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Smith’s Girlfriend Speaks…

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CMU reports: ELLIOT SMITH’S GIRLFRIEND SPEAKS OUT OVER MURDER ALLEGATIONS

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.

However last week a coroner in US said police had not supplied sufficient evidence for him to conclusively conclude Smith’s death was, in fact, suicide. A copy of the coroner’s report surfaced on the Smoking Gun website on Thursday revealing various pieces of evidence that may suggest the singer’s death was a case murder or manslaughter – and if that’s the case Chiba is now suspect number one.

Among that evidence are small lacerations on Smith’s palms which could have

been caused as the singer tried to defend himself against an attacker. The
medical examiner has also questioned why Smith’s girlfriend removed the knife on finding the body, and questions her “subsequent refusal to speak with detectives”. Following the Coroner’s report last week police have said they will reopen their investigations into Smith’s death.

Speaking to journalists on Friday, Chiba said that although she had not been charged or questioned over these allegations, she felt that she was now a suspect in the court of public opinion. She continued: “Up until now I’ve chosen to remain silent because I want to maintain some sense of privacy for Elliott and his family and myself in this really difficult time. But I want people to know that I’m not keeping quiet because I have anything to hide. If I was a suspect, I would have heard from the investigators, for one thing. Another is that his sister and his parents and everyone close to him knows the truth, so I’m not worried about it.”

Adding that she objected in particular to the accusation there has been a “refusal to speak with detectives” she said: “The media are just looking for some sort of sensationalistic angle that will sell their publications. In my mind, there’s no question to what happened and there’s no need to put that kind of spin on it”.

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About Marty Dodge

  • ribbet

    I think she is probably lying. it is impossible for someone to stab themselves twice in the heart. why else would she pull the knife out. maybe she can go hang out with courtney love on psycobitch island and then we can all forget about the bitches our musical heroes get involved with… i mean sid vicous had it right, the groupie is supposed to die first not the rockstar…. never trust portland chicks.. they are some scandelous hoes.

  • http://prix.go.to lev six

    This [Deleted] killed him. Period, end of story. Even someone with no forensics or medical knowledge can read the facts and see a serious series of mishandled events. She’s a murderer. [Deleted] Just another case of a gifted man being brought down [Deleted]

  • http://www.templestark.com/blog Temple Stark

    lev six – you seem to be either very angry or emotionally stunted or both. Chill it on the hate of women – you aren’t doing anyone any favors. Neither is the girlfriend here, but that’s obvious without your invective.

    And you claim to be the professional at Prix Media?

  • http://www.templestark.com/blog Temple Stark

    I’m sorry, scratch the last sentence above. Prix Media is just an ambulance chaser Web site.

  • Pat

    Why would Elliott spell his name Elliot
    in a suicide note ?

  • http://prix.go.to Lev Six

    “Ambulance chaser” website? So, people that produce music albums and freelance writing are ambulance chasers? Do you even know that term means? You don’t understand how uneducated and lost you sound by posting blatant lies. Anyone with an internet browser can see that it’s a real site, which by the way has gotten more press and reknown than you and your entire [Deleted] tree will get in ten lifetimes. Jealous much? You clearly haven’t studied the autopsy report. Secondly, the language I use or do not use does not effect reality. Take your puritanical bullshit to a P.C. gathering. “Ambulance chaser?” [Deleted] It’s a record label and freelance writing site, [Deleted] Last time I checked, people write their names correctly on suicide notes and don’t have defensive slashes on their arms. Give it a rest, and focus at the issue at hand, rather than lying about the contents of my url and becoming fixated on the usage of the word [Deleted] If you’ve ever had a loved one murdered or victimized by violence, maybe you’ll understand why it evokes emotion — particularly when the investigation was botched and it’s full of holes and lies. Now, try focusing on the technical issues rather than diverting attention with your poorly written deceit.

  • Jonny

    Elliot Smith would not kill himself, at least i hope not…good man till the end

  • Tool Chaser

    I’d think she took the knife out because it’s a pretty freaky sight to see someone lying there with a knife in his chest.

    Nobody knows what happened except her and him so accept it.

    [Deleted]

  • hanzanedoo

    i think it’s horrible to assume that she killed him just based of the newspaper articles we read. what happened to elliot was terrible, but given his history of drug addiction and depression it is not hard to assume that he did indeed inflict his own wounds. how do you stab yourself twice in the heart? you don’t die immediately, in fact according to reports elliot didn’t die until an hour after the ambulance came. and, the fact that an ambulance was called while elliot was alive is in jennifer’s favor.
    i don’t know what happened, but i think calling her a [Deleted] is horrible, and judgemental.
    but then, i’m in teh innocent until proven guilty boat.

  • Jen

    Um, and he DIDN’t spell his name “elliot” on the suicide note, Pat. If you paid attention at all to this story, the coroner’s office ADMitted to the typo in their report that the note said “elliot” – it was their typo, which means the note really said “elliott” . sheesh.

