Amy Winehouse's Death Investigation Shouldn’t Be Reopened, Despite Coroner Doubt

Poor Amy Winehouse. As if her life wasn't troubled enough, it seems like there's been nothing but drama surrounding her death. As you may remember, her father originally insisted that she'd likely succumbed to alcohol withdrawal when she was found dead in her London home last July, and then the mystery seemed to deepen when her autopsy was "inconclusive." Finally, a coroner stated that Winehouse had died from accidental alcohol poisoning—but now even that ruling is being called into question.

It turns out that Suzanne Greenaway, the British coroner who ruled Winehouse's cause of death last October, resigned last year after her qualifications were questioned. What did this mean for Amy Winehouse's family, friends, and fans? Unfortunately, it's possible that the investigation into the singer's death may have to happen all over again.


The story is this: Greenaway was appointed as assistant deputy coroner in London in 2009 by her husband, who is also a coroner. After authorities learned she had not been a registered U.K. lawyer for five years as required by the rules (despite the fact that she'd practiced law for a decade in her native Australia), Greenaway turned in her resignation last November—just one month after ruling on Winehouse's death.

While this all went down several months ago, Greenaway's resignation was only made public today.

Naturally, there's all sorts of drama over whether or not Greenaway's husband knowingly did anything shady when he appointed her to the position, and now that her authority has been called into question, Winehouse's inquest could be declared invalid if her family challenges the verdict in court.

Winehouse's family hasn't made any decisions yet, and has issued a statement saying:

[We're] taking advice on the implications of this and will decide if any further discussion with the authorities is needed.

To me, this whole thing sounds like a giant mess. From what I've read, it sounds like Greenaway's husband made an honest mistake, and the legal technicality of her years of U.K. service has nothing to do with her actual job qualifications. Plus, it seems incredibly unlikely that a repeat inquest would reveal anything new, considering her death ruling included evidence from a pathologist, Winehouse's doctor, the security guard who found her, and a detective who described seeing three empty vodka bottles in her bedroom.

What good would it do to anyone to revisit the tragic business of how she died? I hope for her family's sake, they let the matter rest, because I can't imagine that going through it all over again would be anything other than painful.

What would you do in Amy Winehouse's family's shoes? Would you call for another investigation?

Image via Flickr/Peter Cruise

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