On Dec. 30, 1999, George Harrison almost grew to become the second Beatle to be murdered.

The group’s lead guitarist and his spouse Olivia had simply gone to mattress when an intruder broke into the couple’s Friar Park mansion. At first, Olivia thought the sound of breaking glass was a falling chandelier. However when she realized a stranger was of their house, she instantly woke Harrison, who went to research as she known as the police.

Harrison was following the odor of cigarette smoke when, within the hallway, he noticed a person holding a stone sword from a smashed statue in a single hand and a kitchen knife within the different. 

Harrison tried to seize the knife throughout a battle. Each males fell, and the assailant, on prime of him, started stabbing him repeatedly. Harrison later mentioned he thought to himself, “I’m being murdered in my very own home.”


a split side-by-side image of George Harrison and Michael Abram

In 1999, Beatle George Harrison (left) was stabbed 40 occasions by Michael Abram (proper) in his house. (Getty/Shutterstock)

The assault is chronicled in a brand new e-book by Philip Norman, “George Harrison: The Reluctant Beatle,” which locations a highlight on the beloved singer/songwriter’s life and profession. Harrison died in 2001 at age 58 from most cancers.

“It was very a lot one other case of Mark David Chapman and John Lennon, which led to John’s assassination in 1980,” the bestselling biographer advised Fox Information Digital. “It’s fan worship that curdles in hatred as a result of, ultimately, the fan thinks the article of his love and a spotlight has betrayed his beliefs ultimately. … The Beatles had been seen as greater than only a musical group. They had been like a philosophy, a lifestyle and ethos. When the true Beatles don’t measure as much as that, that creates this want for vengeance.

“George did almost change into the second Beatle to be assassinated by somebody who had a grudge in opposition to him.”

Book cover for George Harrison: The Reluctant Beatle

Bestselling biographer Philip Norman chronicled the harrowing ordeal in a brand new e-book, “George Harrison: The Reluctant Beatle.” (Scribner)

Based on the e-book, Harrison was stabbed 40 occasions, with one narrowly lacking his coronary heart. He suffered a punctured lung.

It was Olivia who saved her husband. Dealing with his attacker, she picked up the closest weapon readily available, a brass poker, and “laid into George’s attacker with it.” When that had no impact, she then “grabbed a normal lamp, inverted it and bludgeoned their assailant with its heavy base.” She sustained a head wound.

Inside 12 minutes, officers had been on the home. Harrison’s son Dhani additionally rushed to his father’s facet.


A police man walking in front of Friar Park next to a car

A police officer stands outdoors the Lodge gates of George Harrison’s Friar Park property Dec. 30, 1999. On the time, the Beatle was taken to Royal Berks Hospital in Studying within the early hours after being stabbed in his house by an intruder. (Martyn Hayhow/AFP through Getty Photographs)

“George was mendacity simply contained in the half-open bed room door, bleeding profusely from a number of stab wounds, a mix of blood and air effervescent from the gashes in his chest, his very lips and enamel bloody,” Norman wrote. “There was blood on the partitions and all around the ground, combined with scarlet fragments from the lamp-base Olivia had used as a membership. … With no paramedics there but, Dhani tried to stanch his wounds with paper tissues and a towel, however it was a hopeless activity.”

Harrison, changing into paler, murmured to his son, “I’m going out.” Dhani supported his father’s head and held his hand, urging him to “stick with me.”

Based on Norman, Harrison died almost 4 occasions earlier than paramedics arrived. He was “pulled again from the brink by the sound of his son’s voice.”

A close-up of George Harrison with his wife Olivia

Philip Norman mentioned it was George Harrison’s spouse Olivia who saved the Beatle that fateful evening. (Tom Wargacki/WireImage)

Harrison survived, however it was “a devastating psychological, in addition to bodily assault,” Norman shared.

“This assault occurred in his house, one which he cherished a lot,” mentioned Norman. “It was so totally different from the tiny home he grew up in Liverpool. The gardens had been his delight and pleasure. He thought he is perhaps remembered as a gardener greater than a musician. And he was at all times so non-public.”

a close-up of the Friar Park sign

George Harrison took nice delight in his Friar Park house. (Tim Ockenden/PA Photographs through Getty Photographs)

Harrison’s assailant was Michael Abram, a 34-year-old Liverpool resident and paranoid schizophrenic, the e-book says. Six weeks earlier than the assault, he was denied remedy by the psychiatric unit at Whiston Hospital after medical doctors concluded “he wasn’t affected by any psychological sickness.” 

He believed his “homicidal mission” was “doing God’s will.”


