LAS VEGAS -- Call it "The Danny Gans death coverup."
Sources close to the newsroom of the Las Vegas Review-Journal tell TabloidBaby.com tonight that editors and reporters at the newspaper have information that leads them to believe they know what killed the superstar headliner at 52, but they refuse to report or investigate the case-- or even address the speculation and rumors that have spread through this city like bad luck since Gans's manager acknowledged them over the weekend.
"The scuttlebutt in the Review-Journal newsroom is that Danny Gans was addicted to painkillers. The editors and writers all know about it," says one source who has impeccable credentials in the Las Vegas media. "Why aren't they reporting it or investigating it? You know this town."
Gans, a former athlete who once seemed headed to a Major League Baseball career before injury cut it short, underwent shoulder surgery in 2006 and again in November 2008 after he closed his show at the Mirage Hotel and before he opened across the Strip at Steve Wynn's Wynn Las Vegas Hotel and Casino three months ago.
"He had the shoulder operation and they gave him painkillers," says the source. "That's what they're talking about in the Review-Journal newsroom. Did that kill him? Who knows? His heart stopped. He could have had a heart condition he didn't know about."
A separate source tells TabloidBaby.com that paramedics who arrived to find Gans dead in his bedroom in the early hours of May 1st also "found numerous prescription bottles around the bed."
An autopsy did not nail down the cause of Gans' death. Results of toxicology testing by the Clark County Coroner's Office are expected as early as this week.
The speculation and rumors about why the apparently healthy, vital and clean-living musical impressionist died so young and unexpectedly began within hours of the announcement of his death. The Las Vegas news media, however, did not go beyond tributes and spiritual anecdotes about the Born Again Christian entertainer. There was no effort to interview paramedics or go beyond the "official" statements of Gans' boss Steve Wynn, his manager Chip Lightman and longtime friend, KVBC-TV gossip reporter Alicia Jacobs.
None offered any clue as to what could have led to Gans' death.
"ALL THE RUMORS"
It was only after Tabloid Baby interviewed Jacobs on Friday about the speculation that she and Lightman went to Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist Norm Clarke to tell him that they knew Gans had been dealing for years with high blood pressure and a family history of heart disease.
It was another line in Saturday's Internet exclusive that resonated most through Las Vegas:
"Lightman acknowledged he has heard 'all the rumors,' but said he is not concerned about what might surface in toxicology tests that could take several weeks before the Clark County Coroner's office releases the results..."
Norm Clarke did not identify "all the rumors."
"It was the dumbest thing," says the source. "No one in this town mentioned the rumors about Danny's death, and it would have stayed quiet if it wasn't for Chip Lightman. He told Norm Clarke he'd 'heard all the rumors.' Next thing the whole town is talking and looking at Danny in a different way."