[Note: This page was last updated in 2018]
"It took a second to believe that...that's really occurring because it wasn't on the news yet..." - Josh Homme, regarding the 2015 Bataclan Shooting
Regardless of what you believe about Chris Cornell's death, the story given to the public simply makes no sense. If anyone thinks it does, they haven't looked very closely at it, so that is what we will do here. The first version of this blog was posted before toxicology reports were made public, and many details have been continually updated/changed by the press - so I have done my best to add notes where necessary in order to keep this info current and to illustrate how the narrative has been altered and in many cases contradicted.
FIRST, A BIT ABOUT SOURCES
The reason the man with the red shirt and X on his chest is pictured above is because most of what we know about Cornell's death comes from him, Martin Kirsten. We are told he was Cornell's bodyguard and that he accompanied him to his room just after the show. Martin was not only the last person to see Cornell alive, he is also the person who discovered the body. So it is very important for people to understand that almost everything we heard about Cornell's death initially relied upon this man's testimony as given to the police, presumably in order to complete the police report, the main document most of the original stories were based upon and supposedly quoting. We know very little about Kirsten and he's not yet given any sort of statement regarding this to the press [as of the day this was posted]. We will go more into Martin Kirsten later in the blog, but just keep that in mind while you read on.
The police report was presumably obtained by Detroit News. Almost every news story published initially was then derived from Detroit New's supposed quoting of this police report. If other news sources had been given access to the police report initially, I had not found them. The other primary source of information was Cornell's widow, Vicky. The earliest quotes from Vicky were based upon an interview given within 24 hours after Cornell's death. Nobody seems to have the entire unedited interview and she has not spoken in front of a camera regarding these events [she has since given at least 1 well scripted on camera interview, in which she avoids addressing any of the oddities discussed here by passing it all off as "conspiracy theory," then placates the public by suing the doctor who prescribed the Ativan pills which Cornell ingested the night he died - pills which were GIVEN TO HIM by his "bodyguard."] There were at least 2 different versions of the initial story attributed to Vicky in the press within hours of Cornell's death. The other source who provided "exclusive" information OUTSIDE of the Detroit News narrative is the sensationalist news tabloid TMZ. TMZ went out of their way to falsely characterize Cornell as a suicidal junkie, which will be proven in these blogs.
[11:15pm] Cornell had walked off stage with his bandmates about 11:15 p.m. to the raucous cheers of a sellout crowd of more than 5,000 fans.
[11:30pm] Within 15 minutes, Cornell was back in Room 1136 at the MGM, where bodyguard Martin Kirsten helped fix the star’s computer and gave him two doses of an anti-anxiety medicine, according to the police report....Kirsten gave Cornell two Ativan pills, “which victim takes for anxiety,” the report said.
After giving what Cornell may have considered to be his last performance, why would his first priority be to get on his computer? This very basic, simple question has yet to be answered. If he wanted to send some sort of message out to his fans he could easily have done this from his Smartphone. We are never told what he wanted to do, but obviously it must have been pretty important for him to bring his bodyguard along to help him out with it. Cornell's reasoning for needing a functioning computer becomes even more critical if we assume he was planning of hanging himself shortly after. All of this goes completely unexplained in initial reports. This was one of the first red flags indicating a media coverup.
[Detroit news has since altered this version of the story in a "FAQ" released July 21, 2017 - where they now state that Cornell summoned Martin Kirsten to his room to "have his Apple TV fixed." Let's review the DIRECT QUOTE above, which states "bodyguard Martin Kirsten helped fix the star’s COMPUTER and gave him two doses of an anti-anxiety medicine, according to the POLICE REPORT." For those who do not know, Apple TV is NOT a "computer." It is a device which hooks up to a computer screen OR a television screen and allows streaming of content. Martin Kirsten was the source of the information contained within the police report. If he was fixing Cornell's computer OR his Apple TV, he would know the difference and would not confuse the two. Perhaps the officer taking down the report was just jotting down what he thought was a simplification of Kirsten's statements, but that still doesn't answer the very basic question - Why did Cornell need to watch Apple TV so urgently if he was about to kill himself? Did he want too catch "Game of Thrones" before saying goodbye to the world?]
