Kurt Cobain Death: Was It Really Suicide?

Seventeen years ago today, something happened to Kurt Cobain in his Seattle home. We know one thing for certain: Cobain died on April 5, 1994. He was discovered three days later when an employee arrived to install security lighting.

A visible head wound marred Cobain's body, a shotgun rested across his chest, and a handwritten note was tucked beneath a nearby overturned flowerpot.

Police ruled it a suicide. Still, to this day, questions about his death remain. Is it because fans can't let go? Because mysteries are inherently more interesting to think about than senseless tragedies?

Or is there truly enough conflicting evidence about Cobain's death to make homicide a possibility?

Here are some of the points of controversy:


The lack of blood. Not to be overly gruesome, but it seems like a point-blank shotgun blast to the head would generate a fair amount of blood. Yet in photos taken by reporters (prior to any crime scene cleanup), there's no blood to be seen.

Heroin in his system. An article by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that cites the official toxicology report claimed, "The level of heroin in Cobain's bloodstream was 1.52 milligrams per liter." Experts have debated on whether even the most tolerant addict could still pull a trigger while on such a heavy dose of drugs.

Odd suicide note handwriting. Some claim that the lines at the very bottom of the note are the only parts that imply suicide. They're also the ones that appear to be in a different handwriting.

Missing fingerprints. While the shotgun wasn't checked for prints until over a month after his death, no prints were found on the trigger. Additionally, the official report claims Cobain's prints were missing from the suicide note.

Claims by Tom Grant. Tom Grant is a private investigator hired by Courtney Love after Cobain's disappearance from rehab prior to his death. Grant has been one of the most vocal proponents of the homicide theory, going so far as to claim Love had Cobain killed after he planned to divorce her and exclude her from his will.

I have no idea if Kurt Cobain was murdered or not, but the more you dig into it, the less of a straightforward case it seems to be. The only thing that seems obvious to me in this whole story is that 27 is way too young to die. Whatever happened to Cobain 17 years ago, he clearly had more than his fair share of demons—death seemed to have been haunting him for years.

Do you think Kurt's death was a suicide?

Image via Flickr/tercerojista

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