Friends Doubt Rodney King Death Story

They suspect fiancée Cynthia Kelley is hiding something

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 18, 2012 6:39 AM CDT

(Newser) – Two of Rodney King's close friends think his fiancée, Cynthia Kelley, is lying about what happened in the hours before his death. Kelley says King, who had reportedly been drinking and smoking weed, banged on the window of their house around 5am yesterday and then she heard a splash. But friends heard her tell the story a few times and say she altered it just a bit each time, and they've told both TMZ and the police they fear she's hiding something. Meanwhile, in the Los Angeles Times, Kurt Streeter recalls his series of interviews with King this year, and writes that King was still drinking and still smoking pot (for medical reasons, he said).

"What I witnessed was a man still struggling against alcohol," Streeter writes, though King always appeared in control when the two saw each other and insisted he could manage his addiction. Despite his continuing struggles, Streeter writes, King appeared to be "headed in a positive direction," with a new book coming out, hopes for a movie about his life, and a loving fiancée. Hauntingly, Streeter also recalls that in the pool where he would eventually drown, King had inscribed two dates: 3/31/91, when he was beaten by police, and 4/29/92, when the resulting LA riots occurred. "I thought of putting the number of people who died [in the riots] down there on the wall, the number 54," King once said. "But that would be too much. Just too much death." Click to read Streeter's full piece.

Sandals are seen next to a pool where Rodney King was found dead in the bottom of the pool on June 17, 2012 in Rialto, California.
Sandals are seen next to a pool where Rodney King was found dead in the bottom of the pool on June 17, 2012 in Rialto, California.   (Getty Images)
This July 20, 1993 file photo shows Rodney King speaking during an appearance on KFI-AM radio's Bill Handel and Mark Whitlock show in Los Angeles.
This July 20, 1993 file photo shows Rodney King speaking during an appearance on KFI-AM radio's "Bill Handel and Mark Whitlock" show in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Nick Ut, file)
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