Amy Winehouse’s autopsy results are inconclusive, awaiting toxicology

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Why did I think that Amy Winehouse’s autopsy was going to be totally completed today and that we would have conclusive answers quickly? Some days, I’m surprised by own naiveté. The initial autopsy was completed today, but it’s going to be two to four weeks until toxicology is known. Meaning, we still don’t know what killed her, but the coroner is comfortable saying that this was not a “natural death”.

Investigators may not know what killed singer Amy Winehouse until they get results from lab tests on her blood and tissue, due in about two to four weeks, according to Scotland Yard Monday.

An autopsy was completed at St. Pancras Mortuary Monday afternoon, two days after the singer died in her London apartment.

“It did not establish a formal cause of death and we await the results of further toxicology tests,” a police statement said.

An inquest into her death was opened Monday, the statement said.

“Inquiries continue into the circumstances of the death,” London’s Metropolitan Police, also known as Scotland Yard, said in a statement Sunday. At this stage, the 27-year-old’s death “is being treated as unexplained and there have been no arrests in connection with the incident,” police said.

[From CNN]

I really hope this doesn’t become one of those deaths where conspiracy theories grow like weeds. I’m thinking about Kurt Cobain, for one. I still hear different, bizarre theories about his death. If everyone is like “we have to wait to see what was in her bloodstream” that means “she was on drugs.” You could also go to “she was poisoned” but… this is Amy. I’m not saying her death wasn’t a loss, or that the grief of her family, friends and fans isn’t real. I’m just saying that she was an addict and an alcoholic, and that’s what killed her.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

 

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41 Responses to “Amy Winehouse’s autopsy results are inconclusive, awaiting toxicology”

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  1. Kitty_Cal says:

    Hearing she had emphysema… I wonder about the condition of her body as a whole. Particularly her heart and her lungs. All the drinkings, drugs, and failed treatment attempts were probably extremely taxing on her body. I’m glad she passed away peacefully though. A kind end to a life full of chaos.

  2. Kelly says:

    When is that third picture from? It looks older – like her very early 20s, before she lost the weight and got the beehive. And is she crying??

  3. e says:

    It still surprises me who survives addiction and who doesn’t. So many musicians just abuse their bodies and manage to make it and then there are people like Amy. I mean Pete Doherty is still breathing, not soberly, but he is still alive and has been at it a lot longer than Amy had. I am not sure that the autopsy will give us answers. They may come back and essentially say drug overdose or it might be a Brittany Murphy situation.

  4. Parisienne says:

    @e
    I am still trying to figure the same thing out: why are the Stones still alive and poor Amy is not? Is it the eating disorder?

  5. DethHammer says:

    Why is Amy crying in that last pic? :(

  6. mew says:

    Bulimia must’ve weakened her a lot on top of all the drugs and alcohol..

  7. mln76 says:

    @Parisienne . At the end of the day I do believe that the Stones even Keith Richards made music their priority. Yes they had documented drug problems but if you listen to any of their interviews they are very shrewd people who when it came down to it put everything-drugs, women, etc second to their music while on the other hand Amy has had an obvious death wish and has barely been able to perform for years. The Stones have never let anything stop them from recording. Also drugs like herion and cocaine especially the high quality drugs they were doing in their day aren’t as bad for you as meth and crack.

  8. Gossip Owl says:

    @Kaiser This should honestly be a surprise to no one but I was hoping for lung blockage or brain swelling or something to make it not drug related myself. On a small upside two to four weeks sounds a lot better than the 6-8 we normally hear from LAPD in these cases.
    And Kaiser, Kurt’s death was different. The ever incompetent Seattle PD (I live in Seattle so I can say that about them) did doodley squat and quickly ruled it a suicide when there were SEVERAL factors suggesting foul play may have been involved. I’m not saying it WAS foul play but they should have investigated those factors rather than just write it off and we would not have the conspiracy theories we do today. Scotland Yard is known for being extremely thorough in these matters and I would trust any result they the public.

