In her final days, she prayed and partied, confident that she was on the brink of another comeback.
On the bathroom counter were a spoon and what the coroner’s report called a “white crystal like substance.” When the initial autopsy results were released, six weeks later, they attributed Houston’s death at 48 to accidental drowning, with contributing factors of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use.
She had used cocaine “just probably immediately prior” to drowning, and her condition indicated an “acute use” of the substance.
Bobbi Kristina, Whitney’s 18-year-old daughter with the singer Bobby Brown, was attempting to gain access to her mother’s room. Pat Houston would later blame Whitney’s death not on drugs but on “lifestyle.” She told Oprah Winfrey, “The handwriting was kind of on the wall.” The cause of death clearly went deeper than toxicology.
The last days of Whitney Houston began long before her arrival in Los Angeles.
God is talking to me right now, and now is the time to listen," he concluded.
While the glory of her voice propelled Whitney Houston into the pop stratosphere, her demons kept dragging her down, a powerful undertow of drugs and toxic relationships.
Though the surrounding rooms were occupied by people who loved and depended upon the singer, if she called for help she had gone unheard.
The police found plates of food, a bottle of beer, and an opened bottle of champagne.
Scheduled to appear at the pre-Grammy Awards party given annually by her mentor, the music impresario Clive Davis, on February 11, Whitney Houston arrived in Los Angeles a week early, without fanfare, and checked into the Beverly Hilton with her small entourage under the pseudonym Elizabeth Collins.
She was put in Room 434, which the hotel calls a “presidential junior,” consisting of a small sitting room, bedroom, and bath.
There were also traces of marijuana, the muscle relaxant Flexeril, the allergy medication Benadryl, and Xanax.