Bob Marley, the iconic Jamaican Rasta musician died prematurely at the young age of 36 on May 11 1981. The cause of his death is listed as melanoma cancer, however there have always been questions about the circumstances leading up to his death.
Late in 1976 rival political factions were warring in the streets of Kingston, Jamaica with only Bob Marley calling for peace. In December of that year three gunmen burst into Marley’s house on Hope Road armed with semi-automatic firearms and rifles. They fired indiscriminately at Bob, his wife and friends. The singer was shot in the arm and his life was saved only by the heroism of his manager Don Taylor who took most of the bullets meant for him. Bob’s bodyguards were off duty that night and no-one was caught or charged with his attempted murder.
At some point in the late 70′s Marley toe became injured. The injury turned into cancer that then spread throughout his body and eventually killed him.
- The CIA wanted him dead. Marley was spreading his religious views and activism through his music and he was believed to be able to influence Jamaican politics by endorsing a candidate, such was the trust the Jamaican people had in him. He was inciting a revolution—not with violence and war but with peace and thoughts.
- It is widely accepted that one of the people who shot at Marley in 1976 was a popular CIA operative. He didn’t wear a mask and was known as a popular crime figure in those days.
- On the day of the shooting there were strangers lurking near the house. A photographer and Marley insider had taken some photos of Marley standing in the front garden and the lurkers made Marley nervous—he told the photographer they appeared to be ‘scouting’ the property. In the photos the suspicious characters’ features were too blurred to identify. The film and prints were stolen before the photographer could get them further examined.
- After the assassination attempt Bob retreated to the hills of the Blue Mountains to get ready for the politically charged Smile Jamaica concert that he and the Wailers were determined to play, despite their injuries. He was joined by Black Panthers film director Lee Lew-Lee who was making the documentary, All Power To The People about American race relations.
- A rumor was circulating that the CIA were going to finish Marley off. The source of the rumor was the agency itself. The Wailers were setting out on a world tour and CIA agents had informed Marley that should he return to Jamaica before the election, he would be murdered.
- Only a handful of Marley’s most trusted insiders knew of the band’s whereabouts before the festival. A man arrived at the compound and managed to talk his way through security saying he was a photographer and had arrived with the film crew from the USA. He told Bob how excited he was to film the event (although it was noted he didn’t have any camera equipment with him). It transpired that the ‘cameraman’ was Carl Colby, son of the now late CIA director William Colby.
- At some point during that day a gift was delivered for Bob—a pair or boots. When Bob tried on the boots he screamed out in pain. When Lee Lew-Lee and Marley inspected the boot they saw there was a piece of pointed copper metal embedded in the toe part.
- Had the wire been treated chemically with a carcinogenic toxin? This isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds. It has since been revealed that one of the 600 attempts by the CIA to kill Fidel Castro involved placing highly toxic poison thallium salts in his shoes.
- Fast forward to five months later. In 1977 Marley was playing soccer in France and another player stepped on the same toe spiked by the copper wire and damaged it really badly. The toe wouldn’t heal and when Marley consulted a doctor, it transpired it was cancerous. Marley refused to have the toe amputated due to his Rastafarian beliefs and the cancer then metastasized throughout his whole body.
- Marley followed an ‘ital’ diet of primarily fruits and vegetables and loved to play soccer. How likely is it that someone with good diet and exercise would get cancer—in his toe??
- The CIA kept extensive records on Marley and his movements. There is firm speculation that there was a CIA operative on the inside of Marley’s entourage feeding the information. These records have still not been fully made public.
- Marley was steered by a member of his entourage towards Dr Issels, a ‘holistic comprehensive immunotherapist’, who subjected him to a load of crazy medial treatment in Switzerland. He was given blood transfusions, hyperthermia and illegal injections of THX (cell therapy). He was put on a restricted diet until he weighed only 70lbs.
- Marley’s mother witnessed some of the injections and felt Dr Issels was unnecessarily rough and causing him considerable pain. His friends were alarmed by his treatment and believed the treatments were killing him.
- Bob recounted a conversation he had with Dr Issels when the Dr told Bob a story about a German friend who had advised him [Issels] not to treat Marley, saying he was the most dangerous black man on the planet. Strange? Not really. Joseph Issels was an officer in the SS, a colleague of a man named Joseph Mengele and had served jail time for manslaughter. Mengele survived the war and was employed and protected by…the CIA.
- Bob felt towards the end of his life that the injections were poison. When he was too ill to continue with treatment and sent home to die, he said “Dr Issels is a madman”.
Dr Issels on the left and a shrunken and ailing Marley on the far right—one of the last pictures taken
To recap: Marley was opposing a CIA orchestrated destabilization campaign against Jamaica. A week after Marley nearly being assassinated, the son of the CIA director manages to talk his way past armed guards into the secret location of the band. He gives Marley a pair of boots that stab his toe with a copper wire. That same toe later becomes the source of malignant cancer that spreads through his body, killing him.