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Psychiatrist pays no mind to skeptics, says Elvis lives

Monday, February 11, 2002

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Elvis is alive!

But hold that "thank ya, thank ya very much." There are a few things you need to know.

First, remember, it's been nearly 25 years since Elvis Presley supposedly died in his bathroom at Graceland from drugs and heart trouble.

That makes him 67, so don't ask him to swivel his hips. The King of Rock 'n Roll has arthritis, and he's on pain medication. (Not again!)

And the King's looks have also been altered by plastic surgery.

Oh, and his hair. It's gone white. No more raven-colored pompadour.

That's all according to Dr. Donald W. Hinton, a Kansas City, Mo., psychiatrist, who has co-written a new book, "The Truth About Elvis Aron Presley, In His Own Words." Elvis is listed as the other co-author on the book, which was published last summer by American Literary Press and is available in some Kansas City bookstores and on Amazon.com.

In the book, Hinton, 35, says all that stuff about Elvis dying is just a ruse. Hinton and other members of the Elvis-is-Alive fan club say the King faked his death to escape "an intolerable life" of drugs and media mayhem.

Sound familiar? Tabloids make these claims all the time.

But not many board-certified psychiatrists have been known to link arms with the Elvis conspiracy theorists.

Hinton, who graduated in 1992 from medical school at the University of Kansas, says he's honored Elvis chose him.

"I was at the right place at the right time," Hinton said. "A very deep friendship has grown. Really being his friend has been more important than what I do as a doctor."

He says he sees Elvis a few times a year and talks to him about once a month on the telephone. Hinton also says the book was Elvis's idea.

People at Elvis Presley Enterprises in Memphis aren't buying it.

"This sort of thing is nonstop, particularly when we're going into a major anniversary of his death," says Todd Morgan, director of media and creative development for EPE.

"Frankly, we might be a little concerned if there weren't something screwy going on in the tabloid world," Morgan said. "It might be an indication that Elvis' popularity is slipping."

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