The Mystery Surrounding His Death.
Kurt Cobain was the lead singer and songwriter for the 90's grunge band, Nirvana. Kurt's death in 1994 was ruled a suicide, but many believe it should've been investigated for homicide. Many also theorize that Kurt's wife, Courtney Love, may have somehow been responsible.
In today's episode, I take a deep dive into Kurt's life and career and explore whether or not Kurt was suicidal. I also explore another mysterious death of someone Courtney was close to, which occurred just two months after Kurt's death. Could these be related?
Hi guys! I’m Didi West, and this is Broken Limelight!
Today, I’m going to talk about Kurt Cobain, the lead singer and songwriter for the 90’s grunge band, Nirvana.
And here’s why. Kurt’s death was ruled a suicide, but many people believe that it may have actually been a murder. Some believe that Kurt’s wife, Courtney Love, may even have had something to do with his death.
So I want to share what I found in my deep dive of the investigation and tell you guys a bit more about Kurt’s life leading up to his relationship with Courtney, and then his death.
Kurt Cobain was born 2/20/1967. His parents were named Don and Wendy. Kurt was the first grandchild to be born to either side of the family, so everyone was really excited and he had a lot of love and attention growing up.
Kurt’s father Don was a handsome guy with an athletic build, and he wore these Buddy Holly glasses that gave him kind of a nerdy look. His mom Wendy was beautiful, she was said to look and dress like Marcia Brady. They were high school sweethearts and they lived on a budget, but always made sure Kurt had nice clothes growing up.
When Kurt was 15 months old, Wendy’s 14 year old sister wrote a paper about Kurt for school. She talked about how his mom praised him and showed him a lot of love, and how Kurt was always happy to see his dad and be held by him. She wrote that some of his first words were “coco, mama, dada, ball, toast, bye-bye, hi, baby, me, love, hotdog, and kitty.”
He brought a lot of joy to the family.
He was really, really artistic from a very young age. His drawings were so realistic. For example, Kurt’s paternal grandfather was a pretty crusty old man, and when Kurt was 6, he showed him a drawing he had made of Mickey Mouse. And his grandpa accused him of tracing it. Kurt was like “I did not!” and his grandpa handed him a paper and a pencil and asked him to show him how he did it. So Kurt sat down and drew a near perfect illustration of Donal Duck, without looking at a reference picture or anything. And then he drew another one of Goofy. And then he proudly looked up at his grandpa with a big grin on his face.
Kurt was especially close with his paternal grandmother, Iris Cobain. She was also very interested in art and poetry and she saw Kurt’s artistic talent early on, so she helped influence Kurt and encouraged his artistic interests.
When Kurt was in 2nd grade, his parents and teachers started to discuss how incredibly hyperactive Kurt was and how maybe there was a medical root to it. So they consulted the pediatrician and at first they cut sugar from his diet. And when there was no improvement, they started treating him with Ritalin for ADHD.
This was 1974, and even then, this was a really controversial decision. He was on Ritalin for 3 months and everyone in the family had their own opinion about whether it was helpful or harmful.
In 1976, shortly after Kurt’s 9th birthday, Wendy told Don that she wanted a divorce. Supposedly, she just kind of announced it to him and then sped off in her Camaro, leaving him to explain it to the kids.
He was crushed.
His childhood was rough after the divorce. His parents both remarried to people Kurt wasn’t crazy about. Kurt kind of got passed around because he was a pretty angsty teenager and his parents and grandparents would pretty much decide they had enough of him.
So he went from having this really loving family life and childhood, to him being moved around and nobody really having space for him, either emotional of physical.
By all accounts, it had a huge impact on Kurt. But the narrative that has been created since Kurt’s death is that he’s pretty much been suicidal since his parents’ divorce.
From what I can see, nobody had concerns of Kurt being suicidal, not even Courtney, until 1994 (which was the year Kurt died).
Kurt had a dark humor. And sometimes he would speak lightly about pretty dark things. So like, for example, there was a track “I hate myself and I want to Die” and after Kurt’s death, people were like “oh my god that was a sign.” But truthfully, Kurt just talked like that. That was how he joked. Like if someone was like “hey how’s it going?” Kurt might be like “Oh ya know, I hate myself and I wanna die.” but that’s literally just how Kurt joked.
Kurt was a huge jokester and super sarcastic.
