The Big Mystery Behind Elliott Smith’s Passing Involving Jennifer Chiba

When news lines announced that Oscar-nominated musician Elliott Smith had committed suicide, perhaps, no one was ‘too’ surprised. Or, at least, that’s what most newspapers and magazines wrote in their articles regarding Smith’s passing on October 21st, 2003. Many argued it was the ‘depression’ in his songs which made it clear, that, the young rocker was in fact doomed.

Even the Guardian reported in 2004 how Courtney Love had called Smith’s passing ‘the best suicide I’ve ever heard of,’ as the folk-singer had stabbed himself in between his own ribs with a knife, after a heated argument with his girlfriend and Happy Ending musician, Jennifer Chiba.

Still, from what their close friends and acquaintances stated, it wasn’t unusual for the couple to argue, and those arguments would usually be resolved. However, this one was different, as Smith had decided to end things for good, although his ‘way’ of doing it, raised questions in many’s heads after his autopsy reports were released.

First things first, the report stated that the rocker had been stabbed twice in between his ribs. Then, it also stated that there were no hesitation wounds in his upper body though it seemed that he had defensive wounds on his arms. And along with these, his short suicide note also marked the misspelling of his name, making people think twice about the ‘suicidal’ singer’s cause of death.

However, although the ‘controversial’ report mainly accepted that Elliott’s passing could indeed be self-inflicted, the reporters still didn’t seem too convinced at the end, stating:

“While his history of depression is compatible with suicide, and the location and direction of the stab wounds are consistent with self-infliction, several aspects of the circumstances (as are known at this time) are atypical of suicide and raise the possibility of homicide.”

Well, upon the report’s release, Elliott’s girlfriend Jennifer became the target of accusers with different theories, eventually disbanding her band Happy Ending due to the death threats the act received.

Since she was the last person to see Smith alive and the fact that she had pulled out the knife from her boyfriend’s ribs, it felt to many that the rocker could be behind Elliott’s ‘suicide.’ So, in 2004, Jennifer decided to release a statement:

“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.”

She continued:

“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 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.”

The rumors were further dismissed when Smith’s friends came forward with their ‘suicidal’ stories of the singer, even one recalling how Elliott had shown them a self-inflicted severe but non-fatal scar on his upper buddy in the late 90s.

The practice of ‘self-stabbing’ wasn’t also ‘impossible,’ although the percentage of ‘self-inflicted trauma by sharp objects’ were low in Western countries. Still, it didn’t rule out the fact that, perhaps, Elliott had wanted to go down in a ‘samurai-like’ way.

So, even after it’s been two decades since Smith passed away, the mysteries behind his ‘suicide’ still continue to haunt some. Conspiracies still shape and try to put meaning to the singer’s passing, as some often blame Chiba for his death while others even accuse ‘enemies’ like record companies or dealers.

However, it seems that the only certainty is that Smith’s legacy will carry on through his music and image, as the rocker carved his feelings and lyrics into his albums, making it easier for his fans to take a peek.