If so, The Question Is—Why?
The grisly death of mega rock star Kurt Cobain in 1994 (by a shotgun blast to his head) was officially ruled a suicide by the Seattle police, but evidence quickly came to light that Cobain had actually been murdered.
However, despite serious holes in the official narrative about Cobain’s death, the verdict of suicide has held firm for 27 years.
On May 7, the FBI quietly and without fanfare declassified 10 pages of never-before-seen documents relating to Cobain’s death, which alongside a mass of accumulated evidence suggest that the agency had purposely avoided looking into the radical activist musician’s death. One potential explanation for this failure could be due to the CIA’s involvement in the murder.
The latter seems plausible given the connections to the CIA of Courtney Love, Cobain’s former wife, who is the top suspect in the murder. Love happened to be a drug distributor during the same time that the CIA was heavily involved in trafficking opium and using drugs as political weapons. The latter links call for deeper scrutiny.
Opium Wars, MK-Ultra, Musicians and Courtney Love
Professor Al McCoy, Peter Dale Scott and numerous other authors have documented how the U.S. launched the second longest war in U.S. history at least partly for control of the Golden Triangle of poppy fields around Vietnam in the 1960s.
The Golden Crescent for poppy fields also appeared as at least one of the reasons for U.S. involvement in Afghanistan starting in 1979. This turned into the ongoing war launched in 2002 and remains the longest war in U.S. history.
In 1953, the CIA initiated Project MK-Ultra, where many drugs, including opiates and LSD, were used for “unconventional warfare.” In 1971, The Washington Post revealed how the CIA infiltrated 17 Washington-area activist groups and gave out LSD, apparently to disrupt their minds and their work.
The U.S. Senate’s Church Committee investigation of MK-Ultra, along with later revelations, detailed how U.S. intelligence particularly focused on using drugs and female assets against activist musicians.
Many sources detail how Courtney Love started using hard drugs as a young teenager and prostituted herself in various parts of the world.
Love biographer Melissa Rossi said she obtained a letter from a former boyfriend in which Love admitted prostituting in Taiwan as a teenager. Even an authorized biography by Poppy Z. Brite includes statements that Love worked as a stripper for an organized crime family in Japan as part of what she called “the white slave trade.”
Courtney Love’s father, Hank Harrison, ex-manager of the Grateful Dead, stated that he introduced Love to a man in Dublin named Steve O’Leary, who had sex with her when she was 17 years old.
O’Leary took Love to England, where she brought a thousand hits of LSD to punk and new wave music scenes, distributing the acid to musicians. She would also sleep with many of these musicians and disrupt bands.
She repeated this behavior in many American music scenes, handing out many kinds of drugs like candy. Harrison said that O’Leary, when he was on his deathbed, sent him a letter stating that he had been working for the CIA at the time.
Cobain’s Radical Left Politics
One of the reasons the FBI may have had for either participating in and/or covering up Kurt Cobain’s murder relates to their history of targeting anti-war, pro-civil rights leftists. When activists broke into an FBI office in 1971, they revealed its Counter-Intelligence Program (Cointelpro), which started in the 1950s and targeted anti-war and civil rights activists.
Many of Cobain’s statements and actions reflected his radical left political ideology. One example comes from the first book on Nirvana, Come as You Are, which was published in 1993, the year before his death.
Cobain told author Michael Azerrad that he originally wanted to put “anarchistic, revolutionary essays and diagrams about how to make your own bomb” on the inside of Nirvana’s hugely popular album Nevermind. Cobain added that he “just thought we better hold off on that … we’d be more effective if we gained popularity first.”
Further exemplifying Cobain’s radical left beliefs are the images of the 1992 Los Angeles race rebellion (a.k.a. “riot”) he placed inside Nirvana’s chart-topping album “In Utero.”
The images show the burned-out Los Angeles Republican Party headquarters that Black activists had targeted in response to the government’s acquittal of police caught on film brutalizing motorist Rodney King.
