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My Top 5 Suspicious Musician Deaths

Updated on August 4, 2013

A few weeks ago, Wisconsin got hit with a snowstorm. Luckily that day I had off of work so I bundled myself in my apartment and spent the night on my laptop. I was listening to songs on youtube when I saw a link on the side that looked interesting. After I clicked the video, I spent the next 2 hours researching about the conspiracy theory behind the death of one of my favorite men in music ever. I will reveal him last. That night gave me an idea for this hub. My 5 favorite mysteries or conspiracies surrounding musicians deaths.


5. Elvis

Elvis Presley died on August 16, 1977 Or did he? I honestly thought that this part of the hub would be the easiest to write. I've heard some of the common rumors surrounding Elvis's death.

  • His name isn't spelt right on his headstone
  • He isn't buried next to his mother like he wanted to be
  • Elvis was obsessed with numerology and the date in which he died has a lot of numerical meeting (which the video below explains)
  • Then of course there are all of the Elvis sightings that people claim all over

But then...

I of course started doing some research for this hub and I found out that a psychatrist by the name of Don Hinton claims Elvis is alive and well. He says that he treated a patient named "Jesse" who says he is Elvis and that he faked his own death for health reasons and the protection of his family. It is important to note that Jesse is the name of Elvis's stillborn twin brother. Below is a video done by FOX 8 about the story.

Even more strange...

A woman named Eliza was adopted at birth and has made an effort to find out who her birth parents are. The search led to Elvis and his father. Here is her story below:

My Opinion:

"Elvis died August 16th, 1977 and fans just couldn't take the news so they came up with theories of the king being alive and well. Don't worry Elvis fans, he lives on in you."

That is what I first wrote before I did this other research on Elvis. Now I don't know! The courts reopened the Presley estate! It's never happened before so there has to be enough evidence? This story has just escalated in the past few years so it's going to take a few more years for me to give an actual opinion.


4. Elliott Smith

Elliott Smith was born Steven Smith on August 6th, 1969. He changed his name to Elliott and became a huge underground artist. He was in the limelight for a small amount of time when many of his songs were featured in the movie Good Will Hunting and he was up for an Oscar for his song "Miss Misery". He left a very haunting impression as he stood alone on stage with his acoustic guitar and in a white suit.

Unfortunately he was up for the award against an unknown song called "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion and so he lost. As Madonna presents the award she even says "What a shocker" before reading off the Titanic ballad.

Elliott Smith was known for his drug filled and depressing lyrics but a lot of teens and young adults understood what he sang about.

On October 21st, 2003, Elliott Smith died with two stab wounds to the chest. He was 34 years old. His girlfriend Jennifer Chiba claims that the couple was having an argument. After she locked herself in the bathroom, she heard him scream. She found Elliott with a knife in his chest. She pulled the knife out and called 911. Unfortunately it was still too late for the artist.

So what's the mystery?

The problem is that Smith's autopsy report came back inconclusive. The coroner could not determine if it was suicide or a murder.

For suicide:

  • The witness claims he stabbed himself
  • There was a suicide note written on a post-it note that said " "I'm so sorry-love, Elliot God forgive me"
  • The area in which he stabbed himself is normal for self inflicted stab wounds
  • If Chiba had stabbed him in the heat of the moment, she did a good job. Both stab wounds were right next to each other, the second one hitting the heart. (The second one! A struggling victim would be hard to hit in the same spot).

For murder:

