Tag Archives: William Tell

The Death of Joan Vollmer Adams Burroughs

william s. burroughs shoots wifeDue to trouble with the law, mainly for drug possession and distribution, William S. Burroughs, his wife Joan and their children moved many times, ending up in Mexico City.

One night Bill and Joan attended a party and, while drunk, it is argued that they decided to play a game of William Tell. While accounts of the events and conversations leading up to Joan’s death differ, it is a fact that Bill did attempt to shoot a glass off Joan’s head and missed. Whether or not they had attempted this trick before is also up for debate.

On Sept. 6, 1951, Bill and Joan visited the apartment of John Healy in Mexico City. A few hours later, Joan arrived at Cruz Roja (Red Cross) where medics began emergency life-saving measures for a bullet wound to the head. Joan had been shot by Bill and pronounced dead at the hospital. She was only 28.

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