The Elliott Smith CSI

C.S.I., Crime Scene Investigation, why are there so many C.S.I. shows on TV when in reality so many criminal investigations are not correctly conducted?

I never watch these kinds of shows, I know they are just a Hollywood vision, far from reality, but when I called the detective I was referred to when I asked to inquire about the Elliott Smith’s case, he said I could be a C.S.I.!… I guess my remarks were relevant to him. I’m not saying that to show off, but it made me realize that what I was saying was certainly not irrelevant.
How could they have neglected the C.S.I. so much? How could they swallow so fast the suicide story sold to them by a girlfriend?

First of all, do they even have a good timeline of the events?

In the police report it is said J. Chiba removed the knife while he was still standing and was walking away, I asked the detective if they had studied the blood traces and pattern. He could not say anything of course, but did they even do it? They would have been able to make a reconstitution of what happened based on this, but nothing more than this vague police report surfaced.
In a 2008 Filter magazine Robin Peringer ‘tells the harrowing story of cleaning up the blood throughout Elliott’s house after the suicide.’ I confronted the detective with this idea of people cleaning the blood throughout the house,…. Had the police taken enough evidence then?

It has been reported in many newspapers that Jennifer Chiba had locked herself in the bathroom and was taking a shower. There is no trace of this shower in the police report though…. When did she take a shower? Did she really take one? Did the police check this detail? Was she cleaning the blood? Why is there no report of her appearance in the police report? You have to imagine she may have some blood on her clothes after removing a knife stuck 6-7 deep into someone’s chest and giving him CPR before the ambulance arrival (as it is reported).
But who takes a shower in the middle of a terrible fight when your partner says he wants to kill himself anyway?

And what about the fight they were having? Have the neighbors been questioned about what they may have heard? We just have the time of her phone call to 911, 12:18 pm, but how long had they been fighting? How long did she wait before calling 911? Someone even told me she said her cell phone was not working and she could not call immediately. And did the police check if she called someone before 911 and whom she may have called? The detective never told me anything of course.

As I said the police has never been able to give a full timeline of the events, and if they cannot answer all these questions, we can officially say the investigation was botched.

And last but not least, imagine the same situation with Elliott calling the police after removing the knife from Jennifer’s chest, when she is lying on the ground with two deep stab wounds. I bet the police would have suspected him immediately. And J. Chiba had a history of suicide and depression, and she had a history of drug addiction. We are just so sex-biased when it comes to crime.

Originally published on Rock NYC (February 28 2011)

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