FBI Quietly Releases File on Kurt Cobain

The slim file, only 10 pages, is available online
By Liz MacGahan,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2021 4:45 PM CDT
FBI Quietly Releases File on Kurt Cobain
FILE - This Dec. 13, 1993 file photo shows Kurt Cobain of the Seattle band Nirvana performing in Seattle, Wash. On the 25th anniversary of Cobain's death, dozens of people left flowers, candles and handwritten messages at a Seattle park near the house where the Nirvana frontman killed himself. Cobain,...   (Robert Sorbo/The Seattle Times via AP, File)

(Newser) – Kurt Cobain has now been gone for as long as he was alive. The rock legend was 27 when he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound 27 years ago, on April 5, 1994. And for almost all 27 of those years, conspiracy theories have circulated around his death. Get ready for a new batch, because his slender FBI file has just been released. Rolling Stone was the first to report the drop, posted quietly last month. The file includes letters to the agency asking that Cobain’s death be investigated as a murder. The writers complain that local police never seriously considered any possibility but suicide. Images of these letters to the FBI have the senders' names and other details redacted, and the tepid replies, which say the FBI has no jurisdiction to investigate the Nirvana frontman’s death, are included.

In addition to the letters and the FBI's answers ("we appreciate your concern…") there is a copy of a fax from Cosgrove-Meurer, the production company behind Unsolved Mysteries. Cobain’s death was featured in a segment in 1997. The 10-page file is available to the public on the Vault, the FBI’s Freedom of Information Act library. Keeping tabs on musicians is nothing new for the FBI. The agency had files on the Notorious BIG, the Monkees, John Denver, and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees, Rolling Stone reports. (Cobain's guitar sold for a record-setting amount in 2020.)

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