We are told Cornell had a prescription for Ativan. Why is his bodyguard holding his prescription and why is he being left with the responsibility of dolling it out? We assume Cornell took "too much Ativan," so why isn't Martin being interrogated more thoroughly on the exact circumstances of Cornell's consumption of Ativan that night? The public deserves an explanation. If we are to believe all of these stories about how "off" Cornell was during his last performance, surely his own bodyguard and "family friend" could have assessed his condition and knew how many pills his client should or shouldn't take. How did Cornell end up taking double his normal dosage if his bodyguard was holding the prescription? We never get the answer to this question. Also, if Cornell is having his computer fixed [oh excuse me, his "APPLE TV"] so that he can get into it, why would he take Ativan? If he had something so important to do on the computer, why would he want to be sleepy? [And by changing the "computer" to an "Apple TV," the question remains even more applicably - what did Cornell need to watch on Apple TV that was so urgent? Logging into an Apple TV account and seeing someone's viewing history is very easy to do. What was the last thing Cornell watched? Nobody thinks that was important?]
[11:35pm] At 11:35 p.m., Cornell was on the phone with his wife. “He was different,” she said. Her husband was slurring his words, sounded groggy and kept repeating: “I’m just tired,” according to a family statement and a police report obtained by The Detroit News. “When he told me he may have taken an extra Ativan or two, I contacted security and asked that they check on him.” “Victim’s wife ... stated victim is a recovered drug addict,” the report said.)
She contacted SECURITY and asked that THEY check on him. According to the "official story" that eventually emerged, Martin Kirsten was the one and ONLY person to check on Cornell after getting the call from Vicky. We've been told he was Cornell's bodyguard and a family friend. So why does the above quote sound like she is talking about a SECURITY TEAM or DEPARTMENT, by using a plural reference? This is because she was giving, or appears to have given, more than one version of the story early on. At this very early stage, it seems she directly contacted security at the MGM. But come to find out later, MGM security didn't even show up when Martin Kirsten was kicking down doors and calling them to let him in the room, which he was locked out of! So we already have some BIG problems here with the story.
An "extra Ativan or 2?" If Cornell's bodyguard gave him 2, what were the extras Cornell was talking about in the above quote? This is incomplete information. [the post mortem/toxicology reports which were later released indicated Cornell had taken a total of 4 Ativan pills, although apparently none of them were found in his stomach] . No explanation is provided as to when/how he took the "extra Ativan or 2." Why don't we have an interview with Martin Kirsten clearing these details up? The media's specific avoidance of that topic, and apparently the investigation team as well, indicates that information is being deliberated withheld from the public. If the media were doing their job, they'd be after Martin Kirsten for any cheap shot they can take. Why aren't they exploiting these holes in the plot? Why are they being so protective of Martin Kirsten? If he gave Cornell 2 pills, he obviously had the bottle on his person and would know when/how Cornell took the other 2. Why has nobody in the media grilled Kirsten on this for, at the very least, sensationalist purposes? And yet, the media had no problem making up stories about Cornell being a suicidal junkie! Was Cornell more of a target than Kirsten because he's dead and can't defend himself? Since when does the media play favorites in order to pass on some dirt?]
If Cornell was already on the phone with his wife 5 minutes after getting back to his hotel, when was he planning on watching his last Apple TV show? Does this mean his computer was already fixed, that Kirsten already left, that he already popped 4 pills, he was already slurring his speech, and that he already did what he needed to do on the computer? That is an awful lot to cram into 5 minutes! If he was slurring his speech on the phone with his wife, I doubt't he could have accomplished much of anything after she hung up. Also, if the Ativan was responsible for Cornell's slurred speech, how did it kick in so fast? Pills do not kick in within 5 minutes, even if you are on an empty stomach. He would have to have taken ALL 4 pills before this phone call. Martin gave him 2. Again, when did he take the other 2? Lots of problems here with the story.
Why don't we know more about what happened before Cornell's last show? Were there any immediate warning signs that anyone noticed? We've all seen the last performance. He was not slurring his speech when addressing the audience and he sang well I thought, for a 52 year old man singing some of the most challenging songs in Hard Rock. People can say he seemed "off" or whatever, but the fact is he got through the set. It wasn't anything close to a "Scott Weiland drug fueled breakdown" onstage. And yet, people seem convinced Cornell was just a mess during his last show. It seems to me this was conjecture which was absurdly exaggerated in order to FAVOR the suicide motive. The band had nothing to say to the public for months after this happened. Surely they would know what Chris does before his shows, would they not? If anyone knows when Chris' performance is off, it's the guys he's been playing music intimately with for the past 33 years or so. And yet, we heard virtually nothing from them for a good year. The other members of Soundgarden are not all exactly known for their "kiss and tell" approach to the media, but come on this was a real shocking tragedy nobody expected! Absolute silence for a year? Were they simply too devastated to address the public about it, or were they INSTRUCTED not to speak about it for a while? If the latter cannot be proven false, it cannot be discounted. While I was typing this up, Greg Allman passed away. We had a statement from the band within less than 24 hours. He was known to be struggling with his health, and he was 69. Not that it is any less tragic, but that sounds like a believable story. Cornell's story on the other hand, just has red flags all over it. Let's look at some more.
