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Tammy Wynette’s Death Examined on ‘The Will’

Jim Steinfeldt, Michael Ochs Archives

The 1998 death of country legend Tammy Wynette and the controversies that surrounded her estate will be explored in a episode of the TV series, “The Will: Family Secrets Revealed,” when it returns for its third season this October on the Investigation Discovery (ID) channel.

The premiere episode set for Oct. 18, uncovers the situation that arose after the country icon’s death when her four daughters realized they had been denied their inheritance and began questioning the events surrounding their mother’s death, which led to a $50-million wrongful death lawsuit against their stepfather, George Richey (who died in 2010) and their mother’s physician.

Wynette was just 55 years old at the time of her death. As a result of the lawsuit filed by her daughters, Richey requested that his late wife’s body be exhumed and an autopsy performed. The results of the autopsy were released on Sept. 25, 2001, declaring that she died of natural causes.

Tammy Wynette, who was born Virginia Wynette Pugh, was in the news again earlier this year when the name was changed on the tomb where she is laid to rest in Nashville. The plaque now reads “Virginia W Richardson,” reflecting her married name, as George Richey’s real last name was Richardson.

Other celebrities whose wills are examined during the new season of the ID network show include singer Ritchie Valens, the Grateful Dead‘s Jerry Garcia, artist Andy Warhol, baseball legend Ted Williams and former child star Gary Coleman. Season three of “The Will: Family Secrets Revealed,” premieres with the “Estate of Tammy Wynette” on Thursday, Oct. 18 at 9:00 PM ET on Investigation Discovery.

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