In the days immediately following the death of Chester Bennington, singer of the influential alt-rock band Linkin Park, the cause of his death was not so clear. The New York Times wrote in its obituary that the death of the 41-year-old was being investigated as a possible suicide; the next day, the Los Angeles county coroner confirmed it. But the news took everyone by storm, including many close to Bennington: He had shared “positive, looking-forward-to-the-future” texts with bandmates, talked about future shows, tweeted recently about feeling inspired and working on new material. When he died, there was no suicide note. Now, TMZ has published Bennington’s autopsy report online, and a few details confirm what some friends had suspected: The singer, who had struggled with addiction for years, had alcohol in his system at the time of his death.
One of the sections towards the end of the report (which you can read in full here) includes a description of the scene of the singer’s death; on his dresser was half an Ambien and a bottle of Corona that was less than half full. In the bathroom, there was an empty bottle of Stella Artois. There was also a “typed apparent biography” in a nightstand.
These details paint a tragic scene of someone who had struggled with mental health and sobriety, to an extent that perhaps his loved ones did not realize. In the stories that came out after Bennington’s death, friends said knew the 41-year-old had been drinking, but they did not know how much. One friend, guitarist Ryan Shuck, told Rolling Stone that Bennington had confided in him about his struggle to maintain his sobriety, describing an “hour-by-hour battle with addiction.” Shuck also told Rolling Stone:
“We don’t know how much [he drank], but it doesn’t take much when you’re that advanced an alcoholic and an addict and you’re battling to the extent he described to me... You don’t need much to lose your mind for a minute.”
If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide or self-harm, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.