[12am] Police received a 911 call at approximately 12 a.m. from a FAMILY FRIEND, according to Michael Woody, Director of Media Relations for the Detroit Police Department.[Rolling Stone]
As far as we know, only 2 people were concerned that something was wrong with Cornell just before he died. His wife, and his bodyguard, Martin Kirsten. It would be kind of odd for Officer Woody to refer to Cornell's wife as "a family friend" since she was married to him, and was literally a FAMILY MEMBER! That leaves only Kirsten as the person Officer Woody was referring to there. Does this mean Martin Kirsten was a family friend? Why do we know nothing of the history of Martin's friendship with the Cornell family? Recall again Vicky's quote earlier, where she called Martin "security" and referred to him in the plural. If he and Cornell's wife were the only 2 people taking action in the moments before Cornell's death, why do we keep getting all these obscure references to who specifically took what action?
According to Detroit News, a medic didn't show up until 12:56am. If Kirsten didn't get the call from Vicky until 12:15 [according to Detroit New's quoting of the police report], informing him to check on Cornell, he couldn't have called 911 before 12:15. How long was this call between Martin and Vicky? 1 minute? 5 minutes? 10 minutes? We're getting further and further away from "approximately 12am" here. 911 calls are time stamped and recorded. There is nothing "approximate" about them. Details like this are very important when we're talking about the possible suicide of someone who had no apparent motive to do so. In fact, Cornell had quite a bit of motive to live. By simply discounting the possibility of foul play without bothering to double check the alleged "facts," one cannot have an informed opinion regarding this. Could he have been THAT depressed? Yeah, it's possible, but at what point did that POSSIBILITY become the REASON justifying his alleged suicide? He seemed perfectly fine before this happened. Why is that fact being somehow distorted into "he was hiding his pain! Not even his wife knew!" You can't use conjecture when it supports what you want to believe, but then throw it out when it doesn't. You can't have it both ways. It is only logical that some people are questioning all of this, and yet, our mass media does their best to dismiss and/or ridicule those with enough common sense to see that something isn't right here.
As mentioned already, within the initial reports on this story Martin Kirsten was often referred to in different ways, ranging from "Family Friend," to "The Security Team," to "Cornell's Bodyguard." Why was there anything vague at all about who was called to check on Cornell? Why do so many of the initial news articles omit Martin Kirsten's name, when clearly, he is the one who was called to check on Cornell? Where is the proof that he was a "family friend" or even Cornell's "bodyguard" at all? Don't bodyguards typically appear in public with their clients? Good luck finding a pic of Martin Kirsten with Chris Cornell, let alone with his family [since publishing this blog, I have seen 1 on a web forum which may or may not be legitimate. Anyone with more photos or info are encouraged to pass it a long]. Why hasn't People Magazine done a juicy story on Martin Kirsten's relationship to the Cornells? Again, the media is ignoring any exploitative stories involving Martin Kirsten. Why? There are tons of pictures with him and Heidi Klume out there, with whom he had a year long affair which began before she divorced Seal and while he was her bodyguard. So Martin has been in the mainstream media hot topic news feed before. But for some reason, all cameras turn away from him after this very shocking event which he was front and center at.
[12:15am] She [Vicky Cornell, Chris' wife] called Kirsten at 12:15 a.m....After hearing from Vicky Cornell, Kirsten walked two doors down to Cornell’s suite, to which he had a key, but found the door latched, the report said. “(Kirsten) called security from hotel phone in hallway ... stating he needs to get into (the) room to check on (the) victim,” the report said....“Security stated they can not let him into the room because he is not registered to that room,” the report said. “At this time (Kirsten) kicked in the door with his feet and ... went to the bedroom door and (the) latch had been engaged on this door also. “(Kirsten) again called for security but could not gain access to (the) room,” the report said. “At this time (Kirsten) kicked in (the) bedroom door and found victim laying on the bathroom floor.”
