Elliott Smith died ten years ago today at the age of 34 from two stab wounds to the chest. Two. At the time of the stabbing, he was at his Lemoyne Street home in Echo Park, California where he lived with his girlfriend, Jennifer Chiba. According to Chiba, the two were arguing, and she locked herself in the bathroom to take a shower. Chiba heard him scream, and upon opening the door, saw Elliott standing with a knife in his chest. She pulled the knife out, after which he collapsed. He died in the hospital with the time of death listed as 1:36 p.m. A possible suicide note, written on a Post-it, read:
"I’m so sorry.
God forgive me.”
His death was reported as a suicide, but never formally ruled as such. The official autopsy report released in December 2003 left open the question of homicide. The case, however, is no longer being investigated.
On July 30, 2004, nine months and nine days after Elliott’s death, Jennifer Chiba filed a lawsuit against his family for 15% of his earnings, claiming that she and Elliott lived as “husband and wife”.