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A Question Mark: An Upcoming Book About Elliott Smith’s Mysterious Death

A question mark
A Question Mark

After years of research and articles posted on Rock NYC (all gathered on this website for practical reasons), I will finally publish a book about Elliott Smith’s death. ‘A Question Mark: An investigation into the mysterious death of Elliott Smith’ will be published by Genius Books in October.

There are still many inaccuracies floating around the internet about this story, and, too often, you will stumble on articles mentioning Elliott Smith’s ‘suicide’ without even considering that the determination has never been made by the police. Too many people are not aware that the case is still open today, and the term conspiracy theory has often been lazily thrown around by uninformed people. An undetermined death and an open case imply that the authorities could not determine whether it was a suicide or a homicide.

Elliott Smith’s death is not even a cold case. When I asked LAPD homicide detective J. King to explain what the difference between a cold and an open case is, he answered the following: 

‘This case is not technically a “cold case” because that term (as we use it at the Robbery-Homicide Department) refers to an unsolved murder in which all leads have been exhausted. Elliott’s case is an “undetermined” death investigation that will remain open until south time as a definitive conclusion (i.e. homicide, suicide, accident, etc.) is reached by the police.’

‘All leads have been exhausted.’ If you follow his reasoning, all leads have not been exhausted in Elliott’s case, and this means that factual research is not only completely appropriate but also necessary. This is what the book is about, it is an honest quest for the truth which started shortly after October 21, 2003, the day Elliott died.

Nothing can be completely objective, and that’s why the story is told from my perspective, Alyson Camus’s perspective, who was around the scene at the time of Elliott’s death. The book gathers the most complete research to date, including plenty of testimonies (from friends, acquaintances, neighbors) and the opinions of forensic experts. The intention was not to point the finger at someone, but rather to question a story pushed by books and documentaries, a story that has been too quickly accepted without any scrutiny. The goal was not to solve a case that has been open for close to 18 years – although it would be nice to finally have closure 18 years later – but rather to balance the suicide story of a doomed troubadour/tortured artist propagated by the media, whereas the authorities, including coroner and police, never determined it was the case. 

The book will be available on October 22nd. If you are interested in receiving information regarding the pre-order of the book ‘A Question Mark: An investigation into the mysterious death of Elliott Smith,’ click on the link below and leave your email address. Thank you!



  1. YrLic on October 12, 2021 at 6:50 pm

    I’ve been waiting a long time for this!
    Alyson’s reporting excellence and dedication to the subject will make this impossible to put down.

    • Alyson on October 13, 2021 at 11:26 am

      Thank you so much!

  2. Lizz on May 30, 2022 at 9:37 am

    Great book!!!!

    • Alyson on May 31, 2022 at 6:39 pm

      Thank you!

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