Music Article

Either/Or

Elliott Smith may not have killed himself. Coroner's office is still uncertain whether the singer's fatal stab wounds were self-inflicted

When Los Angeles police said in October that singer-songwriter Elliott Smith had killed himself, fans may not have been surprised; the 34-year-old Oscar nominee (for the ''Good Will Hunting'' song ''Miss Misery'') had been frank in interviews and lyrics about his depression and battles with substance abuse. Now, however, the Los Angeles coroner's office is raising the possibility that Smith may have died of foul play. According to Reuters, the office released an autopsy on Monday that said officials remained uncertain whether or not Smith's fatal stab wounds were self-inflicted. ''The trauma that he sustained could have been inflicted by him or by another and the coroner has not been able to make a determination,'' coroner's spokesman David Campbell said.

Campbell added that, while Smith was taking anti-depressants and other medications in his last days, toxicology tests showed no drug abuse or presence of controlled substances in his system at the time of his death. He said the case would remain open, pending any additional information that might surface. An LAPD spokesperson told Reuters that homicide detectives would ''look again'' at the case in the wake of the coroner's report.

Originally posted Dec 31, 2003
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