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The FBI Releases Files On Kurt Cobain

Files On Kurt Cobain

From its vault: the FBI’s files on Kurt Cobain


Although the Seattle Police Department declared Kurt Cobain had died by suicide immediately after his death in 1994, plenty of fans have never been satisfied with the investigation, and his death has been at the center of many speculations for 27 years. Numerous books, movies, and websites have been devoted to the story and there was even a regain of interest in the case when never-processed-before photos of the death scene were published for the 20th anniversary of Cobain’s death. Rumors around a case, that has been closed for almost 3 decades, will never stop for many reasons, and the docudrama ‘Soaked in Bleach,’ directed by Ben Statler and released in 2015, featured all the points that have fed plenty of ‘conspiracy theories’ since 1994.

When I read headlines that the FBI had released files on Kurt Cobain, I got intrigued, but it turns out to be a piece of not-so-interesting news: over the years, some of these frustrated fans wrote to the FBI, asking for a review of the Cobain case by the Federal Bureau. The FBI just released the files related to this correspondence from its vault, a 10-page document that you can read here.

The letters sent to the FBI are asking for justice while alluding to evidence pointing to murder and the haste of the police department to close the case. The problem is that fans are brushing over stories we have heard before (the forged suicide note, the lethal dose of heroin in his system…) referring to books and P.I. Tom Grant’s work, but all this is very vague. None of them is presenting a solid case, and seem to say to the FBI, ‘did you see that, do your homework!’ These 10 pages even contain documents related to this episode of Unsolved Mysteries.

However, the FBI’s answer is always the same: ‘We appreciate your concern’ but ‘homicide investigations fall within the jurisdiction of state or local authorities’ and unless there is evidence of a ‘violation of federal law within our investigative jurisdiction has occurred,’ the FBI is not going to take any investigative action.

Basically, the FBI doesn’t care about all the rumors and the alleged evidence for murder, the feds will not look at a case unless people provide evidence that the investigators violated federal law and this is very hard to prove of course. It requires inside information.

However, I was wondering about a very important point of the investigation: the fact that the police officers (or whoever arrived at the scene) right away assumed it was suicide is regarded as a major mistake by experienced investigators:

‘If the case is reported as a ‘Suicide,’ the police officers who respond as well as the investigators automatically tend to treat the call as a suicide.  It is a critical error in thinking to handle the call based on the initial report. The immediate problem is that psychologically one is assuming the death to be a suicide case, when in fact this is a basic death investigation, which could very well turn out to be a homicide. The investigator cannot ‘assume’ anything as a professional law enforcement officer.

Any preconceived theories or notions are dangerous in a professional death investigation. In addition to errors of assuming a “suicide” or natural death other preconceived notions may include deaths, which appear to be drug-related and/or domestic violence. One must keep an open mind and not be influenced either by the initial reports or the presentation in the crime scene.’

I don’t know if this could be considered a violation of federal law, but, when they write to the FBI, this is the direction people could take instead of talking to the various ‘evidence’ they have for murder.

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