I thought Martin, the "family friend" called 911 at about midnight? Above it says he was told by Vicky to check on Cornell at 12:15. He then had to walk down the hall and discover his key did not get him in. Kicks down a door, calls hotel security again. Kicks down another door, Is that when he called 911? What time was that exactly? When Martin Kirsten called Hotel security and they refused to let him into the room, common sense dictates that security would be on their way in seconds, at the very least to check things out. This is a man trying to get into a room he is "not authorized" to go into after midnight. This is a high end hotel. What kind of security staff wouldn't go check on this matter, especially when we are talking about a very high profile guest? I would certainly like to hear these phone calls and see the video footage of Martin Kirsten kicking these doors down. Why doesn't TMZ obtain/release this footage? Surely they have the inside sources and the money to bribe the right people. They are so keen on sensationalism, this would seem to be a "no brainer." If I owned TMZ, that would be a top priority. But if I was helping to cover things up, I would not touch the subject. I would focus on making Cornell look like a suicidal, depressed drug addict, and that is exactly what TMZ was aggressively doing in the hours, days, and weeks after Cornell died. Was someone paying them to publish these types of articles? It's a reasonable question which cannot be answered if nobody is even willing to consider it. It is in the realm of possibility, so why ignore the possibility?
I'm sure kicking down the door was no easy task and probably made a very loud noise. But apparently this kicking down of Chris Cornell's hotel door was not reason for hotel security to immediately show up, nor bystanders from other rooms to come by who would surely have heard the noise. In fact, Martin calls security himself! He is now INSIDE the room having broken a door down. Still, no hotel staff shows up.
HOW DOES A FAIRLY TALL, FAIRLY MUSCULAR MAN HANG HIMSELF IN A BATHROOM?
Martin finds Cornell's body on the floor [wikipedia concurs on this detail as of this writing], but how did the body get on the floor if this was a suicide by hanging? Sure, the body could have fallen, but why aren't they saying how? It's a very simple question. [the postmortem report said Cornell was found NOT on the floor, but "partially suspended," more in PT II] Detroit News didn't give any details initially regarding how Cornell managed to hang himself, only that he USED an exercise band. But without something to fasten this exercise band to, which could hold Cornell's entire body weight until he dies, only strangulation could have caused his death. Again, very simple question, very important detail. Exactly what, inside a bathroom, supports the entire weight of a full grown man long enough and HIGH ENOUGH to hang him? To complicate things, we're not talking about a rope, we're talking about an exercise band, which can STRETCH. Cornell was on the tall side. Are you seeing the problems here?
We've learned the Soundgarden frontman secured a red elastic exercise band attached to a carabiner to the top of his hotel bathroom door. A carabiner is a device commonly used by mountain climbers which they attach to a belt to keep them from falling. The device can withstand enormous weight...Cornell jammed the door shut with the carabiner at the top of the frame. The carabiner was jammed so tight it left an indentation in the door frame. [TMZ posted 5/19/17]
Notice in the above quote how they are highlighting the "enormous weight" a carabiner clip can withstand. Problem is, Cornell wasn't climbing a mountainside and the "gear" he was using was not mountain climbing gear! It's like putting a steel toe inside of a cheap tennis shoe and claiming it functions the same way! The day a mountain climber uses an exercise band in place of the straps designed to work in conjunction with a proper carabiner, is the day the above information might begin to be plausible. [don't count on seeing that on Mythbusters anytime soon]
How did TMZ get information Detroit news didn't seem to have at the same time, even though they were quoting the police report? Police report would have had this detail in it. [TMZ was the only news source who initially reported Cornell's use of a caribiner clip. This detail was later verified by the postmortem report - I go into more detail about this in PT II] TMZ starts off saying, "we've learned that..." Details such as this given with no source are exactly the sort of details the cynical public often uses against "conspiracy theorists" to invalidate their observations. But let's consider the plausibility here seriously - rather than simply shut the door on the exercise band so that one handle is on the OTHER side of it, Cornell decides to use some climbing gear clip device and JAM it between the top of the door and the frame? This all sounds way too difficult and overly complicated for a guy who is doped up and slurring his words. Ativan makes you tired, it doesn't turn you into Macgyver. Chris was not a short man, he was 6'2. An average door frame is about 6'8. That gives him 6"s of stretch before his feet touch the ground. [some crime scene pictures have surfaced via Detroit News, we look at them in pt II] One might assume the exercise band wasn't meant to handle supporting the weight of an entire human body. Chris Cornell was not a small guy, so he must have been around 175 to 200LBs. That's a lot of weight for an exercise band AND a carabiner jammed into the top of a door frame to support, regardless of how awesome his "carabiner jamming abilities" were. If that all supported his weight while he twitched and squirmed to death by hanging, he'd very likely still be hanging around 15 minutes or so later when Martin arrived. Again, Detroit News already claimed to be in possession of the police report, when they specifically reported that the body was found on the floor. Yet, the postmortem report clearly states he was found "partially suspended." [I explore these contradictions in PT II]
