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"The Unexplained Death of Kurt Cobain"

Article By: Christian Taylor
Mystery and crime

A college research project...A look into the death of Kurt Cobain, lead singer of Nirvana. Was his death a suicide? Or was he murdered?

Submitted:Jul 16, 2010    Reads: 1,565    Comments: 47    Likes: 14   

In January of 1994, 'Rolling Stone' did an exclusive interview with Kurt Cobain, lead singer of Nirvana. During the interview, Kurt Cobain was asked, "Have you ever been that consumed with distress or pain or rage that you actually wanted to kill yourself?"

Kurt Cobain responded, "For five years during the time I had my stomach problem, yeah. I wanted to kill myself everyday."

Little did anyone know at the time, the 'Rolling Stone' interview will be one of the last interviews that Kurt Cobain would give before his untimely death on April 8, 1994. According to Unsolved Mysteries, he was found dead in the greenhouse above his garage at his Seattle home. Cause of death was a result of a self-inflected gunshot wound to the head. Within the days after his death, many people were beginning to suspect whether or not it was a suicide. The debate of Kurt Cobain's death has raged ever since. Did Kurt Cobain commit suicide as the corner ruled? Or was Kurt Cobain murdered?

Credit Card

Several sources including Unsolved Mysteries and Dateline mentioned that Kurt Cobain had only one credit card. The credit card was cancelled by Kurt's wife Courtney Love in order to keep track of his whereabouts. According to Unsolved Mysteries, the corner concluded that Cobain died on April 5, three days before his body was discovered. The cancelled credit card was used twice after April 5th. That specific credit card was found missing from Cobain's wallet and was never recovered. Raises the question...who was using the credit card?


In his final interview with 'Rolling Stone', and investigative programs "Dateline" and "Unsolved Mysteries," his drug addicted lifestyle was well-documented. At the death scene, a heroin kit was found lying next to Kurt Cobain's lifeless body. According to a Seattle newspaper, it was reported that he was found with Valium and 1.52 milligrams per liter of Heroin in his bloodstream. According to some medical experts, that's enough to kill a non-addict three times over. Could Kurt Cobain even have the capacity to take that much Heroin and shoot himself with a shotgun? Many have argued, however, that since he was an addict; Kurt Cobain could have had the tolerance to take that much Heroin without falling unconscious. Most experts agree though that high level of Heroin is intriguing. (Unsolved Mysteries)

Suicide Note

According to Dateline and Unsolved Mysteries, a suicide note was found at the scene. However, inconsistencies were found in the note that raises questions whether or not it was a suicide note. According to Dateline and Unsolved Mysteries, the majority of the note was written in the context of a retirement letter. Only the last four lines of the note would it indicate suicide. They read,

Keep going Courtney
For Frances
For her life will be so much better without me
I love you, I love you.

However, the writing on the last four lines were written differently then the rest of the letter. Dateline showed the note to four handwriting experts, one told Dateline that the entire note was written by a single person, and that the printing was similar to other samples of Kurt Cobain's writing. The other three said the sample was inconclusive. (Dateline)


According to Dateline, reports at the scene found that there were no legible prints on the gun cartilage, nor was there any on the pen that wrote the suicide note, however, stranger yet, there were no prints on the shotgun itself, except where Cobain's hand gripped it in death. According to Max Wallace and Ian Halperin, who written extensively about Kurt Cobain, say that 'Dead men don't wipe fingerprints off their own guns.' However, the authors acknowledge that gun experts say prints can be smudged off when a gun recoils on firing.


Did Kurt Cobain commit suicide as the corner ruled? Or was Kurt Cobain murdered? To overview what we went over, Kurt Cobain's missing credit card was used twice after Kurt Cobain had died. Kurt Cobain had enough Heroin in his system that it could kill an non-addict three times over. There was no fingerprints on the gun, the gun cartilage, or on the pen that wrote the suicide note. His suicide note has raised questions whether he had written the entire letter especially the last four lines. Whether you were a fan or not, Kurt Cobain's death will continue to fascinate and intrigue for years to come. Like the controversy surrounding his life and music, his death only makes Kurt Cobain, all the more mysterious.


Fricke D. Our man in Nirvana rages on (and on) about stardom, fatherhood, his feud with Pearl Jam, the death of grunge and why he's never been happier in his life (Cover story). Rolling Stone [serial online]. January 27, 1994;(674):34. Retrieved on October 20, 2009 from Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA.

Hajari N. Kurt Cobain. Entertainment Weekly [serial online]. December 30, 1994;(255/256):90. Retrieved on October 20, 2009 from MasterFILE Premier, Ipswich, MA.

Lauer M., narrator.(2004, April 5) More questions in Kurt Cobain's death?. Dateline. NBC News.

N.A. Kurt Cobain's journals reveal drug-use to fight stomach pain. Canadian Press, The [serial online]. n.d.: Retrieved on October 20, 2009 from Newspaper Source Plus, Ipswich, MA.

Stack R., narrator.(1997, February 7) Unexplained Death: Kurt Cobain. Unsolved Mysteries. NBC.

Thigpen D. Kurt Cobain: The Untold Story. Rolling Stone [serial online]. April 11, 2002;(893):46. Retrieved on October 20, 2009 from Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA.


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