Two weeks from today will be the 25th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death. The Nirvana frontman is believed to have committed suicide, but a conspiracy theory argues that Cobain was murdered.
Kurt Cobain was found dead in his home located in the Denny-Blaine neighborhood in east central Seattle, Washington on the morning of April 5, 1994. The person who found the Smells Like Teen Spirit singer was an electrician who was hired to install a security system in the home. The electrician, Gary Smith, found Cobain on the floor in the greenhouse above the garage.
“I noticed something on the floor and I thought it was a mannequin,” Smith told Seattle’s KIRO TV in 1994. “So I looked a little closer and geez, that’s a person. I looked a little closer and I could see blood and an ear and a weapon laying on his chest.”
Smith found what he assumed was a suicide note on some planting soil in the greenhouse. “I only read the bottom lines,” Smith said. “(The) bottom two lines said, ‘I love you, I love you’ to someone.”
The Seattle Police Department quickly ruled that Kurt Cobain’s death was a suicide and he died from a self-inflicted shotgun blast to his head. Smith apparently discovered Cobain’s body three days after he had killed himself. However, there is a conspiracy theory that proclaims Cobain’s death was not a suicide, but he was murdered.
The book Love and Death: The Murder of Kurt Cobain puts forth a conspiracy theory that Kurt Cobain was murdered and did not commit suicide. Max Wallace and Ian Halperin, the authors of the conspiracy theory book, allege that Cobain was far too messed up on drugs to kill himself.
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Police discovered syringes and heroin at the death scene. Authorities reported that Cobain injected a lethal dose of heroin into his body before he committed suicide. The book alleges that Cobain had way too high of a concentration of heroin in his system to possibly be functioning properly and would probably be comatose.
Wallace appeared in the 2015 Kurt Cobain docudrama Soaked in Bleach, where he emphasized the toxicology reports of the deadly amount of heroin in his system. “For me, the most compelling piece of evidence that convinces me almost to a certainty that Kurt was murdered, was the level of heroin in his body,” Wallace said. “There has never been a documented case in the history of law enforcement where somebody could have the level of heroin in his body and still remain conscious and still lead to a suicide.”
A doctor who treated Cobain the morning he was found, had this to say about the legendary singer’s death. “We can usually tell a suicide attempt,” the doctor said. “This didn’t look like one to me.”
A Canadian chemist named Roger Lewis echoed the claims that Cobain was too high on drugs to commit suicide. In his 1998 paper the chemist points out that Cobain couldn’t possibly have committed suicide by way of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. There is also a peculiar detail that Cobain made sure to tidy up after himself and put away his heroin gear back into a box. With the copious amounts of heroin that was in Cobain, one would surmise that there would have been a needle still buried in his arm.
Wallace spoke to an FBI expert, who told him that Kurt’s suicide was a “perfect crime.” “If you want to get away with murder, you kill a junkie,” Max suggested. “It’s very easy to make a murder look like an accidental overdose or suicide, it’s the perfect crime and it happens all the time.”
There are also the suspicious claims that Courtney Love may have had something to do with her husband’s death. In the 1998 documentary Kurt & Courtney, filmmaker Nick Broomfield talked to private investigator Tom Grant who alleges that Love may have conspired to kill Cobain. Grant claims that he was hired by Love to find Cobain after he left his drug rehabilitation.
Then there is the accusations by Eldon Wayne Hoke, a punk singer whose stage name is El Duce. This gentleman claims that Courtney Love approached him and offered $50,000 to murder Kurt Cobain. Hoke alleges Courtney wanted to hire him to “whack Kurt Cobain” and “blow his f*cking head off.” El Duce alleges that Courtney instructed him to murder Cobain and “make it look it like a suicide.”
El Duce passed two lie detector tests about Love offering him money to murder Cobain. Two days after El Duce did this interview, Hoke was killed when he was hit by a train in Riverside, California.
Another conspiracy theorist who believes that Cobain did not kill himself is Hank Harrison, Courtney Love’s own father. Her father alleges that Courtney Love is involved in Kurt’s death “directly or indirectly.” “I can’t prove she pulled the trigger, but I can prove her involvement to a high degree of certainty,” Harrison said.
Then there is the question as to how or why Cobain used such a large gun to shoot himself in the head.
The police reports said they found no legible fingerprints on the gun. In an interview with Dateline, Wallace said, “According to the police reports no legible fingerprints were found on the gun cartridge, nor on the pen used to write the note. And mysteriously, there were no prints on the shotgun itself, except where Cobain’s hand gripped it in death.” Halperin added, “Dead men don’t wipe fingerprints off their own guns.”
Many argue that the letter was actually Kurt writing about wanting to leave Nirvana because he didn’t have the same passion for music as he once did. Kurt Cobain’s alleged suicide note doesn’t mention anything remotely suicidal until the last four lines. And the last four lines appear to be in different handwriting than the rest of the handwritten letter.
Kurt’s dead body was found on April 5, 1994, but there were two transactions on Cobain’s credit card on April 6th. Remember, police believe Cobain actually died on April 2, 1994.
Courtney Love has never threatened legal action or sued any of the people who have spread conspiracy theories that she was involved in the murder of her husband. Love refutes any accusations that she killed her husband.