The Death of a Temptation

by Alix Strauss

Paul Williams (1939-1973), one of the founding members and original lead singer of The Temptations, was found in a deserted parking lot in Detroit, Michigan, on the ground near his car, dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Though he suffered from depression and had personal and health problems, several pieces didn't add up. Paul had used his right hand to shoot himself in the left side of his head, and a bottle of alcohol was found near his left side, as if he'd dropped it while being shot. The gun had fired two shots, yet he was shot only once. Still, the coroner ruled his death a suicide.

Excerpted from Death Becomes Them:  Unearthing the Suicides of the Brilliant, the Famous, and the Notorious by Alix Strauss. Copyright 2009 by the author and reprinted by permission of HarperCollins.



Alix Strauss is a lifestyle trend writer for national talk shows. Her articles have appeared in the New York Times, Marie Claire, Time, Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, and other periodicals. She is the author of an award-winning collection of short stories, The Hoy of Funerals, and an anthology of blind date stories, Have I Got a Guy for You. Alix lives in Manhattan.

Buy Alix Strauss's books through Amazon at the LOST Store.

Articles in this Issue

Introduction, from the Editors
Summer 1963, by Sam Stephenson
Jukeboxes, Beer Joints, and the First Willie Nelson Songbook, by Joe Nick Patoski
The Death of a Temptation, by Alix Strauss
Paradise by the Dashboard Light, by Arthur Jones
I Don't Want to Hurt That Man, I Just Want to Kill Him Dead, by Peter Patnaik
John Philip Sousa vs. "Canned Music", by Elijah Wald
Library Privileges, by Andrew Phillips
Lost In Sound, by the Editors