Being an experienced bodyguard, why didn't Mr Kirsten attempt CPR and take the band off of Cornell's neck immediately? When Dimebag Darrell was shot multiple times, we had a witness who went on record stating she was a nurse and immediately tried to perform CPR on Darrell, who was on the ground bleeding from the head. There were others who got shot attempting to give Darrell CPR as well. How would these people know to attempt CPR and yet Martin Kirsten did not? [this part of the story was augmented later, where it was added that Martin "loosened" the band and performed CPR before anyone else arrived. There is no mention of this detail previous to the release of the Toxicology report, hinting that the release of the toxicology report was used as a method to also re-write parts of the narrative or add details out of thin air to parts of the narrative which didn't make complete sense the first time around.]
[12:56] MGM medic Dawn Jones arrived at the room at 12:56 a.m., the report said. “Jones untied the red exercise band from (the) victim’s neck and began CPR on (Cornell, who) was not breathing.”
EMS Unit 42 was at the scene by 1 a.m. An emergency medical technician also unsuccessfully performed CPR on Cornell, according to the report.
Martin Kirsten went and kicked down 2 doors to save Cornell at about 12:15am, 911 was supposedly called around midnight. Again, why did it take so long for the medic to show up? Its not like this medic was coming from across town, we are told this was the MGM house medic. If someone called 911, why did the MGM medic show up before the city of Detroit ambulance/medic? Security guards couldn't be bothered to show up when Kirsten is calling them AS he is bashing doors down, but they send a medic a half hour or more after the fact? This whole part of the story is extremely shady and the hotel and authorities need to give us some answers! But nobody's talking and this seems to be just fine with the public, who are busy sharing tear jerking stories about loved ones who they "also lost to mental illness." Some of you may remember all the focus on "depression" and "mental illness" just after Cornell's death. You think maybe the media was disproportionately focussed on those topics in order to keep people from considering the many basic oddities surrounding the event?
[1:30] “At 1:30AM on 5/18/2017, victim was pronounced dead (by a doctor who came to the scene),” the report said.
Homicide detectives arrived at the room and began their investigation, while another officer phoned Cornell’s wife to break the news he’d been found dead.
In a statement issued by Vicky Cornell and attorney Kirk Pasich, the lawyer said the family needs the results of toxicology tests to be sure what happened to the alternative rocker. “The family believes that if Chris took his life, he did not know what he was doing, and that drugs or other substances may have affected his actions,” Pasich said.
I'm not going to get into these statements by Vicky Cornell and her lawyer just yet, but I think it is telling that nobody seems to have published the entire un-edited interview with Vicky nor do we have her on camera making any comments [I've since seen a very scripted interview with her, which was not detailed at all and does not address any of the problems discussed here]. It is disturbing to note that there are indications she is assisting with the cover up, or is perhaps being censored in some way. Whether that is for her own and her family's protection or not I don't know. But something is very wrong here, and its bigger than people realize because the media is clearly involved in the coverup.
A BIT ABOUT MARTIN KIRSTEN
Despite how it sounds, I am not claiming that Martin Kirsten killed Chris Cornell. But it sure looks that way. According to wikipedia,
"Police ruled out homicide by reviewing a hotel surveillance video, which showed nobody entering or exiting the suite after his bodyguard left at around 11:35 p.m"
Ok, but doesn't that mean the bodyguard could have strangled Cornell BEFORE he left the room??? Vicky's call to Cornell AND his "bodyguard" both reportedly happened right after Kirsten left the room. One of these calls was Vicky's last conversation with her husband. This phone call is the main alibi being used to show Cornell was still alive when Kirsten left the room. There are 2 different versions of this call [I address the direct quotes in pt II] Without this call from Vicky, Kirsten is suspect #1 in a possible murder. We have gotten 2 completely different versions of this call from the news media. Doesn't that kind of bring into question the validity of this alibi, as well as the legitimacy of the quotes supposedly attributed to Vicky Cornell? Remember how hotel security didn't show up when Kirsten called them to the room? Did these calls actually happen WHEN we were told they happened, or at all?