Michael Abram wearing glasses and a white and green jacket standing behind his mother wearing a matching outfit

An undated image of Michael Abram together with his mom Lynda. (Getty Photographs)

As Harrison recovered, he acquired an outpouring of help from his surviving bandmates, in addition to “1000’s of his followers throughout three generations.” Tom Petty quipped, “Aren’t you glad you married a Mexican woman?”

However there was additionally an unpleasant facet forming. Playwright John Mortimer, who lived close to Friar Park, recalled seeing individuals driving previous the entrance gate of the property, shouting their help for Abram. Some even despatched flowers to Abram whereas he was on the hospital being handled for the accidents from the assault.

“These had been simply very horrible individuals who had been in all probability drunk,” mentioned Norman. “It confirmed how Britain had modified within the years for the reason that chaotic, however humorous days of Beatlemania. … Britain had change into a nastier place, sadly.”

A doctor wearing a white coat looking at the camera being surrounded by photographers

Thoracic surgeon William Fountain, who handled Beatle George Harrison, is seen right here talking throughout a information convention at Harefield Hospital. “There are a selection of stab wounds,” he mentioned on the time. “There’s one which has punctured his chest which is essentially the most worrying. No stab wound to the chest is minor.” (Peter Jordan/PA Photographs through Getty Photographs)

The e-book famous it took 11 months for Abram to be tried at Oxford Crown Court docket on two counts of tried homicide. Whiston Hospital was additionally below hearth for failing to correctly assess Abram’s psychological state whereas he was a affected person. The chief govt of the hospital’s governing physique, Knowsley and St. Helens NHS Belief, made a public apology.

Abram additionally wrote an apology letter to the Harrisons.

“I assumed my delusions had been actual,” he wrote, as quoted by the e-book. “And all the things I used to be experiencing was some type of witchcraft.”


Close-up of two men and a woman looking serious at a press conference

Well being officers apologized to George Harrison after an inquiry discovered “vital failings” within the care of Michael Abram. Hospital bosses accepted that they didn’t “assess and handle” Abram’s “psychological well being issues.” (Phil Noble/PA Photographs through Getty Photographs)

Olivia and Dhani attended the trial with each heavy police and personal safety safety. Harrison, who was nonetheless weak from his wounds and “traumatized,” was allowed to present written proof.

After two days of deliberations, the jury discovered Abram not responsible by motive of madness. He was ordered to be detained “indefinitely” at a psychiatric unit close to Liverpool. The e-book famous that Geoffrey Robertson, counsel for the Harrisons, requested that the household ought to be given a sophisticated warning if Abram had been to ever be launched. Nevertheless, a choose mentioned he had no powers to make that order.

A close-up of a policeman in uniform holding a duffel bag

A police officer removes a bag discovered hidden near the gates of George Harrison’s Friar Park property following the assault. (Martyn Hayhow/AFP through Getty Photographs)

“It’s tragic that anybody ought to endure such a psychological breakdown [but] we are able to always remember he was stuffed with violence and hatred when he got here into our house,” Dhani mentioned in an announcement on behalf of the household. “Naturally the prospect of him being launched again into society is abhorrent to us.”

Dhani Harrison reading from a paper standing next to his mother Olivia Harrison

Dhani Harrison, together with his mom Olivia Harrison, outdoors Oxford Crown Court docket, the place he learn an announcement. ( Tim Ockenden/PA Photographs through Getty Photographs))

The e-book famous that, in July 2002, Abram was deemed match to be launched again “into the group.”

“Three years later, he was reportedly coaching to change into a volunteer adviser for the Residents Recommendation Bureau,” the e-book claims.

“Ultimately, not paying a really heavy worth,” Norman advised Fox Information Digital.


Lynda Abram holding a report wearing a grey coat and a white collared shirt

Lynda Abram with a replica of the report into her son Michael after a press convention about his care and remedy. (Phil Noble/PA Photographs through Getty Photographs)

On the time, a spokesperson for Mersey Care Belief mentioned, “On this case, the tribunal has given a conditional discharge. The circumstances, which stay confidential, are to make sure the protection and safety of the general public,” the U.Okay.’s Unbiased reported.

Based on the outlet, Abram expressed regret for his actions.

George Harrison smiling and wearing sunglasses and a dark coat next to his wife Olivia

George Harrison led a quiet, non-public life following the assault he and his spouse Olivia endured. Harrison died in 2001 at age 58 from most cancers. (PA Photographs through Getty Photographs)

“If I may flip again the clock, I’d give something to not have finished what I did in attacking George Harrison,” he mentioned, as quoted by the outlet. “However trying again on it now, I’ve come to grasp that I used to be on the time not in command of my actions. I can solely hope the Harrison household may someway discover it of their hearts to just accept my apologies.”

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