Kurt Cobain Essay, Research Paper
On April 9th the world woke up to the news of Kurt Cobain’s suicide. Those who followed the grundge music of Cobain’s band, Nirvana, were angry, but not surprised. With songs such as “I Hate Myself and Want to Die” and constant references to suicide and drugs, suicide was the obvious explanation for his death. Kurt put it best when he said, “I’m thought of as this pissy, complaining, freaked-out schizophrenic who wants to kill himself all the time.” (Bozza) To many people, Cobain just joined the club of rock stars who self-destructed. Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, and Brian Jones set the precedent. The Seattle Police Department confirmed the conclusion everyone had already made; Kurt Cobain committed suicide. Sympathy was hard to find. After his death, Kurt was called a “worthless shred of human debris” by Rush Limbaugh. (Amirault). Even Cobain’s fans were not sympathetic to the pain Kurt suffered at all. They were mad. At his vigil, the crowd chanted “a**hole” because they thought of Kurt as a coward. (Jones) Cobain already had undergone a near-death experience in Rome earlier in the year that may or may not have been a suicide attempt in which Cobain digested nearly fifty pills called Rohypnol. He also locked himself in a room with a .38 caliber pistol and said he was going to kill himself after a dispute. Kurt Cobain was also notorious for hating his fame. He was once quoted as saying, “I’d rather be dead than cool.” (Jones) Kurt Cobain also had stomach pains that sometimes caused him to vomit air because he could not even hold down water. Cobain’s marriage and band were both on the brink of breaking up. The pieces of the puzzle seem to fit together perfectly. The suicide note, the pain, the history of Kurt Cobain, and the attitude everyone perceived Kurt possessed pointed to suicide. Neither Kurt Cobain’s character nor what he did previous to this incident is in question. It is true that Cobain was a heroin addict and times could be a malicious person. The question is whether Kurt Cobain committed suicide or not. It is extraordinarily simple to overlook the facts in this case and dismiss it as another rocker who couldn’t handle the spotlight, but as new evidence demonstrates Kurt Cobain not only didn’t commit suicide, but was not even able to. In fact, his own wife, Courtney Love had him killed in order to capitalize on the spotlight Kurt Cobain’s death caused. To the public, Kurt Cobain appeared suicidal. To those who knew him, he didn’t. Kurt Cobain’s best friend said that Kurt was “not at all” suicidal. (Amirault) Another one of his friends, Mark Lanegan said, “I never knew Kurt to be suicidal.” (Amirault) Cobain’s former attorney, Rosemary Caroll, who believes Courtney Love had Kurt Cobain killed, does not believe Cobain was suicidal. Even those who would know best if Cobain was suicidal or not, the expert therapists at Exodus Treatment Center where Kurt sojourned shortly before his death, did not consider him to be suicidal. The depressed attitude of someone who commits suicide did not fit the interview Kurt gave to Rolling Stone on January 27 of that same year. Cobain said “I still see stuff, descriptions of rock stars in some magazine- ‘Sting, the environmental guy’ and ‘Kurt Cobain, the whiny, complaining, neurotic, bitchy guy who hates everything, hates rock stardom, hates his life.’ And I’ve never been happier in my life.” As for the song, “I Hate Myself and I Want to Die” Cobain said, “Nothing more than a joke. It was totally satirical, making fun of ourselves.” The article also showed a side to Kurt Cobain that not many people got to see or knew about. He tells a story in the article about going to a nightclub and meeting some people there. He invited them back to his hotel and gave them a place to stay and ordered them any food they wanted. Cobain also knew the end of Nirvana was inevitable and he was not worried about it. Courtney Love, on the other hand, was worried. Courtney Love had a lot to gain if Kurt Cobain died. She also had a lot to lose if he was still alive. Shortly before his death, Cobain asked Rosemary Caroll to start the divorce papers. Cobain’s estate was worth about $30 million. Love had proved her obsession with money before when she yelled at Cobain publicly for not headlining the Lollapalooza tour for $9.5 million. With the prenuptial agreement Love would only have received $1 million plus child support. Courtney Love gained fame when Kurt Cobain died. Before Cobain’s death, a nanny claimed Love was obsessed with Cobain’s will. The day after Cobain’s death, Courtney Love did an interview with MTV VJ, Tabita Soren. Love used the interview to promote her album that was scheduled to come out in stores shortly after Cobain’s death. The events surrounding Love helped her to win album of the year by Rolling Stone and Spin and also the Village Voice critics’ poll. Love also used the opportunity to launch a movie career, staring in “The People Vs. Larry Flynt.” She had arrived on the Hollywood scene. Nothing would get in her way. This attitude and way of life is apparent throughout Courtney Love’s life. Courtney Love’s first husband, James Morland said, “If somebody pissed her off a lot, she would pay this guy she knew fifty or a hundred dollars to beat them up. It was pretty scary.” (Wallace) Nick Broomfield, who made a documentary on the death and life of Kurt Cobain considers Courtney Love more dangerous than any other person he has documented. Broomfield has done documentaries on serial killers. Broomfield includes in his documentary a death threat on the answering machine of writer Lynn Hirschberg of Vanity Fair. At the 1992 Academy Awards, Love attacked the journalist, using the Oscar won by Quentin Tarantino as a weapon. Kristen Pfaff, former bassist for Love’s group, Hole, died on June 15, 1994. The connection between her death and Courtney Love are yet to be made and may not exist, but suspicious circumstances surround her death. She reportedly died of a heroin overdose. The report also claims she was addicted to the substance which her family vehemently denies. Detective Antonio Terry of the Seattle Narcotics Department also died an untimely death. He was the first officer of the Seattle Police Department to be murdered in nine years. This was after Courtney Love told the public he might have “additional information.” (Amirault) There are also suspicious circumstances involving the death of Seattle rocker, Eldon Hoke Hoke went on a walk to the liquor store with someone that his roommates had never met before. (Hoke was a heavy alcoholic.) El Duce, as Hoke was also known was later found crushed to death on the railroad tracks. This was eight days after talking to Nick Broomfield. What Hoke said is a key piece of evidence in this case. Hoke said that Love told him, “My old man’s been a real a**hole lately. I need you to blow his f*****g head off.” To which Hoke responded, “Are you serious?” Love replied, “Yeah, I’m as serious as a heart attack. I’ll give you fifty thousand dollars to blow his f*****g head off. Make it look like a suicide.” (Katz) This alone would not be very convincing evidence given the sketchy personality of El Duce. He was an alcoholic and into porno-rock. The most convincing detail is that Hoke passed a polygraph test given by Dr. Edward Gelb, a leading polygraph expert. His clientele includes O.J. Simpson. According to Gelb, Hoke’s story is completely truthful. Also the idea that Hoke’s testimony is not worth noting since he didn’t have the best personality possible is ludicrous. Courtney Love did a smart thing by hiring someone whom she can always discredit because of his personality. In a battle of your word against mine, Hoke would probably lose every time except when he passes a lie detector test. The facts in this case point to a homicide, rather than a suicide. In the “suicide note” there are no references to suicide until the end where the handwriting seems to differ. The letter instead seems like a letter announcing the breakup of Nirvana. In the letter Cobain says such things as, “I haven’t felt the excitement…creating music…for many years now.” and “Sometimes I feel as if I should have a punch-in time clock before I walk out on stage.” (internet shrine) The only blatant reference to suicide comes after Cobain signs his name. The writing also appears larger and doesn’t seem to be the same writing. The “suicide” note is the key piece of evidence that points to suicide and many question its validity. The evidence other than the “suicide” note suggest that Kurt Cobain was murdered. After Cobain’s death, someone tried to use one of Kurt’s credit cards repeatedly. The next key piece of evidence is the lack of fingerprints. That includes the shotgun, the shotgun shells, and the pen used to write the “suicide” note. One of the pivotal reasons to look at Courtney Love as a murder suspect is her attitude in this whole encounter. She had the gun used in the shooting destroyed. Love had Cobain cremated. She also destroyed the “suicide” note he wrote from the Rome incident when he overdosed on pills. Love also refuses to sue any person or company for libel despite the allegations of her being a murderer. The most important sign of homicide comes from Roger Lewis’, “Dead Men Don’t Pull Triggers: Observations on the Death of Kurt Cobain.” In the essay, Roger Lewis states his belief in the homicide of Kurt Cobain because of the extreme dosage of morphine (heroin turns into morphine when it enters the system) in Kurt Cobain’s system. Cobain had 1.52 milligrams of morphine per liter of blood. This is about three times the lethal dose for even the most severe user. With that level of morphine, Cobain probably had about 230 mg of heroin. That much heroin would lead to immediate and complete incapacitation or immediate death. The lethal dose of heroin has been known to go as low as 3 mg. The essay also includes a study of 3,586 heroin-related suicides. None of which involved a gun with the heroin, although some homicide cases studied paralleled Cobain’s case. Very simply, Lewis’ essay states there is no way Kurt Cobain could have pulled the trigger of a gun due to the extremely high level of morphine. This evidence leads to the conclusion someone else pulled the trigger. Many people look so distinctively at the black and white of an issue, they fail to see the gray. To them, Kurt Cobain and death equals suicide. It makes sense. I, myself was guilty of believing this when I heard of Kurt Cobain’s suicide. It was a forgone conclusion. That’s the attitude the police took into the investigation and that is why a murderer is on the loose. All the circumstantial evidence can be contributed to a conspiracy theory. It often happens when anyone famous dies. According to some, Elvis Presley, Jimmy Hoffa, and Tupac Shakur never did die. This is a whole different story. In this case, there is concrete, scientific fact. There is no way Kurt Cobain could have pulled the trigger to end his life. The only person devious enough to do that was Courtney Love. On second thought, she was even worse because she sent someone else to do her dirty work. She already had one failed attempt with Eldon Hoke and with her marriage and financial stability coming into question she tried a second time and it worked to perfection. She was never implicated. The murder looked like a suicide and Courtney basked in the warm glow of the spotlight of Hollywood. The evidence is all there and someday the case will be reopened as a homicide case, but until that day we must see the shades of gray and believe in an unbelievably bizarre and sickening truth of Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love. By the way, the person who started the ‘a**hole’ chant at Cobain’s vigil was Courtney Love.
Amirault, Andrew. “The Murder of Kurt Cobain.” Online. Tiacnet. 5 Dec. 1998. Available http://www.tiac.net/users/tobya Bozza, Anthony. “Kurt Cobain.” Rolling Stone. 27 January 1994: 37 Jones Jr., Malcom. “The Fallout of the Burnout.” Newsweek. 25 April 1994: 58 Katz, John. High Times. April 1996: 94 Kurt and Courtney. Dir. Nick Broomfield. Perf. Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love. Roxie Releasing. February 27, 1998. “The Kurt Cobain Internet Shrine.” Online 10 Mar. 1999. Available http://kurt-cobain.com Lewis, Roger. “Dead Men Don’t Pull Triggers: Observations on the death of Kurt Cobain.” Online. Globalserve. 4 Jan. 1998. Available http://web.globalserve.net/~artnet/dmdpt97f/html. Wallace, Max and Ean Halperin. Who Killed Kurt Cobain? The Mysterious Death of an Icon. May Wallace: 1999