50 Interesting Deathbed Incidents & Confessions

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1Julian Altman

In 1936, a rare million-dollar Stradivarius violin got stolen from virtuoso Hall Huberman. The thief, a café musician named Julian Altman, became famous and performed for presidents. 49 years after the theft, he confessed to the theft on his deathbed and his wife received a $263,000 finder’s fee.


2. According to one story of his last words, Voltaire's response to a priest at his deathbed urging him to renounce Satan was "Now is not the time for making new enemies."


3. English writer Aldous Huxley was injected with LSD on his deathbed and essentially tripped into death.


4. On his deathbed in 1936, King George V’s doctor issued the final notice “The King’s life is moving peacefully towards its close" and then proceeded to inject him with 750mg of morphine and 1000mg of cocaine, enough to kill him twice over.


5. Despite being advised to join the NBA after one year in college, Tim Duncan decided to stay in school for 3 more years because he had promised his mother (Ione Duncan), on her deathbed, that he would get his college degree. The move paid off, as he got drafted by the Spurs and won 5 championships with them.


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6Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein was still working on his Theory of Everything while laying on his deathbed, in the last hours of his life, while fading in and out of consciousness.


7. Drake’s Drum is a snare drum that Sir Francis Drake took with him when he circumnavigated the world. On his deathbed, he requested that the drum be returned to England, and if ever they came under attack, one was to beat the drum and he would return to protect the country.


8. When Thomas Edison was on his deathbed, Henry Ford reportedly made an odd request for his ailing friend and asked Edison’s son Charles to collect Edison’s last breath, and later 8 test tubes were discovered apparently with ‘his last breath.’


9. On July 4, 1826, while on his deathbed, former president John Adam's last words were "Jefferson Still Survives", referring to former president Thomas Jefferson, who unknown to Adams, had died hours earlier, on the same day.


10. Elias James Leach, legendary screen icon Cary Grant’s, father put his mother in a mental institution when Grant was 9 and told him his mother had died. Grant didn't find out his mother was still alive until he was 35 when his father confessed the truth on his deathbed.


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11Duane Webber

Duane Webber is an interesting part of the whole DB Cooper case. On his deathbed, he confessed to his wife “I am Dan Cooper.” The media reported his name as DB Cooper mistakenly. The hijacker, on the note he passed to the stewardess, identified himself as Dan Cooper.


12. A silent movie actress named Margaret Gibson allegedly confessed on her deathbed of murdering Irish-American film director William Desmond Taylor, which was a famous unsolved case. It's unclear if she really did it though.


13. Nicolaus Copernicus proposed the heliocentric solar system (making the sun the center of the solar system instead of the earth) from his deathbed because he was aware of the controversy it would cause and the danger it posed to him. He was right.


14. When Polish composer Frédéric Chopin was on his deathbed, he asked that when he died his body be cut open and the heart removed to be buried in his homeland of Poland. Upon his death, his sister smuggled the heart out of France, delivering it to the Church of the Holy Cross in Warsaw.


15. Israeli Songwriter Naomi Shemer always denied she had taken the melody for “Jerusalem of Gold” from “Pello Joxepe.” Stricken with cancer, which she felt might have been caused by her deception, she confessed in her deathbed that she had, in fact, heard “Pello Joxepe” prior to writing “Jerusalem of Gold.”


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16WC Fields

Comedian WC Fields was “an avowed atheist [who] regarded all religions with the suspicion of a seasoned con man.” When a friend asked why he was reading the Bible on his deathbed, he replied, “I’m checking for loopholes.”


17. Peter the Great allegedly wrote a note on his deathbed saying “Leave all to...” He was too exhausted to finish the note before he died of gangrene.


18. Popstar Adam Faith’s final words on his deathbed were “Channel 5 is all sh*t, isn't it? Christ, the crap they put on there. It’s a waste of space.”


19. Bill Wilson, the originator of AA (alcoholics anonymous) asked for whiskey on his deathbed, but the nurse wouldn't give it to him.


20. Christian Spurling, the man who took the most memorable photo of the Loch Ness Monster confessed to it being fake on his deathbed.


21Robert I

Robert I King of Scots on his deathbed asked a lieutenant to bring his embalmed heart on a crusade. James Douglas took the heart to join the Spanish reconquista where he died during the Battle of Teba. His flesh was boiled off of his bones and the rest of him was sent back to Scotland with the heart.


22. While on his death bed, the emperor Vespasian sarcastically remarked " Oh dear, I think I am becoming a God"


23. When Pope Innocent VIII was on his deathbed in 1492, his doctors bled three young boys, killing them, and had the pontiff drink their blood to restore his health.


24. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a true musical genius, composing his first piece at the tender age of five. His final piece, “Requiem”, was composed on his death bed, and he has been decomposing ever since.


25. Lewis and Clark owe their lives not just to Sacagawea, but also to the Nez Perce woman Watkuweis. On her deathbed, Watkuweis convinced her people not to kill Lewis and Clark because she had once been helped by white people whilst making a daring escape from her captors.

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