  • http://prix.go.to lev six

    I am such a tool that I have an IQ that is higher than anyone in your genetically misfired tree over the past thousand years. “Tool” is such a creative term. Where did you get that one? I think the last time I heard that was from fraternity sweatshirt wearing kettle assed mongrels.

    Are you an art major?

    Unlike you and the vast majority of the population, I have been deeply immersed in music and its peripheral bullshit for many years. What I have stated is based upon sound science and fact. I really appreciate your armchair warrior stance, but really, you’re a prime example of a mindless kook that likes to puff out their textual chest at any given opportunity. I have accomplished more in ten years than your entire family tree. Yes, I can guarantee that fact, simpleton. Just leave your album title or any other pertinent information within your brilliant comment. Get a clue.

    Go find a little Laqueesha, settle down and make yourself happy, [Deleted] I[Deleted]

    How do I know this?

    I performed in the same circles as him for many years, [Deleted] Hit me up directly, brain surgeon, before you spout off further and make yourself look even more brilliant than you already are.

    [Deleted]

  • http://blog.myspace.com/songwrytr99 OraMarr

    Hey, everyone. I’m not looking to get into the ongoing war, just wanted to offer a celebratory blog on Mr. Smith’s life. Check out the tribute blog and hopefully we can remember the positives in dudeman’s life. Because quite frankly, no matter how confusing or uncertain his death was, the guy’s music was bigger than this, agreed? And so we should be. Just my thoughts, take them for what they are.
    Rich

  • Pat

    This is in response to JEN. I paid attention to several sources where it was quoted that the name was spelled wrong. If you have something to add and clarify that is fine and good, that what a forum like this is for. Making a comment about my paying attention is out of place. So take your sheesh and double it. Is your last name Chiba or something?

  • spencer

    he did it. i know he did. she would never do that.

  • feline

    I personally do think this was a murder, and that Jennifer Chiba is the number one suspect. But all this talk of “bloodsucking bitches who get involved with gifted men”?? OK. It does seem like that in pop culture. But permit me to make this argument: Maybe if females weren’t encouraged to be no more than groupies and accessories to “gifted men” and were instead encouraged to develop their musical/artistic gifts themselves, they wouldn’t become “psychobitches” whose jealousy and/or low self esteem and/or pathetic groupie-ness CAUSES them to bloodsuck the “gifted male”??

    Being female is hell, but there is a way out: Live like a person, not like a gender.

  • emily

    its so saddening, he died alone with no one to comfort him.. in a way i almost hope it was a murder because i hate to imagine his state of mind he was in and how lonely i know he was– what a last resort, it’s one of the most painful ways you can go out. but it doesn’t make sense to say that he killed himself when he was a. clean b. he had defensive lacerations on his hands and arms. c. the wounds were straight and precise, both of them. if you stab yourself once, and then take the knife out and stab yourself again, it wouldn’t be precise; you would be weak and very unsteady. so i believe someone killed him.. but i could never point a finger at someone because what a raw feeling it would be to end up punishing someone for a crime they never committed (falsely accused of). but i can see how if jennifer did kill him, she would panic and call an ambulance and it is a perfect way to cover up finger prints on the knife by saying that you pulled the knife out that he injected on his own.

  • carol

    lev six i think that you are a joke. because i think you just like gossip why would jen do that [Deleted]

  • Plainclothes

    You guys should really chill. In the end, all we know for sure is that Elliott died from a knife wound. No one can say what the hell happened.
    As for blaming Jennifer Chiba, who knows? If she did do it, why’d she do it?
    And there isn’t enough evidence to even prove she did it.

    Just leave him alone. You guys are just producing more angst for Elliott’s fans and family members.
    And you same people who are bashing and insist that Jennifer did it are probably the same people who led to the suicide/murder.

    The media’s idiot responses tend to drive celebrities/artists’ deaths quicker.
    Thank you all, so much, for killing off one of the most beautiful and truthful artists we had.
    [Deleted]

  • fumanchu

    off course both Cobain and Smith did it themselves. How can you explain the “defensive wounds” ? Smith was a man, not so slim and weak, and if you suppose the girl had attacked him, how can you imagine that he’d been unable to stop her ? Total nonsense.

  • Bloodspeaker

    I sat with Elliot after a show he did here in seattle some years back. He played with Grandaddy. We sat for over an hour just chatting about life, music, and Portland. The one thing that was very clear was that he had a lot of sadness in his life. Now I in no way intend to intimate that an hour or so is enough to get a handle on this mans mind, but everyone is familiar with his drug use. We all know about the depression. it is possible that Elliott cared more for making it all go away then whether or not we would feel robbed of his gift. if she did it she will rot in hell for this heinous act. If he did it it was his choice and he doesnt owe anyone an explanation for it. I guess my question is why all the anger from the fans? We all were allowed a glimpse into something beautiful. That never lasts forever. Thank whoever you believe in that we atleast got that and chill.