He played sports in school for a while. He was pretty much doing it mostly just to please his dad. He had started wrestling which made Don happy, but Kurt started losing interest and ditching practices, and he was kind of small and skinny, so he had to work especially hard, which he was not into.
So Kurt has this story about how Don went to one of his wrestling matches, it was like a championship match. And Kurt decided to send his dad a little message. As Kurt tells it, he waited for the whistle to blow and then he looked his dad right in the eye, clammed up, put his arms together, and let the other guy pin him. He did this 4 times supposedly. Don denied this ever happened and Kurt’s friends say they don’t recall that. However, Kurt’s grandpa Leland recalled that Don told him about it after the match, saying “The little shit just laid there. He wouldn’t fight back.”
But of course, once the narrative got out that Kurt was always suicidal, everybody started saying “look at the signs, there were signs everywhere!” and looking at everything he did.
A lot of documentaries and biographies push this narrative.
Let’s talk about Courtney for a sec. Courtney had a kind of rough childhood. According to Courtney’s mother and one of her father’s girlfriends, Courtney’s father, Hank, dosed Courtney with LSD once when she was a toddler and he lost custody of her. Courtney got into a lot of trouble in her teen years. When she was 16 she became legally emancipated.
So Courtney also had like no family as a teenager.
But she received like a support payment of $800/wk (equivalent to $2,000 today). According to the Last Podcast On The Left, Courtney would use this money to kind of insert herself into the music scene. She would like show up with a shit ton of acid or drugs for everyone.
So Courtney is like, widely known for being violent and a huge bitch. According to an exboyfriend of hers, Courtney had a guy she would pay $100 to beat up anyone who pissed Courtney off. There’s no way to know if this is true but that’s a story that’s out there.
So Courtney and Kurt met at a Butthole Surfers concert and immediately bonded over their love of heroin and fucking, and were then inseparable.
According to Courtney, she was going after him for a while, but he was like clueless of the attention. She says that she was like sucking the dick of this other manager and she got him to get her tickets to the Butthole Surfers. So she went and seduced Kurt. And then she was just like “you’re my boyfriend,” and he was just like “okay.”
Courtney insisted on prenup (after success of Nevermind). She believed she would be more famous than him.
Courtney and Kurt both used heroin, but supposedly, she only used like $20 worth a day, where Kurt would use like $400 a day. Allegedly.
Kurt had these terrible stomach pains and he said he needed the heroin to self-treat it. He said “heroin was the only thing keeping me from blowing my head off.”
But there was a point where the stomach pains went away and he continued to use.
A lot of people also think that he was so introverted and didn’t like the attention that he got from stardom, that he used heroin to cope with that too.
And yea, that’s true that Kurt wasn’t completely comfortable with the attention. But he did always want to be a star. I mean, he wanted to play music for a living and I think loved being recognized for his talent and his work. I think he wanted to be brilliant. What I think he didn’t like was being treated like a star, like a center of attention. I think it was too much pressure on him. And Courtney would later insist and insist that “Kurt was Nirvana” and I think that didn’t help his anxieties.
But Kurt never turned away his fans. He would see kids wearing Nirvana tee shirts and he’d go up to them and be like “hey im in Nirvana, do you want an autograph?”
It was the media that he really wasn’t into.
In the months leading up to Kurt’s death, he reportedly had numerous overdoses that did not result in hospitalization, and Courtney was always the one to resuscitate him.
After Nirvana’s album Nevermind came out, the royalty checks started coming in, and Courtney noticed that Kurt and his bandmates were all making the same amount. Courtney freaked out, she thought that Kurt should make more than everyone else because he was the principal songwriter. Of course, Kurt didn’t really care about the money too much so they had originally agreed to split the money 3 ways and nobody minded. It wasn’t until Courtney butted in that Kurt decided to ask for more money.
So Kurt asked for 100% of the royalties for the lyrics and 75% of the music. And he demanded that this agreement be made retroactive to the beginning of the sales of the Nevermind album. His bandmates were, of course, baffled. They at least thought that it should start with their next album, but Kurt insisted that it had to be this way or he would quit the band.
The rest of the band reluctantly agreed, and blamed Courtney for it all. Things were never the same, the friendship wasn’t really there. They only really talked if it was Nirvana related.
Now that they had money, Courtney insisted that they had to live in a big house like superstars. So they did. But Kurt was so not used to it and not into it. He was used to growing up in small, simple spaces and was embarrassed about his neighborhood. Plus the neighbors weren’t welcoming to the loud guitar music.