  9. Twez says:

    Waiting for toxicology results almost certainly indicates death related to drug misuse… the initial exam might show the presence of a particular drug or drugs, but the toxicology analysis will show if the drug was present at a level high enough to be lethal, or if the combination of drugs was the problem (as in Heath Ledger).

  10. Me says:

    Its because you cant start and stop drugs over and over… its a good way to kill yourself. You get clean for a bit, decide to go on a bender and think you can handle the same load you used to. But nope you cant and then youre dead.

    Those who have made it through, like the Stones have only done so because they likely never stopped using drugs.

  11. bunny says:

    Her immune system must have been so burned out from the years of drugs. Poor thing, what a lonely existence.

  12. Ari says:

    “um, drugs? no, maybe it was drugs? drugs? im pretty sure its drugs? lets see…drugs?” how hard is this report, seriously

    the emphysema thing tripped me out too she aged herself by 30-40 years with that one

  13. danielle says:

    I also think crack and meth are harder on the body and more likely to cause emphysema, right? Although there are alot of aging crack addict and 27 does seem SO young.

    I didn’t think we would find out what happened for awhile, since I was fairly sure a toxology report would be needed to determine cause of death. :^(

  14. Violet says:

    Amy trashed her body six ways from Sunday — drugs, booze, cigarettes, starvation.

    Last month, two weeks fresh out her latest stint in rehab, Amy got on stage wasted and the rest of the tour had to be cancelled.

    I don’t need to see the toxicology report. Whatever the official cause of death turns out to be, the bottom line is that her body finally fell apart after years of abuse.

    My heart goes out to her family and friends, especially her parents. It must be the hardest thing in the world to see your child destroying herself like that. I hope Amy is finally at peace.

  15. Firecracker says:

    I just feel so bad for her parents.

  16. Christie says:

    @Ari They can’t officially say that she was killed by drugs until they know specifically which drug(s) were in her bloodstream at a lethal level.

  17. endoplasmic_ridiculum says:

    “Drugs are bad… mmmmkay?”

  18. Wif says:

    As to why the older rockers can do drugs for years and years, it’s because drugs not only laced with stuff that they weren’t years ago, the drug content themselves are stronger than they used to be. I saw a blurb about it in a documentary on the link between drugs and schizophrenia.

  19. mln76 says:

    I hate all the nitpicking…It doesn’t matter what the coroner reports say, Brittney Murphy died of drugs, so did Corey Haim, and Heath Ledger, and no matter what information comes out so did Amy Winehouse. If you are a drug addict your system is weakened making you more susceptible to other things but take away the drugs and the above would have lived long lives. Obviously they each had their demons and I say god bless but what a waste. Denial doesn’t help them when they are dead anymore than it did when they were alive.

  20. Jen D says:

    I think drugs can also interfere a bit differently with people’s systems. Also, although the Stones (and for that matter pretty much any rocker from the 60′s and 70′s) were pretty into the bad stuff, they probably had moments of sobriety. Some people can be addicted for years but learn to be functional by spacing things out a bit. I can’t claim to know what went on on a daily basis with Amy Winehouse, but from what I can infer she was rarely sober, and she certainly wasn’t functional.

  21. Máiread says:

    I read a good point in a newspaper colum today, that the drugs and alcohol is much harder on women as they’re physically less able for it.

  22. Call Me Al says:

    poor thing. i’m still in denial about her death.

  23. california angel says:

    The volume and combination of drugs wrecked her body I think, nevertheless the cause; her death is horrible and incredibly sad. I don’t think she ever realized how amazing and talented she was…which is even more sad. Its so scary, as a former addict who is 27, to see what could have happened if I had not had the support I had to get clean..so sad. : /

  24. Shy says:

    She didn’t eat. Was very thin. And was using drugs every day… Of course at one moment her body would give up. It’s amazing that her body was standing for so long.

    And I actually don’t think that Lohan will be next. Lohan is not some crazy addict. She just likes it. She will die only if she will accidentally overdose. Or will get drunk and then will add drugs and that mix will accidentally kill her.