We don't really know anything about Martin Kirsten, accept from what we know about his previous relationship with Heidi Klume. This story was very well publicized and there are many pictures online. Kirsten was Klume's body guard for a few years while she was still married to singer Seal. Although Seal and Klume were already separated, they were still legally married when Klume started seeing Kirsten. Seal's feelings on this matter were very public, and he didn't exactly think it was cool. Martins reputation as a "house dad" was then fostered as he was pictured with Klume's children publicly. The reason Kirsten "dumped" Klume was that he felt he was spending too much time being a Dad to Klume's children and his "security career" was suffering. When they broke up, Klume supposedly bought Kirsten's mom a house in South Africa and gave him a bunch of money so "he wouldn't talk." We are never told why or what she didn't want him talking about.
Perhaps Kirsten's relationship with Klume was no more than a publicity stunt designed to make Kirsten appear like some sort of potential "family man," or to at least "humanize" his character to the public, so that nobody would suspect him of being a hit man later? Big accusation I realize, but he was the last person to see Cornell alive and the first person to see him dead. THE FANS WOULD BE RIGHT TO DEMAND ANSWERS FROM THIS MAN. But they aren't because they take everything the mainstream news says at face value, without even attempting to use their own objective reasoning skills. Even when contradictions are clearly there.
There is also a small story that made the news a few years back when a stalker of Chris Cornell was supposedly "foiled" by Kirsten when he spotted her in a crowd and had authorities head her off. It was a very unimpressive story which I will not bother posting here - you can google it. But I think the point of that story was to make Kirsten look like "a hero." He might be, but it would help if he spoke out to the press in order to clear up some of these problems with the Cornell suicide story. If he stays silent, what are people to do but speculate? If he is innocent, there should be no reluctance on his part to be open about what happened. But if he is guilty in some way, he would be smart to say as little as possible.
The only other things we know about Martin Kirsten is that he was apparently born in South Africa, but gets called "an Aussie," presumably because he moved to Australia at some point. Good luck trying to find out anything else about this guy, including how he came to be a "friend" and bodyguard of Chris Cornell. Why is that important? Because there might be clues hiding within that story which are extremely relevant that nobody has even thought of!
Here's an interesting question...Why would Chris Cornell even invite his bodyguard to his room at all after the show if he was depressed, didn't want to live, and didn't want anyone stopping him from hanging himself? Bodyguards are hired to GUARD the BODY of the person they are instructed to protect! What was Cornell paying this guy for if he didn't want to live? It is endlessly strange to me that the person who is being PAID by the victim to GUARD his BODY was present just before, and just after his client died. Not only was this "bodyguard" not present to save his client from his "suicidal tendencies," but he also gave his client some of the pills which are thought to be what pushed him over the edge. Nobody in the news media thought this was worth making a story out of? If that isn't good controversy I don't know what is.
IN MY TIME OF DYING
It has been widely reported that Soundgarden closed their last show with "In My Time of Dying," a Led Zeppelin song. This is being sold as some sort of indication that Chris intended to kill himself. Anyone who looks this up will discover that first of all, they don't do the song at all, Chris simply inserts an almost spoken word version of a few of the lines in the MIDDLE of the song "Slaves and Bulldozers." That is much different than playing the entire song. They've been closing their set like this for many years, in fact I found a 2013 version of it on youtube which took all of 3 minutes to find. It would be much different if they never played it and then suddenly did it the night he died. However, if my memory serves correct, during that same part of the song Cornell USED to at times speak lines from the song "Alive" by Pearl Jam. The fact he switched from "ALIVE" lyrics to "In My Time of Dying" lyrics, I will admit, creeps me out a little. And I would also be lying if I did not admit his face during the last performance does, at times, feel as though he may know he is giving his last performance. But these are things that are very easy to read into in retrospect and could simply be ones imagination. Cornell often had a somber delivery, as his music does have somber moments. I can even recall seeing them in the early 90s and witnessing Chris stumble and smirk about while he screamed his lungs out. So its not like any of this wasn't already part of his act. And if anything I would think his age has only exaggerated these mannerisms. It's part of why we loved him. He was a sincere, emotional performer. That's not the same thing at all as being "suicidal."