Police Detective-Turned P.I. First Exposed Murder Evidence
The FBI file consisted of three letters replying to correspondence asking that they conduct an investigation into evidence that someone murdered Cobain. The file also includes a television transcript of an Unsolved Mysteries episode from 1997.
That episode features private investigator Tom Grant, who had previously worked as a detective for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Cobain’s wife, Courtney Love, had hired Grant “to find” her husband on April 3, 1994. An electrician reported finding Cobain dead in a room above the garage in their Seattle home five days later, on April 8.
After several more months of investigation, Grant reported that Courtney Love may have been involved in the murder and actually knew her husband’s whereabouts when she hired him.
The Unsolved Mysteries episode transcript featured Tom Grant’s evidence supporting that the Seattle Police Department’s “investigation should be reopened.”
Grant has accumulated a huge trove of evidence. A summary of his evidence includes recorded conversations with Cobain and Love’s lawyer, Rosemary Carroll, wherein she states that she did not believe Cobain wrote the suicide note.
The Unsolved Mysteries television show hired two national handwriting experts who confirmed that the bottom part of the note was not Cobain’s handwriting. Additionally, Grant has a recording of Rosemary Carroll stating that Cobain was divorcing Love at the time of his death.
Furthermore, Grant also showed evidence that someone tried to use Cobain’s credit card after his death.
Grant also obtained a leaked coroner’s report noting that Cobain had three times the dose of heroin that would have immediately incapacitated and killed even a hardcore addict. According to the report, there was also Diazepam in Cobain’s system.
While some had claimed Cobain was using heroin regularly at the time, that was countered by blood tests from his hospitalization in Rome a month before his death.
Courtney Love had obtained Rohypnol (“roofies”) in England, where they were legal for sleep, and brought their daughter Frances to see Cobain while he was on tour in Rome.
Love was an obvious suspect in Cobain’s near-fatal overdose on that same Rohypnol, which temporarily put him in a coma and conveniently erased his memory of what happened. Max Wallace reported talking to the Roman hospital’s Dr. Galetta, who stated that it was not a suicide attempt.
Mentors Lead Singer Claims Love Asked Him, and Then Allan Wrench, to Kill Cobain
Alongside P.I. Tom Grant’s murder claim, Eldon “El Duce” Hoke, lead singer of The Mentors, stated on film that Courtney Love offered him $50,000 to shoot Cobain in the head with a shotgun. She made the offer at Hoke’s job site, The Rock Shop, a record store in Hollywood, California, at the end of 1993. Hoke called the Los Angeles and Seattle police departments about this, but nothing came of it.
In 1996, NBC’s Hard Copy hired one of the country’s top polygraph examiners, Dr. Edward Gelb, who conducted a “lie detector” test, which Hoke passed with only .01% of deception.
In 1997, Hoke re-stated this allegation about Courtney Love, first to a journalist who taped their conversation, and then to filmmaker Nick Broomfield, who included Hoke making the assertion in his film Kurt and Courtney.
In the film, Hoke added that he wasn’t available to follow through with the offer, but he knew who did, “Allan …” and then he cut himself off, saying ironically, “I’ll let the FBI catch him.”
Eldon Hoke was found dead near some train tracks several days after that interview.
“A Violation of Federal Law Within Our Investigative Jurisdiction” Needed
As noted above, several of the letters in Cobain’s FBI file from 2000 through 2007 ask for a homicide investigation, to which the FBI gave the exact same response: “most homicide investigations fall within the jurisdiction of state and local authorities. 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.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Bulletin states: “The intent element of § 1958 relates to murder; it does not relate to interstate activity. The interstate travel merely triggers federal jurisdiction. A defendant need not intend to travel across state lines to commit murder-for-hire; instead, a defendant need only intend to commit a murder-for-hire and, in doing so, travel across state lines” Bertoldo v. United States, 145 F. Supp. 2d 111, 115 (D. Mass. 2001).
