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Why is the Elliott Smith's mystery a dead end?


Is the Elliott Smith’s mystery as dead as he is? Have we exhausted everything that could have been done about this story? We have interviewed the coroner, revealed all the inconsistencies and discrepancies about the case, had all the pertinent questions about girlfriend Jennifer Chiba’s weird behavior, exposed the obvious bias of Gil Reyes’ documentary, and even tried (and failed) to obtain the files that the police doesn’t want to show, even to the family.

And nothing came out of all this, nobody seems to care, it is a dead end. Even important characters in this story, like Elliott Smith’s previous girlfriend, Valerie Deerin, are totally invisible and cannot be found.


In 2004, the NY Times published an article entitled ‘Elliott Smith’s Uneasy Afterlife’, and although it was about his musical legacy, Elliott’s afterlife has never been so uneasy. How many articles do I read which are mentioning his death? A lot! I should say all the articles about Elliott Smith mention his death.The authors talk about ‘murder or suicide’ in the best-case scenario…. Sometimes they are not even bothering to talk about the uncertainty about Elliott's sad fate, may be they are not aware of it. Does it matter? I think so, but I may be one of the few.


Nevertheless, I regularly stumble on people’s thoughts in the darkest corners of the internet, observations from people sharing my concern and asking the right questions, like for example this MD from Portland who wrote that ‘the pattern of knife wounds on both palms and his upper R arm writes itself as "defensive". Two smooth penetrations of the chest wall in the absence of hesitation marks is suspicious if not damning. If this was a suicide, it was a technical first. It broke my heart.’


Or this, only signed ‘bowieluva’, posted on some random website:

‘That said, from what I was told by a girl who lived next door to him: he and his girlfriend were having a HUGE screaming fight. She was a total opossum drug addict that dragged him back to heroin after he was finally getting clean and sober and making new albums/music again. My friend and her husband called the cops because it sounded like it was getting violent. When the cops arrived, Elliot had the knife in his chest. They took him to the ER and he repeatedly reiterated that he had done it himself and not to arrest his girlfriend. She claimed that they'd been fighting, she'd left the room, and when she came back, he had stabbed himself.’


Or this opinion from famous author Alix Strauss:I was shocked at some of the mishaps in terms of forensics, autopsies, police reporting — so many mistakes. Mark Rothko’s and Elliott Smith’s names were misspelled on police reports. And there were no hesitation marks on Elliott Smith’s chest when he stabbed himself. He didn’t pull his clothing away, as the norm would be if you were going to stab yourself. The Post-It his girlfriend found seemed like an afterthought. I didn’t read anything that said that they had the handwriting analyzed, as they did with Kurt Cobain. Look at DJ AM, which could be a clear accidental overdose, but you never really know. I think sometimes we’re very quick, because we’re such a celebrity-culture, whoreish nation. We’re very quick to make these assumptions.’


I could go on forever, I found tons of these, and I am not crazy, if some people had come forward we would know more by now. It is clear that many people, famous or anonymous, expert or not, are asking the right questions, so why is this story a dead end?

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