The Los Angeles coroner’s office has confirmed Whitney Houston’s official cause of death. No one is surprised that cocaine bears part of the blame, but drowning will go down as culprit on her death certificate.
Craig Harvey, the L.A. County Coroner’s chief, also revealed that Whitney had atherosclerotic heart disease. The ailment is a build-up of plaque that narrows the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart.
“We had approximately a 60 percent occlusion in the arteries, in the narrowing of the arteries. So, that condition, complicated by the chronic cocaine use, all combined to result in her drowning. The final cause of death has been established as drowning due to atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use.”
What is making my inner detective bust out a monocle and raise an eyebrow in suspicion is the fact that no cocaine residue, paraphernalia or coke was found in her hotel room. Authorities did find Benadryl, marijuana, Xanax and Flexeril and the meds were also found in her system. Harvey insists that the cocktail of prescriptions did not factor into her death.
Houston had claimed to be reformed of her coke habit and said she quit the bad shiz in 2002. The coroner found otherwise. He did confirm that the autopsy results suggest chronic usage. As to whether or not she was dead before she slipped under water, the coroner has his theory…
“People can have what is called agonal respirations. That is, you can have a gasping breath, even after the heart is stopped. There are two possibilities: that she was incapacitated and alive when she went under the water, or she was basically dead, and the water got in with these respirations.”
“How does someone die in a bathtub?” he asked. “It’s not like they’re swimming the English Channel. So she had to have been incapacitated. And I think that was due to the cocaine causing an abnormal cardiac rhythm.”
The final report on Whitney Houston’s cause of death is expected in two weeks.