The BEST Episodes of Autopsy: The Last Hours Of...
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Aug 21, 2019
Global celebrities who died suddenly, unexpectedly and tragically. In the wake of their passing, claims, counter claims, wild rumours and salacious theories were everywhere. But the real truth about how they died doesn’t lie in trashy biographies or internet rumours – it lies in their autopsies. These cold hard medical documents establish exactly what killed them and how and why it happened.
#1 - Andy Kaufman
Season 7 - Episode 6
On May 16th 1984, unique comedy talent, Andy Kaufman, died from a rare form of lung cancer at just 35 years of age. Renowned for his eccentric stage routines and comedy sketches on the TV show ‘Saturday Night Live’ he went on to gain international fame playing ‘Latka’ the goofy mechanic in the 70’s sitcom ‘Taxi’. A master of invention, he told friends he was going to fake his own death, leading some to believe he did not die. In this episode, expert Coroner and Forensic Pathologist, Dr. Michael Hunter, examines Andy Kaufman’s medical history to try and discover what caused the death of this comic phenomenon at such a young age.
#2 - Gram Parsons
Season 7 - Episode 19
On September 19th 1973, singer and musician, Gram Parsons, died of drug toxicity at the Joshua Tree Inn, California, aged only 26. Gram Parsons was one of the great, lost talents of rock music - combining country, folk and rock to create his own original sound. Often critically acclaimed, he pioneered his own blend of cosmic American music. But during his short life, he became almost as famous for his drug and drink consumption as he did for his music. Now, Forensic Pathologist Dr Michael Hunter is taking a fresh look at Gram Parsons autopsy and will reveal why such a seasoned drug user could have suddenly met his end on that night at the Joshua Tree Inn.
#3 - Johnny Cash
Season 7 - Episode 17
On September 12, 2003, the world was mourning the loss of legendary singer Johnny Cash, who died in Nashville, Tennessee from respiratory arrest. Known for his heavy drug use and reckless attitude to his health, Johnny Cash reached the age of 71 and died shortly after his wife of 35 years June Carter. Many speculated that he died of a broken heart and others believed it was his wayward lifestyle that was to blame. Now, Forensic Pathologist Dr. Michael Hunter is taking a fresh look at Johnny Cash’s death and will reveal whether years of drug abuse and hard-living led to the star’s demise or whether his death was due to something else entirely.
#4 - Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell
Season 7 - Episode 22
Christopher John Cornell was an American musician, singer and songwriter. He was best known as the lead vocalist for the rock bands Soundgarden and Audioslave. Cornell was considered one of the chief architects of the 1990s grunge movement, and is well known for his extensive catalog as a songwriter, his nearly four-octave vocal range, and his powerful vocal belting technique. Cornell struggled with depression for much of his life. He was found dead in his Detroit hotel room early on the morning of May 18, 2017, after performing at a Soundgarden concert an hour earlier.
#5 - Notorious B.I.G.
Season 5 - Episode 9
The Notorious B.I.G., rapped about girls, guns and money. His rhyming skills and flow propelled him to worldwide fame. A larger than life figure from Brooklyn, New York, his raw talent lifted him from the streets. But in the early hours of March 9th 1997 The Notorious BIG was gunned down in a drive by shooting in downtown Los Angeles. For decades, police have hunted for his killer, but still no-one has been brought to trial. Using information revealed in his autopsy report and police files, Dr. Michael Hunter investigates a motive for BIG’s murder and the identity of his killer.
#6 - Tammy Wynette
Season 7 - Episode 24
On April 6, 1998 country icon Tammy Wynette was found dead her Nashville home. The 55 year-old’s life had been blighted by ill health, failed marriages and an addiction to pain killers. Following her death her daughters sued both her husband and doctor, leading to the exhumation of her body and an autopsy. In this episode renowned forensic pathologist Dr Michael Hunter analyses her autopsy report, together with the testimony of her daughters, her close friends to determine exactly how she died.
#7 - Maurice Gibb
Season 5 - Episode 8
Maurice Gibb was one third of global mega band, The Bee Gees. In a career spanning four decades, they sold over 220 million records. They were best known for their disco classics, high pitched singing voices, and boufant hairstyles. Whilst his brothers sang lead vocals, Maurice was the hidden talent that held the band together, considered by insiders to be the musical director. But on Wednesday January 8th, 2003, Maurice Gibb collapsed in agony at his Miami home. He died 4 days later, aged just 53. According to witnesses Maurice Gibb’s death came out of nowhere. So why Maurice went from healthy to collapse to death in 4 days is a mystery. Now forensic examiner Dr. Michael Hunter investigates the forensic evidence.
