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.”