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Graceland Gates Damaged

April 06, 2010 | Other

April 4:

At around 2.30 a.m. on Friday morning a black SUV drove through the Graceland Gates, in Memphis, Tennessee,damaging them. The occupant(s) then drove up to the mansion, shouted something to a famale Security Guard (the only guard on duty) and then drove off. The guard was so frightened she has not returned to work. All we know at this point, is that the driver was a black man. Hopefully the tag number was on the cameras.

Apparently it took the Memphis Police some 30 minutes to respond to this incident. Photographs of the damaged gates have been posted by Elvis fans from Memphis on various blogs and websites. This picture is one of them, showing slight damage to the gate.

Update April 6:

EPE did not hesitate and removed the gates for restoration. This gives a unique look…for the first time in many years, Graceland has to do it without its iconic gates.

old shep wrote on April 04, 2010
Couldn't have been one of Lisa Marie's ex's then. They were all white and one of them died recently.
Ton Bruins wrote on April 04, 2010
Must have been The Killer....
jeter wrote on April 04, 2010
Wow,should not of taken that long for police to respond to most famous house in Memphis. Perhaps security should be beefed up more at Graceland.
Steve V wrote on April 04, 2010
wow this sucks.
Christer wrote on April 04, 2010
Probably Mike Stone. Sombody should take care of him:)
shoesuedeblues wrote on April 04, 2010
The gate will get repaired, I feel more sorrow for the female security guard who was on duty when this happened.
MarkJ wrote on April 04, 2010
In Memphis, a black man? Naw, can't be true. No way. I've been telling those idiots over at FECC for while now that Graceland was in the ghetto and they wanna just ignored it. Memphis is a hell hole. Plain and simple. Nothing surprises me anymore when it comes to that city. And Graceland's too damn cheap to put up better security at such a historical landmark. I bet the Alamo has better protection than Graceland does. Better enjoy it because from the looks of things by the time Sillerman gets his dream changes done Graceland will probably be a crack house taken over by crackheads in that city.
dgirl wrote on April 04, 2010
For those old enough, remember the motorist who rammed into the crowd of Elvis mourners in Aug of 1977 killing 2 people? Maybe he just got out of jail! This is crappy city. Always poor, always full of crime. It has been touted one of the worst cities to live in the US. I will never visit it again.
Erika Freiburger wrote on April 04, 2010
Though the damage is not very serious,it's still very sad to see. And it's more than surprising that at the time of the incident there was only one (FEMALE!!!) security guard present!
bray1977 wrote on April 04, 2010
ONE security guard??? Thats ridiculous. Hopefully they will now bef up security a bit. And what was the guard doing up at the house anyway? Shouldn't she have been in the little gatehouse?
Jerome-the-third wrote on April 04, 2010
Al Qaeda maybe?..
old shep wrote on April 04, 2010
Perhaps it was a conspiracy? Graceland Gate maybe
Sirbalkan wrote on April 04, 2010
ONLY ONE SECURITY? Shame on you EPE. !!!
waymore44 wrote on April 04, 2010
Memphis is honestly a dangerous place and sadly Graceland is seated in the middle of nothing but the hood. The problem is not getting better. Someone needs to clean up the area around Graceland....just level it. This is the one time I wish that "imminent domain" was used!!
GEORGE (GK) wrote on April 04, 2010
This upsets me so much ! How dare someone do that ! Find the guy, lock him up for "destruction of Property", "harassment", and leaving the scene of an accident. Graceland may need to put something in front of the gates at night to protect them in the future.
samcra wrote on April 05, 2010
One female Guard ? There should be ne less than two Guards on duty. One stationary, and one roving the property. I fear someone setting a fire,and with the slow responce of the Police, would the same thing happen with a fire call ? This is a very serious situation, they better take corrective measures NOW !!! -------------------------------------- " The guard was so frightened she has not returned to work. " I suggest she find another line of work ... at a cookie shop maybe?
samcra wrote on April 05, 2010
btw, It took the Memphis Police 30 minutes to respond ? If this is true, then Heads should roll at the Police Dept. I'm a retired cop ( 30 ) years. this call should have taken no more than 5 minutes. I find this situation very upsetting !
PRESYER wrote on April 05, 2010
In my opinion the person who did that would deserve... The responding time of 30 minutes is a shame ! Elvis himself would not have agreed with such a situation !
tcb 76 wrote on April 05, 2010
i live in the neighborhood behind Graceland; and i disagree;it is not at all as bad as people here have claimed! i have lived here for four years, and yes you hear shots ring out occasionally; but not as bad as people here have claimed! you should really research Memphis a bit more; this was an idiot who thought he could intimidate a female; and he got to this one! it is safe near Graceland; as we DO have a bit more police protection in this area; looks may decieve; but i live and work in the area; i feel safe enough to walk around with a T.C.B ring on my finger as it is his town! i understand some here may want to see the tourism die here; but they are not fans, so with that said; i urge anyone to come down to Memphis and visit the greatest entertainers pad; and yes you can feel safe!
old shep wrote on April 05, 2010
