What We Didn’t Know About Jim Morrison’s Death

By Toby Tunwase

The death of Jim Morrison, celebrity singer, remains murky until today, with several conflicting reports on how he died.

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Jim Morrison studied at Florida State University, but in 1964, he moved to Los Angeles and attended UCLA. His degree was in Theater Arts from UCLA College of Fine Arts’ film school. Together with guitarist Ray Manzarek, Morrison co-founded the Doors in Venice, California, in July 1965. The band was obscured for two years before breaking through with their chart-topping US single, Light My Fire, from their debut album. All six of Morrison’s studio albums with the Doors sold well and received critical acclaim.

Jim Morrison had problems with alcoholism and the burdens of being a celebrity. Among other charges, he was charged with exposing himself at a concert. Hence, in March, he moved to Paris to spend time with Pamela Courson, his girlfriend, and take some time off following his exposure and charges. Then, on July 3, 1971, he was discovered dead in a bathtub. Officials declared that he died of heart failure instead of conducting an autopsy. He was buried in the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.

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Courson gave shifting stories about what happened the night that he died. At first, she claimed that after a night out together, he woke up to take his bath (where he died). However, he was later found out to have died of heroin abuse (Courson was an addict), and the fact that Courson had lied that he had no immediate family further adds opacity to the whole fiasco.

Until today, several theories exist about what happened that night, with reporters and friends of Morrison all giving their perspectives.