Paul Williams was the original lead singer and choreographer of the legendary Temptations. He was called the “heart & soul” of the group and he was from 1960-1971. On August 17, 1973 he was found dead and it appeared to be a suicide. However many people including his family don’t think so.
Paul was a member of the Temptations from 1960 until 1971 when he was forced to retire due to years of alcohol abuse and sickle-cell anemia. It is believed that Paul started drinking heavily to numb the pain caused by sickle-cell, remember this was in the 1960s and early 70s so there weren’t many other options. If you only know Paul Williams from the 1998 Temptations “biopic” then you probably didn’t know he suffered from this terrible disease as they decided to leave that out for some reason… Enough about the movie, let’s get into it. Was Paul Williams murdered?
Here are some of the reasons many believe he was.
1. His Clothes
Or lack thereof. Williams was found in his car wearing nothing but his underwear and he’d just left his girlfriend’s house. It’s very unlikely that he would have left the house he shared with his wife and children wearing only underwear. So assuming he arrived at his girlfriend’s place wearing clothes, why didn’t he leave with them? Could it be that her husband came home and caught them in the act? Did he chase Paul down and kill him?
2. The Gunshot(s)
It was reported that Paul used his left hand to shoot himself on the right side of his head. The questions here are why and how? Why make it that difficult and how does someone do that? That’s quite a task especially for someone who was right handed and wanted to commit suicide. If Paul really wanted to end his life that bad then why didn’t he just use his right hand to shoot himself on the right side of his head and get it over with? It simply doesn’t make sense. It was also said that the gun was fired twice but Paul was only shot once.
3. He Didn’t Seem Suicidal
While no one knows what’s in another person’s mind Eddie Kendricks, Paul’s longtime friend and bandmate said that he seemed to be in good spirits. Kendricks also claimed that Paul had been sober for nearly a month so that leads to another question. Why was there a bottle of alcohol found near his body? Was it a cover up? Paul had been a heavy drinker for years so why not place a bottle beside him to make it seem like he was a suicidal drunk? It’s also worth stating that shortly before his death Paul had been working on a solo project with Motown. Those who knew him said he loved performing and it crushed him when he was forced to retire so why? Why would he take his own life right after he’d been given a second chance to do what he loved?