[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
The FBI has once again offered a peak behind the curtain at their secret files releasing the full (though somewhat redacted) file with everything they have on the investigation into Kurt Cobain.
No, the feds were never looking into the Nirvana frontman when he was alive; this was all centered around his suicide — and the alternate theories surrounding it. In case you aren’t familiar with the history…
In March 1994, Cobain escaped from a detox facility and disappeared; his wife, Courtney Love, who had staged the intervention to get him to rehab in the first place, hired a PI to track him down but to no avail. Several days later, on April 8, 1994, he was found dead at his Seattle home by an electrician who was there to install a security system and saw Cobain’s body; he reported thinking the rocker was sleeping until he saw the shotgun still propped under his chin. The coroner estimated the 27-year-old had been dead since April 5.
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So what does the FBI have to say about this story? Well, nothing. At least not directly.
The complete file — a scant 10 pages — makes it clear the Bureau was made well aware of the conspiracy theories which formed around Cobain’s passing but offers little in the way of their own investigation.
What they have gathered is letters sent to them several years after the shocking incident which suggest evidence which the Bureau should look into. One letter, from 2003, cites the 1998 documentary Kurt & Courtney, which investigates the conspiracy theory that Cobain did not die by suicide but was actually murdered by Courtney Love. The film features interviews with Tom Grant (the private investigator she hired) and her father, Hank Harrison — who states that he believes it’s possible Cobain’s death was a conspiracy organized by his daughter. The letter points to circumstantial evidence which has been gathered against Love over the years.
The second letter, from 2007, is a handwritten note which points to specific “evidence” Cobain’s suicide scene was staged, such as “there were no prints on the gun he supposedly shot himself with” and that in the suicide note “he mentioned nothing about wanting to die except for the part of it that was in another handwriting and appeared to be added at the end.” The letter states:
“The police who took up the case were never very serious in investigating it as a murder but from the beginning insisted on it being a suicide.”
One other letter is referred to but not included, as it was sent to then-Attorney General Janet Reno and only later referred to the FBI.
The names and other personal information about the authors of these letters are all redacted. However, the FBI included their responses, which are all pretty similar:
“We appreciate your concern that Mr. Cobain may have been the victim of a homicide. However, most homicide investigations generally fall within the jurisdiction of state or local authorities.”
They also say these hints toward a murder accusation do not contain “specific facts” about “any violation of federal law within the investigative jurisdiction of the FBI.”
Essentially, they’re saying they won’t look into it because it was a local police matter, no matter how famous the subject of the case. They did, however, keep these specific letters on file, perhaps to have at the ready in case more information came out later. We have to imagine the decision to quietly release the file last month is probably a solid indicator they do not expect to ever look into the matter further.
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The only missive whose origin we know is a request from the show Unsolved Mysteries, which was interested in getting their statement on an episode they were planning in 1997. They mention in the fax that they have information from Grant — Love’s private investigator, who believes she only hired him to prove her innocence later as part of a conspiracy. They point out that Grant “has found a number of inconsistencies, including questions about the alleged suicide note” which he believes was really “a retirement letter to Cobain’s fans.”
If you’re a longtime follower of this case, none of this will be new to you. Unsolved Mysteries did air that episode, and the documentaries are out there. But new information? Sorry, the only new bit of info is the fact the FBI just didn’t officially dig into any of this, ever.
As for why they chose to finally release the information now? Well, April would have marked the 27th anniversary of the loss of Cobain — who was part of the infamous 27 Club. Past that possibly coincidental occasion, we have no idea, and the FBI isn’t saying. Sometimes they just choose to release these files, like the one on the Notorious B.I.G.‘s death — which, for comparison, was more than 300 pages long.
Did YOU expect more from the FBI? Does their lack of investigation give you any closure? For more, you can view the full file HERE.
[Image via Chris Connor/WENN/FBI.]