Elliott Smith Speaks From the Grave

I was camping up in Mendocino County this weekend and played the album that Elliott Smith was working on when he died, “From A Basement On The Hill.” Someone asked, which album is this? I’ve never heard it. Another said, it’s hard to believe he killed himself. I said, I thought he was murdered by his girlfriend.

One thing led to another and no one was certain of the details, so I made a mental note to look up the story when I returned to civilization. Its been over four years since Elliott Smith died and at least one journalist and a lot of fans, including myself, don’t believe that Smith committed suicide. The details in Elliott Smith’s autopsy suggest homicide. His girlfriend, Jennifer Chiba, who called police, seemed all too eager, at least by police accounts, to explain that Smith was suicidal and had a history of drug abuse. Of course, it didn’t hurt that his music tended to be dark and introspective.

Who would stab himself in the chest, not once, but twice?

Why would someone misspell his name in his “suicide” note, or did the police just get that detail wrong?

It’s easy to over analyze Smith’s lyrics, especially on his last album, but I wonder if he’s talking about Chiba in “Don’t Go Down.”

I met a girl/ Snowball in hell/ She was hard/ And as cracked as the liberty bell

And I got her to/ Come on and move in with me/ And I said I’ll find a better place/ Where we can spend eternity

But don’t go down/ Don’t go down/ Stay with me, baby stay

She had a dream/ Woke up in shock/ She had seen/ Her own body outlined in chalk

And I split the scene, the globe’s been spun/ And her ghost beamed down to kiss me/ With a message from the sun

As of last October, a judge denied Chiba’s claim to Smith’s estate. As far as I can tell, nothing else has come of the case.

Elliott, wherever you are, I hope you’re resting in peace.

Note: You’ll find live recordings of Elliott Smith — 104 as of 1212/29/2010 — on archive.org.


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i intuitively got inspired to listen to and even buy another elliot smith cd tonight….i was moved to research his death on the internet, and said" he was murdered?"…..the power went out in my entire house that moment…..continuing on my ipad……i said "he was murdered", by her? and at that EXACT moment……all the lights and power went on, to confirm that statement, i believe from his spirit…..that has not passed on yet. i am a psychic, and believe he was murdered in a fight, or jealous rage…..and yes he was depressed, miserable and had dark energy around his true soul…..he was struggling to be free from…..but E.S. did not kill himself, even at times he wishes he could. the truth will
co e forward soon and then his soul will go into the light…..which he is from. anonymous lover of his sincere beautiful music……that fills my soul with memories of a man i once loved……whom i could never be with…..it was tragic. ES wants the truth to be known before he can be free…….he is alive now in the astral world sorting it out and healing…… he was murdered. love to you elliot! domimique

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