I see that samca gives his/her age as 0 in their profile. Going by the comment leveled at the unfortunate security guard I can see why.
garnet wrote on April 05, 2010
Yes, I agree that there should be more than one guard on duty. But also lets keep the negative comments out of this situation; re Mike Stone and Jerry Lee Lewis... no one needs to hear that.
Mofoca22 wrote on April 05, 2010
i wouldnt be supprised if it was some michael jackson fan who hates elvis that done this. and if i wer ethe female security gaurd or any security gaurd at that and been by myself your freaken a-right id be scared too. it aint too far up to graceland where you can do some damage and then some up in there. i wonder if these security gaurds are armed? i know one thing if elvis were alive this wouldnt happen because he would have them armed and he would have more than one gaurd on at all times and not only that elvis would come out at 230 am and prolly shoot the guy himself lol
Ruthie wrote on April 06, 2010
You are absolutely right, tcb76. I travel to Memphis 3 -4 times a year & I love the city. This city has some of the friendliest people I have ever met & they have nothing to do with Elvis or Graceland. You can't blame Memphis or any city for an incident like this. Crime is everywhere, particularly in light of the economic condition. I live in a city 1/3 the size of Memphis & we have a murder here on the average of once a week. I live in a decent area but no area is crime proof. When you travel you use common sense.
tcb 76 wrote on April 06, 2010
where the hell did M. JACKSON come into this? Are we just hating? it was a random idiot here from Memphis; more than likely a drunk or a druggie, that did the damage; and just who their music of choice; is not an issue! just a dumbed a## criminal element who was raised with todays music which advocates destruction and hatrid; which i presume you must listen to; throwing an accusation of their preference around like that!
Pedro Nuno wrote on April 06, 2010
At 1st I thought it was Jerry Lee, that finally have eared Elvis fabulous version of “Whole lot a Shakin’ going on”. But now I Thing It's a marketing strategy from EPE... to “open” Graceland to the world. Those guys are genius!
Brian Quinn wrote on April 06, 2010
In answer to Pedro Nuno's comment: Well Pedro if it was a marketing strategy it certainly failed as the story has not made any of the world's news agencies or in fact any in the U.S.A.
Pedro Nuno wrote on April 06, 2010
Brian, I was being ironical, that’s all… TCB.
samcra wrote on April 06, 2010
old shep, it's samcra, not samca! maybe I was a little harsh using the "cookie shop" thing, but she is NOT a Tour Guide or a Greeter, she is a SECURITY GUARD !!! What about "Security Guard" do you not understand? --- btw, I'm a male, and as you know I have a Profile. I see you decided not to post yours. nuff said.
tlclady44 wrote on April 06, 2010
Who ever did this was probley drunk or strung out on something. But I do agree they need more security. And also I have been there 7 times, getting ready to make it 8 , I have been all around Graceland and all around Beale Street I have never seen anything out of the way happen. You could not ask for more friendly people. Every where I went. Everyone is super nice. I LOVE MEMPHIS.
blueminstrel wrote on April 07, 2010
It seems odd to me that this story has not been picked up by any "news" source. I did not see it in the Memphis Commercial Appeal, nor on any local news cast. Furthermore, Graceland is on the National Historic Register. It seems to me that if someone damaged George Washington's home Mount Vernon, or any other designated national landmark, that there would be serious, and swift legal repercussions. My speculation is (and it is just a hunch) that the "security guard" knew the perpetrator - that this was some sort of personal domestic dispute and that EPE wants it kept quiet. Because this is a big public interest story that would have been picked up by the wire services. At least I hope that is the case - because otherwise - this reflects very, very poorly on the Memphis police, EPE, the security company, the city of Memphis, and the national news media (or what is left of it). Strange days indeed.
shoesuedeblues wrote on April 07, 2010
Re samcra, don't tell me, in your day on the force you would have taken the mother ****** out with a Kalashnikov, or better still strung him up.
Brian Quinn wrote on April 07, 2010
The Graceland gates are now repaired, re-painted and back where they belong. The following statement has been issued by EPE: For obvious reasons, security at Graceland and Heartbreak Hotel must remain confidential. Corporate policy prevents us from being able to address or answer specific questions or concerns regarding security matters. Of course, Graceland has a well-trained and staffed security department utilizing all the latest technology. Additionally, we have an excellent relationship with the Memphis Police Department and all other city support agencies.
tcb 76 wrote on April 07, 2010
the gates were repaired yesterday, and were closed at closing of business day yesterday! the person who did it is sadly still on the loose, but hopefully soon he will be caught! the gates look great this morning!
Brian Quinn wrote on April 07, 2010
According to a fan on another Message Board he rang up the Memphis Police Department and they told him that they had no report of an incident at the Graceland Gates. Apparently if there was, anyone could buy a copy for $15 as it is a public record. If this report is true then I suspect the incident was something to do with a former employee of Graceland or a domestic incident involving a current employee as mooted by Blue Minstrel in an earlier post. Only speculation however.
