Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen: 26 Vintage Photographs of the Punk’s Most Famous Couple in the Late 1970s

On Oct. 12, 1978, the body of 20-year-old Nancy Spungen was found in a room at New York’s famous Chelsea Hotel. She and her boyfriend, Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious, had been living in Room 100 for about a month and a half when Vicious called the front desk, saying that something had happened to his girlfriend. It turned out that she was dead from multiple stab wounds to her stomach.

Vicious had risen to notoriety after joining the Sex Pistols in 1977, replacing the punk band’s original bass player. He first met the American Spungen when she visited England as part of the entourage following former New York Doll Johnny Thunders’ new band, Heartbreakers, during their 1977 tour. The two quickly became a couple. Following the break up of the Sex Pistols at the beginning of 1978, the pair had been living in New York City.

On the same day Spungen’s body was found, Vicious (who was born John Ritchie) was arrested and charged with her murder. Within three months, he would be found dead, by his mother, of a heroin overdose. After his death, the NYPD closed the case against him, and never pursued any other action regarding Spungen’s death.

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