#8 - John Denver
Season 6 - Episode 6
John Denver was a legendary singer songwriter whose talent for writing and performing hit singles made him a global superstar. From ‘Country Roads’ to ‘Rocky Mountain High’ to ‘Annie’s Song’ by the mid 70s he was one of America's biggest selling artists. He wrote around 200 songs and sold over 35 million albums. But on the afternoon of the 12th October 1997, experienced pilot John Denver crashed his plane into the Pacific Ocean. This unexplained disaster fuelled rumour and speculation and the investigation was fraught with difficulties as only fragments of John Denver’s plane and parts of his body were recovered from the sea. Now renowned forensic pathologist Dr Michael Hunter is reopening the case into John Denver’s mysterious death.
#9 - Muhammad Ali
Season 7 - Episode 8
Muhammad Ali was one of the greatest boxers the world has ever known. Over a career spanning 21 years he became the heavyweight champion of the world an incredible three times .But on June 3, 2016 Muhammed Ali died after a long battle with Parkinson’s. But Parkinson’s is not fatal. So what killed him? Some believe Muhammad Ali fought for too long. Now, forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Hunter is reexamining the case to see what brought about the end of this one world-class athlete.
#10 - Mama Cass Elliott
Season 7 - Episode 11
On July 29th 1974, Cass Elliot was found dead in a flat in London. She was 32 years old and her death shocked the world. One of the most influential figures of the hippy scene, she rose to fame as a member of folk-rock band The Mamas and The Papas, who took the world by storm with their hit single ‘California Dreamin’ along with a string of classic songs. Cass was loved and respected by everyone who knew her and her voice made her famous world-wide. Frank Sinatra once sent her a personal note saying “you have the best phrasing of any singer I’ve ever heard”. Redefining perceptions of how female artists should look and behave, she became a role model and icon for every girl that didn’t fit in at the high school prom. But her appetites for excess were as legendary as her voice. At her worst, she would get into her big convertible Cadillac and drive into the worst parts of town to score drugs. And her rollercoaster career was matched by an equally turbulent personal life. Her death was followed by speculation and rumour, had she choked on a ham sandwich? Had she overdosed on drugs? Was the cause of her death covered up in some way? The official verdict at the time was that she had died from fatty myocardial degeneration due to obesity. However it’s rare for someone of 32 to die from that alone. World renowned Medical Examiner Dr Michael Hunter believes there were other factors at play and is taking a fresh look at the evidence to uncover the truth behind what killed Cass Elliot.
#11 - Michael Landon
Season 8 - Episode 9
Actor, Producer and Director Michael Landon passed away at his Malibu, California home on July 1, 1991 just three months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
#12 - Corey Haim
Season 5 - Episode 14
Corey Haim was the poster boy of 1980’s Hollywood, starring in “The Lost Boys”, “Lucas”, and “License to Drive.” Forensic Pathologist Dr. Michael Hunter examines Corey’s autopsy report to dispel the rumors, and reveal the real cause of the actor’s tragic and untimely death at the age of 38.
#13 - George Harrison
Season 7 - Episode 15
On 29th November 2001 amid much secrecy former Beatle George Harrison died after a short battle with lung cancer. His death at the relatively young age of 58 shocked fans across the world, especially since he had been allegedly been given the all clear just months earlier.… so did something go wrong? In this episode, expert coroner and Forensic Pathologist, Dr. Michael Hunter examines George’s medical history and hears from some of his close friends to try and work out what caused his cancer and if his lifestyle and career contributed in any way to his death.
#14 - Marilyn Monroe
Season 3 - Episode 5
Richard Shepherd presents an investigation into the death of Marilyn Monroe.
#15 - Lucille Ball
Season 8 - Episode 5
On the morning of April 26th, 1989, Lucille Ball died in a Los Angeles hospital leaving the world heartbroken. America’s first lady of comedy had delighted audiences with a glittering career that spanned over half a century: but it was her television show, ‘I Love Lucy, ’ that had transformed television and turned the actress into the most famous face on the planet. The 77 year old would die of a rupture of the aorta - a life-ending tear of the largest artery in the human body. This is rare, and even more mysterious given the fact that she was in great shape just weeks before her death. So what exactly was going on inside Lucille Ball’s body that led to this catastrophic failure? And could a mystery teenage illness have played a part? World renowned forensic pathologist, Dr. Michael Hunter investigates every aspect of Lucille’s life in forensic detail, using her death certificate, medical documents and first-hand accounts to piece together what was going on in the body of America’s most loved Lucy to find the answers.
#16 - Christopher Reeve
Season 8 - Episode 1
On October 10th 2004, Christopher Reeve died in hospital leaving the world heartbroken. The actor’s role as Superman had turned him into a global superstar but after a freak horse riding accident in 1995 had left him paralyzed, his determination to walk again and his campaigning for America’s disabled community transformed him into another type of hero. The world’s media reported the cause of death as heart failure but this raised more questions than answers. Conflicting reports emerged, one even suggested that Chris had suffered a severe allergic reaction to a drug just before his death. World renowned forensic pathologist, Dr. Michael Hunter will now investigates every aspect of Christopher’s life in forensic detail, using reports from the time and first-hand accounts to piece together what was going on in the body of America’s Superman to find the answers.
