DOCUMENT: Crime

Rocker's Autopsy Doesn't Rule Out Homicide

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Rocker's Autopsy Doesn't Rule Out Homicide

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JANUARY 8--Los Angeles investigators probing the recent stabbing death of alt rocker Elliott Smith could not classify the incident as a suicide because several aspects of the knifing were not consistent with suicide and "raise the possibility of homicide." According to the below autopsy report, police discovered what appeared to be a suicide note--written on a Post-it note--when they responded to his home on October 21. "I'm so sorry-love, Elliot God forgive me," the note read, according to the report (a coroner's official told TSG that Smith's first name was misspelled in the report). And, the report concludes, Smith's history of depression and the "location and direction" of two stab wounds "are consistent with self-infliction." However, other aspects of Smith's death have caused investigators to wonder whether the performer was killed. The autopsy report cited the absence of "hesitation wounds," the presence of "possible defensive wounds," and "stabbing through clothing" as atypical of suicide. In addition, the actions of Smith's live-in girlfriend, musician Jennifer Chiba, were of concern to investigators. Chiba initially told cops that she had argued with Smith, 34, in their home and, at one point, locked herself in the bathroom. Chiba emerged when she heard Smith scream, and saw him standing with "a knife sticking out of his chest." The medical examiner noted that Chiba's "reported removal of the knife and subsequent refusal to speak with detectives are all of concern." (5 pages)