On April 8th, 1994, Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain was found dead, from a gunshot wound, in his Seattle home. At the time, the Seattle Police Department ruled it a suicide. But some people — to this day — call bullshit on that ruling. And while the “Kurt was murdered” crowd lands somewhere between birthers and Bigfoot believers on the conspiracy theorist spectrum, today they’ve got new reason to let their speculative minds run wild.
The Seattle police, for some crazy reason, have released new photos of the shotgun used in Cobain’s death.
The photos — which see cold case detective Mike Ciesynski holding the gun at various angles — were taken in June 2015 and uploaded to the city of Seattle’s computer system earlier this month. They were added to the police’s investigative file, and posted to the SPD’s website this past Wednesday. Why the photos were taken, or released to the public, remains unclear.
So, naturally, the tinfoil hat types are having a field day with this one.
Call me crazy but I think that the Kurt Cobain “suicide” wasnt a suicide.. So many things that show it could possibly be a murder.
— SvG Kappa (@KevinakaKappa) March 18, 2016
if you really believe Kurt Cobain’s MURDER scene wasn’t set up, please unfollow me now. — Zakaveli™ (@ZacharyMcCoy_) March 18, 2016
Courtney Love killed Kurt Cobain and that is a fact — Ryan Biebel (@rbiebel2) March 18, 2016
The prevailing theory about Cobain’s death (and really, the only theory) is that Courtney Love — the frontman’s wife, and the mother to his child — was behind his murder. It’s a hypothesis that was explored in Nick Broomfield’s 1998 documentary Kurt & Courtney, and again in last year’s Soaked in Bleach. Stoking the conjectural fire are several loose ends in the case: there were no fingerprints on Kurt’s gun; the only parts of his suicide note hinting at suicide are in seemingly different handwriting; he was on enough heroin at the time to put down a small horse (which would make it pretty damn hard for a guy to shoot himself with a shotgun, let alone one that long).
So persistent is the Cobain murder theory — Seattle police receive requests to reopen the case at least once a week — that in 2014, Ciesynski reviewed the case file. He discovered four rolls of undeveloped film from the scene, but no new evidence to alter the police department’s previous conclusion.
But! These new photos give Cobain Truthers hope. And sure, the concept of a sad guy who sings sad songs doing a sad thing doesn’t sound particularly implausible, but cut these Internet sleuths some slack. Distraught fans of beloved stars taken before their time deserve the right to concoct loopy theories to soften the blow of the reckless, tragic waste of talent. Was Jimi Hendrix waterboarded to death by the CIA? Was Michael Jackson snuffed by record executives who believed he was worth more dead? Is Tupac Shakur having a gangsta party on some hidden island? Probably not. But also: maybe.