Sign up FAST! Login

No, Seattle police aren’t reopening the Kurt Cobain case

No, Seattle police aren't reopening the Kurt Cobain case

The news from Seattle came online and spread quickly on Thursday: Seattle police were going to reopen the investigation into musician Kurt Cobain’s death! One small thing: It’s not actually true.

It all started with this report from KIRO 7, a local channel in Seattle, stating that police there “have reexamined the case.” KIRO 7 — reminding readers to tune in to the news tonight at 11 to learn more — noted that police recently developed rolls of film having to do with the case that had been sitting in a police evidence vault.

KIRO staff members pumped up the report on Twitter by saying only that the network learned the case had been reopened. (UPDATE – 3:10 P.M.: The managing editor of KIRO 7 said on Twitter that the detective on the case told KIRO he had reopened it.)

That made its way to Gawker (with a post headlined “Seattle Police Reopening Investigation Into Kurt Cobain’s Death”), Fox News (headline: “Kurt Cobain death investigation reopened, report says”) and many, many tweets.

Alas, it’s not really happening.

“No, we have not reopened the Kurt Cobain case,” Detective Renee Witt, a police spokeswoman, told The Washington Post on Thursday afternoon.

A cold case detective was going through the details of the Cobain files again because the 20th anniversary of Cobain’s death, which was ruled a suicide, is next month, Witt said. This detective found some old and undeveloped film, which provided better-quality photos of images already out there, Witt says. (The department may release the photos on its blog.)

But that’s it. “No change, no developments, no new leads,” she said. Any reports suggesting that the case was reopened are “very very incorrect,” Witt said.

The Gawker item was updated at around 2:30 p.m. to reflect that the case was reexamined, not reopened, after the Sea ttle Times spoke with Witt. The Fox News item remained unchanged at the time of this posting.

Stashed in: Awesome, Drugs!, Life Death Life Death, Seattle, 1990s, @macklemore, Nirvana!, Seattle

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

I can't believe he died 20 years ago. Sad.

His suicide note:

Per Wikipedia:

Kurt Cobain, the lead singer of the American grunge band Nirvana, was found dead at his home located at 171 Lake Washington Boulevard in Seattle, Washington, United States on April 8, 1994, with analysis determining that he had committed suicide three days prior on April 5.

The 90's seem like just a few years ago, time is speeding up!


His life was tragic and it seemed destined that he would die young.

Throughout most of his life, Cobain suffered from chronic bronchitis and intense physical pain due to an undiagnosed chronic stomach condition.[76] His first drug experience was with marijuana in 1980, at age 13. He regularly used the drug during adulthood.[77] Cobain also had a period of consuming "notable" amounts of LSD, as observed by Tracy Marander,[78] and was "really into getting fucked up: drugs, acid, any kind of drug", observed Krist Novoselic; Cobain was also prone to alcoholism and solvent abuse.[77] Cobain's cousin Beverly, a nurse, claimed Cobain was diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder as a child, and bipolar disorder as an adult. She also brought attention to the history of suicide, mental illness and alcoholism in the Cobain family, noting two of her uncles who had committed suicide with guns.[79]


Slowly, Cobain's heroin addiction worsened. His first attempt at rehab was made in early 1992, not long after he and Love discovered they were going to become parents. Immediately after leaving rehab, Nirvana embarked on their Australian tour, with Cobain appearing pale and gaunt while suffering through withdrawal. Not long after returning home, Cobain's heroin use resumed.

Prior to a performance at the New Music Seminar in New York City in July 1993, Cobain suffered a heroin overdose. Rather than calling for an ambulance, Love injected Cobain with Narcan to bring him out of his unconscious state. Cobain proceeded to perform with Nirvana, giving the public no indication that anything out of the ordinary had taken place.[83]

That's pretty telling that Courtney had Narcan on hand.

Meaning she expected that he would overdose?

I keep picturing the scene with Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction, which came out in 1994.

Yes Janill! I just started reading about her and she states that walked around wt Narcan

Geez, he OD'd at least five times?!

“Mad? Ya think?! If he came back right now I’d have to kill him, for what he did to us. I’d fucking kill him. I’d fuck him, and then I’d kill him,” 47-year-old Courtney Love shouted at Vanity Fair contributing editor Nancy Jo Sales, asked if she was angry with her husband, Kurt Cobain, for killing himself. “He tried to kill himself three times!” And then there were the drugs. “He OD’d at least five times. I was the fucking E.M.S. I was always sticking pins in his balls. I carried around Narcan!”—a drug used to jolt OD-ing heroin users back to life.

Also from the Vanity Fair article -- this is so sad:

“What’s heartbreaking to me,” says Jonathan Daniel, Love’s music manager, who grows impatient at any mention of “the fraud,” “is that she’s very capable of earning seven figures easy without any help from Nirvana right now, but it’s hard for her to work or for others to want to work with her when she’s so consumed with fraud.” Love’s home, Sales discovers, is command central for research on “the fraud.” Miscellaneous assistants make copies and send faxes related to “the fraud.” 

According to Love, the money problems existed even when Kurt Cobain was alive. “We could never find our money!” she says. “We had $135,000 in our bank account. They said that if he would go do Lollapalooza he would make $11 million… Do you think Kurt would have killed himself if he had known he had $54 million?” That figure is based on research done by Love’s Twitter Army, her online fans and believers who are determined to get to the bottom of “the fraud.”

“They won’t be happy till I’m dead!” exclaims Love, of no one in particular.

"The system’s set up so almost nobody gets paid."   Here is Love's famous 2000 letter to the recording industry:

More artists are trying to do it on their own; which I think is  a great thing, and leads to a better variety of music, instead of the record industry controlling the whole market, and force feeding us what they want to sell.  The biggest success is Macklemore & Ryan Lewis:

With minimal fundsicon1.png and a YouTube account, the team wrote, produced and then uploaded their music onto the internet. By using various social media outlets, sending their music to iTunes, and performing at any venue that would take them, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis eventually developed a cult following. This loyal group of followers grew into a huge fan base when they released their full length album, “The Heist,” in 2012.

For any artist, climbing to the number one spot on iTunes albums and consistently holding the number one position on the Billboard charts for six weeks is a moment to be relished, a time to congratulate yourself for “making it.”

But for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis the rewards came afterward. Their record has sold around 500,000 copies thus far, with a sticker price of $9.99. For the typical label-contracted artist, this would mean roughly $1 million in take-home revenue. The overwhelming majority of their earningsicon1.png would go to their record label.  As self-made performers with full ownership of their work, Macklemore and Lewis keep 70 percent of the sale revenue — meaning, they have likely earned around $3.4 million from album sales and another $8.4 million from the over 12 million singles they have sold worldwide.

Other advances in the industry (see Adam's links re Dre and Iovine):

Janill, Macklemore is also from Seattle.

What a difference 20 years makes from Nirvana to Macklemore.

Kurt Cobain and Macklemore both struggled during their early careers.

But when Macklemore's breakthrough happened, he got rich. Wow.

Macklemore got "clean" before he made it, and has a couple relapses, but may have a better foundation, and more support around him, than Cobain did.

Getting clean is essential to success. And living.

You May Also Like: