What happened to Kurt Cobain?

Troubled singer died 25 years ago this week, but not everyone agrees that suicide was the cause


Twenty-five years ago this week, rock music icon Kurt Cobain was found dead at his Seattle home by an electrician.

Forensic analysis by authorities determined that the rock star, who had found international fame and acclaim as the leader singer and guitarist of grunge band Nirvana, had died by a self-inflicted shotgun wound three days earlier, History.com reports.

A suicide note was found nearby by police, and Cobain's death certificate stated that his death was a result of a "contact perforating shotgun wound to the head", concluding that his death was a suicide.

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However, conspiracy theories surrounding Cobain’s death have never fully abated, with many - including some investigators - believing that the admittedly troubled rock star may have been murdered.

Perhaps the most persistent espouser of the theory that Cobain was murdered is Canadian author Max Wallace, who has written two best-selling books about the death of the singer, in 1999 and 2004.

In the latter of the two books, Love and Death: The Murder of Kurt Cobain, Wallace, along with collaborator Ian Halperin, use over 30 hours of taped secret conversations between a private investigator hired by Cobain’s wife Courtney Love, and Cobain's entertainment attorney, Rosemary Carroll, both of whom believe the singer was murdered.

Carroll insists that the suicide note found at the scene, which was rambling and verging on incoherent, was “forged or traced”, while a forensic pathologist concludes that the official suicide scenario was “impossible”

“For me, the most compelling piece of evidence that convinces me almost to a certainty that Kurt was murdered, was the level of heroin in his body,” said Wallace in a 2015 documentary, Soaked in Bleach, adding that an FBI expert had told him the incident was a “perfect crime”, although he did not say who he suspected of committing the crime.

For others, even a run-of-the-mill murder is not outlandish enough, with author John Potash suggesting Cobain’s addiction to heroin and subsequent death could have been down to the US government and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

In his 2015 book Drugs as Weapons Against Us, Potash claims that the CIA purposefully got Cobain hooked on heroin in order to kill him, and also murdered a number of other notable musicians he refers to as “leftists”, including Jimmy Hendrix, John Lennon and Tupac Shakur.

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