FBI Releases File on Kurt Cobain's Death

FBI Releases File on Kurt Cobain's Death

Last month marked the 27th death anniversary of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. And around that time, the FBI quietly released an archived, previously never-before-seen, 10-page file related to the legendary musician's passing.

In 1994, the Seattle Police Department confirmed that Cobain died by suicide in his Seattle, Washington home after a self-inflicted shotgun wound. Investigators found a suicide note in the house. But still, some people speculated that the rockstar's death was actually a homicide.

The FBI's records include two letters from individuals — whose names have been redacted — asking the agency to investigate Cobain's death as a homicide. The first person, who dated their later Sept. 24, 2003, wrote, "I'm writing you in hopes for your help to press for a reexamination of Mr. Cobain's death. Millions of fans around the world would like to see the inconsistencies surrounding the death cleared up once and for all. It is sad to think that an injustice of this nature can be allowed in the United States."

The writer also cited a book entitled Who Killed Kurt Cobain? The Mysterious Death of an Icon and the 1998 documentary film Kurt &Courtney, suggesting that foul play was involved and that Cobain's wife singer Courtney Love "had something to do with it." The second letter, which was dated Nov. 20, 2006, referenced the 2001 book Love and Death: The Murder of Kurt Cobain.

The FBI replied to these letters, as well as others, that they appreciate their concern but homicide investigations don't typically fall into their jurisdiction. Their official response read, "In order for the FBI to initiate an investigation of any complaint we receive, specific facts must be present to indicate that a violation of federal law within our investigative jurisdiction has occurred. Based on the information you provided, we are unable to identify any violation of federal law within the investigative jurisdiction of the FBI. We are, therefore, unable to take any investigative action in this case."

​The last pages of the file show a fax from Cosgrove/Meurer Productions, the company behind Unsolved Mysteries​. The message dated Jan. 30, 1997 said, "At least one investigator, Tom Grant, a Los Angeles-based private investigator and former L.A. County Sheriff's deputy, is convinced that the official ruling of suicide was a rush to judgment."

You can access the entire FBI file here.

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