    Next one probably will be Charlie Sheen. So similar to Amy Winehouse. And Sheen was working every day and had to limit his drugs. And still couldn’t stop. Can you imagine how much he uses now when nobody controls him and he doesn؊ have to go to work every day? And he is also so thin. At one point his body will gave up too.

    That idiot should look up to Amy and go to rehab. Not for anyone. Just for himself.

  25. Alix says:

    Where are people getting the emphysema story?

  26. michelle says:

    @ gossipowl thankyou for saying what you said about Kurt his death should have been investigated for sure.

  27. Seal Team 6 says:

    Just an FYI: although I no longer smoke it because it isn;t legal in my state, there is no correlation between pot use and schizophrenia. Those studies have been very misrepresented in the media. Big surprise.

  28. Jilly Bean says:

    Lindsay Lohan – heed this warning!!!!

  29. texasmom says:

    I once went on a tour of the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office (that’s Chicago, non-Illinois residents!). Basically, all autopsies have two components: 1) the physical autopsy with the big Y incision, table with a drain and all the other stuff you imagine from TV dramas, and 2) the histology report, which includes toxicology as well as all kinds of tissue sample staining and microscopic examinations, chromatic spectra-ma-thingies, etc, etc. The histology always takes some weeks to return the reports because it includes all kinds of microbiological work. Every autopsy is “inconclusive” until the histology reports are done, so we don’t officially know anything about Amy’s death just because they aren’t done with it yet. Every autopsy takes some weeks due to the histology work. (This was the weirdest tour I have ever been on, by the way. The Histologist’s office had a jar with an eyeball in it on a shelf for some reason. It was hard to pay attention to what she was saying.)

    Naturally, just like everyone else, I expect Amy’s death is related to drug use and/or bulemia. I have been moved to see how many beautiful photos have been put up after her death because I remember so many more where she was just cadaverous. Many photos of her reminded me of Karen Carpenter and her heart failure after all those years of anorexia.

  30. Trashaddict says:

    I really look forward to seeing the autopsy report on the Smoking Gun. It’s time they stop hiding these things and just lay them out for the public to see.
    Also, how old is Blake’s baby? The British papers described the baby as a newborn. Imagine the depths of depression if you’ve just blown a European tour and your ex from your failed marriage, the love of your life, pops out a baby with his new wife. A guy stuck in jail and you are out free on the streets and can’t make it work. It would make me look for druggie solace, and I don’t even use them.

  31. Chris says:

    I was just at the library on my lunch break looking at the new books table and I came across the Amy Winehouse biography and thought they’re going to have update that. I also took the liberty of reading the last page of it and the author predicted Amy would get it together and bounce back.

  32. Mrs. Odie 2 says:

    What could have killed her? This one is a mystery for the ages.

  33. Health Forum says:

    I can’t wait until they discover the cause of her death

  34. Venefica Delirium says:

    Poor lady. She had such a lovely voice and beneath the troubled personality, she seemed rather sweet. May she rest in peace.

    I don’t know why people are warning Lindsay Lohan. While I do not wish this fate on anyone regardless of my opinion toward them, I doubt she’s going anywhere. It seems some can handle addiction better than others. Ozzy Osbourne, Keith Richards, Lindsay Lohan, and Charlie Sheen have been abusing drugs for years, to the point of where some of them are no longer even coherent. Not only did they outlive Amy Winehouse, Heath Ledger, and Brittany Murphy but they are living a relatively long life.

    (Jury’s not out on Lohan yet, but I just think she’s a manipulative brat who uses drugs recreationally, like I’m certain a lot of Hollywood does.)

  35. Pensol says:

    One thing that probably had an effect on the Stones drug use/drinking (even if they like to pretend that it didn’t): Brian Jones. Dead at the bottom of his swimming pool at age 27 (!!!!). Per wikipedia, “The coroner’s report stated “death by misadventure”, and noted his liver and heart were heavily enlarged by drug and alcohol abuse.” What do you want to bet this made the rest of them decide to dial back on the binging just a leeeetle bit afterwards?