  • His suicide note has always been strange to me. A lot of people point out that Elliot is spelt wrong. I don't think this is a very sound argument. If Elliott wrote the note, he was obviously in distress and may have forgotten a T. His girlfriend of course knew how to spell his name so if she wrote it it's because she just stabbed her boyfriend and was in distress. Either way, the note seems weird that Elliott would write it. Stabbing himself in the chest seems like a very quick reaction to being in pain and angry. Why take the time to write the note?
  • On the autopsy report, Chiba claimed that when she found Smith he had his back to her. He turned around and had a knife in his chest. She removed the knife and saw 2 stab wounds. He was still wearing his shirt and the stab wounds hit his heart so I'm sure that there would be lots of blood. How could she see both stab wounds and how would she even notice those when the man she loved is dying?
  • Also, hypothetical situation. You see someone with an foreign object lodged somewhere in them. What is the number one thing you DON'T DO? DON'T REMOVE THE OBJECT! It didn't take me years of watching Grey's Anatomy to figure that out! It's something that I learned at a young age! Don't touch the object! But that is what Chiba did. Did she stab him and come up with that story later to explain why her fingerprints were on the knife?
  • There are no hesitation marks which is normal for self inflicted stab wounds
  • There were small incisions on each of his palms and on upper right arm that could have been defensive wounds
  • The autopsy also noted that he stabbed himself through his shirt which is atypical for these types of suicides

My Opinion:

This one I am still on the fence about. The autopsy was inconclusive. There isn't evidence either way. Elliott Smith had a history of depression so maybe he finally killed himself?

I still think it is strange to have a man stab himself not only once but twice and even more strange that his girlfriend removed the knife adding her fingerprints.

Either way, Elliott Smith was a brilliant artist. I hope he has finally found peace.

How do you think Elliott Smith died?

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3. Michael Jackson

I wasn't sure if I wanted to write about Michael Jackson because his death is still so recent and there are still so many new theories popping up every day. I will try to only give a few of these theories because I find them fascinating.

Michael Jackson died June 25th, 2009 of an apparent drug overdose. It's one of those deaths where you still remember where you were when you heard the news. I was on my way to working at Summerfest in Milwaukee, WI and heard it on the radio.

His doctor is currently on trial for Michael Jackson's death because he administered drugs to Jackson that shouldn't be used on a daily basis. Also, he left the room after giving Jackson those drugs even though he should have been monitoring his stats.

Here are some other theories:

He faked his death

Well of course, after someone famous dies there have to be people who believe that the star faked their death. Elvis, Tupac, and Jim Morrison are just a few of the people who have a strong following of believers that say the musicians are still alive. Fans believe Jackson faked his death because

  • He was in debt and wouldn't be able to follow through with his planned tour
  • He couldn't handle the stress anymore

So where is he? Some people actually believe that Michael Jackson is also his doctor in make up! Serious check it out:

Others believe he has left the country

He was murdered

This theory isn't just from fans. Jackson's siblings have been interviewed saying the Michael was in fear for his life and that there are many people responsible for his death.

What Jermaine has said:

What Latoya said (from beginning - 2:40)

So who killed him?

Jermaine blames the government. There are lots of people who blame the Illuminati. If you do not know what the Illuminati is check out this other hubber who explains it:

As you can tell, the Illuminati is a whole blog in itself.

Michael Jackson was also very strongly opinionated again the music industry. Did they try to ruin his credibility with the molestation scandal then kill him?

My Opinion?

I believe Michael Jackson died as the news reported it. He had a bad doctor who gave him medication that he shouldn't have. Jackson's body was old and could only handle so much. RIP to the pop legend.

Ps. I would do a poll, but there are too many detailed options haha

2. Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain was the front man for a little band named Nirvana in the 90s. He has been called the leader of Generation X, the lost generation, and the reason for grunge music being so huge.

Sadly, Kurt Cobain's body was found on April 8th, 1994 of a gun shot wound to the head and heroin in his system. He was 27 years old. The police ruled his death a suicide.


On April 3rd, 1994, his wife Courtney Love had hired a private investigator named Tom Grant to find Cobain after he left rehab April 1st and disappeared. Tom Grant of course documented his involvement with Love in the search for Cobain. He is one of the biggest allies for those that believe Cobain was actually murdered. That's right folks, there are many people out there that believe Kurt Cobain was murdered and did not commit suicide. Why would they think that?

