Holly’s Death Certificate

The Day the Music Died

February 3, 1959

Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper

Buddy Holly died



Buddy Holly’s Death Certificate

From the Coroner’s Report dated Feb. 4, 1959

The body of Charles H. Holley was clothed in an outer jacket of yellow leather-like material in which 4 seams in the back were split almost full length. The skull was split medially in the forehead and this extended into the vertex region. Approximately half the brain tissue was absent. There was bleeding from both ears, and the face showed multiple lacerations. The consistency of the chest was soft due to extensive crushing injury to the bony structure. The left forearm was factured 1/3 the way up from the wrist and the right elbow was fractured. Both thighs and legs showed multiple factures. There was a small laceration of the scrotum.

Personal effects found with the body are listed on a separate sheet in this report.

Fingerprints were taken of the deceased for purposes of identification.

Ralph E. Smiley, MD
Acting coroner

Personal effects, Charles Holley

Cash $193.00 less $11.65 coroner’s fees – $181.35 (2)
cuff links, silver 1/2 in. balls having jeweled band, Top portion of ball point pen.

How did Ritchie Valens die