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The Police Investigation Into Elliott Smith’s Death Is Still An Open Case, Definitively An Open Case

A few days ago, this link of the Los Angeles Coroner was brought to my attention:

On the page, it says that Steven Smith’s case (better known as Elliott Smith) is closed with a manner of death still undetermined. I was very surprised to read this since the LAPD detectives have always told me the case was open, and this very recently as my last email communication with detective King dated from July. At the time, he never alluded to the fact that they had to close the case suddenly. Furthermore, the name of detective Wilson is also listed on the Coroner page, whereas I have always talked to detectives PJ Morris (now retired) and J. King.

When I called the number at the bottom of this page, a person told me the case had been closed for years, which was obviously in complete contradiction with what the detectives had been telling me for years.

A few days ago, I sent an email to detective King, and if he didn’t answer immediately because he was out of office, he kindly took the time to answer today. Here is his answer:

‘My apologies for the delay, but I’m out of the office until Nov 1. I looked at the Coroner link you sent. As far as the Coroner case being “closed,” that has nothing to do with the police investigation. The police case remains open. As always, feel free to call or email me if you have any questions or concerns. I’ll be more than happy to answer what I can.

As far as Det Ed Wilson, he was the night watch detective at the Northeastern station but has never been involved in this investigation. In fact, he retired a few years back.

I hope this adequately addresses your concerns. Take care.


Los Angeles Police Department

Robbery-Homicide Division (RHD) Homicide Special Section

100 W First Street (Fifth Floor)

Los Angeles, CA 90012’


So we have the answers to this mystery, despite what the Coroner page says, the police investigation is still open, and may stay keep this open status forever unless new information surface, as detective King told me once on the phone.

Knowing whether the case is closed or open is very important since the LAPD has the right to retain information as long as the case stays open. Elliott’s family even tried to get information from the police through the Freedom of Information Act, even with the help of their attorney and were unsuccessful, so a closed status for the case would be a major step into our access to some documents.


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