Jim Morrison was clearly not in a good way when he headed off for Paris in early 1971 during the mixing of the Doors' L.A. Woman album. But for a time, those close to him held out hope that he'd be able to sort through his personal issues and find a way back to a state of physical, emotional, and creative well-being.

Those hopes were dashed on July 3, 1971, when Morrison's body was discovered by his girlfriend Pamela Courson in the bathtub of the apartment they shared.

His life had become increasingly clouded by controversy during the years leading up to the move to France, and that sadly remained the case even following his passing. Shortly after the news broke, Morrison's death fell under a persistent shadow of suspicion, with fans and friends calling into question everything from the official cause (a naggingly non-specific "heart failure") to the events that allegedly transpired during the hours leading to his demise.

In fact, the Doors frontman's death would eventually become as exhaustively investigated as his life: Entire books were devoted to his final days. Dozens of rumors — many of them unfounded — purporting to offer the "real story" of how he died – or, according to others, managed to fake his death and live in seclusion for decades.

Meet the Members of Rock's Tragic '27 Club'

Given Morrison's public image and private proclivities, it's always seemed safe to assume that drugs were involved in his death. More than one person has stepped forward over the years to claim that he was killed by a bad batch of heroin supplied by notorious dealer Jean de Breteuil — a death that was then allegedly covered up by a pair of lower-level dealers who are accused of smuggling Morrison's body into the apartment.

This theory is the basis of a book penned by one of Morrison's self-described friends, and it has been more or less given credence by singer Marianne Faithfull. Still, it remains unconfirmed.

What's indisputable is that after that July day, Jim Morrison was gone, and one of rock's more turbulent and unpredictable careers ended with his departure. In another sense, however, Morrison's star has only continued to rise over the following decades.

The Doors ceased to record a few years after his death, but their music continues to sell well, while serving as the basis for scores of books, films, compilations, and spinoff projects. Even in death, the Lizard King lives on.
 
 

Ranking Every Doors Album