  • http://prix.go.to LEV SIX

    I am a “bitch”. You are very eloquent. I can tell that you are an English major. I am playing the devil’s advocate. I think that people are too ready to discount one story or another. It is important to keep the dead man’s side alive, even if it is unlikely. The vast majority of you have not done your homework, but I’d expect nothing less from internet warriors. Write me directly, please, and approach it with a scientific and logical intention. Otherwise, keep on throwing slander toward blog commentary pages. You’re well suited for it! For the simpleton that felt the need to throw Cobain into the mix…HA HA HA! I know more than you ever will about his case. I have no desire to prove myself so why would I post it to “xxtotalxxhardcorexx”?? It’s a private ordeal. My informed OPINION is that I think Elliot was stabbed by someone other than himself. That is my opinion. I am sorry that it evokes such homicidal anger within you. [Deleted in line with BlogCritics Comments Policy. Comments Editor]

  • http://prix.go.to Lev Six

    So this site isn’t about free speech? Why do I constantly have sentences deleted here? I am sure they will delete this too. I strongly recommend that people avoid this forum as you will be censored. I was attacked repeatedly but if you can read and look above those sentences remain. What gives? It’s a double standard. It is the reason why I will never, ever come to this site again and why I will influence thousands and thousands of people to never use this site.

    When’s the book burning festival?

    If any of you simpletons looked at the autopsy there were DEFENSIVE WOUNDS on his forearms. How does that occur? [Deleted] Ok, see you all later…the IQ level here is very intimidating.

    Lev Six

    LEV: On your next visit, take a moment to visit the Blogcritics Comments Policy, then you will understand why a certain amount of “refining” of this thread was done. NOBODY wants to prevent you making your opinion known, not at all, but we do like to try to maintain a focus on the subject not the vessel, OK? Comments Editor]

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    I don’t pretend to know squat about what happened, but I just wanted to say that people in a deep depression are sometimes fully capable of suicide even though others could never imagine they would be. But defensive wounds don’t sound good for the girlfriend either.

  • Stevie Wonderbread

    poor mr smith i r very not happy r u? this individual occurance is quite very sadness filled and oh how it affects other occurances.

    um wasn’t elliot smith a football guy? I didn’t know he played songs and sang music too at the same time?

    thats so impressive but i r very sadnesss filled from the occurance. k bi

  • nicola

    I don’t think they are ‘defensive wounds’ as it is widely known that Elliott self-harmed. Also how can people not believe that he would kill himself? Suicide is mentioned in his songs, he jumped off a cliff and has tried to overdose many times… it all points to suicide to me

  • njc

    lev six

    first off-see ya-wouldn’t want to be ya!

    secondly -and less importantly – you are a cliche

    finally – if you had any sense of smith, cobain, shit! howdy mo fo doody you’d just simply stop rattling on and let the rest of the world continue you on where the cliches left off a long long time ago

    be well
    rest in peace to all the sad souls in circulation

  • njc

    sorry-
    one more thing
    the slash marks”
    defensive wounds?

    how about our man elliot( elliott) was appareantly a “cutter”

    that said
    i do love his music
    he is in his own sad and twisted way a very inspiring soul (still-to this day-right freekin now)

    ciao

  • Kristi

    Either way, he’s gone and he left all of us a gift. We should be more concerned with his gift as an artist than his death as a human being. We know nothing beyond the gift he was willing to share.

  • Cole

    I agree with kristi, lets just celebrate what he brought to this world, not get caught in the politics

  • Pdog

    In Richmond VA the Harvey family was murdered by random strangers. That could have happened to Elliott. It could have been a botched murder-suicide. In the news it was said that Charlie Rockett cut his own throat. That is nearly impossible to believe unless drugs were involved. Even though Elliott was clean for a year the psychological role of addiction could still have been a factor. If Elliott’s girlfriend is lying she is a remarkable psychopath.

  • Shnitzel

    We all love and miss elliott, and if he could see us right now he’d probably be laughing his ass off with all the crazy ideas people get in their head. However eliott died, we should all celebrate the great music he gave us. =]
    r.i.p STEVE (ELLIOTT) SMITH
    “burning every bridge that I cross, to find some beautiful place to get lost” – Elliott Smith

  • Glad and smiling

    Who cares? His music was gay anyway

  • Elliott’s Mom (not Smith)

    I think he wanted her to do it to him. And she loved him so she did. He was miserable.

  • helas

    From what I’ve read, Jennifer Chiba stated that she found Elliott standing up with a knife in his chest, which might possibly explain why she would pull it out – she thought there was a chance he might survive. As for the cuts on his arms/hands, think about it. That alone does not prove anything. We don’t know if the cuts were ‘fresh’ or healed, which would make a big difference. One thing we do know for sure is that Elliott suffered through addictions and horrible depression for most of his life. While many close to him seemed to have felt he was making a recovery, it is very common for addiction and depression sufferers to have very intense relapses. Life without your previous crutches can be very hard, and very frightening, and without a strong support system, many fall down, and some never get back up.