One of the letters from 2003 mentions the book Who Killed Kurt Cobain? published in 1998 by Max Wallace and Ian Halperin, as well as Broomfield’s film Kurt and Courtney.
As previously stated, the film presents Eldon Hoke stating that Courtney Love traveled from Seattle, Washington, to Los Angeles, California, conspiring to have Cobain murdered. Hoke stated it on film.
Wallace and Halperin’s next book on Cobain, Love and Death (2005), discusses how Hoke stated that fellow musician friend Allan Wrench took Love’s offer and killed Cobain.
The authors heard this from journalist Brent Alden, who used a tape recorder during his interview of Hoke.
The Mentors’ lead singer nervously stated that Courtney Love came looking for him at The Rock Shop several weeks after offering him the money. Love reportedly became angry when The Rock Shop owner said Hoke was on tour with his band.
Hoke then heard that his friend Allen Wrench, another LA singer of the band “Kill Allen Wrench,” took Love’s offer to kill Cobain. When Hoke was found dead, the last person seen with him the night of his death was Allen Wrench.
Tom Grant further found evidence of a Seattle police cover-up, which can happen when police intelligence get word from higher up the U.S. intelligence hierarchy. He stated that police didn’t check for fingerprints on the shotgun found with Kurt Cobain until a month after his body was found. Police claimed they found no legible prints.
After analyzing all the evidence around Kurt Cobain’s death, Cyril Wecht, MD, a former President of the American Academy of Forensic Science, told CBS Channel 2 News in Pittsburgh that he thought Cobain’s death was “a homicide” and “a staged suicide.”
Wecht first described how there was enough heroin in Cobain to kill five people. Police claim Cobain then had the time to put his syringe and other paraphernalia away neatly in a box before picking up the shotgun, which Wecht said was “highly unlikely,” since such a large dose of heroin incapacitates people in seconds.
Another cover-up occurred after Detective Antonio Terry reportedly went against his superior’s orders to not investigate Cobain’s death as anything but a suicide, and investigated the source of the heroin in Cobain’s body. Someone then murdered Detective Terry, making him the first active duty Seattle police officer to die in nine years.
CIA Motive in Cobain’s Death, and Another Love Link to the CIA
More links between Courtney Love and U.S. intelligence came up three to four decades later.
Notorious pedophile and sex trafficker to the rich and famous, Jeffrey Epstein, had a house manager, Alfredo Rodriguez, who stole his “black book” from his apartment.
For a law firm representing victims, Rodriguez circled key people as potential “material witnesses” to crimes against underage girls. Courtney Love was one of the only women among 46 other names circled, out of hundreds of names in the book.
Alex Acosta, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, said he made a notoriously lenient deal with Jeffrey Epstein in 2007 on sex trafficking charges. “I was told Epstein belonged to intelligence and to leave it alone,” he told his interviewers in the President Trump transition team, who allowed him to become Labor Secretary.
Cobain had always said he had a horribly painful stomach problem that heroin helped quell, but once he found a medical cure in 1993, he stopped using heroin, as verified by the Roman hospital’s blood test a month before his death.
A newly sober Cobain threatened to promote sobriety and his leftist activism.
All in all, there is evidence to indicate that U.S. intelligence may have played a part in Kurt Cobain’s murder. At the very least, a new investigation is warranted.
