So the news is out that Prince died of an opioid overdose, if a quote from an anonymous law official "close to the investigation" can truly put this kind of information on the record.
That makes the death of this hard-to-label superstar a health story, which means -- since we are talking about a practicing Jehovah's Witness believer -- that his tragic death is also a religion story.
So as you look at the updated news reports on Prince, it's logical to see if they contain (a) references of any kind to his faith and (b) material about ways in which the practice of his Jehovah's Witness faith may have affected his struggles with his addiction and the physical pain that drove it. Believe it or not, the basic Associated Press story ignored all of that.
There are two potential levels of faith content. Reporters can simply say, Prince was a Jehovah's Witness, they are strange religious people who believe strange things about health issues (think a rejection of blood transfusions) and, thus, his beliefs helped cause his death. Or, (b) it would be possible for reporters to talk to experts on this faith, ask specific questions about the legal and illegal uses of certain kinds of drugs, and then let readers wrestle with the results. As you can probably tell, I am pro option (b), since I love journalism.
So here is what readers are given by The Los Angeles Times:
According to authorities, Prince was last seen alive at 8 p.m. April 20, when someone dropped him off at Paisley Park. The musician was apparently left alone that night, without staff members or security.
Prince, a devout Jehovah’s Witness, was “a very private person,” said Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson. “I don’t think it would be unusual, for him to be there by himself.”