  • Ronan McGrath

    I dont care if he killed himself or if Chiba killed him. I am sad that we will never get to hear him laugh on stage again, never hear his masterpiece…
    R.I.P. Elliott Smith

  • tonky

    you can all read the official autopsy report at smokinggun.
    the ‘refusal to speak with detectives’ is also mentioned in the police report.

  • Baker

    dude did you guys not listen to his music? he sounds so depressed i think he killed himself and it didnt suprise me, the last song he recorded was “King’s Crossing” and thats a great song, but it shows his suicidal nature man, i know a kid who was in the same situation with depression and drugs and shit, and he killed himself, thats just what that shit does to you man, and come on if youre boyfriend or girlfriend just died youre not going to want to talk to some stranger about it

  • cara

    I don’t know enough about this to say what I think definitively happened, but this does sound very much like a homicide situation. It’s kind of popular knowledge that whenever someone has something stuck in them, whether it be something as simply as a piece of lead in your arm or, in this case, a knife in your chest, it’s best to let a medical professional remove it. Especially in this situation, where, had she not pulled it out, then he actually may have had a better chance of surviving. Pulling an object out in such a fragile place of the body may have caused more bleeding and also damaged more arteries, blood vessels, tissues, etc. It looks like a homicide, to me, and that’s only furthered by her refusal to speak to detectives. But then again, I wasn’t there and I don’t know what happened definitively. Either way, it’s a tragedy that such a beautiful talent is gone. XO

  • Hoptoit

    Miss him terribly…

  • heythereimchristmas-y!

    Um, ok?? What the hell is that about? LOL!! (above)

    Anyway, Elliott Smith changed my life and it’s hard to listen to other music because everything else sounds so fake or contrived. He was the Dylan of our generation.

    I don’t know who to believe anymore. Apparently ‘white vans’ were following him around before his death and there was apparently strange things happening to Elliott before his death that only a very small group know about. Cast of Characters: Label Reps, Manager, Jennifer, Dreamworks etc…

    I read the other day that Kurt Cobain is the richest dead man alive! More than John Lennon and Elvis combined. It wouldn’t surprise me his death was planned for future revenue.

    Id hate this to be a fact, believe me..but he was a fucking genious, he will be missed in years to come.

    I love you with all my heart,
    Thanks for the memories and music

    LL

  • adams

    i didn’t read all these comments … but for those that are accusing jen … just stop. it’s obvious it was a suicide, it’s horrible and sad. leave it alone.

  • cantmakeasound

    [Edited]

    I think people should not give their opinion without being informed about the facts, it is absolutely ridiculous to conclude about his death whereas the coroner and police were not able to close the case!! and no, his lyrics cannot bring an answer.

    I had the privilege to meet him a couple of time, and the last time was about a month and half before his death.

    I don’t pretend to know what happened but I am absolutely not convinced it was a suicide, simply based on the facts: the method of suicide (very rare), TWO stab wounds, both fatal per se, the absence of hesitation marks, and the lacerations on his palms and under his right arm. The argument that Elliott was a cutter is just not valid, first of all because the coroner should have been able to make the difference between self-inflicted wounds and fresh lacerations, and also because the locations of these cuts do not make sense (under the right arm!!! and he was right handed). Then there is J. Chiba’s behavior who removed the knife, did not cooperate with the police, and went abroad after it happened.
    Again, I don’t know what happened but nobody should draw any conclusion based on feelings or lyrics,… Read the facts!

  • phillip western

    wow….what horrible things written on this forum.

    so much anger and vitriol.

    a sensitive person, like he was, would probably find humanity extremely depressing and upsetting. this forum provides a good example of what makes life unbearable for some people.

  • http://www.azenproductions.com Drew

    life is made up of catch-ups, we anger and pain over events that happen to us while trying to rationalize why they happend — all after the fact.

    The context of truth is much, much deeper than a who-dunnit case study. Where it lies exactly, I’m not sure. But the culmination of circumstances in his life, both ethereal and tangible, led up to this horrific end. Period. Fate drew it’s ugly hand.

    Remember, every mere turn we take in life, to the relationships we make, to the love we take and make, although unconcious as we are “in the act” of doing them, become, oh so significant in our act of death.

    Analogy to tragedy is like Chinese medicine – the art of prevention is key to good health.

  • SweetAdeline

    I don’t know how Chiba’s personality is, but I doubt she wanted to kill him (why would she do that? She wouldn’t get absolutely no profit of it, no money, no properties, no popularity…).

