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The Death of Kurt Cobain - Suicide or Murder?

Newsweek - Kurt Cobain Suicide

It was a Friday, April 8th, 1994, and after a long week at work I was sitting down to watch some TV and opened the TV Guide. I had listened intently to the tragic news all day about Kurt, and was really surprised when I sat down and saw the information shown in the photo below. I showed it to my girlfriend and she agreed we should keep it.

Kurt Cobain's body was found April 8, 1994

On the day the body of Kurt Cobain was found, this was the TV guide from the Madison, Wisconsin daily papers weekly TV guide (photos below). This was a nationally syndicated show in its first season, airing this particular episode for its first time ever and so it was the same for virtually every city in the United States that night. I saw this and was so struck by how odd it was that I saved the entire TV guide for 4 years, which was when I first heard that Kurt may have been murdered. I located the TV guide and took pictures of it. I first published this on my website in April, 1997.


It all began for me the day Kurt was found and I saw the TV Guide, and that same night with 5 o'clock news reports that it was a confirmed suicide, suggesting a serious rush to judgment. Kurt's daughter only has one parent left, and it is important that she know for certain that her mother was not involved if in fact she was not. It will be terrible for their daughter to grow up with any doubts about her only surviving parent, but it is terrible for a young girl to grow up believing her Dad bailed out on her if in fact he did not. You can blame Courtney Love's bizarre behavior in recent years on her guilty conscience, but also consider it could be out of extreme grief and devastation over being accused of killing her husband and the father of their child. Being falsely accused is a painful thing. It has been widely reported and confirmed that Courtney Love's own step dad believes she was involved in Kurt's death, which causes everyone to wonder a little. But I have met some crazy parents in my life.

Kurt Cobain was an amazing artist and deserves that all of the truth be brought out once and for all. A lot of people saw Kurt Cobain and may have perceived him as somewhat of a Pied Piper of youth leading them towards drug use, heroin in particular. If Courtney Love is completely innocent, she should be spearheading the re-opening of the case, for their daughter if nothing else. Kurt Cobain was extremely important to millions of people. An investigation needs to be done, for the sake of Frances Bean Cobain, for Courtney Love, for the families of the 68 people who committed suicide after Kurt was found dead, and for the literally millions of fans of this amazing artist. In the relatively near future I will attempt to consolidate all of the sites which have a petition to re-open Kurt's case into a single site with some corporate sponsorship or something to insure that it stays up, is the only list being done and that it is presented every year until it is done.

Below you can find a collection of information, photos and videos.
Also make sure to visit the Kurt Cobain Store for books, movies, music and more.

Kurt Cobain - Entertainment Weekly

I don't believe any DNA evidence was collected from the scene, which was bulldozed a short time later, after Kurt was cremated also, taking the body and the scene out of the investigative picture. Below are photos of Kurt in the greenhouse.

Kurt Cobain's troubled last days

Kurt Cobain Dead in Greenhouse

Kurt Cobain Dead in Greenhouse

Where is the blood in these photos? Most head wounds bleed excessively. This is not crime scene photos by the police - these are independent photographs by reporters and individuals. No cleanup occurred prior to these photos. But in neither of the two angles above do I see a single drop of blood.

Would a huge amount of heroin slow blood flow that much, or had Kurt already overdosed and was on the verge of death when someone pulled the trigger for him. Or was he literally dead already when the trigger was pulled? These questions still bother me. Courtney had just gone through an overdose type situation with Kurt exactly a month earlier in Europe, photo below:

Kurt Cobain overdose in Europe

Apparently a small amount of blood was located to the left of Kurt's head, as depicted in Tom Grant's sketch of the scene.

Kurt Cobain crime scene sketch
Click to Enlarge

Here is a question: If someone had 3 times a lethal dose of heroin in their body, and they were shot shortly thereafter, would they tend to bleed less as a result of reduced heart rate? If so, would a difference in blood amount be contingent upon how much time elapsed from the introduction of the drug into the body? In other words, if Kurt was on the verge of death or just deceased at the time he was shot, would there be less blood flow than there would be from a man conscious of his actions and their implications, with his heart racing a mile a minute knowing he was about to depart this world? 

Update - I've come to find out that "dead men don't bleed!" If the heart is not beating, a body won't bleed. In Kurt's case, as you can see above, there is little or no blood visible in these photos. So, what about a person with a huge dose of heroin in them and a reduced heart rate that results. Do they bleed significantly less? Not sure. I have a video I will not post here of a man committing suicide at a press conference. It is so gruesome I could barely watch it. He puts the gun in his mouth and fires upward into the brain. I would guess that in less than 30 seconds several pints of blood have flowed from this mans wound. Where is the blood in the photo above - if you saw this video of this other person committing suicide, you would never imagine it possible that Kurt did not bleed extensively, MUCH more than what is shown in the photos above.

