Just after the Detroit Police Department released photos Tuesday of the hotel room where Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell hanged himself May 18, conspiracy theories over the cause of the rockstar's death started doing the rounds.
However, TMZ reported late Tuesday that the images showing blood stains in the suite at MGM Grand Detroit did not indicate foul play.
Several medical examiners told TMZ it was common for hanging victims to bleed from the mouth or nose from a buildup of blood, and does not indicate murder. According to the crime scene report, released through a Freedom of Information Act request, 52-year-old Cornell had a "well defined ligature mark present on the neck/throat area."
Photos of the scene also showed some of Cornell’s belongings, along with prescription medication, including three bottles of prednisone (anti-inflammatory), omeprazole (antacid) and lorazepam (anti-anxiety). The police report added that emergency responders found Cornell's face "covered in blood spatter."
Cornell was found dead by his bodyguard, who had kicked in the door to the musician's room at the hotel, and unsuccessfully tried to revive him.
"I went inside and the bathroom door was partially opened, and I could see his feet," bodyguard Martin Kirsten, told police in a statement obtained by the Detroit Free Press. Kirsten said he loosened the exercise band from the singer's neck and started chest compressions in an attempt to revive him.
The Wayne County medical examiner ruled Cornell's death as suicide by hanging, and later autopsy reports revealed multiple drugs were in his system at the time of his death.
Not just Cornell's fans, his wife Vicky Karayiannis too has raised doubts over the circumstances of her husband's death. She hinted Cornell may have been high on drugs and did not consciously try to kill himself.
“My Chris was happy, loving, caring and warm,” Vicky explained. “This was not a depressed man — it wasn’t like I missed that. What I missed were the signs of addiction.”
Just a day before the suicide scene report was released, an article in the Detroit News on Monday gave rise to conspiracy theories after a blogger claimed there were gaps in the timeline of Cornell’s death and questioned the forensic evidence. Blogger Randy Cody, who espoused the murder theory, claimed he heard a Detroit police scanner audio where a medic spoke about trauma to the back of the head.
“Patient did have an exercise rubber band around his neck, suggestions of possible strangulation, trauma to the back of the head, history of depression,” the medic reportedly said in the audio. “Patient is cool to the touch in all areas at this time.”
The blogger also claimed Cornell had a head wound, citing a video that showed injuries to the back of his head.
“There’s a YouTube video of (Cornell’s) last concert that clearly shows a wound on his head, but that’s never mentioned in the autopsy report,” Cody told the publication Monday, not revealing how he heard the scanner feed.
Cornell was cremated May 22, and his epitaph reads: “Voice of our generation and an artist for all time.”