I take it most here are familiar with the name John O'Grady, the private detective, and his Elvis connection. In 1974 O'Grady published a book simply titled "O'Grady" where he describe his work and life as "the greatest private detective of all times". One thing I've learned after reading his book, he wasn't what I'd describe as modest...!
Above is a scan of my (worn) copy of the book. Anyway, a few pages of his book deal with the first and most extensive duty he ever performed for Elvis. But that's enough intro, here's a reproduction of the pages in the book dealing with O'Grady's most "famous paternity case",
The most famous paternity case I ever handled involved fame, fortune, lie-detection and a character known to all private eyes who do paternity investigation as "Old Harv"-—the man behind the girl who’s trying for the score. In this case the paternity suit was brought against the most amiable and illustrious client I have——Elvis Presley. I first met Elvis through his attorney, E. Gregory Hookstratten of Beverly Hills. I’d worked with Hookstratten on several big cases previously, so when the attorney called me that fall, asking me to meet him at his office immediately, I dropped everything and rushed over. When I arrived, Hookstratten handed me the newpapers. They carried front—page stories saying 21-year-old North Hollywood waitress Pat Parker had filed suit against Elvis, charging that the RCA recording star was the father of her forthcoming child. Patricia Parker was alleging that she flew to Las Vegas one afternoon to see Presley’s extravaganza at the just-opened Hi
lton International Hotel and that one of Elvis’s aides came into the audience after the show and asked her if she’d like to meet the star "privately." She agreed—happily. The aide took her back- stage, she said, and left. Then Presley came in, she claimed, and commanded: "Take off your clothes." She said she complied and Elvis had sexual intercourse with her without saying another word. She claimed that when he finished, he walked out and she put on her clothes; a car took her to the airport for the return to Los Angeles. As proof of her alleged intimacy with Elvis Presley, she offered a photograph of herself with the star. Hookstratten showed me a copy of the photo. It was a posed shot, taken during Elvis’s intermission in the showroom lounge of the Hilton. Many stars take such photos with fans during their shows as a public relations gesture. Agreeing to take on the case, I suggested to Elvis’s attorney that because of the notoriety of the accused, Presley should take a lie
-detector test first thing. Hookstratten said he would talk to Presley about this. A few days later, Hookstratten called me back and told me his client was willing to take a polygraph and we flew to Las Vegas to administer it. We went to the Presidential Suite of the Inter- national where Presley aides and attendants and public relations people were scurrying about. Presley was nowhere to be seen. Suddenly he came in from downstairs and soon as he entered I knew why he was a star. He had a genuinely electrifying effect. Strikingly handsome, with a disarming smile and long eyelashes, he spoke in a soft, deep voice. He listened patiently as his aides discussed some business, then seeing us, he nodded politely and made his way over. He was wearing a blue "Elvis" outfit——wide- collared, custom—made shirt, beautifully tailored bellÂ·bottom trousers, and stunning calfskin boots. I could see from the way his clothes fitted him that Elvis was remarkably fit. He was taller and stronge
r than I had imagined; I immediately understood why women fall in love with him and perhaps want to convince themselves that he is in love with them. Elvis was friendly, but when Hookstratten reminded him of the purpose of my visit, the superstar became quite serious. I explained the polygraph procedure and asked Elvis questions, such as whether he took any medication that might hinder the readings of the lie detector. He listened patiently, answered my questions and asked a few of his own about how the poly works, then told me about his family. "I'm happily married and don’t play around," he said. "I had my wife, my stepmother and my father and six or seven of my guys with me the day I opened, here, so I couldn’t possibly have done what that lady says. Looks like she picked the wrong day and the wrong guy."
Above, Elvis reading passages from the book to his LV audience. 1974.
