Elvis’ Aunt Delta Took Matters Into Her Own Hands During a Break-In at Graceland


Elvis Presley’s Aunt Delta helped run Graceland. She ensured the house was running smoothly and that Elvis was happy when he was home. Apparently, her responsibilities also included protecting the home against intruders. When someone broke in, she took charge of trying to get him out.

Elvis Presley’s Aunt Delta faced off against an intruder

While longtime Graceland maid and cook Nancy Rooks was cleaning, Aunt Delta and another staff member came running into a room in terror.

“It was fairly late in the evening and I had gone down to the trophy room. I was busily straightening some things up when, all of a sudden, Aunt Delta and another of the maids came screaming into the room,” Rooks wrote in her book Inside Graceland: Elvis’ Maid Remembers, adding, “I could see by the look on their faces that they were terrified. I also noticed that Aunt Delta was carrying the small pistol which she normally kept in her nightstand, beside her bed.”

A picture of the front of Graceland from the left side. It's a sunny day.
Graceland | GAB Archive/Redferns

A man had broken in through the window and chased Delta and the staff member into her bedroom, where she grabbed the gun. 

“The other maid later told me that Aunt Delta’s hand was shaking as she pointed the gun at the intruder,” Rooks wrote. “Aunt Delta was screaming, ‘I’ll kill you if you don’t get out of here!’ and the man, obviously not in his right mind, was pleading for her to go ahead and shoot him.”

Once they were in the trophy room, Delta called the front gate to help them. Security and police quickly apprehended the man.

Nancy Rooks said a separate Graceland break-in terrified her

Several years later, Rooks experienced another break-in at Graceland. 

“I had been cleaning up around the pool area early one evening and was walking around the back of the house, towards the back entrance to the jungle room, when I stopped in to use the restroom located behind the house,” she wrote. “It’s the same restroom used by guests on the tour today right outside the trophy room. I did not notice anything out of the ordinary when I went into the restroom and closed the outside door behind me.”

When she came out several minutes later, she discovered that someone had spray-painted the restroom while she was in it.

“It was just a few obscene words, but it was enough to scare me half to death,” she wrote. “The police were called and the grounds were gone over with a fine tooth comb, but no intruders were found, and we never figured out what the motivation had been, or what it had meant. It did leave me visibly shaken for awhile, however.”

Elvis Presley’s Aunt Delta helped run Graceland

Aunt Delta tried to take control of the situation because she always had this role at Graceland. She taught Rooks how to do her job. 

A blue sign that reads
Graceland | STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images

“As time passed, I began taking on more and more responsibility,” Rooks wrote. “I think I earned the respect of Aunt Delta, who oversaw the daily ‘operations’ of the place. She was the one everybody went to when something needed to be done, and kept a wary eye out to make sure things ran as smoothly as possible. She had Vernon’s backing in everything, and, through her, I learned the ‘ins and outs’ of how things’ fit together’ at the mansion.”

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