    At the worst, she might have found Elliott trying to stab himself and tried to avoid it, but he finally managed to stick the knife into his chest (and that’d explain why he got all those lacerations in the arms, etc.);
    AND ANYWAY
    Do you think we should be suspicious of her because apparently she tried to remove the knife of his chest? Of course she could have touched it for other reasons, but if it was my boyfriend I’d have tried to take out the knife too, no matter what it may look like later. One could think that doing that could save his life -or be less painful.

    If the police say they haven’t found enough evidence for incriminating her, you should think this may be for some reason.

    I still have doubts, but I think it was possible that he finally, and unexpectedly, got the courage to kill himself in a moment of despair, and his girlfriend arrived too late as she hadn’t realized he was serious that time. In that case, nobody is to blame.

  • Morgan

    I think it strange that so many people have no problem with the idea of a human plunging a knife into his heart; pulling it out, and plunging it back through the heart (and making a new hole next to the other one at that.)

    I’d like you to imagine (seriously) doing that to yourself – regardless if you were as depressed as he. Serioiusly …imagine it.

    If Chiba was taking a shower, it is entirely possible that someone came in the house and stabbed him. People do that sort of thing to celebrities; look at George Harrison for example.

    It’s also possible that she did it; but there is no proof. I can’t form a clear opinion on that one.

    It’s possible, but it’s a pretty nasty charge.

  • http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/news/46445-elliott-smiths-ex-girlfriend-denied-earnings smell the coffee

    something is very fishy…

    considering the direction of the stabs were atypical to those generally seen in cases of self inflicted stab wounds. also, there was no hesitation wound, inconsistent with that generally seen in those kinda cases.

    Most importantly, I have read that Chiba stated that they were having an argument.

    And what happens again and again when couples fight?…

    C’mon people…

    They very often physically HURT EACH OTHER!

    I think given the facts of the case she most likely stabbed him and then covered her tracks and
    the reason the police took no action is they know
    they HAVE TO PROVE IT, or have better than a 50% chance of proving it. This is very difficult given that the probable murderer is the only witness and the physical evidence is inconclusive at best.

    People keep stressing that he sang about suicide and was depressed BUT at least he was dealing with those feelings in his music and -with medication.

    She most likely stabbed him, or, in the .03% chance that the laws of physics and typical human relationships were suspended and he did do it,
    then she drove him, or partly drove him to do it, as it happened while they were fighting.

  • dan

    I love Elliott just as much as anyone in here , but I think some people’s love for Elliott blinds them to the fact that he did kill himself. If you ever read the book Elliott Smith and the Big Nothing you would know how uncomfortable he was in his own skin . He was obviously abusing drugs and alcohol because they helped cover up something deeper that he didn’t want to deal with or think about. When a person abuses drugs and alcohol for much of their life that feeling of restlessness remains even after a person has been sober for a year.

    It has also been noted he was taking perscription drugs at the time of his death. I am not sure what he was taking exactly, but there is proof that some Antidepressant drugs can actually cause a person to be more suicidal.

    On top of that it is right there in his music. In many songs he sings about how depressed he is and suicide. As far as the defense wounds goes,like others have already mentioned he was a cutter. Even if those wounds were fresh, who’s to say that he didn’t slice his arms to start off with , but that didn’t bring him relief or peace he was looking for so instead he decided to end all the pain in his life once and for all, something cutting couldn’t do.

  • Bridgetown

    Does anyone know what happened to him?, no probably not. I think it’s of course likely that she killed him but let us note that she is from Brooklyn not portland. Lay off, Portland is a place of magic.

  • http://www.twitter.com/braxto Braxton

    I just got introduced to this guy’s music by my wife. She told me that he stabbed himself in the chest and I was interested and started researching online. The story of the thing sounded fishy to me so when I googled “elliott smith homicide” I was brought to this page. After researching I’m convinced it was homicide.

    The main reason I don’t believe it was suicide is that I can’t imagine this guy stabbing himself twice in the heart. Maybe once, but after the sheer pain and reality of the stab wound set in, I can’t fathom anyone being able to pull the knife out and stab themselves again with full strength. Maybe if he was on some serious drugs, but according to the autopsy he was sober.

    What about the note? If I had to guess I would say that the guy probably talked about suicide all the time, and wrote the note but couldn’t go through with it. His girlfriend probably got sick of him always talking about it and never going through with it and finally just did it herself. Either that or he convinced her to do it.

    But this is probably bull too. We are all just playing the online edition of “Clue” here. No one knows what really happened except Jennifer Chiba.

    Whatever happened, it’s a shame the guy died so young. It seems to be a pretty commonplace tale. A young tortured genius artist,with the gift of being able to express the darkness, grief, and melancholy inside themselves and turn it into something beautiful…eventually succumbing to those same dark feelings once their art no longer provides relief.

    I am glad I found out about this guy’s music and look forward to listening to much more in the future.

    P.S. All the bickering, insulting, name-calling, and petty arguments on this page reflect the same callow, bitter, ugly world that leads people like Elliott into the depths of depression.