Mike Gravel, ed., The Pentagon Papers, 5 vols. (Boston: Beacon Press, 1971), vol. 1, pp. 221-22. Referenced in McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, p. 193-94. Also see “The Drug Abuse Problem in Vietnam,” Report of the Office of the Provost Marshal, U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam (Saigon, 1971), p. 6. Also see: Interview with William Young, Chiangmi, Thailand, September 14, 1971; McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, pp. 300-301; Peter Davis, Hearts and Minds (BBS Productions, Rainbow Releasing, 1974). ↑
U.S. Intelligence Agency, memorandum, “Subject: Iran—An Opium Cornucopia,” September 27, 1997. Malthea Falco, “Asian Narcotics: The Impact on Europe,” Drug Enforcement (February 1979), pp. 2-3; U.S. CCINC, World Opium Servey 1972, pp. A-7, A-14, A-17; U.S. State Department, Bureau of International Narcotics Matters, International Control Strategy Report (1984), pp. 4, 7-8. William French Smith, Drug Traffic Today: Challenge and Response,” Drug Enforcement (Summer 1982), pp. 2-3. All referenced in McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, pp. 446-47. U.S. State Department, Bureau of International Narcotics Matters, International Control Strategy Report (1984), pp. 4, 7-8. U.S. State Department, Bureau of International Narcotics Matters, International Control Strategy Report (1990), pp. 19-20. Both cited in McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, p. 447. Peter Dale Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Indochina (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003), p. 49. ↑
Wall Street Journal editors, “America’s Longest War: A Visual History of 19 Years in Afghanistan,” Wall Street Journal, April 18, 2021. ↑
Martin Lee and Bruce Shlain, Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD: The CIA, the Sixties, and Beyond (New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1985). See this pdf of the book with images. LSD document on p. 11 and heroin use on p. 40, during Operation Artichoke in 1952, which was rolled into Project MK-Ultra with Operation Bluebird in 1953. http://documents.theblackvault.com/documents/mkultra/MKULTRA1/DOC_0000148381/DOC_0000148381.pdf ↑
Thomas O’Toole, “CIA Infiltrated 17 Area Groups; Gave Out LSD,” The Washington Post, June 11, 1975. ↑
Intelligence Activities and Rights of Americans,” Book II, April 26, 1976, Senate Committee with Respect to Intelligence Report. Cited in Alex Constantine, The Covert War Against Rock (Venice, California: Feral House, 2000), p. 9. ↑
Poppy Z. Brite, Courtney Love: The Real Story (New York: Simon and Schuster/Touchstone, 1998), pp. 48-49; Melissa, Rossi, Courtney Love: Queen of Noise (New York: Pocket Books, 1996), p. 63. ↑
On O’Leary, personal interview with Hank Harrison, November 13, 2014. Also see Hank Harrison, Love Kills: The Assassination of Kurt Cobain (San Francisco: Arkives Press, 2013, in pdf form at this time), pp. 174, 223-24, 231, 501-505. On Love, LSD, drugs and British/American music scenes, Max Wallace and Ian Halperin, Love and Death: The Murder of Kurt Cobain (New York: Atria/Simon and Schuster, 2004), pp. 34-45. Also see Melissa, Rossi, Courtney Love: Queen of Noise (New York: Pocket Books, 1996), pp. 30, 43, 56. ↑
“The Burglary that Exposed COINTELPRO: Activists Mark 50th Anniversary of Daring FBI Break-in,” Democracy Now! March 9, 2021. https://www.democracynow.org/2021/3/9/50th_anniversary_fbi_office_cointelpro_exposure ↑
Michael Azerrad, Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana (New York: Crown, 1993), p. 209. ↑
Azerrad, Come As You Are, p. 218. ↑
Rolling Stone magazine cover, “Inside the Heart and Mind of Kurt Cobain,” April 1992. ↑
Nirvana, “In Utero,” DGC, 1993. ↑