Below is the note found near Kurt Cobain's body. Notice the extreme difference in the handwriting between the first 3/4's of the letter and the last 3 to 4 lines. It is so obviously different from the majority of the letter. Some suggest that the difference was due to a large dose of heroin being administered or taken during the course of writing the note, but the dose in Kurt was many times more than a lethal dose and most believe he would have been completely incapacitated immediately after the injection, and thus unable to continue writing and certainly unable to complete a letter and then handle a firearm.

Kurt Cobain suicide note

Here is the translation of the note in pain text:

Kurt Cobain suicide note translated

Actual hand writing by Kurt at time Smells Like Teen Spirit was written:

Kurt Cobain handwriting

Handwriting sheet found in Courtney Love's backpack the week Kurt was found:

Courtney Love handwriting practice sheet

I would like to see an extremely detailed analysis of the note above for sure. Which if any letter are in the note as shown above and in Kurt's suicide note.

Eldon Hoke - El Duce

Singer of an L.A. punk band called "The Mentors". Claims Courtney offered him $50,000 to kill Kurt in December 1993. Hoke was administered a polygraph test by Dr. Edward Gelb, who one of the country's leading polygraph experts. Hoke passed with 99.7% certainty that he was telling the truth. Found dead on April 19, 1997 after friends say he went for a walk with someone they've never seen before.

Eldon Hoke - El Duce article
Click on the image to read the article.

Eldon Hoke, also know as El Duce, a fixture on the Los Angeles Entertainment scene for the last 20 years was killed Saturday evening, April 19, in Riverside, CA. His death was the result of being hit by a train in a state of alcoholic intoxication.

Mr. Hoke was best known as the drummer and lead singer of the rock group the Mentors.

Recently Mr. Hoke had appeared on the Jerry Springer Show in a show devoted to Shock Rock, and in the National Enquirer and other tabloids domestically and internationally regarding his claim that he was approached by Courtney Love to kill Kurt Cobain.

About a week after El Duce's interview with Broomfield, on April 19, 1997 El Duce was killed by a train in Riverside, L.A. The events surrounding his death are murky. Rather like the events surrounding Kurt's death.

Wallace and Halperin report that at 5pm Duce arrived at his house with a man he said he had just met. After a while they left the house to go to the liquor store saying that they would be back shortly. They never returned. At 9pm Duce was hit by a train and died instantly. There were no witnesses. Police were unable to locate the man seen with Duce that afternoon.

Music journalist and friend of Duce, Al Bowman said: "There is something very, very strange about his death. Anybody who knew El knew that you could make friends with him by offering to buy him a drink. He had a problem with alcohol." When asked if he thought El Duce was suicidal he replied: “No way. He was all exited about his upcoming tour. He was in good spirits. He didn't kill himself. I'm convinced this has something to do with Kurt Cobain."

Allen Wrench - Eldon Hoke hit by train

To follow is the photograph circulating on the Internet that is supposedly Kurt Cobain during the autopsy. This is not Kurt Cobain. The weapon used to kill Kurt was a 20-gauge Remington shotgun, which was placed in his mouth. The photo below is of someone hit with a larger caliber weapon, and most likely fired from the back of the head or from a distance from the front of the head, as the damage is much too extensive. It is gory, but you can click on the photo to see an enlarged version. Additionally, this individual appears to have intravenous needles inserted them, which would not have been the case with Kurt, having been found several days after he actually left us.

Fake Kurt Cobain coroner photo, click to enlarge.

I personally don't know if Kurt Cobain was murdered or if he committed suicide but lean toward murder or 'assisted suicide' - I do know that a lot of strange things have come out and have occurred since Kurt died and a fresh, thorough investigation is needed, hopefully state or federal. For the millions of fans Kurt had but most importantly for his daughter. To date over 68 youth have reportedly committed suicide as a direct result of Kurt Cobain's death, which makes it even more important that the truth about Kurt be told.

Update: April 5, 2006: Recent article in Rolling Stone Magazine states there are now 50 million more reasons to kill Kurt. That is what Courtney Love is receiving for selling off part of her ownership of Kurt's songs, 50 million dollars.

