The Untold Truth Of Slipknot's Paul Gray

Hero, martyr, mystery, God / He was the best of us

These lyrics from "Skeptic" on Slipknot's fifth studio album, .5 The Gray Chapter, are but a few words written in tribute to Slipknot member Paul Gray. Gray, whom the 2014 album is named after, passed away on May 24, 2010 after accidentally overdosing on prescription medication, per Loudersound.5, although not without its own critics, is a resounding success as a largely mournful, yet cathartic expression of grief crafted in honor of one of Slipknot's most private and talented founding members. As recorded in a press conference posted on YouTube, vocalist Corey Taylor said of Gray, "He had the biggest heart of anyone I've ever known, and he had the greatest soul I've ever had the privilege to know. He was everything that was wonderful about this band and about this group of people."

Losing a loved one and family member is difficult enough without complications, whether they be drug-related or, in Gray's case, legal. Even though Gray had dealt with drug addiction in the past, he was believed to be clean in the years and months leading up to this death, as Gray's wife Brenna told Rolling Stone. Paul had apparently kicked the habit before Brenna moved in with him, prior to Slipknot's 2008 album All Hope is Gone, and Brenna was shocked to see syringes in the toilet just a week before Gray passed. Who was to blame, she said? Daniel Baldi, Gray's psychiatrist.

The world will never know another man as amazing as you

Back in 2003 Gray admitted to having an intense heroin problem, as reported by Loudwire. "I would spend half the time in the bathroom shooting up," he revealed. "I'd be trying to play, and I'd fall out of my chair a couple times and fall asleep in the middle of tracking a song." 

After getting an ultimatum from his future wife, Gray, by all accounts, kicked the habit. She discovered after Paul's death, though, that he had been testing positive for drug use even as Baldi continued to prescribe medication like Xanax. Gray, as it turned out, had overdosed on morphine, the painkiller Fentanyl, and was also found with a "substantial amount" of Xanax in his body. The week prior, Brenna tried to stage on intervention for him, but failed. He was found the following Monday in his hotel room in Johnston, Iowa.

As recounted by UltimateClassicRock, Gray's death led to Polk County filing 10 counts of involuntary manslaughter against Dr. Baldi for Gray and other patients, some of whom lived. Baldi was acquitted, but stripped of his license, and Gray's wife filed a civil suit on behalf of their daughter, October Gray, as the original time period for filing a civil suit on behalf of Brenna herself had passed. It was only in 2018 that terms of the settlement were finalized, but not disclosed to the public.