Kurt’s friends and bandmates and pretty much everyone around said that Courtney was abusive to Kurt. She would call him a dumbfuck all the time, and say that he was useless. She was often seen throwing things at him. In 1993, the police were called for a domestic abuse disturbance and Courtney told them that Kurt shoved her after she threw juice in his face during an argument, and Kurt spent 3 hours in jail before being bailed out. A witness said that Courtney was totally provoking her, which normally I would say that doesn’t justify it. But it’s insane that Courtney literally throws things at him and maybe she’s doing other physical things to him. And then she has the nerve to provoke him to get him to hit her so she can call the cops?
So then Courtney decided not to press charges and the case was dropped.
Courtney blamed their marital issues on Kurt’s drug use, though she was also shooting up regularly.
She even hired her ex-boyfriend, a known junkie who went by “Cali”, to be the nanny for their daughter Francis Bean Cobain.
Leland (Kurt’s grandpa) said he went over to visit one time, and saw Courtney, Cali, and another female nanny, sitting their high as kites, with Frances sitting right there.
On March 1st, 1994 in Munich:
Kurt got in fight with Courtney over the phone and then called Rosemary Carroll from backstage of Nirvana’s last show, specifically excluding Courtney as a benefactor, and told her he wanted a divorce and to remove Courtney from his will.
According to Rosemary, Kurt was planning to leave Courtney, and Courtney was only going to get a small settlement (if anything) because of the prenup. Rosemary also said that Courtney called her and told her to call the “meanest, most vicious divorce lawyer in town,” and also asked if it was possible to void the prenup.
According to police, there was a will drawn up, but Kurt never had a chance to sign it, and police won’t admit whether or not it excludes Courtney.
After that show, Kurt went to the doctor for a throat ailment and was diagnosed with bronchitis, and he cancelled the remainder of the tour. He then flew to Rome to meet up with Courtney and their daughter Frances Bean.
On March 3rd, 1994, they had dinner and put Frances to bed, and had the bellboy bring them two bottles of champagne.
According to Courtney, they drank wine and went to bed, and just made out and fell asleep. She said she woke up at like 4am and rolled over to fuck him, and he wasn’t in bed. She found him on the floor, completely unresponsive.
At about 6am, she had the hotel staff call 911, and they arrived at the hospital at about 6:30.
It’s interesting to note, that it took her about 2 hours to have someone call 911. I also find interesting (and this may not mean anything to anyone else), but there’s a photo of the moment when they arrive at the hospital and the ambulance doors open up, and you see Courtney inside with a full face of makeup. I just think it’s interesting considering she literally just woke up at the butt crack of dawn and found her husband unconscious, and the timeframe of it all makes me wonder if she did her makeup before or after she called for help.
So Kurt was found to have had complications from combining alcohol with Rohypnol, which in the United States is more commonly known as the date rape drug “roofies”.
In Europe, however, it can be prescriped for insomnia and as a pre-anesthetic.
Courtney admitted that she had a prescription for Rohypnol and that she took it recreationally. In one source, I read that Courtney and Kurt took them together with their wine that night.
But I also read an interview where Courtney supposedly said that she and Kurt just drank wine, made out, and went to sleep, and that in the morning, she found the packaging of her Rohypnol pills, emptied, and next to Kurt’s body. She claimed that he had taken at least 50 or 60 pills.
His doctor, however, did not believe he had taken that much and said that this was not an overdose, just a bad reaction from combining the pills with alcohol. He also did not believe this to be a suicide attempt.
I mention that because Courtney claims that this was Kurt’s first suicide attempt.
She even claims he left a note. But when reading the note, literally nobody else thinks it’s a suicide note. If anything, it looked like a letter letting Courtney know that he was leaving.
In fact, according to Janet Billig, the spokesperson for Nirvana’s management team, Kurt told her that this was not suicide note. He had just taken all his money out and was going to leave.
So, Kurt was unconscious for 20 hours, and the media prematurely reported that he had died. But then he woke up. He reached for a notepad and wrote “fuck you” and handed it to Courtney. Then he demanded to have the tubes removed from his nose, and asked for a strawberry milkshake.
I don’t know but I feel like that would be a strange thing to say upon waking up from a failed suicide attempt, if that’s what that was.
In the documentary Montage of Heck, Courtney says that Kurt was trying to kill himself because Courtney was thinking about cheating on him.