I ran four charts on Elvis, asking him point-blank on my control and key questions if he had had relations with the woman and if he had fathered any children outside of marriage. Presley answered each question candidly and when I had finished my last polygram, I was convinced he was innocent. Now my problem was to formulate an investigation that would prove it. Through one of his aides--joe Esposito—Elvis later invited me to his show and afterward I went backstage for "a chat." There I showed Elvis a picture of his accuser and he remarked: "Nope. Never knew her in my life. Besides, john, I hate to say it, but she’s a real hound dog!" He could command attention from some of the world’s most beautiful women and he knew it. Three weeks later he contacted me via Hookstratten, who instructed me to report to Elvis’s home in the posh Trousdale Estates section of Beverly Hills. I rushed over, figuring it had to do with a break in the paternity case, but Elvis surprised me. He
didn’t want to discuss business. He just wanted to talk. He introduced me to his wife (he was still married to Priscilla then) and with the Presleys and two other people, I flew in Barron Hilton’s private jet to Vegas; I spent three nights living it up with Elvis on that trip and just before Christmas, my wife and I flew to Tennessee to Graceland, Presley’s fabulous 13-acre estate outside Memphis. The paternity suit was the beginning of a friendship with Elvis which I’m proud to say continues to this day. Shortly after we got back from Graceland, there was a break in the case. Hookstratten, who had been identified in the newspapers as Elvis’s attorney, received a phone call from an ex—friend of Miss Parker. The woman requested an interview, saying she had some information he could use. Hookstratten set up a meeting immediately, which I could attend. "I don’t want to see a nice boy like Elvis hurt and that’s why I’m telling you this," she began, as informants frequently do. "
And I want to make a little bean money, you know?" she ended, as informants invariably do. She said her uncle was "associated" with Miss Parker and the uncle had reported overbearing Miss Parker and another girl talking about how they could accuse Elvis Presley of fathering Miss Parker's child. The informant also gave us the name and address of a man "who was friendly with Pat for a while." This was Old Haw. He worked as a stagehand at one of the studios.
Above, Elvis taking O'Grady out for a test drive in his new Stutz. (If I remember correctly, this was their first meeting ever). 1970.
I drove out to the stagehand’s house and interviewed him. He told me that he had known this "nice" girl Pat for a long time. Elvis, he insisted, had knocked her up and should pay for it. Most of what this man told me sounded too pat, too "broth- erly," and I began to suspect—quite accurately as it turned out—that he was the mastermind behind the paternity suit. He did disclose, however, that he had smuggled Pat onto a set at NBC the year before to see Presley when Elvis was taping a show there. "That was when I first became aware of her ‘hangup’ on Presley," he said. Later, he admitted, he paid Pat’s way to Las Vegas because she liked Presley so much. He'd let slip where he’d been living the year before, so I visited the manager of the North Hollywood motel he named: The manager revealed that the plaintiff, Pat Parker, also had resided there——in the same rooms with the stagehand. The manager told me that the stagehand had been married and that he even had the ex-wife’
s address. I drove from the motel to see her. She confirmed that her ex- husband was in love with Pat, but told me that he couldn’t be the father: he’d undergone a vasectomy several years before. This last bit of information threw a monkey wrench in my probe. Serendipity met me at the office in the form of a letter from Philadelphia. It was a reply to some background inquiries I'd sent out to relatives and friends of Pat Parker. The letter was from a young woman who said she had grown up with Pat and had some info we might find "enlightening." On the strength of that hint, I flew to Philly and interviewed the informant. "Pat was always in love with Elvis," the girl told me. “Even when she was 11 and 12 years old, Pat had pictures of Elvis plastered all over her room. She played his records constantly. When she was 14, she wanted me to go to California with her to ‘see’ Elvis at his house." Putting together what the stagehand had said about the plaintiff’s "hangup" on Elvis an
d what the friend in Phila- delphia said about her one-track imagination, I saw that the accuser had a sexual fantasy in which the accused finally fulfilled her wildest dreams. But a fantasy was all it was, and now I had the evidence to show that. I got a sworn affidavit from the woman in Philly and submitted it—together with the data on our informant’s uncle, the stagehand, and background on Pat Parker——to Hookstratten for use in his defense. Oddly enough, the child itself provided yet another proof of Elvis’s innocence. Expecting her child in September 1970, the plaintiff withdrew her suit pending results of blood tests. Elvis spent thousands of dollars hiring experts here and in Europe to make the determination, which ultimately proved beyond a doubt that Presley definitely was not the father. Â· When the child was born, Miss Parker refiled her suit, still` maintaining that Elvis was the father. But Elvis now counter- sued, mercifully seeking only 351 in damages to his nam
e. I checked the hospital medical records and, sure enough, I learned that Miss Parker’s bills had been paid by——you guessed it-—Old Harv, the stagehand. The suit hasn’t been fully adjudicated yet, and unless Miss Parker admits the truth to herself as well as the courts, it probably never will. But thanks to what we’ve dug up, as far as we’re concerned, the case is closed. My service to Elvis continues, however, in other ways. False paternity claims are only some of the problems celebrities like Elvis have. In handling these clients, I not only have to worry about other people’s bodies, I have to protect my clients’ bodies, too.
Here's the "infamous" polaroid photo of Elvis and Patricia Parker, from the Elvis.com.au site,
For more details on the subject, check out the Paternity Suit book by "Praytome Publishing". click here for details.