Skip to content

Musician Lou Barlow Shares His Opinion On Elliott Smith’s Death

Elliott Smith and Lou Barlow

Elliott Smith and Lou Barlow (courtesy Spin magazine)


It seems that more and more people have decided to answer my messages about Elliott Smith’s death, and if there are still many unanswered requests, I got a new reply from musician Lou Barlow over the weekend. Barlow was a friend of Elliott, he was even photographed with him at his last birthday party.

I asked Lou Barlow the same question I asked every person when I get the occasion, what does he think about Elliott’s death and the mysterious circumstances surrounding it, first without explaining too much, but still presenting what I am trying to do. He first wrote the following:

‘his bio-dad contacted me and we had coffee and he asked me the same question.. my answer, I do think he’d b capable of stabbing himself because he seemed deeply self-destructive and angry..he also went cold-turkey after years of hardcore drug abuse.. if u are bent on going after Jenn suffice t say she gained nothing from his death and has suffered greatly already’

The last sentence didn’t really look like a good start for a friendly conversation, but I decided to explain more. I shared with him the opinion of forensic experts I had talked to, Elliott’s sternum injuries very rare in case of suicide by stabbing, Chiba’s removal of the knife and her refusal to talk to the police, and also the fact she sued the family, just to compensate his take on her having nothing to gain from his death.

Lou Barlow didn’t take it too well, and this is what he replied:

‘if th cops dropped it then I’m not sure what pursuing it further on the behalf of Elliott does..his father was looking for closure and had a tremendously painful relationship w his son .. I don’t know what you want t achieve ..justice for a guy who pretty much spent most of his life trying t hurt himself, or, let’s be honest, kill himself.. openly .. I dunno .. it’s v sad and if u r mounting a campaign t drag Jen t jail I would suggest there might b better things t do w yr time.’

It bothers me greatly that his friends are not even informed (or refused to be?) about the case. As homicide detective King clearly told me in an email (that you can read here), the police didn’t drop the case, and the case remains open indefinitely. I also found his sentence ‘if u r mounting a campaign t drag Jen t jail’ quite bizarre for several reasons. How could I drag her in jail if she is truly as innocent as he believes? I don’t have this power. I replied to him I was not ‘mounting a campaign’ since the police themselves never closed the case, but he may be done with me? We shall see.


  1. NotAspy on October 20, 2019 at 11:33 pm

    I didn’t think Americans were capable of critical-thinking skills anymore. Good job

    The whole thing is suspicious. Why do we believe that his girlfriend is the only one capable of doing this? Go to your neighbors house, Stan him or her, and then refuse to answer any questions. See how that goes. No, you’d be on your way to jail I do believe.

    Didn’t she immediately try to leave the country with large sums of cash too? If he really did Stan himself then why did she remove the knife? I used to believe Kurt killed himself too.

  2. Maria D'Angelo on January 14, 2020 at 7:32 pm

    I’m surprised at lou barlow’s reply but, who knows people get really shitty to people when they find out the extent of their illness. Maybe they weren’t friends anymore because of the way he talks about him it makes me think they werent. Someone who suffers from the disease of addiction and mental health disorders on top of it should be described by friends and family as ill, or sick. Not a waste of time because they spent their whole life trying to kill themselves as he said. What an awful thing to say about someone who’s music has done so much for the mental health and drug addiction community, both by speaking honestly about it and by its soothing sounds. Elliot is still talked about even now. I think Lou Barlow wishes people besides indie geeks like us even know who Lou Barlow is lol kidding ! But seriously thanks for keeping this in the media at least because I wasn’t aware that the police still have the case open. I played with elliott a few times way in my early 20s and he wasn’t miserable or a hard to he around. Rather he was funny and talented as he’ll and for someone so talented he was incredibly humble in all affairs. Someone like Lou Barlow (who is the total opposite) has couldn’t come close to touching so many. I agree with the comment above. Americans have lost the ability to do any sort of critical thinking and examine facts. Especially in a time where ” facts ” are being made up and nobody cares enough to do the research so if it’s quoted enough it’s true. And just because he was an addict with depression doesn’t mean nobody should look into what truly happened. Who takes a shower while their boyfriend is stabbing themselves? Give me a break ? If he didn’t kill himself while he was detoxing or with something easier like pills or idk…..HEROIN , then I doubt he would choose multiple stabs to the chest. Nobody would. Anyway thanks for your work on this.

  3. Roger on November 22, 2021 at 8:51 pm

    Lou Barlow is widely considered to be a prick. This is just more evidence to support it.

Leave a Comment


Support Let Me Help Inc by shopping at

Substance Festival At The Belasco, Sunday November 28th 2021

By Alyson Camus | December 2, 2021 |

an immersive sonic experience

Loïc Gouzer: Particle – Making Fine Art Accessible to All

By Eileen Shapiro | December 1, 2021 |

Particle is on a mission to revolutionize the fine art industry and every work acquired by the company will be included in the “Particle Foundation,” a nonprofit that will maintain, display, and tour the collection on behalf of the community.

Luke Combs’ What You See Is What You Get Tour At Madison Square Garden, Tuesday, November 30th, 2021, Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | December 1, 2021 |

lives and dies with his songs

Brief Encounters: New Album Releases 11-26-21 – 12-2-21

By Iman Lababedi | December 1, 2021 |

an immaculate collection

Live Review: Randy Edelman “A Life In 80 Minutes” @ Chelsea Table & Stage in NYC, Nov.27, 2021 By Harley Rain

By admin | November 30, 2021 |

Live Review: Randy Edelman “A Life In 80 Minutes” @ Chelsea Table & Stage in NYC, Nov.27, 2021

US Top 10 Singles Dated December 4th, 2021

By Iman Lababedi | November 30, 2021 |

proven itself a follow up to “Hello”

Suzanne Vega At City Winery, Saturday, November 27th, 2021, Reviewed

By Ken Davis | November 30, 2021 |

Her perceptive songwriting is complemented by her idiosyncratic guitar playing and distinctive vibrato-less voice

Substance Festival At The Belasco, Saturday November 27th 2021

By Alyson Camus | November 30, 2021 |

the goths have the best dancefloors

US Top 10 Albums Dated December 4th, 2021

By Iman Lababedi | November 29, 2021 |

album sales comprise 692,000

Peter Jackson’s “Get Back” Addendum Plus A List Of Every Song Performed

By Iman Lababedi | November 29, 2021 |

back in the studio in January 1969, three months after they had nailed down 30 songs for The White Album

Scroll To Top