  • Bella

    After reading the official autopsy report on the Smoking Gun, I’m not inclined to make a decision either way. I believe it could’ve really gone either way. I can understand what Smith was going though, dealing with depression and heroin addiction myself. So knowing what that’s like, then add on top of that the rest of the trauma and pain he experienced in his life, it could make perfect sense to have killed himself. Being in that amount of emotional and physcological pain can bring someone to do obscure things.
    I could see where Jennifer could’ve done it, possibly as a mistake. Maybe she did it during the heat of the argument, not meaning to, but by then it was too late. As far as her removing the knife, people generally don’t think very cleary and panic in the midst of an emergency situation.
    So I’m personally not going to point any fingers. It’s done and over with. There’s no point to blame anyone at this point. I believe we should let his memory go in peace and be grateful for the time that we were blessed by such a beautiful soul. But all good things must come to an end, his was just too soon.
    In the end, the best we can do is honor him by continuing to enjoy his beautiful, transcendent music and to remember him in a positive light. Elliott Smith was a unique spirit and by far one in million. I will continue to explore his music and be grateful that a friend turned me on to it. We all miss him, but the one good thing is that he is no longer in any kind of pain. He is free. R.I.P., our sweet Elliott.

  • Samuel Winters

    “How can you explain the “defensive wounds” ? Smith was a man, not so slim and weak, and if you suppose the girl had attacked him, how can you imagine that he’d been unable to stop her ? Total nonsense.”
    Your best bet would be to ask the forensics expert with the pertinent education and experience who reached that conclusion. While I do not KNOW that he killed himself, that’s certainly something to consider.

  • Mark

    I’m an MD from PDX and have been thinking about this for years. He may have been a cutter. But 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. What a fragile china doll.

  • serendipity

    Mark, thank you for your input.

    I have been thinking about this for 6 years too, and I have gathered quite a few things, If you visit this place again and would like to talk about it, just let me know. I will check this again.

  • christian brother

    Serendipity, I have also been thinking of this for years,And i would like to hear what you have come up with….

  • serendipity

    Christian brother, I hope you’ll come back here
    First of al there are the forensic facts as previously described. If he really killed himself this is a weird statistics case (rare form of suicide, no hesitation wounds, stabbing through the clothes, two stabbing wounds both fatal, possible defensive wounds), then there is the strange behavior of his girlfriend: she was out of the country for a long time after it happened, she went to London, to Canada, Africa… her refusal to talk to the police has been reported in many articles.
    And that was her who pointed the post-it note/suicide note to the police, a little weird too (or very convenient?).
    This note is still kept by the police, even the family was not allowed to see it. I don’t know if they were able to determine if it was Elliott’s writing for sure.
    I also know J. Chiba said to someone there were two wounds. It was before the autopsy, I wonder how she knew that even if she removed the knife as she said… with all the blood? she even said to a person she thought Elliott was joking around with a fake knife. But she said many different stories before settling down with what is now reported.
    There are some rumors she called someone before calling 911, I was never able to verify this, but I heard it from two sources.
    She went to Elliott’s studio in the valley in the middle of the night, just two days after it happened. This does not mean anything but it is weird again. She was seen taking stuff with two guys in a jeep.

    She and another person were way too “happy” to say Elliott was a cutter to explain the possible defensive wounds. First of all the wounds he had (under his right arm, and he was right-handed, and on his left palm) are not consistent with self harm. Secondly, in the spin article, J Chiba and Peringer said he was cutting himself and had “tremendous wounds on his left arm”; it was in September, and he died in October. There is no trace of these wounds in the autopsy report.
    She was also very “happy” to give to the police some pages of Elliott’s personal journal, to show how depressed he was. I don’t deny Elliott’s problems but it is way to easy to say it was a suicide and ignore all the inconsistencies.
    She was also very inconsistent when talking about Elliott, she said to the police he was depressed but said to Larry Crane “I don’t understand, he was so healthy”
    Also I talked to the detective who is in charge of the case. He cannot talk about it of course (because it is still an open case, not a cold case) but he said to me they were not investigating the case as a suicide, whatever it means after 6 years of what it seems to be a very inactive investigation.
    At the end, Elliott and J Chiba were in the middle of a fight, they were fighting a lot, their relationship was described by Sean Organ (records) as a Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen thing. He said this before Elliott’s death and it is very unsettling when we know the story of Sid and Nancy.

