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Thought-provoking examination of the death of Kurt Cobain
on April 11, 1998
When the rock icon of a generation dies, media attention isinevitable. In April 1994, the death of Kurt Cobain created a tidalwave of attention. Thousands of fans mourned Cobain, the lead singer of the band Nirvana, a group often credited with pioneering the Seattle grunge scene.
More than 65 young people eventually followed their hero into death, committing "copycat" suicides.
Cobain's death was a sensational and strange tale that inspired passionate debates about suicide, the emptiness of the 90s generation, and the responsibilities of pop culture heroes.
Cobain, who died at the age of 27, was a brilliant and creative man who led an emotionally troubled life. He was a heroin user who reportedly committed suicide, leaving a young daughter and wife behind. Days before he died he had disappeared from an L.A. drug treatment center.
The book "Who Killed Kurt Cobain? The Mysterious Death of an Icon" does not answer the question posed by its title. But it does provide compelling reasons why the investigation into his death should be reopened.
The book relates biographical information about Kurt Cobain and his wife Courtney Love; the events leading up to his death; information and insights gleaned from friends, relatives and people who had been in contact with the couple; and professional opinions from experts in various fields, including pathology and graphology.
Many people who knew Cobain do not believe that he killed himself. Either does Tom Grant, a private investigator hired by Courtney Love to find Cobain after he left the drug treatment center. Grant does not accept the verdict of suicide and has done everything in his power to convince the authorities to reopen the investigation into Cobain's death. Grant's involvement in the case and his crusade are explained in great detail. The address for Grant's Internet website, which receives up to one million hits a year, is listed.
Compelling arguments are presented to disprove the suicide verdict, which was arrived at very quickly after Cobain's death. The medical examiner at the scene, coincidentally, was a friend of Courtney Love's. According to the expert cited in the book, Cobain could not have shot himself with a shotgun given the amount of heroin found in his body: he would have passed out immediately after receiving that amount of the drug.
A musician who passed a lie detector test stating that Courtney Love had offered him several thousand dollars to kill Cobain was found dead under strange circumstances only weeks later.
There were no fingerprints found on the shotgun that inflicted a wound on Cobain, and what about the so-called suicide note? For starters it does not sound like a suicide note, but rather a note declaring his intention to quit the music business. And then there are the two apparently distinct sets of handwriting on this note, which is reproduced in a photograph.
The book focuses a great deal of suspicion on Courtney Love and her sometimes bizarre behavior before and after Cobain's death. In fact, Love's father is on record stating that he believes his daughter murdered her husband. Shockingly, Grant implicates Love in both the death of her husband as well as her bandmate in the group Hole, Kristen Pfaff.
"Who Killed Kurt Cobain?" was written by two Canadian investigative journalists, Ian Halperin and Max Wallace. Halperin and Wallaces were cowinners of the "Rolling Stone" magazine Award for Investigative Journalism. No concrete proof of the murder theory is contained within the book, although the information is well presented.
"Who Killed Kurt Cobain?" will definitely be of interest to Nirvana fans, and to those who like to ponder real-life mysteries. Because the death of Kurt Cobain was as tragic as it was mysterious.