  36. Eleonor says:

    I’ve read Keith Richards autobiography and according to him he is still live not only thanks to the quality of drugs he used to do (he says he used to be on medical cocaine/heroin which is quite different), but also to his capacity to stop: he knew when it was too much, and he didn’t mix different drugs. He is also very honest about this: he never did crack or meth. I’m not sure Lindsay Lohan will get as old as Keith Richards is.

  37. Larissa says:

    Kurt Cobain was also an addict(which can turn anyone into manic-depressive/suicidal mode), and people tend to forget that. I do not believe Amy had an accidental overdose, not all suicides include a suicide note!
    But that brings me to Courtney Love, how the heck is she still alive? Maybe it is because she never deliberately wanted to kill herself.

  38. ol cranky says:

    @Alix – I don’t know where people are coming up with the emphysema story. Technically, the official diagnosis of COPD (emphysema and/or chronic bronchitis) isn’t made unless you are over 35 and have at least a 10 pack year smoking history (unless you are hispanic which puts you at higher risk for alpha1 anti-trypsin deficiency which can lead to COPD at a young age with no smoking history). People can smoke 3 packs/day for 20 some odd years and not meet the clinical criteria for a diagnosis of COPD (they will eventually, and they may show some signs of developing the disease but. . .).

    That said, in addition to the compromised immune status, the eating disorder coupled with the drug & alcohol abuse and smoking would have made her more malnourished much more quickly than the alcohol abuse alone. Of course, malnourishment also further compromised her immune status, etc. Being 10 – 15 pounds underweight is actually a much bigger stress on your heart than being 10-15 pounds overweight. Winehouse’s body when through 40-60 years of wear and tear in probably about 10 years. Physiologically, she was probably a good 80 some odd years old despite only being 27-chronologically.

    I feel bad for the people who loved her and did not enable her. They not only feel a horrid loss, but are probably beating themselves up with the “if I only tried harder”, etc. The truth is, it doesn’t matter what the addiction is, if the person doesn’t have some massive intrinsic desire to quit, they won’t be successful at turning their lives around.

    Winehouse didn’t become an addict because of her fame/success, she was already one well before she had that success. So it sickens me that some outlets are chalking this up to her fame and some are romanticizing the “dead at 27 years old” club as if it was a matter of talented stars shining so bright they burnt out. It also sickens me that some of the tributes people are leaving include the lyrics to rehab which, while it is the song she is most well known for, seems to glorify everything that was wrong with her.

    I think Russell Brand’s tribute says it all and does so with a brutal but beautiful honesty.

  39. Isa says:

    I’ve heard that she didn’t have emphysema but rather was on her way to getting it and showing signs or symptoms? If that’s correct, IDK.

    Some people can survive years of drug abuse because different drugs, different combinations of drugs, and different amounts of drugs can affect people in different ways. That’s four differents in that sentence! Wow.

    Anyway, if she had an eating disorder like I read (I always thought she was skinny from not eating from the drugs), then she was particularly susceptible.

    In the area where I live there’s a horrible meth problem. My husband, being a cop, has taken classes over it. The ingredients that are in it are horrible, it surprises me that anyone can live after putting that stuff into their body.

  40. Original Tiffany says:

    If she had died of COPD, it would have showed on the initial Autopsy. I am sure there will be conspiracy theories. Such as her label couldn’t make anything more off her alive, falling off the stage drunk, but her album is now #1 on itunes, selling like hotcakes.
    Do some research into Kurt’s death. Not only did he amazingly shoot himself up with a dose of heroin so big (like 80x lethal dose) he would have been dead with the needle still in his arm, but the entire drug kit was put away neatly and then he managed to shoot himself with a shotgun and WIPE HIS FINGERPRINTS off it. Pretty amazing for a dead guy, huh?
    Toxicology will come back in 2 weeks, then we will all know-maybe.

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