The Unconfirmed Story Of Jim Morrison’s Death


On July 3, 1971, Jim Morrison’s girlfriend found his body in the bathtub of their apartment. How did this happen?

Jim Morrison
Jim Morrison lying on stage (photo via Morrison Hotel Gallery)

Jim Morrison and The Doors made some of the biggest rock classics, like “Light My Fire” and “L.A. Woman.” But during the mixing of the last album he was on, L.A. Woman, he had to take a break and visit Paris.

When he and his girlfriend, Pamela Courson, went to Paris that summer, it would be the last time he’d see the United States.

People have written books entirely on the subject of his death. Plenty of rumors swirling around his name, many of them unconfirmed and unfounded. Some people even believe he faked his death.

The official cause of death was “heart failure,” but, knowing what his lifestyle was like, drugs were probably involved.

Jim Morrison died in 1971, making him a member of the 27 Club (photo via Rolling Stone)

He had been suffering a respiratory ailment and had been coughing up blood for about two months while in Paris, reports Rolling Stone. He even saw two doctors who said he was doing just fine.

The story goes that he’d gotten a bad batch of heroin, died from it, then two dealers placed his body in his apartment. However, no one has been able to confirm this story.

In fact, when news leaked that he had died, journalists called their apartment, and someone told them the singer was “not dead but very tired and resting in a hospital.”

The official story is that he woke up at 4 a.m. July 3 coughing up a little blood. He then told Courson he was fine and that he was going to take a bath.

The next morning, that’s where they found his body. That’s the day he joined the dreaded 27 Club.

There are many versions of the story, so can we be sure how it happened?

One thing is for sure: on July 3, 1971, the world lost one of the best frontmen in classic rock history.

There’s no disputing that.

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Caleb Murphy is a musician who writes about music. His writing appears in Consequence Of Sound, Pittsburgh City Paper, and some other cool places. He blogs about music at
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