Forensic Expert Says Big Bopper Died Instantly In '59 Plane Crash

Undated (AP) -- A forensic anthropologist in Knoxville said today that J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson suffered massive fractures and likely died immediately in a 1959 plane crash.

The performer's son, Jay Richardson, hired Doctor Bill Bass, a well-known forensic anthropologist at the University of Tennessee, to look at the remains in Beaumont, Texas.

There have been rumors a gun might have been fired on board the plane and that The Big Bopper might have survived the crash and died trying to get help.

Bass took X-rays of the body and found nothing to support those theories.

The plane crash also killed early rock 'n' rollers Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens.

Bass said there was no indication of foul play.

Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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