Some have theorized that Courtney may have actually roofied Kurt, or spiked Kurt’s drink with the Rohypnol, intending to kill him. But then that brings the question, why did she call the ambulance?
Who knows, I mean maybe she thought he was already dead. Or maybe, she was just trying to build a narrative that Kurt was suicidal, and then she came out being the hero for saving him.
-If Courtney believed this was a suicide attempt, why didn’t she tell anyone that she was concerned about him?
A couple of weeks later on 3/18/94,
Kurt and Courtney got into a fight, and Courtney called 911 saying that he had locked himself in a room with a gun and was threatening to kill himself.
When the cops got there, Courtney was freaking out about Kurt trying to kill himself. But when they walked in through the back gate, Kurt was standing there in the backyard with his hands in his pockets, with no gun, and saying he wasn’t suicidal, just trying to get the fuck away from Courtney following an argument. The cop said he didn’t look suicidal, just deeply embarrassed.
When they questioned Courtney, she was forced to admit that he didn’t have a gun, nor did he say anything about killing himself. But she said she panicked because there were guns in the house and she believed he was suicidal after the incident in Rome.
So just in case, they confiscated Kurt’s guns.
So this is where Dylan Carlson comes in. Dylan was Kurt’s best friend and drug dealer. He said that he remembers times where Kurt would call him for drugs and he would get a call on the other line and it would be Courtney calling for drugs, and each of them saying “don’t tell the other that I’m buying”
So Kurt asked Dylan to buy him a gun, for protection, because the police had confiscated his and he thought they would confiscate the new one if it was purchased under his own name. I read that Kurt was worried about intruders, so he got a shotgun.
Dylan maintains that he never would have bought Kurt the gun if he thought Kurt was suicidal. He says that in recent months, Kurt had been talking about turning things around for Frances Bean’s sake and making long term plans.
On March 25th 1994, Courtney decided to give Kurt an intervention for his drug addiction. She was apparently getting concerned that the label would drop him because of how fucked up he was all the time.
So Kurt and Dylan came down the stairs after shooting up, and found the room full of people, including a couple of junkies (like Courtney and her friend/nanny Cali). Kurt was shocked, of course. And he accused everyone of being hypocrites, and started calling each one of them out on the fucked up things they did for drugs or on drugs.
The next day, Courtney basically told him that if he didn’t get treatment, she would limit him from seeing Frances Bean.
So on 3/30/94, Kurt went to the Exodus Recovery Center in Los Angeles. He was evaluated and determined to be in total denial about his drug problem, but nothing was said about any concern for him being suicidal.
So that afternoon, he went outside and smoked a cigarette and chatted with another rockstar who was in the program, Gibby Haynes from the Butt-hole Surfers. Haynes told him about a buddy of his who escaped Exodus by jumping the wall. They laughed about this because, Exodus wasn’t a lockdown facility and anyone could walk out at any moment, so there was no reason to escape.
That night, Kurt went out for another cigarette, and decided to scale that same wall that him and Haynes had been joking about that same day, and then flew back to Seattle.
This was just a week before his body was found, and what happened within that week is a big mystery.
According to one police report, a cab driver picked someone up from his house, a man, on 4/02/94 and took him to a sporting good store to buy bullets. The man told the driver that he had a break in recently so he needed bullets.
It doesn’t specifically whether or not this man was Kurt, however.
4/03/94, Courtney hired Private Investigator Tom Grant saying that someone stole her husband’s credit card.
Tom Grant is the one, biggest person who believes that Courtney is responsible for Kurt’s death.
So when Tom Grant meets Courtney, she’s like “forget the credit card, my husband escaped from Rehab in LA and is now missing.
Courtney didn’t tell Grant that she knew Kurt was in Seattle that day. So this guy named Cali who I mentioned before, said he saw Kurt that past Saturday 4/02. Cali was this junkie that Courtney hired as a nanny for Frances Bean. They also used to date. She would pay his rent and give him a heroin allowance.
So on 4/02, phone records show that Courtney and Cali talked to each other on the phone 8 times. So you would think it would come up that he saw Kurt, if Courtney was really freaking out about him being missing.
4/02 also is the date on the receipt for the shotgun shells, as well as the day the taxi driver picked up a man and took him to buy bullets.’
