September 6, 1951

On THIS DATE IN TWISTED-HISTORY! in 1951 on September 6, William Burroughs (1914-1997) American writer and drug addict was playing ‘William Tell” with his wife Joan Vollmer in Mexico City. They and their friends had been drinking heavily all day as well as using every drug they could buy, borrow or beg. Joan had place a shot glass full of cheap whiskey (cheap whiskey, not a good single malt scotch as they weren’t that drunk or wasted) and dared William to shoot it off her head with his Colt 45. William walked across the room, sighted his pistol at his wife and asked in a drunken drawl, “Which one, Joanie dear, there’s three of them,” and she quipped back and said, “Idiot, shoot the one in the middle!” which he tried to do and put a single shot right in the middle of her forehead, killing her instantly. He was arrested by the Mexico City police, but his brother was able to fly down to Mexico (William Burroughs’s family was stupidly rich) and bribed the police, the judge, the prosecutor, and the coroner to get his brother out of jail and out of Mexico.
The accidental death of his wife affected him for the rest of his life (didn’t stop him from sleeping with any man or woman that would drop their pants for him) and it was reflected in his writing. William Burroughs wrote “Naked Lunch” after the killing and the giant man-raping insects could have been his attempt to come to terms with his wife’s death, or it could have been the drugs.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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