Skip to main content

See also:

"Soaked in Bleach" will challenge the official story of the death of Kurt Cobain

Nirvana front-man Kurt Cobain's untimely and tragic death in April of 1994 continues to be shrouded with unanswered questions - now for more than two decades. King County, Washington police and coroner quickly ruled the case a suicide by a shotgun blast in the days following the incident.

"Soaked in Bleach" is set for a 2014 release
Suburban Hitchhiker/Daredevil Films

Almost immediately, questions were raised regarding the circumstances of Cobain's last days and the manner in which his young life abruptly came to a close. Questions such as the validity of the suicide note he left behind, who was using his credit card, and if a human being could actually inject the amount of heroin claimed by the autopsy and still have the ability even pick up a gun are all compelling and have intrigued researchers and investigators ever since.

The issues have been visited in the past in both film and print media-based investigations. The first I remember seeing was the Nick Broomfield documentary "Kurt & Courtney" in 1998 which presented a witness account stating Courtney Love hired a hitter and paid 50k to murder Cobain. It was a compelling film that left audiences with really more questions than answers. This was due mainly to limited funding for the film. No sooner than their investigation started to gain traction, it was financially halted. A similar segment also aired on NBC's "Unsolved Mysteries" around the same time-frame as the release of "Kurt & Courtney."

In 2005, I ran across a book on a bargain rack entitled "Love & Death: The Murder of Kurt Cobain" by Ian Halperin and Max Wallace (both investigative journalists). This novel was the most comprehensive collection of data I had seen on the subject. One common denominator in every investigation into the Cobain case is one man who had first-hand experience into those last days in April of 1994. This man is Tom Grant.

Grant is a Los-Angeles based private detective who was hired by Cobain's wife, Courtney Love, to locate her husband who had gone missing. Grant is convinced that he was hired by Love as a smokescreen to cover up what was really happening - murder. He attests that her hiring a private investigator helped show a document trail that she did not know where he was and was concerned for his well being. Grant quickly felt he was being used and manipulated. The actions of Love, according to Grant, are what spawned his suspicions. He charges that Love, not Cobain, wrote part of the suicide note. He also shows that the Cobain couple was also in the early stages of divorce, which provided Love with a motive. He also insists that Love and a friend who frequented the Cobain home purposely kept him from the greenhouse during the search, where Cobain's body lied lifeless for days. Grant possesses evidence such as audio recordings, handwriting samples, and documentation that help that back up his story. He has also in the past stated that he has absolute proof that he would gladly provide to the authorities if they would agree to re-open the investigation. Thus far, that has not happened.

The upcoming film from Benjamin Statler, "Soaked in Bleach" (named for a Nirvana lyric) will attempt to dramatize the Tom Grant case into the murder of Kurt Cobain. The film will be presented as a "docudrama." This means it will contain documentary-style interviews tied in with dramatic interpretations.

No matter what your opinion may be on the death of this rock n' roll icon, "Soaked in Bleach" shows promise of presenting a story that not many know a lot about in a way that is thought-provoking as well as entertaining. A release date has not yet been given other than "2014." Cobain's death could have happened exactly as the police said it did. It's just as plausible as the notion that he was murdered. I don't claim to know or support a side either way. We will just have to wait and see how the case continues to develop.