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Elliott Smith's death may not be suicide?

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Elliott Smith's death may not be suicide?

Old 01-01-04, 04:53 PM
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Elliott Smith's death may not be suicide?

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Singer-Songwriter's Death May Not Be Suicide
Wed, Dec 31, 2003, 09:12 AM PT

LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) - Los Angeles coroner's officials have not been able to determine if the death of Academy Award nominee Elliott Smith in October was suicide.

Police reports at the time of singer-songwriter Smith's death had initially ruled the two "penetrating stab wounds" that killed him were self-inflicted, according to Reuters.

"The trauma that he sustained could have been inflicted by him or by another and the coroner has not been able to make a determination," says the coroner's spokesman David Campbell. No illegal or controlled substances were reportedly in Smith's system.

Smith's live-in girlfriend, who declined to be identified, found the 34-year-old singer in their shared home in the Silverlake area of Los Angeles on Oct. 21.


The songsmith maintained a quiet existence and was never that comfortable with the limelight. His hauntingly beautiful track, "Miss Misery," was nominated for the best song Oscar after director Gus Van Sant used it on the soundtrack to his film "Good Will Hunting." Smith came to regard the track as a burden, his onus and dropped it permanently from his live set.

His melancholic yet romantic music also appeared in "American Beauty." Most ironically, though, his track "Needle in the Hay" is played during a suicide attempt in Wes Anderson's "The Royal Tenenbaums."

Coroner's officials will reportedly revisit their findings if additional information surfaces.
Old 01-02-04, 11:27 AM
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Was he seeing Courtney Love?
Old 01-02-04, 11:57 AM
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Originally posted by Cusm
Was he seeing Courtney Love?
Who wasn't?

The Washington Post had a brief article on this as well today. In it, they said he was dead of knife wounds to the chest. Something I did not know until now. I just assumed he slit his wrists. You don't hear about too many people committing suicide this way.
Old 01-02-04, 02:10 PM
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I knew about the stab wounds to the chest, and even mentioned to my friends how it was a strange way to commit suicide. Very interested to see how this plays out.
Old 01-02-04, 08:41 PM
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I still think it's suicide, what with his history and all. It is an unusual case and basically how I read it is that the coroner's saying he can't say for sure - covering his back really. I'd be highly surprised if it's ever discovered to be more than it was... But Im sure it will give conspiracy theorists something to play with.
Old 01-02-04, 08:52 PM
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Originally posted by Sierra Disc
I still think it's suicide, what with his history and all. It is an unusual case and basically how I read it is that the coroner's saying he can't say for sure - covering his back really. I'd be highly surprised if it's ever discovered to be more than it was... But Im sure it will give conspiracy theorists something to play with.
My thoughts exactly.

I had a similar post mostly typed up and didn't hit Submit because I couldn't get down what I was thinking without sounding like I was trying to start an argument. Compared with the way you put it, I had a much more "the writing was on the wall" tone, though. (Nice job.)
Old 01-02-04, 09:06 PM
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I remember reading an interview with Elliott right after XO came out. He had just jumped off a cliff and impaled himself on a tree and was recovering. The interviewer asked him if he was trying to kill himself. He responded that he wasn't. He saw the cliff and started running towards it with no thought or care as to what happened next.

Most people wouldn't kill themselves with a stab to the chest. Immediately after he died, I remembered that interview and thought...maybe it was another impulse. He didn't care if he died, but he wasn't trying to kill himself.

I agree Sierra and Steve. I think it was self-inflicted. I just like to hope it was an unintentional suicide. I can't imagine anyone killing themselves with a stab to the chest. Not only would it be insanely painful, but it would be less-than-guaranteed if someone actually wanted to die.
Old 01-03-04, 07:57 PM
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I loved Elliott Smith, and was so very sad when he died. Still am really, although you could see suicide coming a mile away. Still, this is beyond odd. Suicide by a stab wound to the chest? The hell? I think he had demons way past what we even imagined, and we thought they were pretty bad.
Old 01-03-04, 08:29 PM
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I don't know about TWO stab wounds to your chest, you know? His music was amazing for Good Will Hunting and American Beauty..... will be sorely missed, poor bastard.
Old 01-04-04, 08:41 PM
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Actually more than one stab is not unusual in a suicide attempt.

As they try to get up their nerve and stab initially with hesitation they then get a better feel for the force needed and make another attempt that goes deeper.
Old 01-05-04, 11:51 AM
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from pitchforkmedia.com
_________________________________

The exact cause of Elliott Smith's October 21st death remains inconclusive, according to a statement released December 30th by the Los Angeles county coroner's office following an autopsy and extensive toxicology tests. Though Smith's death was initially and uniformly assumed to be a suicide, coroner's spokesman David Campbell said that the singer's injuries "could have been inflicted by the decedent himself or by another person. The coroner was unable to determine which occurred... due to incomplete knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the death."