There are many facts that Tom Grant has laid out on his own personal website: that he finds at least suspicious if not proof of Cobain's murder. These include but definitely are not limited to:

A. The amount of heroin in his system

Not only did Cobain apparently shoot himself in the mouth but he had also just injected himself with heroin. 3 times the lethal dose of heroin. I'll say that again. 3 TIMES the LETHAL dose of heroin. Grant states on his website, "Cobain's heroin, (morphine), blood level was 1.52 mgs per liter. This would require a minimum injection of 225 mgs of heroin, three times a lethal dose, even for a hardcore heroin addict!" (Grant). Grant also says that he has asked numerous doctors, lawyers, investigators, etc to find a case, any case, in history where a person took that much heroin and was not immediately incapacitated. Why is this important? With that much heroin in his system, Cobain should have been in a coma like state or even dead within seconds. He would not have been able to then pick up a shotgun and shoot himself. There wouldn't be enough time.

Also, if Cobain was committing suicide, why shoot himself at all? He was a heroin addict and he knew how much someone should take. He knew he would be taking too much. Why also shoot himself?

B. The suicide note

Someone typed up Cobain's suicide note here:

The whole letter doesn't sound suicidal. It sounds like he is just leaving Nirvana because he isn't happy being a famous musician. Cobain never wanted the fame, he just wanted to play music. The only part that sounds like suicide is the last 3 lines after he already signed the letter. This part has been questioned by many handwriting experts. They believe it is written in a different handwriting than the rest of the letter.

C. No Fingerprints on the gun?

Apparently dead men can wipe their fingerprints from guns after they shoot themselves?

D. Someone was using his credit card after he died

The coroner believes Cobain died on April 4th even though his body wasn't found til April 8th. Somehow, Cobain still tried to use his credit card after the 4th up untilt he 8th, even though he was dead? Hmmm... He was a really talented corpse.

So what really happened?

Those are just a few of the suspicious facts around Cobain's death. As I said earlier, Grant has the entire time he worked with Love documented and he typed it all up to read on the website day by day. It's an interesting read. He also has many clips up of phone conversations he had at that time.

Grant believes that Love and their male nanny "Cali" worked together to kill Cobain and make it look like a suicide.

Grant is not the only one who believes that Cobain was murdered. Numerous interviews, books, and movies have been made on the subject.

You be the judge.

My Opinion:

The case should at least be reopened and analyzed by a different team of investigators. I think they botched the original case either stupidly or on purpose. I believe Kurt Cobain was murdered and have even written numerous research papers on the topic.

How do you think Kurt Cobain died?

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And now...

Which musician's death did I research for over 2 hours on a blustery blizzard night?


1. Paul McCartney

Now hold on, I know what you're thinking. "Paul McCartney isn't dead! This girl must be thinking about John Lennon. I don't trust what she is saying and I'm not going to read these lies anymore!"

Wait! I promise I am not getting Paul McCartney and John Lennon confused! Trust me!

I want to start off by saying that Paul McCartney is my favorite Beatle. He was even my first crush! I remember sitting on the floor in the living room while my dad listened to their CDs. I stared at his picture in the White Album (which is also the picture of him above... don't judge me...) and fell in love.

The story goes...

Paul McCartney left a recording studio in the fall of 1966 and was in a deadly car crash. Some fanatics have pieced together a lot of clues and say it was on November 9th at 5am. Paul McCartney had gotten in a fight with his band mates and left angry. Some stories say he picked up a hitchhiker and when she realized who he was she freaked out and tried to get a hug causing him to lose control. Others say he was angry and the weather was bad which caused him to crash. Either way he was decapitated.

When news of the crash reached the remaining Beatles, they decided that the best thing to do would be to cover up the death. They found a man named William Shears who had gotten 2nd place in a Paul McCartney look a like contest. He underwent plastic surgery and became Paul McCartney (otherwise known as Faul -Fake Paul- to believers).

The remaining members of the Beatles began to realize they made a mistake and felt bad for covering up Paul's death so they began hiding clues in their songs and album artwork.

How did it start?

The "Paul is dead" craze started in 1969 when some college students started finding clues in the Beatles work and called a radio station to ask about it. Once other people heard their claims on the radio, they went insane. It was Beatlesmania all over again and everyone was trying to find more clues.