samcra wrote on April 07, 2010
To shoesuedeblue, no, I was not a member of a SWAT, so, no need for an assault rifle. My issue was a 357 cal.. My problem is not really with the lone Security Guard, but with whomever is in carge of Security. I still say a minimum of two Guards are necessary...maybe more. If apprehended the offender would probably have been charged with: Destruction of Private Property, and Tresspassing. Therefore, you don't shoot someone for those type of offenses. "Stringing up"? well that's the Courts job. (wink) -- I think blueminstrel makes a good point, "domestic situation" is very possible, that would explain the lack of media reporting. Look, none of us want anything to happen to Graceland, that's why this particular subject is drawing so many comments. Thanks
KTemple wrote on April 08, 2010
Bluemisntrel seems to have hit the nail on the head! It would appear that the security guard involved knew the driver.
EspenK wrote on April 09, 2010
The *security guard* got so scared after the break-in that she dare not return to work??? Geez, she never should have gotten that job in the first place!
shoesuedeblues wrote on April 09, 2010
Re Espenk. Whats the matter with guys like you? Have you no compassion? The woman probably took the job because there are no other forms of employment in the city, heard of the credit crunch matey!
tcb 76 wrote on April 10, 2010
they don't live here in Memphis; so how could you expect that is the truth! what you all are chatting about isn't nearly what you think! I've talked to security guards and you all can speculate as to the why's and how's but do not know the truth! if you lived here you would! the internet gets the storied out of hand quickly!
theoldscudder wrote on April 11, 2010
If the King were alive today would he still be living in this dumpy area? I would hope not. The average surgeon in this country has a much nicer home in a classier area. I fear the Col. would have bled him dry by this time. So maybe he would still be there. A sad thought. Elvis should have had a mansion in the finest area. He deserved that much.
tcb 76 wrote on April 12, 2010
he bought the home for his mama; and yes i think he would have always kept this home for sentimental reasons; and it was not this way when he was alive! the politics and the government here in memphis do not care about the cities most famous son! but living behind the house; let me say i feel very safe living here; have not had trouble in the five years of living here! contrary to what this false report says; we do have police who routinly cruise this area; and i know them personally! but to answer the question at hand; yes i believe Elvis would have kept the home and lived in it; and for the parker connection; people i know who were with Elvis said he was gonna fire the old man and do a world tour in 78 or 79; he was fixing to clean a lot of the older group out! he wanted a fresh start and the concerts were not going the way he wanted so he was also thinking about doing a full gospel tour! at least three people who are more than reliable who are freinds have told me that on more than one occasion!
KTemple wrote on April 12, 2010
Its unlikely the Elvis would have kept Parker for much longer. Getting back to the subject though, this looks like a domestic dispute, I dont think its a random incident where someone has just driven through the gates and up to the house. Surely if so, they would have done some damage like drive across the grass etc. It seems that the security person knew the driver. I think Memphis gets a bad rap but it is actually fine. Every city in the world has its bad aspects. Use common sense and its safe enough.
Charo wrote on April 13, 2010
No, the security person does not know the occupants of this vehicle. The guard is a decent person, so please don't malign them. As no one else apart from EPE knows what was said, it is not right to make assumptions. The police did not take 30 minutes to arrive. I doubt if anyone would have been gung ho in reacting to this sudden and violent charge through the gates. I doubt that WE would have been brave heroes in such an unexpected and frightening occasion. I definitely don't want there to be guns around Graceland. People get shot in crossfire. EPE were quick off the mark in having Elvis' Gates repaired and rehung.
EspenK wrote on April 13, 2010
shoesuedeblues: You can't be serious... She's supposed to handle security, it's the very core of her job! So according to your reasoning it's totally acceptable if a doctor don't come to your rescue cause he can't stand the sight of blood, you don't mind if the maid ignores your kids cause she can't stand babies, if the cop ignores your call cause he's afraid of the dark that's totally understandable of course, not to mention if your wedding pictures were all blurry cause the photographer were half blind. After all, they gotta make a living!
shoesuedeblues wrote on April 14, 2010
re Espenk You're totally wrong. The woman deserves consideration no matter what you say. Her job I assume was to report any undesirable elements to the police that might be hanging around the property, fire watch and booking in and outgoing visitors to the place. I don't think you'll find standing in the way of a fast moving pickup truck as part of her job description.
EspenK wrote on April 16, 2010
... And I quote: "shouted something to a female Security Guard". That's all it took to not return to work anymore that week. You don't find anything wrong in that picture? It's not like she tried stopping the truck with her bare hands or anything.
old shep wrote on April 16, 2010
What was shouted, "Have a nice day!" I fear not Espenk.