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As they frantically administered CPR, Jones told the switchboard to call 911.
Fans were already gathering at the Hilton for Clive Davis’s party when Ed Winter, the coroner, took the elevator to the fourth floor.
The police found plates of food, a bottle of beer, and an opened bottle of champagne.
On the bathroom counter were a spoon and what the coroner’s report called a “white crystal like substance.” When the initial autopsy results were released, six weeks later, they attributed Houston’s death at 48 to accidental drowning, with contributing factors of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use.
“I went backstage, and we met, and I said, ‘I want to know what church you come from, because, singing the way you sing, you come from somebody’s church,’ ” recalled Winans. ’ ”New Hope Baptist Church sits at 106 Sussex Avenue in Newark, New Jersey. That’s what I wanted.” Across the street from the church was the now defunct James M.
When she was 13, she spent every Saturday for months in the local movie theater, from the matinee to the last show, transfixed by a film called about three young female singers falling prey to hustlers, addicts, and thieves.
She had used cocaine “just probably immediately prior” to drowning, and her condition indicated an “acute use” of the substance.
There were also traces of marijuana, the muscle relaxant Flexeril, the allergy medication Benadryl, and Xanax.
She was put in Room 434, which the hotel calls a “presidential junior,” consisting of a small sitting room, bedroom, and bath.
On the day of the party, Whitney’s assistant, Mary Jones, left the hotel to pick up a package at Neiman Marcus.