Elvis Presley/Tim Farrell DNA search
I posted the first half of this story February 17, here is the second half.
My sister Regina got it all started. She decided that she wanted to know the truth of the matter so she got on the phone and stirred up interest in the story. Before very long there were news stories on the local TV stations in Huntsville and Athens, AL (my sister lived in Athens at the time). The news of the Terri Taylor letter was featured along with my mother’s original press statement of 1978. The Jackson Sun in Jackson, TN did a story as well as several other newspapers. I was not prepared to tell the press much at that time because I frankly had been surprised at what Regina had done and thought that I needed an attorney before the press got too involved.
I called many lawyers but none took my request seriously. None of them called me back. Regina gave me the name of an attorney who advised me not to talk to the national press until I had proper counsel.
Through a mutual friend I met some professional people from Minneapolis, MN who graciously offered their assistance and advice. Through them I met an attorney, Brian G. Moore of Fredrikson and Byron, based in Minneapolis, MN. He and Pat Feahr, also from Minneapolis, and others have helped me get through all the hoops set up by circumstances during our endeavor. They are not compensated for their work and I don’t believe I would have been able to get anywhere without their help.
We began with a series of meetings to set our agenda. It became apparent that we had to start with finding out if it was in fact, biologically, geographically and chronologically possible. Here is where the story of the search to find out if Elvis Presley is my father really began.
We didn’t want to make any assertions until we had established that it was possible that this could be true. We did not immediately approach the Presley’s with our situation. We began to gather facts surrounding where and when my mother and Elvis allegedly met, danced, ate and spent the night. What happened? Who knew? Who went to the club? Who dropped Elvis and My mother at the motel? Who picked them up? How did my mother get back to her sister’s house? What motel did they stay at? Who was in the band? Did they go in the band vehicle? What we found out while looking for these answers is very compelling and fits well with the story my mother told the press in 1978. She went to the Eagle’s Nest several times during the months of July and August of 1954. She and her step-sisters saw Elvis there on a few occasions. There are different accounts from her step-sisters of the times they met him. We have notes and transcripts of our conversations with my mother’s contemporaries, some of whom are now deceased.
Having determined it was at least possible, we went to the Presley’s. In our naivety, we expected them to welcome a DNA test. But, after many contacts, requests and conversations we were not able to convince them to allow it.
We wrote emails to, and talked with Elvis Presley Enterprises attorneys. In the certified letter we sent to E.P.E. offices in Graceland, we offered to quietly test with no media attention and we told them in writing and on the phone that we want no money. We simply want to know if Elvis is my biological father. They all declined assistance or didn’t respond at all. The Presley family was informed but we got no response from Lisa Marie Presley or her mother Priscilla Presley. Having learned of the partial sale of E.P.E. to the Robert Sillerman Group we made overtures to the Sillerman offices but got no assistance.
Next we turned to other associates of E.P.E. and of Elvis. Ernst Jorgenson, a publicist for Sony BMG, made inquiries to Gary Hovey of E.P.E. on our behalf but although he tried, he was ultimately unable to help us. Of the others we contacted including D.J. Fontana, Scotty Moore, Patsy Presley, Bill Bradley and Bill Ellis, some found our request interesting but, they were not able to help us make this thing happen.
Having no luck with those more closely associated with Elvis and E.P. E. we asked the Presley family members who still resided in Tupelo Mississippi for a DNA test try to see if I was related, even distantly to any of them. Norma, James Roy, Noah and Larry Presley are Vernon Presley’s siblings. Brandon Presley, the mayor of Nettleton, Mississippi, talked with us about the scenario but as did all of the Presley’s we contacted in Mississippi, he said he is not interested in becoming involved in any way.
The next logical step was to look at all the other people who claim to be Elvis Presley children and ask them to do DNA testing to determine if we were siblings. Of them all, there are two that seem credible to us, Candi Jo Fuller Jones and Desiree Presley Rodriguez. We received no response from our letters to Rodriguez and Jones told us she was not interested in testing and would sue us if we tried to contact her again. There was a third claimant who contacted me. She wanted to do a DNA test with me to see if we were siblings. She seemed credible at the time so we went ahead and had a test done. We didn’t match. Since then she has made the claim that Elvis is alive and that she is his half sister.
About this time, we learned about Touch DNA, a new procedure that is now used to extract DNA from skin cells. The new technology offered us a possible way to get our answer by the testing of items Elvis had touched, worn or used. The first item we found was a bed sheet from Elvis’ room at the Vas Vegas Hilton. It was owned by David Collins of Florida. He was gracious enough to allow us to test the sheet for DNA. BRT Laboratory was not able to find any DNA on the sheet to analyze. Then we found Robin Rosaaen of California. She is also a collector and she sold us a cloth dinner napkin used by Elvis to wipe sweat during a Vegas performance. The testing revealed that the item was contaminated with too many different peoples DNA. Then Dean Shada approached me about testing a scarf he had of Elvis’. He had read about me while researching a project he was involved in and contacted me. I agreed to submit my DNA for comparison with possible DNA contained on the scarf. But, the sample was degraded by time and there was no match with the partial profile that was recovered from the item.
It seems almost inconceivable that I have not been able to get an answer. There are countless others we have contacted seeking confirmation (or not) of my mother’s claim and story. I have kept thousands of emails and reams of notes and transcripts of conversations regarding this issue any of which I will be happy to share. We have spent several thousand dollars purchasing items and testing them and for DNA tests with possible siblings.
Our most recent discovery is a pair of Elvis’ unwashed underwear, used at a Vegas show. It is owned by The Elvis Presley Museum in London, England. The museum did respond to my questions and told me the underwear is for sale. The price is around sixteen thousand dollars. I emailed a letter to the museum to ask them if they would consider having the item tested for DNA. I did not get a response. I presume they want to sell them outright. The underwear could hold the DNA I need but the cost is out of my reach. I offered to pay for testing but I cannot spend $16,000.00 for them. I am a working person with limited means.
We have reached a point where it is very obvious that I cannot do this on my own; even with the help I do have. I feel I have a right to be able to establish my identity and family ties. But because Elvis Presley is who my mother named, I am barred somehow for ever knowing for sure. If it were anyone else, I would already have my answer.
Goals I hope to achieve by sharing this story and documentation are:
Tell my story in my own words to establish credibility
Gain information that will help me find out if Elvis Presley is my father.
Find help to get a definitive answer.