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Thursday, July 7, 2022

Kurt Cobain's Sudden Death: Suicide or Murder-For-Hire?

     Kurt Cobain was the lead singer of the band Nirvana. Married to Courtney Love, he had a history of heroin addiction, clinical depression and bipolar disorder. In April 1994, following a stint at a drug rehabilitation facility, Courtney Love reported him missing and suicidal. She hired celebrity private investigator Tom Grant to find him.

     On April 8, 1994 a worker hired to install security lighting at Kurt Cobain's Seattle estate found the 27-year-old dead in the space above his garage referred to as "the greenhouse." The lighting installer found Cobain lying on the floor with a severe head wound and a shotgun (purchased for him by a friend) resting on his chest. Cobain's left hand was wrapped around the barrel. Nearby lay a one-page handwritten note.

     The King County Medical Examiner, Dr. Nicholas Hartshorne, determined the cause of death to be a point blank shotgun blast to the head. The forensic pathologist estimated that Cobain had died on April 5, three days before the discovery of his body.  According to the toxicologist, "The level of heroin in Cobain's bloodstream was 1.52 milligrams per litre." Dr. Hartshorne ruled the manner of Cobain's death a suicide.

      Sometime after the manner of death ruling Courtney Love told an editor from Rolling Stone that Cobain had tried to kill himself in Rome by taking 50 Rohypnol pills.

     Tom Grant, the private investigator hired to find Cobain, along with a pair of true crime book writers, believed that Kurt Cobain was the victim of a murder-for-hire plot orchestrated by Courtney Love for his inheritance. Grant and his supporters believed the killer drugged Cobain with heroin, shot him, then staged the suicide. They thought the physical evidence in the greenhouse and the findings in the toxicology report made murder a more plausible manner of death than suicide.

     The Cobain murder theory proponents argued that the death scene did not contain the amount of blood one would expect from a point blank shotgun blast to the head. (Several forensic pathologists have noted that a shotgun shot inside the mouth often results in less blood.) In support of this theory, Tom Grant pointed out that Cobain's latent fingerprints were not found on the death scene shotgun. (People do not leave identifiable fingerprints on everything they touch. Therefore, the fact that Cobain's latents were not lifted from the gun doesn't prove anything. Crime scene investigators could have bungled the job.)

     Regarding the death scene suicide note, the private investigator and his supporters also subscribed to the theory the document was really a letter written by Cobain announcing his plan to leave his wife and the music industry. Tom Grant theorized that the last few lines at the bottom of the page had been written by Courtney Love. Five forensic document examiners hired by the TV shows "Dateline NBC" and "Unsolved Mysteries" examined a photocopy of the note. One of the handwriting experts concluded that the entire document was in Cobain's hand. The other four weren't sure if the last lines were added by someone else.

     Those who believed that someone had murdered Cobain argued that he had been so heavily drugged he couldn't have pulled the trigger. Of the five forensic pathologists who considered this issue, two believed that Cobain had built up enough tolerance to have the strength to kill himself. The other three forensic pathologists were not sure.

     In anticipation of the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death, a cold-case investigator with the Seattle Police Department spent weeks in February and March 2014 reviewing the case file. On March 21, 2014 a Seattle police spokesperson announced that while the cold-case detective discovered four rolls of undeveloped death scene photographs, the investigator found nothing that sustained the conclusion that Cobain was murdered.

     The newly discovered death scene photographs did not depict Cobain's corpse but rather syringes, a tainted spoon, a lighter and other personal items strewn across the floor near his body.

      The weight of the evidence in this case supported suicide. The fact Mr. Cobain was gripping the barrel of the gun (referred to as the death grip) suggests he was the shooter. If someone had shot Mr. Cobain the killer would not have been able to place the dead man's hand around the barrel in such a tightly held fashion. 

5 comments:

  1. will Courtney Love submit to a polygraph test to clear this matter up? Did the Seattle Police even ask her?

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  2. With all do respect, I think your article is based on media research rather than examining Tom Grants written and audio files

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    1. With all DUE respect, moron.

      Delete
    2. OH NOOOOO!!
      It's the Spelling Police, Nasty Name-Calling Division [NNCD]!!

      Delete
  3. There are too many events that occurred including other deaths and things said by his wife which conflict with the story as it is published as well as not thoroughly processing the crime scene. Besides an array of additional unanswered questions, one has to ask why wouldn't the immediate family of the deceased want to have a thorough investigation and be cooperative until everything is solved to everyone's satisfaction?

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