Mama Cass Elliot shocked the world when she was found dead, at age 33, inside her London apartment. While it’s widely believed that The Mamas and the Papas singer passed away after choking on a sandwich, REELZ’s new docuseries, Autopsy: Mama Cass Elliot, investigated the truth behind the young icon’s mysterious demise.
On July 29 of 1974, Elliot finally returned to the apartment, having had no sleep for over 24 hours. One of her dancers, Joe Croyle, was already home. After talking for a while, Elliot told him she was tired and going to have a bath. She also mentioned she was hungry, so he made her a ham sandwich, left it next to her bed and headed out for the night.
“The legend around Cass’ death is that she chocked on a ham sandwich while eating in bed,” says Autopsy’s Dr. Michael Hunter in the show teaser.
“While this may have been a freak accident,” he adds, “if she had been drinking or taking drugs, her swallowing mechanism may have become impaired, putting her at a higher risk of chocking.”
Was Mama Cass Elliot’s drug habit what really led her to her early grave?
Autopsy: Mama Cass Elliot airs Sunday, April 22 at 8:00 ET / PT on REELZ.