Kurt Cobain: Murder or Suicide?

Kurt Cobain: Murder or Suicide?

The dedication of a Kurt Cobain memorial in Aberdeen, WA this week has stirred up a lot of local conversations about the possible conspiracy surrounding Cobain's death. Speculating on whether or not Cobain was murdered practically counts as a hobby here in the Pacific Northwest, where a local public access talk show host was the first person to raise questions about the moments surrounding Cobain's death.

The Note
The speculation holds that Kurt was planning to quit the music business and leave his wife Courtney Love. She found his "Dear Jane" letter, and killed him instead - thus ensuring that she received the benefit of his estate. According to this theory, Courtney took Kurt's goodbye note and forged his handwriting to add a few more lines at the bottom, thus neatly converting it into a suicide note.

Undeniably, the last few lines of Kurt's final note look different from the rest of it. You don't have to be a handwriting expert to wonder if they were added on by someone else later. (Personally, I feel that this only adds to the veracity of the note. Why would Courtney forge his handwriting so BADLY? Surely one would at least try to make the lines match those above, at least a little bit.)

The Gun
Another item in the conspiracy is the shotgun which brought an end to Kurt's life. When it was dusted for prints, it had four sets - all of which were too smudged to be identified. However, there were NO prints on the trigger of the gun. Obviously if someone had shot Kurt, that person would either have worn gloves, or would have wiped their fingerprint off the trigger.

The Contract
When filmmaker Nick Broomfeld went digging through the Seattle music scene for his film Kurt & Courtney, Mentors frontman El Duce claimed that Courtney had offered him $50,000 to kill Kurt. El Duce later passed a polygraph test.

A few days after giving the interview where El Duce claimed to know who had killed Kurt, he was killed by a train after he passed out on the tracks. (Many have called his death "suspicious.")

The Heroin
Much of the evidence that was turned up in the years immediately following Kurt's death have proven inconclusive at best. For example, at the time, much was made of Kurt's blood heroin level. At 1.52 milligrams per liter, many people stated that Kurt could not possibly have been conscious at the time of his death. Conspiracy theorists believe that Kurt was injected with heroin in order to incapacitate him, so that he could be shot without a scuffle.

However, heroin tolerance levels vary widely. And if there is one thing everyone agrees on, it's that Kurt Cobain took a lot of heroin. In fact, many experts have come forward in the years since Kurt's death to testify that he could indeed have tolerated such a dose. Enough to line up the shotgun and pull the trigger, at any rate.

The Conclusion
Absent any new evidence in the decades to come, this is one mystery that will likely never be solved to everyone's satisfaction.

Photo credit: Flickr/Edi KUO