Letters dated: August 15, 2000, from A. Robert Walsh, Legislative Counsel, Office of Public and Congressional Affairs, to a person whose name was redacted. #62C-HQ-1077231-19486; February 7, 2007, from Linda M. Tigeiro-Pabst, Executive Secretariat Office, to a person whose name has been redacted. #62F-HQ-1077231-43351; and December 15, 2006, from Linda M. Tigeiro-Pabst, Executive Secretariat Office, to a person whose name has been redacted. #62F-HQ-107723142468. Correspondence to the FBI include: To: Seattle FBI, from a person whose name has been redacted, dated September 24, 2003. #SE-62-0-175. Another letter was addressed to “U.S. government officials” from a redacted name, but dated at the top January 3, 2007. 62F-HQ-1077231-43350. Another page merely shows a copy of the envelope from a November 2006 letter, seemingly without the contents of the letter. The final pages of the 10-page file release are three of the six January 30, 1997 faxed pages from Cosgrove/Meurer Productions which include the transcript of an Unsolved Mysteries episode on Kurt Cobain, focusing on “Tom Grant, a Los Angeles based private investigator and former L.A. County Sheriff’s deputy.” #94-HQ-1186471-17. They were sent to the Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., FBI offices, NBC executives, CTV (Canadian TV), along with someone in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) whose name was redacted. ↑
Brutal Truth Media Maui, YouTube channel, “Shocking Truth Courtney Love had Kurt Cobain Murdered!” posted July 20, 2014. Features compilation of Tom Grant recordings of Rosemary Carroll played in docudrama, Soaked in Bleach, plus a sped up handwriting analysis and comparison. ↑
Wallace and Halperin, Love and Death, p. 176. ↑
Statler, Soaked in Bleach (2015). Also see Wallace and Halperin, Love and Death, pp. 135-36. ↑
On credit card, see copied Seattle Police Department Report, written by Detectives Steve Kirkland and Jim Yoshida, Incident # 94-156500, Unite File #H #94-117. In Tom Grant, The Kurt Cobain Murder Investigation Case Study Manual (self-published book, 2011) pp. 116-17. Statler, Soaked in Bleach (2015). Also see Wallace and Halperin, Love and Death, pp. 135-6. ↑
See film excerpt from Statler, Soaked in Bleach (2015), Dave Burkett, YouTube channel, “Kurt Cobain Proven Not to be Suicide,” posted January 1, 2016. It includes top pathologists Dr. Cyril Wecht and San Diego Chief Toxicologist/Medical Examiner Ian McIntyre, starting at 2:13. ↑
Wallace and Halperin, Love and Death, pp. 80, 199. ↑
Wallace and Halperin, Love and Death, pp. 197-201. ↑
Director Nick Broomfield, Kurt and Courtney (1998), theatrically released documentary. Hyperlink excerpt by YouTube channel, AndJusticeForAll9209, “Kurt & Courtney-El Duce Interview,” posted July 1, 2009. Wallace and Halperin, Love and Death, pp. 249-54. ↑
Broomfield, Kurt and Courtney (1998). Wallace and Halperin, Love and Death, pp. 249-54. ↑
Wallace and Halperin, Love and Death, pp. 258-59. ↑
Letters dated: August 15, 2000, from A. Robert Walsh, Legislative Counsel, Office of Public and Congressional Affairs, to a person whose name was redacted. #62C-HQ-1077231-19486. February 7, 2007, from Linda M. Tigeiro-Pabst, Executive Secretariat Office, to a person whose name has been redacted. #62F-HQ-1077231-43351. December 15, 2006, from Linda M. Tigeiro-Pabst, Executive Secretariat Office, to a person whose name has been redacted. #62F-HQ-107723142468. https://vault.fbi.gov/kurt-cobain/kurt-cobain-part-01-of-01/view ↑
Assistant U.S. Attorney C.J. Williams, “Making a Federal Case out of a Death Investigation,” United States Attorney’s Bulletin, January 2012, Vol. 60 No. 1, p. 5. https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/usao/legacy/2012/01/26/usab6001.pdf ↑
Broomfield, Kurt and Courtney (1998). ↑
Wallace and Halperin, Love and Death, pp. 259-61. ↑
