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On 5 April, 1994, Kurt Cobain committed suicide.
He was discovered in the living quarters above his garage three days later by electrician Gary Smith who'd come to install security lighting.
There was a suicide note near his body, and a shotgun resting on his chest. It was ruled a suicide, and fans began to mourn in their thousands. They couldn't believe that he'd killed himself.
He was known to be addicted to heroin. During Nirvana's 1991 European tour, he began complaining of a stomach pain that was so severe that he became 'suicidal'. In fact, it's claimed that he once said: "This [heroin] is the only thing that's saving me from blowing my head off right now."
His family knew that he had a history of depression and instability. All of these factors came together and many accepted the suicide verdict as accurate.
However, there's been a lot of controversy surrounding the evidence given. Many fans believe that Kurt was, in fact, murdered.
It's understandable that many people would not like to believe that he'd killed himself. He had already cemented himself in history with Nirvana being credited with the popularity of grunge. Ripped jeans, plaid shirts and floppy hair were everywhere. Nirvana's music, and Kurt's songwriting, influenced hundreds, if not thousands, of bands.
James Weaver, Editor-in-Chief of Distorted Sound Magazine, told LADbible: "Kurt Cobain's influence can be described as gargantuan in size. Spearheading the explosion of grunge in the early 1990s, today, Nirvana are regarded as one of the most influential and important bands in rock music.
"Through his simplistic and raw approach to his band's soundscape, Nirvana changed the landscape of rock music forever and enormous record sales and Cobain's immortalised legacy has spawned endless copy-cat bands and cemented both Nirvana and Cobain himself in the history books of rock, and in fact popular music itself."
Tom Grant, a private investigator employed by Courtney Love after Cobain's disappearance from rehab, believes that his death was the result of murder. He was still being employed by Courtney at the time of Kurt's death.
There's several parts to his theory...
This part is particularly interesting. Grant believes that the 'suicide note' was actually a letter explaining that he was leaving Courtney Love, Seattle and the music business.
It reads: "To Boddah
"Speaking from the tongue of an experienced simpleton who obviously would rather be an emasculated, infantile complain-ee. This note should be pretty easy to understand.
"All the warnings from the punk rock 101 courses over the years, since my first introduction to the, shall we say, ethics involved with independence and the embracement of your community has proven to be very true. I haven't felt the excitement of listening to as well as creating music along with reading and writing for too many years now. I feel guilty beyond words about these things.
"For example when we're back stage and the lights go out and the manic roar of the crowds begins, it doesn't affect me the way in which it did for Freddie Mercury, who seemed to love, relish in the the love and adoration from the crowd which is something I totally admire and envy. The fact is, I can't fool you, any one of you. It simply isn't fair to you or me. The worst crime I can think of would be to rip people off by faking it and pretending as if I'm having 100% fun. Sometimes I feel as if I should have a punch-in time clock before I walk out on stage. I've tried everything within my power to appreciate it (and I do, God, believe me I do, but it's not enough). I appreciate the fact that I and we have affected and entertained a lot of people. I must be one of those narcissists who only appreciate things when they're gone. I'm too sensitive. I need to be slightly numb in order to regain the enthusiasm I once had as a child.
"On our last 3 tours, I've had a much better appreciation for all the people I've known personally, and as fans of our music, but I still can't get over the frustration, the guilt and empathy I have for everyone. There's good in all of us and I think I simply love people too much, so much that it makes me feel too fucking sad. The sad little, sensitive, unappreciative, Pisces, Jesus man. Why don't you just enjoy it? I don't know!
"I have a goddess of a wife who sweats ambition and empathy and a daughter who reminds me too much of what I used to be, full of love and joy, kissing every person she meets because everyone is good and will do her no harm. And that terrifies me to the point to where I can barely function. I can't stand the thought of Frances becoming the miserable, self-destructive, death rocker that I've become.
"I have it good, very good, and I'm grateful, but since the age of seven, I've become hateful towards all humans in general. Only because it seems so easy for people to get along that have empathy. Only because I love and feel sorry for people too much I guess.
"Thank you all from the pit of my burning, nauseous stomach for your letters and concern during the past years. I'm too much of an erratic, moody baby! I don't have the passion anymore, and so remember, it's better to burn out than to fade away.
"Peace, love, empathy.
"Frances and Courtney, I'll be at your alter. Please keep going Courtney, for Frances. For her life, which will be so much happier without me.
"I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU!"
Grant says that after studying the notes intently, the only part of the letter that indicates suicide is the last lines after he signs off. This has made a few people believe that they weren't written by him. The letter has been sent off to many different handwriting experts. Some believe the last few lines were in his hand, others say it's inconclusive, and some believe it was written by someone else. Frustrating, right?
However, this could be that Kurt scrawled these last few lines as an afterthought after taking a lot of drugs, which leads us to the next point...
Heroin levels in his bloodstream
A week after his death, some newspapers began reporting that Kurt was high on heroin when he pulled the trigger. They cited the toxicological tests which claimed that the level of heroin in his blood was 1.52 milligrams per litre. They also said that there was evidence of valium in his blood.
Dr. Randall Baselt, of the Chemical Toxicological Institute, was included in said report. He was quoted as saying that it was 'a high concentration, by any account'.
Grant claims that Kurt would not have been able to inject himself with such a high dose, and even if he did, it would've left him unable to pull the trigger.
Issues with the shotgun
Kurt's shotgun, a Remington Model 11 20 gauge, was reportedly not dusted for prints until the following month after Kurt's death.
According to the Fingerprint Analysis Report, four prints were lifted, but they weren't usable.
Issues with the police report
Grant says that there's issues with the police report itself.
Apparently, the police report claimed that the door to the room he was found in couldn't be locked from the outside, so Kurt would've had to have done it himself.
However when Grant visited the property, he found that the doors could be locked and pulled shut.
He also said that Kurt's fingerprints weren't found on the suicide note or the pen. Some people have claimed that the suicide note was found stabbed into some soil of a plant with the pen through it, therefore the moisture from the soil could have got rid of any fingerprints.
Whatever you believe, Kurt's untimely death is tragic and heartbreaking. RIP.
If you feel like you have nowhere to turn, please remember that there are people out there who will listen to you, give you advice and support you when you need it. This includes The CALMzone who offer amazing support to anyone.
The helpline and web chat service are open 5pm to midnight, every day of the year. Nationwide: 0800 58 58 58; London: 0808 802 58; Webchat: www.thecalmzone.net/get-help
You can contact the Samaritans on a Freephone number - 116 123. Alternatively, you can email [email protected]
Don't suffer in silence.
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