That same day, Courtney filed a missing person’s report under the name Wendy O’Connor, Kurt’s mom. She told them that her son, Kurt escaped from Rehab and had gone back to Seattle, bought a shotgun, and may be suicidal.
Some people believe that Courtney made the report under Wendy’s name because she knew enough about her reputation to know that the police wouldn’t take her seriously.
Others believe this was part of Courtney’s process of planting false evidence that Kurt was suicidal.
She reportedly called the rehab like a dozen times asking for Kurt and pretending to be different people, like she call as herself and get nowhere, so then she’d call as his manager, and then his mom, so maybe she was genuinely concerned and felt that she had to make the report under Wendy’s name.
On 4/06, Tom Grant got Courtney’s permission to search their home, and she had Dylan Carlson take him through the house. Dylan is the same guy who bought Kurt the gun.
They searched the whole house, except for the greenhouse over the garage. It was a dark rainy night and Tom didn’t see it, and for some reason, Dylan didn’t point it out.
4/07, Courtney asked them to go back and check if Kurt’s shotgun was still in their closet where he kept it.
But when they got there, they found a note from Cali sitting on the stairs.
Interestingly, Kurt had already been dead for at least a day by this point.
Again, Tom and Dylan were just there the night before and the not hadn’t been there. It’s believed Kurt most likely died on 4/05/94.
I guess it’s possible that Cali thought Dylan and Tom coming and going were Kurt. Remember Cali is a huge junkie and idk maybe he sleeps a lot and is just, confused.
Tom Grant believes the note was left there specifically for him to find, to manipulate the timeline so that he would think Kurt died later than he actually had.
4/08/94 The morning his body was found:
An electrician arrived to install an alarm system. He looked through the doors and saw Kurt’s body lying on the floor with a shotgun on his chest.
The electrician actually called the radio station and was like “you’d better have some good concert tickets ready for me, I’ve got a story for you”
Tom Grant heard the news and called his office, and his associate told him that someone tried to use Kurt’s credit card to buy $43 worth of flowers hours before his body was found.
To this day, we don’t know who tried to use the card. But he had been dead for days by that point.
Kurt did still have like over $100 in cash left in his wallet. So if there were a killer it would be odd to take the very traceable credit card.
Strange detail-- the shotgun barrel as well as the box of shells did not have any fingerprints whatsoever, suggesting they may have been wiped down. But a forensic expert said that the shotgun wasn’t analyzed for almost a month, and the box of shells for a couple years.
So when police arrived to the crime scene, they looked around and basically immediately decided that this was a suicide. That was a bad idea to declare that immediately but remember, they had already received a missing person’s report saying that Kurt was suicidal.
Still, the police didn’t do a great job here.
There’s something interesting about the trajectory of the shell that killed Kurt. The shell was found on Kurt’s left side, but the position of the gun indicates that the shell should have landed to his right side. So a lot of people point to this as proof that someone else shot him and then placed the gun in his hand.
A forensic examiner said that it’s possible for police officers to have bumped into the gun and just did their best to put it back and not tell anyone.
Also, it’s unclear how he could have physically pulled the trigger while holding it up to his face. One theory I read is that maybe he used like a pen or butter knife or something and put it like in the trigger, and used his feet to push down on it, in which case the object could’ve just flung across the room.
The note seems like it could be a retirement letter for his fans. 1998 interview, Dave Grohl confirmed Nirvana was breaking up around this time.
Some believe that handwriting changed because maybe Kurt stopped to inject himself and went back to finish the note.
police asked courtney for sample of kurt’s writing for comparison. She provided the note from Rome. how do they know she didn’t write both notes?
1997 NBC’s unsolved mysteries hired two of the world’s most prominent handwriting analysts to conduct their own analysys. This time, they were able to get confirmed authentic song lyrics written by Kurt’s hand.
Body of letter seems to be Kurt’s, but first line andlast 4 were not Kurt’s and included over a dozen discrepancies.
“Please keep going courtney
For her life, which will be so much happier
Without me. I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU!”
The officer examined the crime scene took the gun out of Kurt’s hand and said his left hand was gripping the barrel so tightly that it left an imprint in his palm.
He arranged for the body to be moved to the medical examiners office to determine cause of death, but not before telling the other officers “this is an open and shut case of suicide.”
One forensic medicolegal investigator named Denise Marshall is confident that Kurt’s death was actually a murder.
-they touched the body twice before coroner arrived, once to take id off body and once to remove gun.