See printed and recopied “Fingerprint Analysis Report, Seattle Police Department, T. Geronimo May 9, 94, stating prints were lifted from a Remington M-11 20-gauge shotgun Se. # 1088925 on 5/6/94, stating no legible prints. In Grant, The Kurt Cobain Murder Investigation Case Study Manual, Tom Grant’s website: https://cobaincase.com/ ↑
On not developing crime scene photos for 20 years, see theatrically released docudrama by Director Benjamin Statler, Soaked In Bleach (2015). Note that authors Wallace and Halperin filed an FOIA request and received an internal memorandum from Seattle Police Sergeant Don Cameron to Lieutenant Al Gerdes, confirming the crime scene photos would not be developed. Love and Death, p. 229. On police officer saying not to investigate as a homicide, Max Wallace and Ian Halperin, Who Killed Kurt Cobain? (Secaucus, NJ: Birch Lane/Carroll, 1998), p. 124. ↑
Wecht did this as a featured witness in the film Soaked in Bleach, See YouTube channel of Tom Grant, “Dr. Cyril Wecht on Cobain’s Death,” posted August 4, 2016. Originally from KDKA, Channel 2 News, CBS Pittsburgh. ↑
Wallace and Halperin, Love and Death, pp. 141, 247. Seattle Police Department, “Officer Down Memorial Page.” https://www.odmp.org/agency/3514-seattle-police-department-washington ↑
https://gawker.com/here-is-pedophile-billionaire-jeffrey-epsteins-little-b-1681383992 Joe Pompeo, “’A Lot of Powerful People…Could Go Down’: The Journalist Who Published Jeffrey Epstein’s Black Book and Jet Passenger Log Comes in From the Fringe,” Vanity Fair, July 18, 2019. Nick Bryant, “Here is Pedophile Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s Little Black Book,” Gawker, January 23, 2015. ↑
Vicky Ward, “Jeffrey Epstein’s Sick Story Played Out for Years in Plain Sight,” The Daily Beast, August 19, 2019. https://www.thedailybeast.com/jeffrey-epsteins-sick-story-played-out-for-years-in-plain-sight ↑
Zev Shaleva, a former CBS News executive producer and award-winning investigative reporter, interviewed a former senior executive for Israel’s Directorate of Military Intelligence (see above notes for this and next) and Whitney Webb, October 2, 2019, http://www.unz.com/article/former-israeli-intel-official-claims-jeffrey-epstein-ghislaine-maxwell-worked-for-israeli-intel/ Hear audio and see transcription here (see above note): https://narativ.org/2019/09/26/blackmailing-america/ ↑
Julie K. Brown, “’When you are in, you can’t get out,’ Women describe how Jeffrey Epstein controlled them,” The Miami Herald, September 20, 2019; James B. Stewart, “The Day Jeffrey Epstein Told Me He Had Dirt on Powerful People,” The New York Times, August 12, 2019. ↑
On Courtney Love starting Cobain on his daily heroin habit, see Wallace and Halperin, Love and Death, p. 44. On Cobain helping to popularize the drug, see heroin use rising by 10% in the 1990s, “Drug Trafficking—Criminal Penalties for Trafficking, Is the Profit Worth the Risk? Substantial World and U.S. Trade,” which cites Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) data. Also see, Ford, et al., Ford: Clinical Toxicology 628 (2001), cited in unpublished manuscript for Harvard Law School by Russell Tonkovich, “Glamorization or Condemnation: The Accuracy of Hollywood’s Portrayal of Heroin Use in Motion Pictures the 1990’s,” March 2004. ↑
See Cobain’s statements on finding a cure to his stomach problem a year before his death and how that stomach problem related to his heroin problem in the first three minutes of this interview not long before his death. YouTube channel of MTV, “Kurt Cobain Talks Music Videos, His Stomach & Frances Bean/MTV News,” posted April 29, 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJtm9HomKdE ↑
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About the Author
John Potash is the author of two books: The FBI War on Tupac Shakur (2nd ed), and Drugs as Weapons Against Us: The CIA War on Musicians and Activists.
Both books have been made into films.