A close friend of Janis Joplin, Peggy Caserta, says that Joplin didn't die by an overdose. She offered her theory as to what may have happened in her new book.
In October 1970, Joplin was found dead on the floor of her hotel room. Her death was ruled to be accidental and people thought she died of an overdose of heroin as Joplin was a heavy addict and many other customers of her drug dealer had overdosed in the same week.
Caserta provided a detail in her new book, questioning the current version of Joplin's death. Saying that the detail she'd seen in the hotel room had always concerned her, she suggests that Joplin visited the cigarette vending machine in the hotel lobby after having taken heroin.
In Caserta's memoir, "I Ran Into Some Trouble", she wrote, "I saw her foot sticking out at the end of the bed. She was lying with cigarettes in one hand and change in the other." She expressed that the memory bothered her for many years, questioning how Joplin could have overdosed and was still able to make a cigarette run. She added, "I’ve overdosed, and you crumble on the floor like how they found Philip Seymour Hoffman. I let it go for years, but I always thought, ‘Something is wrong here.'"
To back up her opinion, Caserta added that she had also taken the same heroin supply. She currently believes that Joplin died of asphyxiation from a broken nose after a fall from getting caught in a shag carpet wearing sandals with a "tiny hourglass heel".
“Does it matter at this late date? In some ways maybe it doesn’t," Caserta reflects. "But what matters is the truth, and the truth is that she didn’t overdose. I will go to my grave believing that. God knows I’ve been there several times.”
Caserta's intention of releasing her memoir is to address the inaccuracies of the 1973 book "Going Down with Janis" that contained details of their relationship. Caserta admitted that she "didn't write that smut about Janis" and would never talk like that about their friendship but had lost control from being strung out.