problems with drugs and alcohol, his performance in the studio became increasingly unreliable.

Jones's relationship with Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham also deteriorated as the band was steered away from its blues roots.

The founding member was asked to leave the band in 1969 and died less than a month later, joining the infamous "27 Club" of musicians who died at the same age.

His Swedish girlfriend Anna Wohlin was convinced he was still alive when he was taken out of the pool, insisting that he still had a pulse.

The Rolling Stones performed a free concert in Hyde Park two days after Jones's body was found.

The band had organised the gig a fortnight before to present their new guitarist, and Jones's replacement, Mick Taylor.

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But the concert was dedicated to Jones, with Jagger reading excerpts from the Percy Bysshe Shelley poem Adonais.

When Jagger was asked about whether he felt any guilt over Jones's death in 1995, he said: "No I don't really.

"I do feel that I behaved in a very childish way, but we were very young, and in some ways we picked on him.

"But, unfortunately, he made himself a target for it: he was very, very jealous, very difficult, very manipulative, and if you do that in this kind of a group of people you get back as good as you give, to be honest."

Murder theories developed soon after the musician's death, and have resurfaced in the decades since.

In 1993, it was reported that construction worker Frank Thorogood - the last person to see Jones alive - had murdered the guitarist.

Thorogood allegedly confessed to the Rolling Stones' driver Tom Keylock, who later denied the claim.

Sussex Police decided to review Jones's death in 2009 for the first time since his body was found.

Scott Jones, a British investigative journalist, handed the force new evidence after tracing a number of people who were at Jones's house the night he died.

The journalist told The Mail On Sunday in November 2008 that Thorogood had killed Brian Jones in a fight.

He also claimed senior police officers covered up the true cause of death.

Sussex Police responded to the various claims most recently in March this year, saying: "The death of Brian Jones was investigated in 1969 and was also the subject of two reviews by Sussex Police, in 1984 and 1994.

"From time to time over the past 49 years Sussex Police have also received messages or reports from journalists and other individuals about the death. Each is considered on its individual merits and reviewed wherever appropriate.

"No such report has been received since 2010 and no new evidence has emerged to suggest that the coroner's original verdict of 'death by misadventure' was incorrect. The case has not been reopened and there are no plans for that to happen."