Kurt Cobain, lead singer of the infamous band Nirvana was discovered outside of his Seattle home three days after his death by Garry Smith on April 8, 1994. While Cobain’s official death certificate reads suicide, many theories have cropped up over the years that claim to explain neglected attributes to the original case.
Suicide is the most accepted theory to Kurt Cobain’s death, gaining support from not only the Seattle Police Department but Cobain’s own family at the time of death. Cobain was reported to have been clinically depressed for the majority of his life and was crippled with severe drug addiction.
In photographs taken of the body, viewers can plainly see the medical bracelet for the drug rehab center he had broken out of. He was completely dependent on heroin and was quoted saying “This is the only thing saving me from blowing my head off”.
Band members also reported that Cobain was disconnected from his friends and family during his final days. Photos of Kurt Cobain’s body have been stated to show Cobain splayed out on the floor with a shotgun firmly gripped in his hand and a box of shotgun shells at his feet. A suicide note was also discovered near Cobain.
Both Richard Lee and Tom Grant claim that Kurt Cobain was murdered, however Tom Grant’s version of the theory targets more specific areas of the investigation. The first of which being the levels of heroin in Cobain’s bloodstream, reported to be 1.52 miligrams per liter by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
However Grant’s conclusions based on these numbers have received harsh criticisms because they do not come from the actual autopsy report as autopsies are protected under the privacy act of 1974.
Also it can be argued that high concentration does not necessarily equal a high dose, Grant’s claim is that the amount in Cobain’s blood stream was much too high for him to operate a shotgun. It should also be noted that experts have mixed feelings towards his assessment as some argue that Cobain could have built up a tolerance to the drug and others side with Grant’s conclusion.
Grant also targets the suicide note, stating that investigators just assumed that it was written by Cobain and claims that the Seattle Police Department did not fully assess the suicide note. Grant also claims that the suicide note it’s self is questionably written, instead of adressing Cobain’s wife or daughter Kurt addressed it to Boddah, his childhood imaginary friend.
Cobain also only mentions his daughter and wife a total of three times throughout the entirety of the letter. Grant sighted lines such as “…so remember, it’s better to burn out then to fade away” claiming it did not sound like the late rock star.
However when Cobain’s personal journals were published in 2004, his thought process and sentence structure mirrored that of the suicide letter. Another problem with this aspect of Grant’s theory is that handwriting experts can neither confirm or deny whether the letter was actually written by Kurt Cobain. This is because they were asked to analyze a photocopy that Grant took of the suicide note instead of the physical copy.
Grant also brings up considerable evidence when concerning the shotgun used. Cobain was found with a Remington 2 20 gauge shotgun in his hands but the gun was not checked for finger prints until three years later. At this point in time 4 prints were able to be lifted but they were not able to identify them. The officer on the scene had to pry the shotgun from Cobain’s hands and this could explain the lack of usable prints.
Grant targets the police reports, pointing out inconsistencies that he claims discredit the investigation. The report states that the shed doors could only be locked from the inside, meaning Cobain would have had to lock them himself however Grant says that they could be locked from the outside as well.
Grant makes a note of the lack of usable finger prints on the evidence, stating that there is no definitive connection between Cobain and the shotgun because there are none of his fingerprints on the gun. Grant comes to this conclusion because Cobain’s body was discovered with no gloves on and that there were no fingerprints on the suicide note or the pen.
Grant also cites the Rome incident where Cobain overdosed on an excessive amount of pain medication. Grant believes that Courtney Love (Cobain’s wife at the time) purposefully tried to overdose Cobain by slipping pain medicine into his drinks.
However despite Love claiming he took 50 Rohypnol pills, Love called for help once she discovered her husband on the floor. Family and friends only actively claimed it was a suicide attempt after Cobain was dead, which could have made Grant suspicious.
Rosemarry Carroll however is the centerpiece to his entire case as she claims Cobain asked her to come up with a will excluding Love as a benificiary. Carroll claims that he was going to be getting a divorce, which would provide an excellent motive for his murder. However there has been no public comment from Carroll confirming this statement and all we have to go on is Grant’s word.
Nick Broomfield expands on this theory by trying to uncover a presumibly hidden murder plot constructed by Courtney Love. At the time he was shooting his film, Broomfield believed that Love had hired a hitman to murder him, paying him $50,000 to complete the deed.
However he couldn’t find enough evidence to convince himself that this was indeed what had happened. He has been reported saying that “..I think..Courtney had moved on and he was expendable…there was no love for Kurt…”
It should be noted that Grant has denied profiting from Kurt Cobain’s death, stating that it helps fund his ongoing investigation and “if I go broke, I’ll have to give up my pursuit and Courtney wins.”
Kurt Cobain’s death was a tragedy, and while no one can really know for sure what actually happened we do know he has been sorely missed by fans new and old.