Among the new items of information in the coroner's report, Smith died due to two "penetrating stab wounds" to the chest, contradicting earlier reports that he had suffered only a single, fatal wound. The case was initially reported to the Los Angeles Police Department as an "attempted suicide," but an LAPD spokesman said that detectives would reinvestigate the case following the autopsy report. According to a web exclusive published by the L.A. Weekly, the coroner also found prescribed levels of antidepressant and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder medications in Smith's system, including clonazepam, mirtazapine, atomozetine and amphetamine (though the report is clear that the last item is a byproduct of Smith's body having metabolized other drugs). The coroner's spokesman also noted that toxicology reports found no alcohol or illegal substances in Smith's system.

In an October L.A. Weekly report, journalist Christine Pelisek disclosed that Smith's girlfriend, Jennifer Chiba, was reportedly in another room at the time of the incident and, upon discovering the singer, removed a steak knife from Smith's chest. The Weekly also reported that LAPD homicide investigators took a Post-It note found at the scene as evidence.

Producer Larry Crane, whose Portland studio Smith helped to construct, reported on his Tape Op message board that he had made plans to help mix Smith's still-unfinished album in mid-November, only to be informed of the singer's death a week later. "I hadn't talked to Elliott in over a year," Crane wrote in October. "His girlfriend Jennifer called me last week and asked if I'd like to come to L.A. and help mix and finish [Smith's album]. I said yes, or course, and chatted with Elliott for the first time in ages... It seems surreal that he would call me to finish an album and then a week later kill himself. I talked to Jennifer this morning, who was obviously shattered and in tears, and she said, 'I don't understand, he was so healthy.'"

Smith's official website, Sweet Adeline, recently reported on the progress the singer had made on his unfinished album, including three tracks Smith completed just one week before his death-- "Memory Lane," "Stickman," and "King's Crossing." The last of these, an older song which dates back to at least 1999, reads almost like a suicide note in and of itself, with lines like "I can't prepare for death any more than I already have" and a reference to his recording career as "the method acting that pays my bills." The site also posted three images of Smith in the studio, reportedly taken in the week before the singer's death.

"There [are] tons of songs that only need to be mixed or just need one more track of vocals or bass or keyboards," webmaster Charlie Ramirez reported in late November. As previously reported, Smith's unreleased recordings are now the property of the singer's family, who will decide when and if the recordings are released.

Last month, memorial benefits were held in Nashville, Boston, Baltimore, and Grand Rapids, MI with proceeds benefiting the Elliott Smith Memorial Fund, a charity fund for abused children. Smith's friend and recording partner, Mary Lou Lord, helped organize the Boston event.
Old 01-06-04, 11:02 AM
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" think it was self-inflicted. I just like to hope it was an unintentional suicide. I can't imagine anyone killing themselves with a stab to the chest. Not only would it be insanely painful, but it would be less-than-guaranteed if someone actually wanted to die."

Not to be nit picky but that is one strange statement. What is an unintentional suicide? Is not suicide self inflicted. If not would it not be considered murder? If one were to weild a knife straight into one chest is that not a attempt to take one's life or am I missing something? Out of the different ways one could use to kill themselves I would say a knife to the chest is certainly a good one. Especially if you can do it twice. Most people do not die when they slit their wrists. It is an attempt at suicide but it just takes too long to bleed from those vains. At least that is what I have read or been told. In fact a girl I knew from high school attempted by slitting her wrists.

It is very sad when one get's to the point of taking one's own life.
Old 01-07-04, 11:06 AM
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I hope someone murdered him. Just so that the shame of suicide would be off of him.
Old 01-07-04, 11:37 AM
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Reread his earlier post to understand what he means by unintentional suicide. Kinda like the actor that killed himself by joking around and playing russian roulette with a prop gun that had a projectile in the barrell. He is saying he stabbed himself just to see what would happen, or just to do it, no intention of actually killing himself. Think of the car scene in Fight Club.
Old 01-07-04, 12:06 PM
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Originally posted by C_Fletch
" think it was self-inflicted. I just like to hope it was an unintentional suicide. I can't imagine anyone killing themselves with a stab to the chest. Not only would it be insanely painful, but it would be less-than-guaranteed if someone actually wanted to die."

Not to be nit picky but that is one strange statement. What is an unintentional suicide? Is not suicide self inflicted. If not would it not be considered murder? If one were to weild a knife straight into one chest is that not a attempt to take one's life or am I missing something? Out of the different ways one could use to kill themselves I would say a knife to the chest is certainly a good one. Especially if you can do it twice. Most people do not die when they slit their wrists. It is an attempt at suicide but it just takes too long to bleed from those vains. At least that is what I have read or been told. In fact a girl I knew from high school attempted by slitting her wrists.

It is very sad when one get's to the point of taking one's own life.
Cusm:

Thanks for responding to this statement for me. Just because it was a self-inflicted wound doesn't meant that he thought beforehand "I'm doing this because I want to die." Given Elliott's past history of doing things "just to see what would happen next," I don't think this was such a strange statement at all.

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