  • old friend

    I’m sorry that this investigation was not properly handled, and after so many years, it’s unlikely that it will ever be solved. I knew Elliot pretty well, and met the girl in question only once. When I met her, she made up a false story concerning an old girlfriend of his, that happened to be at one of his Brooklyn shows a few months before he died. I attended the show with the old girlfriend, and afterward Miss Chiba refused to allow her backstage, accusing her of violently hitting her for no reason. This blatantly false story spurned an insane scene, and I felt terrible for Elliot for being caught in the middle of such nonsense. If she could lie about something so seemingly insignificant, there is good cause to believe that she lied regarding the circumstances of his death. There are just too many holes in her story. Her brazen attempt to sue his family for a portion of his estate only supports her questionable motives. It’s pretty difficult to stab yourself in the heart. It’s not a normal way to kill oneself. He wasn’t on any illegal drugs at the time, and I knew him to be pretty sane and rational when he wasn’t using. I only met Jennifer the one time, and she proved to be untrustworthy immediately. I will assert that I am certain that she was capable of lying, and I wish that she had been questioned more thoroughly. It seems to me that she got away with murder. Elliot was not always stable, he certainly did not seem suicidal the last time I saw him, only months before his untimely demise. If she didn’t do it, she knows what did happen (the shower story just doesn’t add up), and she is hiding something significant. I would attest to this at any time, as would the people who were present during her false allegations toward the girl that seemingly threatened her alpha position.

  • old friend

    After reading through some more of these comments, I would like to add a few afterthoughts on the subject. When I say I knew Elliot, I am not tossing the word “knew” around lightly. I knew him before he became famous, but only saw him about once every year or two after 1998. He was an intensely private person, and I think that most of his friends have guarded and respected his privacy to the extant that it’s no longer helpful to him in wake of this dysfunctional investigation. If more people had come forward after his death with public statements negating claims of suicide, perhaps the police would have had a little more to work with than the seemingly scant information they seem to have gathered from the few people in his inner circle. Elliot had burned a few bridges with some of his best friends, others didn’t know what to think, or what to do, and nobody was really prepared to go out on a limb to fight the reports. I think we were primarily too hurt and confused. He wasn’t close to his family, who ironically became his main beneficiaries, and they certainly didn’t have a clue as to what was really going on in his life.

    When I spoke to him shortly before his death, he was doing really well, and was happier than I’d seen him in years, and exhibited absolutely no signs that he was on the verge of killing himself. His history may have been rife with depression and drug use, yet we talked about the prescription drugs he was taking, comparing notes as I am no stranger to anti-depressants myself, and he proudly related to me that he was doing better than ever. He claimed to have found prescriptions that were working well for him, and he was happy with his decision to sober up. Aside from illegal drugs, he also shunned alcohol, and was staying away from spirits and beer. From all appearances, he was striving to maintain a substance free lifestyle, in order to work diligently on new music. It is my opinion that he would not have offed himself in the middle of an upcoming project unless he’d magically morphed into an entirely different person from the one I had ever known.

    I think anybody that was in touch with him around this time would say the same thing. His fame had naturally distanced a lot of people from him; at times he may have seemed inaccurately unapproachable, but in reality, he was always obliging to people from his past, while being quite shy and even uncomfortable with his elevated status. His friends were scattered around the country, and he didn’t have a large support network in LA, so there weren’t enough people to speak out against the claims of suicide when it happened so unexpectedly that October. Everyone was too stunned to act. I hope it’s not too late, should the investigation ever be opened up and pursued in the future.

    He was an amazing artist. There is no question about that, but I remember him mostly as an amazing friend, full of compassion, love, and as gentle as a any of his ballads. He is greatly missed.

  • serendipity

    Thank you x 1000 for talking so openly about your friend and what you think.
    I wish more people had talked, I don’t understand this silence since I know some people know stuff and are not talking.
    May be it is not too late, the detective who is in charge is Det. P.J. Morris (Northeast division in LA), he said to me the case was still open.
    From the report, I know that the knife that was collected by the police almost did not have any blood: it says “1/8 inch of dried blood” how is it possible after two deep stab wounds? My guess is that the knife was cleaned up and I don’t understand why this was not enough to investigate more.
    I talked to Elliott late August, after a show, and yes he was doing well as you are saying.
    I wish Valerie would say what she knows about Chiba

  • serendipity

    you may be interested to look at this group: Justice for Elliott Smith

    Thanks!

  • christian brother

    old friend Thanks for talking to us,Serendipity is right more people should start talking This cannot just end here….

  • QueenB

    It was suicide.

  • serendipity

    QueenB, you will need to say more than this to prove it!
    And I know way too much about this story to let it go

  • pissed

    no matter how depressed an artist is… they will never off them selves in the middle of a project. he was on a musical mission. Wake up people… this man was killed. and the post it note – how stupid do you think we are? the way i see it (and i’m obviously not alone on this) Jennifer Chiba is so guilty it’s scary. don’t give up on this LAPD!

