Medical Examiner Reveals What He Believes Could Have Saved Chris Cornell


Medical examiner Dr. Michael Hunter, who has performed 5,000 autopsies, discussed why he believes Chris Cornell should have been on antidepressants in the upcoming ‘Autopsy: The Last Hours of Chris Cornell’ television special that airs Sunday at 9PM EST on Reelz Channel. Keep in mind that Hunter did not perform Cornell’s autopsy in Detroit and has no firsthand knowledge of his mental health or medical treatment over the years.

“Chris’ dark song titles and lyrics suggest he was struggling with deep emotional pain. I wouldn’t be surprised if antidepressants were used to manage his condition. Antidepressants work by increasing the levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain, returning the chemicals balance back to normal, stabilizing mood and emotion. The toxicology shows no evidence of this medication in his blood the night he died. If Chris wasn’t taking antidepressants at the time of his death, this will have likely increased his chance of engaging in risky behaviors, such as substance abuse, as well as carrying a higher risk for suicide. For that reason, I certainly cannot rule out depression as a contributing factor to his death.”

Evan Schiller, a colleague and drummer of the 90’s Seattle band Sadhappy, also discussed what he saw as Cornell’s Grunge era mindset during the special.

“I don’t think he smiled much. As far as was he happy? I don’t think that was his thing. He did have an air about him that was super intense.”

  • Trovoid

    Wow, some reasonable thoughts concerning Cornell’s death. It’s only a matter of time Vicky calls them up and threatens the program. She’s probably already contacted lawyers.

    • makingconnections

      I agree Trovoid, the most reasonable that we’ve heard in my opinion.

    • Olga Stewart

      Hey you. :).

      How goes it?

      • Trovoid

        Hey Olga. I’m doing okay. I’ve had a lot on my mind but I’m trying to just keep moving forward.

        How has everything been going with you? I’m so behind on articles, like page 13 or 14. Are they publishing more on here lately? I can’t keep up with it!

        • Olga Stewart

          I’m glad to hear that you are doing all right.

          I am doing all right. And things are going okay.

          I think there are more articles being published on here each day.

          Though, not a lot of them have great content.

          But then, I only come to this site to keep up with you, Corndog, mc, and Kay.

  • Allison Auld

    I just want to pipe in and say that “Sadhappy” is the most stereotypical, yet stupid name for a grunge band that I’ve ever heard. It sounds like the name of Homer’s band on “The Simpsons” when they were parodying Nirvana and Kurt Cobain.

  • Jonnygeetar79

    Diagnosis by song titles … sigh.

  • Olga Stewart

    I have to agree with this particular doctor.

    Had Chris gotten help for his depression, he might still be here today.

    Of course, Vicky isn’t going to like this.

    Oh well.

  • Jeff Potter

    Antidepressants are tricky. Some folks don’t do well with their use. For the examiner to say that form of therapy would have helped is a stretch. In many cases those therapies can do way more harm than good. Big pharma would like to see all Americans hopped up on brain benders.

    • Olga Stewart

      Sometimes they do help.

      I’m one example of that.

      So I wouldn’t immediately discount them.

      • Jeff Potter

        I said “some folks don’t do well with them”
        Me for example, along with a half dozen other folks I personally know. Lighten up

        • Olga Stewart

          I was just stating my opinion.

          There’s no need to be rude about it.

        • Olga Stewart

          And I am sorry for misreading your comment.

          It sometimes happens with people.

  • Cristiann

    Yes, Chris could be “super intense” sometimes but he wasn’t always doom and gloom. Chris was capable of being playful and funny when he wanted to be. Clearly Evan only saw one side to him back in the 90s.

    I still believe that Chris was severely depressed when he died. Even if he did have a relapse before his death, it still doesn’t prove that he was mentally impaired by his medication imo. There’s really no way for anyone to know why he did what he did. It didn’t make sense a year ago and it still doesn’t make sense to me now. Maybe if Chris had gotten some therapy and had spoken to a professional … it might have made a positive difference. Maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part, though.

    As far as anti-depressants go … personally, I have my doubts about them. I’m already on enough medication for other reasons, so the last thing I want is to take more pills every day. That being said, though … sometimes anti-depressants help. It really depends on the person, I guess. Not every patient responds well to certain treatments, so it’s important to be cautious.