Kurt Cobain’s death to be reinvestigated? Seattle police address claims that the Nirvana frontman's case is set to be re-opened

Seattle broadcaster KIRO 7 had reported that new photographs showing the scene in a clearer light held the key to Cobain's last moments

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The Independent Online

Claims that Kurt Cobain’s death is to be re-investigated more than 20 years after the Nirvana frontman was found dead in his home near Lake Washington are a “false alarm”.

Seattle police have confirmed that reports suggesting that they are re-opening the case after they developed four rolls of film that had been sitting for years in an evidence vault are untrue.

New Cobain Death Scene Images Released

Seattle broadcaster KIRO 7 had reported that the 35mm film was processed by the King County Sheriff’s Office photographic lab under high security and that the pictures showed the scene in a clearer light than the earlier Polaroid photographs taken by investigators.

It went on to evidence oral testimonies from Gary Smith, a Veca Electric employee, who found Cobain’s body on the morning of 8 April 1994 when he turned up at the Lake Washington address to do electrical work.


“I noticed something on the floor and I thought it was a manikin,” Smith apparently told KIRO 7 at the time. “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.”

After police arrived, the medical examiner on the scene determined Cobain had killed himself three days previously, just days after he had left a rehabilitation centre where he was being treated for heroin addiction.

Before he was fatally shot, police said that Cobain had taken a lethal dose of heroin. The syringes and kit he used were kept in the police evidence unit and were re-examined along with the previously undeveloped film.

The channel is expected to run a special report this evening, during which they will interview the lead detective of the new case to determine why the evidence was kept locked away for years, despite the initial investigation delivering a verdict of suicide.

However, police told the Seattle Times this morning that although a cold-case detective did recently take another look at the evidence, no new findings were unearthed and the case is not set to be reopened.

Police spokesperson Renee Witt said: “He dug up the files and had another look and there was nothing new.”

She did say, however, that police plan to release new photographs uncovered during the re-examination of the case and will be answering questions about the investigation on the anniversary of Cobain’s death next month.

Cobain was found dead with a shotgun wound in the head and across his body at his home on Lake Washington Boulevard on 8 April 1994. He was 27 years old.

The police investigation concluded that he had committed suicide three days before their discovery, on 5 April.

In 2013, a Seattle police department spokeswoman revealed that the department receives at least one request a week for them to reopen the investigation, though mainly through Twitter.