It’s one way to commemorate an anniversary…The Seattle Police Department chose to mark the twentieth anniversary of Cobain’s death by reviewing the evidence they hold and releasing a report summarising their views. Their conclusion? Nothing contradicting the verdict of suicide. In terms of new information, there’s almost nothing; they uncovered that on Tuesday April 2, 1994 Cobain took a taxi into town to purchase the shotgun shells that he then used. There’s an interesting discussion of the movement of the gun at time of firing which concludes that Cobain’s death grip on the gun results in the final position of one shotgun casing and one misfired round. Oh, and in what should delight murder theorists, turns out the 1.52 milligrams per litre level of heroin in Cobain’s blood stream is entirely correct though the report also notes the presence of fresh needle tracks and puncture wounds indicating sustained use of heroin and more than one recent injection (wounds is a plural in the report – not just one indicating injection at time of death but several.)
They also released a postcard that was in Cobain’s wallet but unsent in which he scribbles down “Do you Kurt Cobain take Courtney Michelle Love to be your lawful shredded wife even when she’s a bitch with zits and siphoning all (your) money for doping and whoring…” Apparently there’s more not included in the photo released. Funnily enough, the stationery Cobain uses for the postcard above, that was found in his wallet, comes from a San Francisco hotel called the Phoenix – apparently popular with a rock clientele, perhaps partially due to its proximity to a neighbourhood known for drug dealing. As an aside, Cobain doesn’t visit San Francisco in March 1994 – however, Roddy Bottum, keyboardist for Faith No More and a friend of the Cobain couple flew in from San Francisco sometime after March 18 and left before 25 suggesting he might have left the postcard at the house and Cobain had later scooped it up and used it as scrap paper sometime among the smattering of days between Friday March 25 and Tuesday April 5. (Added Note: pointed out in comments, it’s likely the card was written by Courtney herself – sheesh, couples! They have the weirdest sense of humour. :-))
This is the Police Report incidentally:
A thank you at this point to Jon for adding a YouTube link in the comments a week ago to Tom Grant’s response to Mike Ciesynski which, neatly, includes detective Ciesynski’s verbal comments on his review.
For once I’m going to give an inch to the murder theory – Cobain isn’t exactly a candidate for world’s tidiest human being as demonstrated by the photos last month of how he and Courtney Love left one apartment they shared and the numerous comments on his apartment in Olympia previous to that. The idea that he put the syringe back in his box and put the caps on is a bit weird…BUT. Suicide isn’t a normal act, it isn’t a normal time and this is a guy who has shown meticulous attention to the staging and positioning of art projects suggesting it isn’t that he’s constitutionally incapable of being tidy, orderly and precisely arranged. Having laid out items next to his body, putting away the syringes was just one more preparation…Or his supposed killer takes the time to it which is pretty unconvincing too. I’m sure the Seattle police are pretty aware that by this stage people will just believe what they believe.
The postcard’s main fascination comes from the way in which it’s such a common behaviour on Cobain’s part; the Journals are riddled with unsent letters, vicious missives to all and sundry explaining their sins and crimes. My perspective was always that it was his way of discharging his more negative views and I’ve always doubted that any of the letters were meant to be sent because I think Cobain knew fine well that what he was writing was usually extremely slanted and didn’t even capture the totality of his own feelings. Instead it was more akin to the sentiment put out in his lyrics about politeness (“if you wouldn’t mind/if you wouldn’t care…”, Come as You Are, All Apologies) that he often felt he couldn’t say things, or just as likely knew he’d be talking sh** if he did. Really I put the postcard in with that, a semi-nonsensical scree aimed at his wife who has just threatened to take his child away and to divorce him. I mean, those couple of lines are pretty silly.