Probably because it was her birthday last week, probably because it’s gonna be the 19th anniversary of her death in a few days, people were tweeting about Kristen Pfaff, who played bass for Courtney Love’s band Hole circa 1993-4. May be the fact that Love was again in the news got me interested, and I realized Kristen’s death is, once again, one of these unsolved-mysterious-suspicious cases of the rock ‘n‘ roll world.
Officially, she died from a heroin overdose and her friend Paul Erickson found her dead, on June 16th, 1994, locked in her bathroom with some drug paraphernalia on the floor. The last person who saw her alive was Hole guitarist and boyfriend Eric Erlandson, who visited her the evening before. The police declared it was an overdose, but once again, things don’t exactly add up.
First, Kristen had just completed drug rehab, wanted to start over and had decided to move to Minneapolis with Erickson; a packed Uhaul was even ready outside. She was fed up with Courtney Love and she wanted to leave Seattle’s drug scene, a very sane decision for an ex-heroin addict. But was it a relapse nevertheless?
Her parents have never accepted the version of the police, and Kristen was really upset with Courtney, admitting to a friend, ‘Courtney’s scary. If I take a hike, she’ll make me look bad or do something to make my life miserable.’
Other quotes from Love to Pfaff such as ‘You fuck my guitar player, constantly make eyes at my husband and now you’re telling me how to sing. Just don’t fuck with me because you’ll regret it forever’, reveal a harsh tension between the two women.
After Kristen’s death, her mother discovered that pages out of her diary had been ripped out, and the pages missing were the ones corresponding to the week when Kurt Cobain was missing, just two months before her death.
And to add to the story, Kurt and Kristen were close friends and Kurt once said to Dylan Carlson ‘She’s a fucking talented musician, she’s also a beautiful soul. I think she’s so beautiful, but if I ever told her that, and Courtney found out, it would be hell’
So Kristen was terribly afraid of Courtney (also confirmed by her mother and her brother Jason Pfaff) and became very depressed when Kurt died. She wanted to leave Hole and Courtney Love, just as Kurt wanted to leave Nirvana and his wife, as it has been reported in many books about his death. As a matter of fact, he had just bought two one-way airplane tickets, and many have speculated he wanted to leave with his new girlfriend, who may have been Kristen? Who knows?
Kristen’s autopsy was conveniently performed by Dr. Nicholas Hartshorne, Love’s long time friend, who had already done the autopsy on Kurt and had declared it was a ‘classic suicide’.
There is much more info circulating around websites and message boards about this very fishy story,… What did Erlandson exactly do this evening? Even more troubling, C. Love declared this to Rolling Stone in December 1994,: ‘I had to go over there and get Eric away from the body. Kristen had been his lover for a really long time. He’d already broken down the bathroom door after bathroom door for her.’ Why was she there with Erlandson if it was Paul Erickson who discovered Kristen’s body?
People will say that this story is once again about the same old conspiracy theory, saying that Courtney Love was involved in Kurt Cobain’s death, but facts are facts, Kurt and Kristen were found dead 2 months apart in similar circumstances, both locked inside a room, their systems full of heroin. And both wanted to leave Courtney Love. Troubling? Just coincidences?
In any case, this is once again very depressing to see that the police refused to do a proper investigation, they declared it was an overdose because Kristen had used heroin in the past, and nothing else will ever be done. Captain Dan Bryant of the Seattle Police Department’s narcotics section said ‘Pfaff’s case is not being investigated by the narcotics division because it doesn’t review drug overdoses, which is how Seattle police have categorized the case’.
‘Unless we had someone who knew her and was willing to testify and work with us, we really have nowhere to go’…. How familiar does it sound! Why are sad stories repeating themselves over and over?
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