One of the reasons that the hoax started was because of a song called "Revolution 9" on The Beatles (otherwise known as the white album). Now if you have heard "Revolution 9" you know that it is one of those songs that you wonder why it was ever even created? Well it was created to be played backwards of course! When this song is played backwards there are loads of clues to Paul's death, specifically "Turn me on dead man". I'll post both clips of the song but just a warning: Forwards or backwards, this song is creepy!



I just watched the whole video of "Revolution 9" backwards for you! Some of the things they claim are being said are a little over the top. Parts that are weird and go with theory are below (that way you don't have to listen to the whole thing. You're welcome):

2:06 - car skidding and screaming followed by "Get me out!" Some think this is supposed to be Paul stuck in the car trying to get away from the flames (of course I'm talking about those that don't think Paul was decapitated)

2:35 - fire crackling then "There were two. There's none now."

5:27- avoid altogether. I'm a little scared.

7:53 - turn me on dead man. It is heard throughout the whole song but this one is the most clear... and it isn't followed by anything creepy.

Here are some of the clips I found of songs played backwards:

The infamous Abbey Road

Another huge reason this rumor started was because of the cover of Abbey Road. Other sites will give you more of an in depth look at the picture but then this hub would be 12 pages long so I'm just going to do the main theory.

First, Paul McCartney is out of step with the rest of the Beatles and he is also the only one not wearing shoes.

Second, he has a cigarette in his right hand. He is famous for being left handed.

Third, many claim this is a funeral procession. John is first, all in white, and symbolizes a preacher (some have called God). Ringo is next in black and is the mourner (those who believe John is God think Ringo is then the preacher). Paul is wearing an old suit and is barefoot and he is the corpse. George is wearing all denim and is the grave digger.

Here is a site that goes into a lot of details:

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

The other album cover that is full of clues is Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band which would be the first album to come out after Paul died. Both sites below go into great detail about this cover. Many believe it looks like a the people are standing on a grave.


  • As I said earlier, most theorists believe Paul died November 1966. A lot of sites that I have found use the album Yesterday and Today for clues into his death. BUT, this album was released in June of 1966 so Paul still would have been alive. Reaching for more clues?
  • Has anyone even tried finding records of a car crash in that area around the time of Paul's death? With so many reporters and such talking about this, why has no one brought this up, even if their search ended with nothing? Even if the police were paid to cover up the death of Paul, I feel that there would be some evidence of a car crash, even if they used a fake name of the person behind the wheel.
  • While there are many youtube videos made that show pictures of Paul before 1966 and "Faul" after 1967 where they look different, there is a youtube video I found that shows the moles on Paul's face are there no matter which years you look at.

My Opinion:

Paul McCartney is alive and well. I think if the Beatles purposely put clues in their songs it was to sell more records. If I'm wrong, I hope Faul tells the truth on his death bed.

Is Paul McCartney alive?

See results


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    • profile image

      Rich Scales 

      2 years ago

      Hiya Nykki

      This was a really facinating read, there is a lot of garbage on the internet but your research and opinions are thoughtful and incisive thanks for sharing this.

      Ive done a fair bit of research on the Michael Jackson death and actually think there are many possibilities.

      May I ask, did you contemplate doing a Princess Diana death article at all? Ive many theories on that one:)



    • Jacky Blue profile image

      Pepper McGowan 

      2 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio

      Awesome hub. I love your argument for the non suicide with Smith, my favorite songwriter. The only time I had disagreements that bordered on heated with my late friend Trevor, also huge Smith fan was that his Taurus stubborn streak and rural New York pragmatism intersected right where he refused to even give the autopsy and silver lake police reports a once over. And I got so flustered. Hey, he was a great songwriter n musician but he couldn't take it, I don't respect him or his work less." And I felt like an Orwellian, ufo hunting Jfk dissection loon. You're awesome, laid it out just here's the goods, deduce what ye may. Also, who would bother to sign their name, spelling errors or not? What, Chiba, you got another one in the wings waiting to commit suicide later n you're afraid you'll be confused if the person you have lived with n dated indefinitely doesn't sign? It took her 3 seconds to make a relationship with the singer of We ever who penned a few emetic tunes about her grief. .