  • Spencer Glenn

    Based on what I have read on Elliott (Elliott Smith and Big Nothing, police reports regarding his death) I have to say it could be taken either way. We might never know what really happened due to the fact that his body was cremated… She probably couldn’t have killed him though because she was probably wet from the shower. Think about it, how exactly would a wet person have the total balance to stab someone twice and then write a suicide note? All without getting water everywhere? Also it would be a little freaky to see your significant other with a knife in their chest, I wouldn’t blame anyone for pulling it out. Also his time of death was accurate in my opinion. In the end, no one knows what was said in the argument, and no one officially knows how he died…

  • serendipity

    No one knows how he died?
    One person knows.
    Regarding the shower she was supposedly taking, I find interesting that the version changes in the police report: there is no mention of her taking a shower in the report, she just said she locked herself in the bathroom. Who takes a shower in the middle of a terrible fight when your partner says he wants to kill himself anyway?

  • paul

    It is widely believed that Kurt Cobain was murdered and it was not in fact a suicide (it was believed that he was way too high to function enough to kill himself). As for Smith? Who knows.

    I think it’s just safe to say that bit*hes are crazy.

  • Christian brother

    So has anybody seen the film searching for elliott smith yet, and is there somewhere online we can watch it?

  • M.R.N.

    My four favorite Elliott songs have inspired and motivated me in a way no other artist has. It’s sad that his case (most likely) will go unsolved. To my knowledge it’s still open. The best thing would be for the L.A.P.D. to conclude Elliott’s case and release their findings.>>>>CLOSURE

  • Alex

    Did you not listen to From A Basement On A Hill…That whole CD was a suicide note in disguise.

  • Heather

    “When I spoke to him shortly before his death, he was doing really well, and was happier than I’d seen him in years, and exhibited absolutely no signs that he was on the verge of killing himself.”
    That is actually a very strong indicator of potential suicide… Look into suicide warning signs.

    I appreciate your comment :]. I just wanted to point that out…
    Personally I think it was suicide… but I’m open to more info…

  • Emily

    “Personal attacks are NOT allowed.”

    I wish people would stop being so nasty and appreciate that a legend died. Who cares how?

  • Magnus

    The fact is you guys are just all fans and feel a sense of loss concerning this subject so that’s why it’s easy for you to throw the blame elsewhere. Elliott was a very depressed and suicidal guy, his music says it all. I have very little to no suspicion towards Chiba.

  • serendipity

    Those who have no suspicion about what happened either don’t know anything about the case or don’t care enough.
    And no Basement on the Hill is not a suicide note, listen carefully.

    According to Gil Reyes (another guy who has no suspicion) who made the documentary Searching for Elliott, Chiba will do a Q&A after the projection of the documentary at a film festival in LA:

    “Hi Everyone, just picked up an HONORABLE MENTION AWARD at the LOS ANGELES NEW WAVE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL. Our film will screen In Downtown L.A. between May 5th – 8th. Exact times, theatres and ticket info coming soon. JENNIFER CHIBA is also expected for a Q & A session. I know it’s hard without a set date, but for now, we’d really appreciate an early tally of possible attendees so festival organizers can make room. Please let us know here. Thanks so much.”

  • sipp12

    Elliott’s music and playing was simple but so complex and mysterious, much like that of Nick Drake who died of an apparant medication overdose after suffering greatly with depression in much the same way. They likewise both delved deaply into confessional song writing themes. I am just sorry to read such tragic stories and to think of how much we all lost when they both died. I can only feel compassion.

  • Dustin

    I think people just don’t want to admit that Elliott killed himself.

    Suicide is seen as a selfish act, and no fan of Elliott’s is gonna straight up call him selfish.

    Its hard to say this, but Elliott just didn’t care enough about how people are going to miss him. Depression to the point of suicidal tendencies can make even the most genuine people just really not give a care. Same with drug use.

    Elliott killed himself… we all wish that he didn’t of course, and he didn’t do it for pity or to piss off his fans obviously.. He wasn’t happy living. I dont blame him, i love the man. But Im sure as hell not going to blame his girlfriend.

    Im sure Elliott didnt want the blame to be put on her either. His death doesn’t even go in vein.. he killed himself, and that should have made a statement with everyone of his fans.. but instead half of you are in the dark about what elliott was like if you actually believe he wasn’t suicidal.

    He said in an interview once that he tried to jump off a cliff to kill himself… “I cant prepare for death anymore that I already have”… lsiten to the lyrics on Basement on a hill.

    Miss you Elliott, thanks for everything man.

  • Dustin

    also, i might add, Chiba called police/paramedics and they arrived on scene ‘shortly after the wound was inflicted’.

    If your going to kill someone, why would you call police immediately before he was even dead? This would increase the chance they save him and he could then tell police she tried to kill him, also, if she killed hiim she would be worried that he would be able to communicate to police that she had stabbed him…

    No murderer would ever run a risk that big of getting caught. She called them, he was alive… that alone should be enough proof for any of you who think she did it..

    somehow it isn’t… you people blow my mind.

    Its possible she killed him. Is it likely? Not even a tiny bit.

  • alyson

    Dustin, there are a lot of things you don’t know about the story…

    old friend (post #57 & 58), if you ever visit this website again, please email me at alycamus@gmail.com
    I am sure we have a lot to talk about, thanks!