This story has been updated. Seattle police will not be reopening the Kurt Cobain case after all.
The morning of April 8, 1994, electrician Gary Smith went to Kurt Cobain’s home at 171 Lake Washington Boulevard East to do electrical work. Said Smith in an interview at the time
“I noticed something on the floor and I thought it was a manikin, so I looked a little closer and geez, that’s a person. I looked a little closer and I could see blood and an ear and a weapon laying on his chest.”
This chilling and alarming scene has been described and talked about for nearly 20 years. Different theories have always been part of Seattle music lore but now almost two decades later, Seattle Police have announced they are not reopening the case although they did re-visit the circumstances surrounding Cobain’s death. Police did dig up files to look over the investigation, but found nothing new. Last month, police developed four rolls of film that had been sitting for years in a Seattle police evidence vault. The 35mm film was processed by the King County Sheriff’s Office photo lab under high security. The photos, although slightly deteriorated, show the death scene in a different light, more clearly than the original Polaroid taken by investigators.
The medical examiner determined Cobain had been dead for three days and ruled that Cobain had killed himself – just days after he had left a rehab facility. Before he was shot, police said Cobain had a lethal dose of heroin. The syringes Cobain used and the heroin kit was kept in the Seattle police evidence unit and was part of the re-investigation, along with the previously undeveloped film. On March 18, 1994 – less than a month before Cobain was found dead – Seattle police were called to the Lake Washington home after Kurt “locked himself in a room,” and said he was going to kill himself, according to a police report. Police were also told he “had a gun in the room.” Cobain assured police he was not suicidal and didn’t want to kill himself. However, police said after the 1994 investigation that his death was clearly a suicide.
Last year, a Seattle police department spokeswoman said the department gets at least one request per week to reopen the investigation, mostly through Twitter. A simple search on Google will reward the reader with hours, if not days of reading material, mostly written by grief-stricken fans asking Seattle Police to take another look. There’s no shortage of various theories, but if you’re a fan or knowledgeable of the local grunge scene, you don’t need the theories explained. You know them.
After Cobain’s shocking death, more than 7,000 devastated mourners packed Seattle Center for a public memorial, where a recording was played of Love reading Cobain’s suicide note, although some fans have contended that it wasn’t actually a suicide note, but a letter to his fans explaining why he was leaving the music business… Smith, the electrician, found the suspected suicide note atop planting soil in the greenhouse. Smith said he only read the last two lines – The “bottom two lines said, ‘I love you, I love you’ to someone.”