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      There are some attentiongrabbing points in time in this article but I dont know if I see all of them heart to heart. There may be some validity however I will take maintain opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we would like extra! Added to FeedBurner as properly kdefdgbbbbec

    • Nykki13 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Germantown, WI

      epigramman - thanks for reading my hub! Say hi to your kitties for me! haha (My cat is named Casper). Thank you so much for the kind words! Your comment really brought a smile to my face.

      I honestly thought about using Jimi Hendrix for this hub but I ended up using Michael Jackson instead. Morrison's death was very curious indeed. I seriously needed to narrow down my conspiracies because otherwise this hub would have been way too long and I would have gone crazy from all the conspiracies out there! haha Thanks again!!

    • Nykki13 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Germantown, WI

      CMerritt and spartucusjones - it was a lot of fun researching these conspiracies but by the end my head felt like it was going to explode! Some of the ideas people come with and how they get to those conclusions is so strange but kind of makes sense at the same time! Thank you both for reading and commenting!

    • Nykki13 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Germantown, WI

      PDXKaraokeGuy- Thanks for reading! I completely agree that Kurt Cobain was murdered. There are way too many questions left behind by his death. It's just so unfortunate that almost 20 years later nothing has been resolved. Elliott Smith is definitely my favorite solo musician. I love depressing music and lyrics so he always hits the spot haha.

    • epigramman profile image


      5 years ago

      Good morning Nykki from lake erie time ontario canada 3:59am and I absolutely adore your hub presentation here - you are definitely a world class music journalist and I love the amount of work and effort you have put into this hub. I should know, lol, I am probably the number one musicologist here at the Hub. And a very special Happy Valentine's day to you from Colin and Little Miss Tiffy and Mister Gabriel - my two cats as I am having my coffee and bagels and listening to Jan Garbarek and the Hilliard Ensemble (great morning music; check them out on You Tube)

      Jimi Hendrix was murdered by the way - check that out on Google

      Jim Morrison died of a heroin overdose at a club called The ROCK AND ROLL CIRCUS in the washroom and was carried back to his hotel in secret

      Gram Parsons - very interesting death

      Sid Vicious and his girlfriend Nancy, another one

      ....I could go on but I love your spunk, funk and rock and roll attitude -

    • spartucusjones profile image

      CJ Baker 

      5 years ago from Parts Unknown

      Reading about musical conspiracy theories are always fun. Even though I don't buy many of them, some, such as Cobain's do have merit. Regardless they always make for an entertaining read. Your hub was definitely well detailed and thoroughly researched. Thanks for sharing this info.

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 

      5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      Excellent HUB! All of them are very well written and very interesting. I think we all love a good conspiracy, even though we don't like to admit it.

      I vote up, awesome, useful and INTERESTING.


    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 

      5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Great Hub. Cobain was murdered, without a doubt. The police botched the investigation and, as is true with conspiracies, the particpants are dying. El Duce gets hit by a train after admitting in Kurt and Courtney that he was hired to kill Kurt, then the coroner dies... who's next? You hit on the other major points as well. Read "Love and death, the murder of kurt cobain"

      Elliot Smith, who is from my hometown (he was in a great power pop/punk group called Heatmiser before he went solo) also died under mysterious circumstances and, while I clicked "murder" as my vote, suicide wouldn't be out of the question, given his meloncholy lyrics. Then again, the same could be said of Kurt.

      Nice hub. Shared n stuff.

    • Nykki13 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Germantown, WI

      Thank you for reading and commenting on my hub! The Cobain conspiracy is probably the most controversial of all the deaths. I agree about McCartney. That conspiracy theory is a little far fetched.

    • Georgie Lowery profile image

      GH Price 

      5 years ago from North Florida

      This is fascinating. While I don't believe that the "real" Paul McCartney is dead, the Cobain conspiracy has gotten under the skin of lots of folks. Great Hub!


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