Kurt had *supposedly* 75x the lethal amount for a regular heroin user, 3x the amount for a heavy user. Many believe there’s no way he could be conscious and standing, much less be able to put his drugs away and operate a gun.
There have been a lot of attempts to debunk this, but the hardest thing is there’s no way to study tolerance. We know he was using like $400/day but we don’t know like, the purity of the heroin. And it’s not like anyone’s ever measure how much heroin he regularly took so we don’t know if the amount he took on this day was an unusually large amount for him.
Chief Medical Investigator, Dr. Nicholas Hartshorne, was friends with Courtney in LA music scene in the 80’s. He determined right away that this was a case of suicide.
The prevailing theory is that Courtney had Cali help Kurt shoot up, give him too much, and then shoot Kurt and stage it to look like a suicide.
There’s another theory that a lot of people believe. That brings us to Eldon “El Duce” Hoke. This guy was in the music scene.
El Duce claimed that in December 1993, Courtney Love showed up at El’s job and said “El, I need a favor. My old man’s been a real ass hole. I need you to blow his fucking head off.”
This was corroborated by El’s coworker who was there.
According to El, Courtney offered him $50k to do the job.
The guy’s apparently didn’t hear anything and assumed it was a joke, until late March 1994, when Courtney called El’s job looking for him and saying she had a job for him, but El was actually touring with his band and didn’t get the message.
According to Tom Grant, El Duce took a lie detector test and was determined to be telling the truth about being offered $50k to kill Kurt.
Lie detector tests aren’t fool proof and are not admissible in court, but it’s just interesting.
Interestingly, El Duce died less than a week after being asked to interview for the documentary “Kurt & Courtney”. He went on to explain that she knew who killed him.
He was drunk in this interview and he mentioned a guy named Allen, which was clearly an accident because then he’s like “uh, i mean my friend”.
Allen was a violent dude who went by the name Allen Wrench. He was known for random act of violence.
Supposedly, El didn’t have the stomach for murder, so he set up Courtney with Allen. According to a source, Allen suddenly had a ton of money to spend shortly after Kurt’s death.
Allen also was known to not let things go. Supposedly, Allen was pissed that El named him on the interview. So Allen supposedly went to El’s house, they got in an argument, and then left together. And that evening, El Duce was struck by a train.
Again, who knows if any of this is fucking true.
Ok so there’s one more thing.
According to one source:
On April 1st, 1994, shortly before his death, Cobain had bought two round-trip airline tickets for him and another female besides Love. Apparently, Love thought this “mystery woman” of Kurt’s was possibly Kristen Pfaff, the bassist for Courtney’s band, Hole. Multiple reports say Courtney thought Kurt was having an affair with Kristen, though the pairing (and everyone around them) claimed they were only good friends. Kurt has been quoted as saying “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.” about Kristen.
Many theorize that Courtney also had something to do with Kristen’s death.
Kristen and Courtney clashed a lot. Of course, Courtney was a raging bitch.
Kristen and Courtney butted heads once at practice, and Courtney was pretty much ruthless after that. Kristen studied classical piano and cello growing up, and eventually taught herself how to play bass.
Courtney supposedly didn’t play very well and was very defensive about it.
So Kristen got on her bad side.
However, Kristen was also the reason for their success. By all accounts, their status changed when Kristen joined Hole.
But Kristen was legitimately afraid of Courtney. And the Seattle scene was detrimental to her. She had dabbled in heroin a bit before, but she wasn’t a regular user until now. Everyone in her circle was using heroin and she wanted to get away from it.
She often talked about wanting to go back home to Minneapolis.
In March of 94, after nearly a year of living in Seattle, she moved back to Minneapolis.
When Kurt died in April, Kristen was deeply affected.
She went back to Seattle for his funeral. Then she went back in June to get her remaining belongings to take them back to Minneapolis, but sadly, she died on that trip and never made it back home.
And like Kurt’s death, Kristen’s death had a lot of pieces that didn’t add up.
She once said in an interview “Kurt broke my heart,” but she never elaborated what that meant.
She was said to have entered into a depression after Kurt’s death. But, she did go to rehab and get cleaned up, she was much happier living in Minneapolis. She rejoined her old band, Janitor Joe, and decided to leave Hole.
Courtney was livid. But Kristen was adamant that she was done with Hole.
So, on 6/14/94, Kristen went back to Seattle with her friend Paul to pick up the rest of her things.
