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A Testimony Of A Neighbor Who Was Living On Lemoyne Street

Elliott Smith


We have to rely on Jennifer Chiba’s narrative (found in the police report and in Schultz’s biography, ‘Torment Saint’) to learn about the events of October 21st 2003. However, the drama occurred in the middle of the day, in plain daylight, and in a very populated neighborhood. The 911 call was placed at 12:18 pm, Elliott was carried away by an ambulance then admitted to the hospital at 1:10 pm (according to the police report), and I have always wondered why more witnesses haven’t spoken about what they saw. I imagine that the sirens of the ambulance, followed by the police arriving shortly after, must have alerted many neighbors. Lemoyne is a very narrow street going uphill in Echo Park, and the houses are very close to each other.

Recently, a neighbor talked to me about what she saw on that tragic day, and she revealed intriguing details: After they wheeled Elliott up the driveway – Elliott, who according to this neighbor, looked lifeless – Chiba came out. The neighbor initially thought that he had overdosed, then she saw all the blood-soaked gauzes on his chest, and realized it was something else. She remembers one intriguing detail: Chiba had a blanket wrapped around her when she came out of the house. Why a blanket? I clearly remember that day, it was a very hot day and the temperatures were in the 90ºF – you can even look at historical data and find that there were many wild fires around Los Angeles – so why did she need a blanket to go outside?

We can speculate that she had to clean herself from all the blood, she might even have taken the time to shower? But in a case of emergency, would it be a priority? Why didn’t she jump in the ambulance with Elliott when he was clearly dying?

Although the neighbor didn’t witness the events that led to the drama, she also said she heard yelling the night before, and we can speculate that Elliott and Jennifer Chiba were already arguing a long time before the incident.

Another important point she also heard from other neighbors is that Chiba locked herself in the bathroom for a very long time after Elliott was transported to the hospital. It was so dramatic that firemen and cops were knocking on neighbors’ doors to see if anyone knew her and could convince her to get out of the restroom. Finally, one neighbor agreed and eventually convinced Chiba to come out of the house, then they all walked out and the neighbor saw that Chiba had a blanket draped over her shoulders. However, nobody has any idea why it took Chiba so long (hours?) to come out of the bathroom.

It is very strange this episode of the narration doesn’t figure anywhere but this is what I was told by this person, who witnessed these events first hand. She also told me she talked to Elliott the day before and he was as sweet as usual…


  1. torpedo on December 1, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    Anyone who has been in any kind of physically traumatic event knows that it is extremely common for the body to respond to such events with SHOCK, a primary symptom of which is shivering and extreme cold. This is why first responders always give blankets to people in the wake of disasters and accidents, etc.

    This is not a clue and, frankly, hinting suspicion toward and nefarious intent of standard medical practices, procedures that anyone who has been in serious car accident, a fire, etc. or the victim of a violent crime is aware of, creates fissures in your credibility. Even if you have been lucky enough to avoid ever being treated by paramedics, this is something you could have looked up easily.

    • Alyson on December 2, 2019 at 11:05 am

      She was not the one who got injured, and I remember clearly, there was a heatwave that day, the temperatures were in the 90ºF, it happened at the hottest moment of the day, I doubt she needed a blanket. Plus, there were several articles reporting she had been taken a shower at one point. this is not in the police report, but the shower was reported in several articles (most of them are gone now) like this one:

      Smith’s Girlfriend Speaks…
      by Marty Dodge
      The girlfriend of singer songwriter Elliott Smith has spoken out over as-yet-only-implied allegations that she may have been responsible for her partner’s tragic death last year. As previously reported, it was assumed depressive Smith had committed suicide last October. His girlfriend Jennifer Chiba, who discovered the body, reportedly told friends that less than an hour before his death Smith had threatened to kill himself. Used to melodramatic threats from her boyfriend Chiba ignored his remarks and took a shower – only to discover later he had stabbed himself.

  2. JMJ on December 2, 2021 at 11:21 pm

    Thank you for your diligence. I’m looking forward to reading your book. I won’t make accusations, obviously, but I have a lot of questions about the events, and also how Chiba conducted herself in the weeks and months that followed. It has never felt even close to being resolved for me. So hard to watch everyone just accept it at face value, based on his bleak scope. As I’m sure you know, Elliott had a light inside him, and was of amazing humor. Not saying suicide is an impossibility, but it’s just too easy to assume it.

    • Alyson on December 5, 2021 at 1:19 pm

      Thank you for your comment. I really hope that more and more people become aware of the suspicious circumstances around his death and begin to question her actions. Suicide was not impossible but details matter and this type of suicide (considering many forensic details) is far less probable than what the majority of people think.

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