TMZ EXCLUSIVE CONTENT
Chris Cornell 'High, F***ed Up' During Last Performance Chris Cornell was messed up during his Detroit concert ... hours before he committed suicide -- this according to a longtime confidant who was present and working the event....Ted Keedick, who worked with Chris for the last decade as his house engineer and tour manager, tells TMZ, "Chris was out of character from note 1 of the show. I've never heard or seen him that way before, at least if we did not cancel a show."...Keedick says Chris seemed "high" and "f***ed up," but not depressed. In fact, Keedick says during sound check Chris was in good spirits. It's consistent with what Chris' widow says of her phone conversations with Chris before and after the show....Keedick says Chris was off during the entire show, saying, "I'd never heard his voice that way before. He was having serious control problems."...Keedick was positioned in the middle of the audience with his mixing board, and at one point during the concert he was so concerned he phoned someone backstage and asked what was wrong with Chris.
I haven't looked this Ted Keedick guy up, but I have seen the footage and I have seen Soundgarden many times over the years. Cornell sang and played fine to me. Soundgarden songs are VERY demanding on Cornell. The fact he can get through the set night after night at 52 is a task in itself. His last performance may not have been his "best," but I seriously doubt that was the performance of a severely drugged out suicidal man. Why did the other Soundgarden members not speak to the public at all, but Ted Keedick did? Why is Martin Kirsten not speaking to the public but Ted Keedick is? Why hasn't Tom Morello, a man who's former band did a music video dedicated to bringing awareness to the Leonard Peltier case," had anything to say regarding the odd circumstances surrounding his "friend" and former band mate's death? Doesn't he want to "rage" against "the machine" which obviously took Cornell out? If you check out some of the interviews with Morello regarding this topic, you will find he speaks right in line with the same mainstream media "mental illness awareness" jive. That's why Tom is in your face and people like Professor Griff - someone REALLY in it to raise awareness, are somewhat invisible. When you speak the REAL truth, you don't stay in the public eye very long. Perhaps this is related to the reason Cornell is no longer with us. He obviously cared for the environment and endangered children. The media has been very hesitant to probe that topic in reference to Cornell's death. Why? Aren't they hungry to exploit every possible route of controversy? Apparently, only if it is in line with the "suicide motive."
Chris Cornell Fresh Track Marks on Arm Chris Cornell had apparently taken more than Ativan before hanging himself, because we've learned he had fresh track marks on his arm when his body was discovered in a Detroit hotel room....Sources connected to the investigation tell us ... the track marks were "obvious." The singer had a history of using drugs. The toxicology tests will reveal what drugs were found in Chris' system....The new information is consistent with our story that Ted Keedick, Chris' longtime house engineer and tour manager, said Chris seemed "high" and "f***ed up" during the concert ... hours before his death.
[This story about the track marks was altered in a later TMZ story where they admit the track marks were the result of injections made AFTER he was already dead in hopes to revive Cornell in case he had overdosed on opiates which he had not - more in PT II]
Chris Cornell Used Exercise Band and Sturdy Clip Device To Hang Himself We've learned the Soundgarden frontman secured a red elastic exercise band attached to a carabiner to the top of his hotel bathroom door. A carabiner is a device commonly used by mountain climbers which they attach to a belt to keep them from falling. The device can withstand enormous weight....Cornell jammed the door shut with the carabiner at the top of the frame. The carabiner was jammed so tight it left an indentation in the door frame.
The "Carabiner" theory was solely attributed to TMZ initially. "We've learned" does not cite a source. Why did the police report given to Detroit News omit this detail if it were true? (detroit News went so far as to print excerpts which were obviously made to look like direct quotes from the Police Report. The elastic band was graphic enough, but only half the explanation. Why are we getting the other half of the explanation from this questionable source?) This detail was later incorporated into the post mortem report - citing the same police report which Detroit News apparently didn't read all of when they left that information out - I guess they just didn't think that was as important a detail as TMZ did?
In part 2 I discuss the information contained within the toxicology report, I take a closer look at news reports, newly released photos supposedly from the death scene, and statements in the press which were supposedly made by Vicky Cornell.
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