Less than 36 hours after shooting a man he said was violently intruding into his home, cultural icon Paul McLeod was found dead on the front porch of his home, Graceland Too, early this morning.
Phillip Knecht, attorney for McLeod, issued the following statement this morning:
Just a day after news broke that he had killed an alleged home invader inside his front door, famed Elvis lover and “Graceland Too” tourist attraction owner Paul McLeod was found dead inside his home in Holly Springs.
The 70-year-old had been battling ill health for some time, and at this time, until autopsy results can be obtained, authorities believe McLeod’s death resulted from natural causes.
According to his attorney Phillip Knecht, “We can’t be sure of anything right now, but nothing points to suicide or foul play. We await an official autopsy, but his ill health, combined with the stress from Monday’s tragedy, lead me to believe it was a very unfortunate natural occurrence.”
On Monday, July 15, McLeod shot and killed Dwight David Taylor, 28, who McLeod said forced his way into the home and demanded money. No charges were filed in the incident.
McLeod, who some called the ultimate Elvis superfan, turned his 161-year-old home into an eclectic shrine stuffed floor-to-ceiling with Elvis memorabilia in 1990. He was known to stay up 24 hours a day, fueled by caffeine from an unending supply of Coca-Cola, to welcome visitors from all over the world to his makeshift museum.
McLeod’s staple audience came from college students around the South. His eccentric style and unique Elvis “artifacts” kept his visitors entertained for nearly 25 years.
McLeod was divorced, after he says his wife told him to choose her or Elvis. His son, Elvis Aaron McLeod, allegedly moved to New York years ago. He has lived in the home alone since, rarely leaving except to make the occasional trip to Walmart or to paint the ever-changing color of the home.
He told the Memphis Commercial Appeal in a 2010 interview, “I put everything I ever had in my life to do this, including my wife,” he says. “But you gotta do what makes you happy.”
McLeod was known for saying, “I’ve only been loved by a few, Elvis was loved by millions.” However, an explosion of social media posts and cans of Coke left in tribute on his front porch are already telling a different story.
— Tad Wilkes, firstname.lastname@example.org