#17 - River Phoenix
Season 3 - Episode 4
Richard Shepherd presents an investigation into the death of actor River Phoenix, using the official coroner's report.
#18 - Farrah Fawcett
Season 7 - Episode 5
On June 25, 2009, actress and 1970’s icon, Farrah Fawcett died of a rare form of cancer in Los Angeles. Her death at 62 shocked her fans, friends and family as Farrah didn’t smoke, ate healthy food and worked hard to keep fit. In this episode, expert coroner and Forensic Pathologist, Dr. Michael Hunter examines Farrah’s medical history and hears from some of her closest friends to try and work out what caused Farrah’s cancer and if the alternative cancer treatments she received played any part in her death.
#19 - Joan Rivers
Season 4 - Episode 3
Following her rise to fame in the 1960s Joan Rivers became the undisputed queen of stand-up comedy. For nearly five decades her unique brand of fast-talking, acid tongued wit made her a fixture on stage and television around the globe. But at 1.17pm on 4th September 2014 Joan was pronounced dead in her hospital room. She was 81. Joan Rivers was known for her love of plastic surgery. But after risking her life on numerous occasions by going under the cosmetic surgeon’s knife, a routine, low-risk procedure was to go tragically wrong. Dr Jason Payne James investigates the last days of Joan Rivers.
#20 - Elvis Presley
Season 3 - Episode 1
Forensic pathologist Dr Richard Shepherd picks through the facts surrounding Elvis Presley's demise.
#21 - Robin Williams
Season 3 - Episode 2
Robin Williams was one of the funniest and most gifted comedians of his generation. He burst to prominence in 1978 in the hit TV sitcom Mork & Mindy and won an Oscar for Good Will Hunting in 1997. But just before midday on 11th August 2014, he’s found hanging from a belt secured to a closet door in his home in Tiburon, California. Now, Dr Richard Shepherd is piecing together the events of Robin Williams’ last hours and evidence from the autopsy report to uncover what triggered this suicide.
#22 - Karen Carpenter
Season 2 - Episode 2
A look at what led to the death of half of the musical, brother and sister act The Carpenters. Everyone believed the musical star had it all, however in 1983, after a history of eating problems she suddenly collapsed and died. Only weeks before her 33rd birthday, the autopsy came back claiming she died of emetine cardiotoxicity, a consequence of anoxeria nervosa. However Dr. Shephard looks over the report and discovers that in Karen's past she had suffered from bulimia, heart problems, massive weight loss, force feeding and hospital stays and was also heavily addicted to a number of drugs that she'd kept hidden from her friends and family.
#23 - Amy Winehouse
Season 4 - Episode 1
Amy Winehouse was one of the most gifted singer songwriters of her generation. Her multi-award winning album Back to Black has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. Her soulful voice, the raw honesty of her lyrics and witty, down-to-earth personality won the hearts of millions. But at 3.30pm on July 23rd 2011, she was found dead in the bedroom of her home in Camden, North London. At the inquest, the coroner concluded she had died of alcohol poisoning. Amy Winehouse was one of the most gifted singer songwriters of her generation. Her multi-award winning album Back to Black has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. Her soulful voice, the raw honesty of her lyrics and witty, down-to-earth personality won the hearts of millions. But at 3.30pm on July 23rd 2011, she was found dead in the bedroom of her home in Camden, North London. At the inquest, the coroner concluded she had died of alcohol poisoning. Using information revealed by her autopsy, testimony heard at the Inquest and eyewitness accounts, Dr Jason Payne James investigates the last days of Amy Winehouse.
#24 - Rodney King
Season 5 - Episode 5
In March 1991, Rodney King was savagely beaten by four white police officers. The incident was caught on camera, and broadcast around the world. The four police officers were then found ‘Not Guilty’, triggering the infamous LA riots. It was King who famously called for peace, asking, “Can we all just get along?” But on Sunday June 17th 2012, King, age 47, was found by his fiancé, face down in his backyard swimming pool. Using information revealed in Rodney King’s autopsy report Dr. Michael Hunter investigates his final hours and his mysterious death.
#25 - Chris Farley
Season 5 - Episode 13
Chris Farley was the larger-than-life Hollywood star regarded as one of the funniest comedians of his generation. His outrageous blend of physical slapstick and vulnerable charm earned him the adoration of the American public. After shooting to fame in the early 90’s as one of Saturday Night Live’s brightest talents, he went on to star in a string of hit movies. But on December 18th 1997 Chris’ body was found on the floor of his Chicago apartment, after four days of partying. He died alone aged 33. Now, Medical Examiner Dr. Michael Hunter is taking a fresh look at the death of an icon who was loved by millions.