Wendy O. Williams

Born in 1948, Wendy grew up in Webster, New York to a chemist father who worked for Kodak. She participated In the high school band in which she played the clarinet; considered soft spoken and shy by her peers. By the age 16 Wendy moved out and headed to Colorado, where she crocheted bikinis to make ends meet. She would then move to Florida and eventually London where she worked as a dancer. By this time she had several run-ins with the law.  In 1976, Wendy ended up back in New York. Looking for work she found an ad by Yale University Graduate Rod Swenson, she stared in her first adult film. The following year Swenson started a punk rock band and recruited Wendy to be the lead singer for the Plasmatics. They would release the album Coup d’Etat in 1982 and tour around the world. In 1983 Wendy went solo. She would release 3 solo albums before calling it quits in 1991. She then moved to Connecticut with long time manager and companion Rod Swenson where she worked as an animal carer, being that she was a vegetarian and loved wildlife. According to Wendy she was “pretty fed up dealing with people”.

Wendy first attempted suicide in 1993 by hammering a knife into her chest.  However, she changed her mind and called Swenson to take her to the hospital. She attempted suicide again in 1997 with an overdose of ephedrine. Williams died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on April 6, 1998, she was 48. Rod Swenson, her significant other for more than 20 years, returned to their home in Connecticut and found her body in a wooded area where she would often feed the wildlife. She left behind a suicide note that stated:

“I don’t believe that people should take their own lives without deep and thoughtful reflection over a considerable period of time. I do believe strongly, however, that the right to do so is one of the most fundamental rights that anyone in a free society should have. For me, much of the world makes no sense, but my feelings about what I am doing ring loud and clear to an inner ear and a place where there is no self, only calm.”