Coroner: Alcohol, drug killed Thomas Kinkade - CNN.com Kinkade was a gifted artist. I don't have any of his paintings, but then I paint myself and I found his paintings a little too cottagey for my taste. But he was still a gifted painter. This happens more than you know. Alcohol alone in small quantity likely will not kill one. Valium alone in small quantity will likely not kill one. But put the two together and it really doesn't take much. People play with this fire every day not knowing how close they are to meeting their maker.