Movie Reviews

Kurt Cobain’s Long-Withheld FBI File Has Been Released, So What’s in It?

Periodically, the Federal Bureau of Investigation makes public some of it’s archives on politicians and entertainers. Last month the FBI made it’s file on late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain available to the public for the first time. The 10-page file contains two letters from two individuals who asked the FBI to investigate the rockstar’s 1994 death by suicide, believing foul play may have been involved.

The names of the individuals has been redacted from the FBI documents, but a letter sent to the bureau in September 2003 reads: “Millions of fans around the world would like to see the inconsistencies surrounding his death cleared up once and for all. It is sad to think that an injustice of this nature can be allowed in the United States.” This letter was typed-out and cites director Nick Broomfield’s Kurt & Courtney documentary from 1998 as an example of similar skepticism.

The other letter is from 2007, and is from an unknown author. It was written by hand and reads: “The police who took up the case were never very serious in investigating it as a murder, but from the from the beginning insisted on it being a suicide. This bothers me most because his killer is still out there…”

The writer also cites so-called evidence that, “there were no prints on the gun.” Tom Grant, a former L.A County Sheriff’s deputy and Los Angeles based private investigator was hired to look for Cobain by his then wife Courtney Love. Grant has famously come out and said his beliefs that the Nirvana frontman was murdered and it would not be a surprise to many if Grant wrote one of the two letters to the FBI. Tom Grant was featured in the Kurt & Courtney documentary from 1998 and made his own 2015 documentary on the possible murder of Kurt Cobain entitled Soaked In Bleach (currently available on Tubitv.com).

The FBI file closes with a fax that Cosgrove/Meurer Productions sent to the bureau in January 1997. CMP is the company behind the documentary TV series Unsolved Mysteries, which aired an episode about Cobain’s death in February 1997. The fax reads: “At least one investigator, Tom Grant, a Los Angeles based private investigator is convinced that the official ruling of suicide was a rush to judgement.”

The FBI’s response to the letters was to inform the author’s that the FBI does not necessarily have the jurisdiction to investigate a potential homicide. The official response reads: “In order for the FBI to initiate an investigation of any complaint we receive, specific facts must be present to indicate that a violation of federal law within our investigative jurisdiction has occurred.” You can find the full Kurt Cobain file at the FBI website.

Last month marked 27 years since the death of Kurt Cobain. Cobain died at 27 years old, joining the infamous 27 club of other musicians to die at that age, at the height of their fame. The list of legends to leave us at 27 is staggering. Jim Morrison (The Doors), Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Amy Winehouse. All gone far too soon…, but all will live forever through their music.

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