They packed up a U-haul and planned to drive back in the morning.
At about 8pm, Paul offered to sit in the Uhaul and guard her things, and Kristen was gonna take a bath before going to bed.
A few minutes later, Paul saw Eric Erlandson show up. Again, Eric was the guitarist for Hole and Kristen’s ex boyfriend. So Paul saw Eric go into Kristen’s apartment and leave after about 30 minutes.
At about 9:30, Paul went back to the apartment to check on Kristen and knocked on the bathroom door. He apparently heard her snoring and just left her because she often fell asleep in the bathtub.
I found that kinda weird..
So he went back to the truck to sleep.
In the morning, he went to see if Kristen was ready to go, and he noticed the bathroom door was still locked, and Kristen still wasn’t answering it. So he kicked down the door.
She was in the bathtub, unconscious, just like one or two inches out of water. So Paul called 911. They police found a makeup bag with what they called “syringes and narcotic paraphernalia”.
The police immediately declared this as an accidental overdose and again, the medical examiner called this an “open and shut case”, similar to what he said about Kurt’s death.
And who was the examiner who performed Kristen’s autopsy?
Nicholas Hartshorne.who listed the cause of death as “Acute Opiate Intoxication” caused by an accidental “[injectable] use of drug.”who listed the cause of death as “Acute Opiate Intoxication” caused by an accidental “[injectable] use of drug.”
Kristen’s mother, Janet, doesn’t think it was an overdose at all and urged the police to investigate further. But they straight up told her that they just don’t investigate overdoses.
Janet, as well as Kristen’s brother, Jason, have both said that Kristen was afraid of Courtney.
Courtney set out to break Kristen emotionally, an experience that left her friend traumatized: “Courtney yelled at Kristen all the time. She wanted to make sure Kristen knew who was boss. I think Kristen was afraid of Courtney. She thought she was out of control. She said Courtney was the most egomaniacal, insecure and power-hungry person she had ever met. Kristen was interested in making good music. Courtney was more interested in making headlines for all the crazy stuff she did every day.”
As Jason recalls, “Kurt was extremely fond of Kristen. It made Courtney very jealous. Courtney kept a close eye on them. I don’t think that they were involved—in fact, I’m pretty sure they weren’t—but Courtney was jealous because Kristen was so beautiful and smart. And she had a lot in common with Kurt. They used to talk a lot about books, art and music. I don’t think it made Courtney very happy.” Courtney once complained to Jason that Kurt and Kristen were “connecting too much.” Two weeks later, when Kurt gave Kristen a copy of the novelPerfume, Jason says, “Courtney hit the ceiling.”
Courtney of course was always just a raging bitch. She was mean to Kristen.
‘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’,
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.
Ok so I realize that none of this is really evidence, at best it’s circumstantial. It’s just interesting that Kristen was trying to leave Hole and Kurt was trying to divorce Courtney, so both of them were trying to leave her, and died just two months apart.
Let me tell you about the sources I used for my research. I started off reading this biography called “Heavier Than Heaven” by Charles Cross. I got about 5 chapters in before I went, “Hmm, this seems to really build on the idea that Kurt was suicidal his whole life.” Something told me to try another book.
So I landed on “Love & Death: The Murder of Kurt Cobain” and what I found funny was that they actually mention “Heavier Than Heaven”, and point out that the author Charles Cross is actually a friend of Courtney Love’s, and so it’s believed that Courtney may have tried to plant stories in Charles’ head about Kurt being suicidal throughout his life, and he may have taken Courtney’s account as fact. Needless to say, I decided not to use that book as a source.
I did read Love & Death: The Murder of Kurt Cobain”. I also listened to the Last Podcast on the Left, they did a great job researching this case and exploring botht the suicide and murder theories.
I’ve watched a few documentaries on Kurt Cobain, but it’s really important to realize that half of these documentaries take a lot of Courtney’s accounts for facts (and Courtney is a very unreliable source).
Also, it’s hard to know anything to be fact. Pretty much all of the people involved here are junkies. We don’t know how reliable some of the quotes out there are. And not only that, but people around Kurt could possibly just like to get the attention from being attached to his story.
So take everything with a grain of salt.
I hope you enjoyed today’s episode of Broken Limelight. I just want to say that if I mysteriously die of a heroin overdose, do me a favor and look into that for me. K?
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Thanks again guys, bye!