Layne Staley lead singer of Alice In Chains was found dead by his mother and stepfather in his 5th Floor Condo at Grandview Plaza on April 20, 2002. His mother had called Seattle police to report that she had not heard from her son in over two weeks.
4528 8th Avenue NE, Unit: 5C
Seattle-University District, Wa. 98105
Seattle police went to Staley’s fifth-floor condo at about 5:40 p.m. Friday April 20th. They kicked in the door and Layne’s body was on a couch, lit by a flickering TV, next to several spray-paint cans on the floor, not far from a small stash of cocaine, near two crack pipes on the coffee table. His body was surrounded by various drug possessions and paraphernalia.
We found these photos from inside Staley’s condo and the living room (on the left) where he died on his couch.
The 6’1 Staley only weighed 86 pounds when his body was found and he had been dead for at least two weeks. The autopsy report later concluded that Staley died after injecting a mixture of heroin and cocaine known as a “speedball”. The King County Coroner’s Office estimated Staley to have died on April 5, 2002, exactly 8 years after his fellow musician and Washington native Kurt Cobain had died (Cobain was found three days later, on April 8).
UPDATE: The condo was recently put up for sale on May 17, 2014. Here are some updated photos of the living room where Staley passed away.
Throughout the band’s rise to fame, rumors of Layne’s heroin use were beginning to surface, and the band ended up cancelling a 1994 summer tour with Metallica after Layne began using heroin yet again after a 1993 stay in rehab.
Layne’s continued use of heroin was beginning to affect his ability to perform, so the band opted not to tour yet again in 1995. Alice in Chains came back into the spotlight on April 10, 1996 to perform on MTV’s Unplugged. Layne looked very pale and he kept his entire body covered, including his hands.
July 3, 1996 was Alice in Chains final performance with Layne at a show in Kansas City, Missouri. Here’s a clip from that final show.
In October of 1996, his fiancé Demri Parrott, died as a result of bacterial endocarditis, as she was also a heroin addict. Her death is considered to have pushed Layne over the final edge, as he then became a recluse in his own condominium. A painting of Demri and Layne was featured on the cover of the Mad Season album.
In 2002, Staley’s mother, Nancy McCallum, and Jamie Richards, a drug and alcohol counselor, formed the Layne Staley Fund, a non-profit organization that raises money for drug treatment and works with the Seattle music community. It holds a yearly tribute on or around Staley’s birthday August 22.