Kurt Cobain - Medical Examiners Death Certificate
Medical Examiners Death Certificate, click to enlarge

NBC aired a segment about the Kurt Cobain case on their prime-time show, Unsolved Mysteries:

The following is a review of the NBC show "Unsolved Mysteries" episode about Kurt:

Unsolved Mysteries provided a solid introduction to some of the main inconsistencies of this case. Television is an extremely powerful medium, and the aid that this TV show can provide in getting this case to trial is formidable. The segment was labeled an "Unexplained Death," and presented the information with the seriousness and care that it deserves.

The segment focused on four issues: 1- the illegal credit card use, 2 - the lethal dose of heroin (morphine) and Valium (diazepam) found in Kurt's body, and whether or not he would have been able to handle a shotgun, 3 - the lack of any legible prints on the shells, the shotgun and the pen used to write the "suicide" note, and 4 - the forged section of the note.

Tom Grant did a first-rate job discussing the evidence. He was relaxed, articulate, and passionate but composed. By contrast, Sean O'Donnell, the Media Relations Representative for the Seattle Police Department, addressed the aforementioned issues very poorly. Nervously delivering what were obviously scripted responses, he was uncomfortable, condescending and evasive. In rebuttal to the fingerprint problem, he had only this to say:

"Well, anyone who is familiar with firearms and their use would know that as they hold a weapon, that frequently that weapon will move in their hands. Additionally, when that weapon is discharged, that causes a jerking motion, which causes the hands to move over the surface of the weapon, and all of those factors [he has mentioned only one] could cause any fingerprints that may have been left on the weapon to be unusable."

It might seem, analyzing his response phrase by phrase, that I'm being picayune or pedantic. However, do not forget that this man has received extensive training, and probably makes a rather good living, in leading people to believe his comments have weight when they do not. His expertise lies in making an impressive, authoritative representation on behalf of the Seattle Police Department, regardless of the truth, or lack of truth, of what he has been asked to say. Unlike rebuttals to issues in other segments on Unsolved Mysteries, the SPD did not use an officer involved in the actual investigation to respond, but rather, their best PR man.

Considering that Kurt was extremely high on heroin, if not incapacitated, and that he was not formally trained in handling firearms, if he had committed suicide one would have expected his fingerprints to be all over the shotgun. Granted, the prints exactly where his hands were purported to be when the shot was fired might have been smudged by the kick of the gun, but he supposedly carried the gun into the room that day and had handled it extensively from the time he purchased it to just before allegedly pointing it at himself and pulling the trigger. Furthermore, the above comment does not even address the absence of fingerprints on the shells, or on the pen. Omission was generally his manner of response. In regards to the forgery of the note, the show provided no less than two handwriting experts. However, the SPD rep did not or could not address the 12 inconsistencies they had found. He cited only that the King County handwriting expert believed the note was written entirely by Kurt. Apparently he did not believe these major inconsistencies warranted comment. As I've pointed out, it does not require any expertise in the field of handwriting analysis to see, after a few minutes' scrutiny, that the printing in the last four lines does not come close to matching the handwriting of the body of the note. I invite the reader to examine a copy of the note (examples above) and decide for him- or herself.

Lastly, following Grant's hypothesis of the murder, which began the segment, the SPD rep commented:

"Our detectives actually went into this investigation on the premise that this was a homicide. That's the way they conducted this investigation. So there was a very thorough, comprehensive investigation done from the beginning and everything that the detectives encountered indicated to them that this was a suicide."



Frances Bean Cobain - Kurt's Angel

Frances Bean Cobain Frances Bean Cobain bean

"There's nothing worse than to believe that your father was a coward and would voluntarily leave his wife and baby."

This haunting excerpt from a CBS Show in February 2005 gives some insight into what Frances Bean Cobain may experience with the death of her own father, and thus it is important that the truth be discovered about Kurt Cobain, for his daughter and for the 68 people who took their lives in response to Kurt's death, and in fact for Courtney Love, because if she is innocent of any wrong doing in the death of her husband, then I am sure she has suffered too much already. Just the comments I have received on my site regarding Courtney Love give me a strong indication that she has not gone through this unfazed. But when her own step Dad thinks she did something, it does make it difficult to not be suspicious.

If you wish to learn more about the life and death of Kurt Cobain, I suggest that you visit the:

Kurt Cobain Store

Bonus Kurt Pictures:

Kurt Cobain - Age 5
Kurt, Age 5

Kurt Cobain - Gun in mouth

Kurt Cobain Drawing

Kurt Cobain Rolling Stone Magazine

Kurt Cobain and Frances Bean Cobain

If you wish to learn more about the life and death of Kurt Cobain, I suggest that you visit the:

Kurt Cobain Store