DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING ARE THE OPINIONS OF THE AUTHOR. THESE ARE NOT FACTS AND THERE HAS BEEN NO PROOF OF FOUL PLAY.
The two-decade long question of whether or not Kurt Cobain really committed suicide came up between myself and my friend today. It’s been bandied about for years, but it seems no one has ever bothered to take it seriously or re-open the case to further investigate Cobain’s death.
Even though Kurt may have been prone to depressions and shied away from the stardom he achieved as both an early pioneer of the Grunge movement and The Poster Child of Generation X, I never believed he really killed himself. Why would he? He had everything–talent, success as the frontman of Nirvana, a bestselling record, a baby daughter, and a…ahem…new wife who everyone believed was in love with him.
It’s his wife, Courtney Love, we need to take a closer look at here. Most people just take it on faith that Kurt killed himself because his music was dark and depressing and his poetry was dark and depressing, and because he rarely smiled. He had also come from an abusive home and suffered from lifelong depressions and severe stomach problems. Stories of his addiction to heroin abounded in publications like People and Rolling Stone, and on MTV, VH-1, and the nightly news.
But it was also said that he was getting clean when his girlfriend and fellow musician, Courtney Love, became pregnant. He didn’t want to be a drug-addicted new dad. Things looked rosy for awhile. He had several relapses and stints in rehab but heroin isn’t what killed him. If he was depressed, I doubt it was really due to the commercial success of Nirvana’s album Nevermind.
I think Love was gaslighting Cobain, which exacerbated his depression and drug problems. According to Wikipedia,
On March 18, 1994, Love phoned the Seattle police informing them that Cobain was suicidal and had locked himself in a room with a gun. Police arrived and confiscated several guns and a bottle of pills from Cobain, who insisted that he was not suicidal and had locked himself in the room to hide from Love. [italics mine] When questioned by police, Love said that Cobain had never mentioned that he was suicidal and that she had not seen him with a gun.
This is an interesting quote. The first thing that stands out to me is that Cobain felt he needed to hide from Love. Why would he tell police that if it wasn’t true? Sure, he could have been gaslighting her as the crazy one, but something feels off about that to me. Because in this same paragraph we can see that Love is a liar. She tells two different stories to the police: first, that Cobain had locked himself in a room with a gun, and second, denying that she ever said that and insisting Cobain had never said he was suicidal at all! Why would she change her story?
Kurt was found dead in his Seattle home on April 8, 1994, when his daughter, Frances Bean, was less than two years old. He had been shot in the head. Investigations found he had been dead for three days. There was a note, addressed to his childhood friend “Boddah” stating that Cobain wasn’t feeling the excitement of listening to and creating music anymore.
Although there was a note, it seems unlikely to me a suicide would be performed by such means, especially by a man who had easy access to heroin and other drugs and could easily have OD’d and died in a more peaceful manner. Also, why didn’t Love report his death? How could a newly married man with a child not be discovered by his wife for three days? Surely she must have known something.
On the tenth anniversary of Cobain’s death, in 2004, Love and Death: The Murder of Kurt Cobain, was published. Its authors believe Kurt’s death could not have been a suicide and argued that the case should be reopened. According to the entry about the book on Wikipedia:
The book is based on 30 hours of revealing audiotaped conversations, exclusively obtained by the authors, between Courtney Love’s private investigator, Tom Grant, and her entertainment attorney, who both dispute the official finding of suicide and believe Cobain was in fact murdered.
The lawyer says on the tapes that she believes the so-called suicide note was “forged or traced.” The authors also interview Cobain’s grandfather, who believes Kurt was the victim of foul play, and Courtney’s father, who also believes he was murdered. In the book, a prominent forensic pathologist examines the known autopsy evidence and claims that the official suicide scenario was “impossible.” She claims that there is compelling and authoritative evidence that Cobain was murdered.
So even Courtney’s own father believes Kurt was murdered! Hank Harrison (Love’s father) couldn’t stand his own daughter (which was documented in the 1998 documentary Kurt and Courtney) and told RadarOnline:
I can’t prove she pulled the trigger, but I can prove her involvement to a high degree of certainty. […]She’s a psychopath, she has a sociopathic personality like I do.
Later, he published his book, Love Kills: The Assassination of Kurt Cobain, which argued that Kurt did not commit suicide but that his own daughter killed him.
According to Wikipedia, Nick Broomfield (the filmmaker who made Kurt and Courtney) decided to investigate Tom Grant’s claim that Cobain was murdered and had his film crew interview people associated with the couple, including Love’s father Hank Harrison, Kurt’s aunt, a former nanny for the couple’s daughter Frances Bean, and several others associated with the couple, including a bandleader named Eldon “El Duce” Hoke, who claimed he had been offered $50,000 by Love to kill her husband.
It’s also telling that Courtney’s overnight rise to fame occurred immediately after her husband’s death. She appeared at the funeral and interviews playing the part of the grieving widow quite well, but how suspicious is it that her band, Hole, released their bestselling album Live Through This FOUR DAYS after Kurt’s death?
Love’s public persona is very narcissistic and she seems to crave attention and adulation even more than most celebrities. She also appears to be emotionally unstable, although in recent years she seems less so. Perhaps her instability was due to drug abuse, but I think that in itself coupled with her unpredictable and prima-donna like behavior points to a personality disordered woman. Based on the way Love acts, I believe her father’s claim that she is sociopathic and that she probably killed her husband.
What would have been Love’s motive though? In my opinion, I think Love was pathologically envious of Kurt’s success, and wanted his fame (which she probably felt he didn’t appreciate) for herself. She hated playing second fiddle. She also knew that the death of a major rock star (at the age of 27 too–Kurt’s entry into the “27 Club” was probably not lost on her) was the best publicity stunt for herself she could pull off. She could play the grieving widowed new mom, garner pity, and ride on the coattails of that to sell her new album.
Tell me Courtney Love isn’t a sociopathic murderer and I’ll tell you Elvis is going to run for President.