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Movie Review - Soaked in Bleach - The Death of Kurt Cobain (2015)

By Edited Sep 7, 2016 1 1


Kurt Cobain, the Nirvana front man, died on April 8, 1994.  A few days prior to the finding of his body at his home in Seattle, Washington, Cobain’s wife, Courtney Love, hired Private Investigator Tom Grant to find the missing musician, who had walked out of Rehab without the consent of his doctor.


Kurt Cobain

                                                                 Kurt Cobain - Wikimedia

After several false leads and interviews by Tom Grant with several friends and acquaintances of Cobain, an electrician discovered his body in a room above the garage, which no one had thought to search.  Tom Grant was not made aware of the attic room in the garage.  The Seattle police were quick to label the death as a suicide since Kurt was found with a shotgun lying on top of his supine body.

Tom Grant had an impeccable record and a passion for the truth, and felt that the hasty conclusion of suicide was not warranted.  He continued with his own investigation and came up with several inconsistencies which had been overlooked.

Kurt and Courtney’s Attorney

Rosemary Carroll, the friend and attorney of Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love, provided Tom Grant with some interesting background information.  The couple were planning a divorce and Kurt asked Rosemary Carroll to have Courtney’s name taken out of the will.  Otherwise, she would be in line to receive over one billion dollars.  The couple had a child together, Frances Bean Cobain.  Carroll also stated that Courtney had asked if she could void the prenuptial agreement she had with Kurt.

Courtney claimed that Kurt was suicidal, but this appellation was denied by Kurt’s best friend, Dylan Carlson.  Dylan admitted that he had bought the shotgun under his own name that was found on Kurt’s body.  He claimed that he never would have bought him a gun if he thought he was suicidal.  Several other acquaintances of Kurt stated that, even though he had health problems and was into drugs, he was not suicidal.


Courtney Love

                                                               Courtney Love - Wikimedia

A Suicide Note

However, a suicide note did show up in the course of the investigation.  Rosemary Carroll insisted that it was definitely a forgery.  Courtney Love claimed that she found the note under her pillow; however, Tom Grant had searched her room thoroughly and had not come across the note.  The note that Courtney Love handed over said “It’s not fun anymore.  I can’t live my life like this any longer.”

A forensic document examiner stated that the handwriting at the bottom of the letter was different.  A very small part of it, the last four lines, were stereotypical words found in a suicide note.  Rosemary Carroll also showed Tom Grant a piece of paper that had come from Courtney Love’s back pack, that appeared to be the work of someone practicing how to copy Kurt Cobain’s handwriting.  There were different letters and combinations of letters that imitated his writing.  It appeared that someone traced phrases from his journal in a practice session.  Their child’s nanny, Michael “Cali” DeWitt was a major suspect of Tom Grant’s, and allegedly murdered Kurt Cobain at the request of Courtney Love, and engineered it to look like a suicide.  “Cali” was living in the house during the time that Kurt was dead, but his body had not yet been discovered.


Kurt Cobain's Guitar

                                                         Kurt Cobain's Guitar - Wikimedia

Level of Heroin

Kurt’s body could only be identified by finger prints since his face and head were so seriously obliterated by the shotgun.  He had evidently shot himself after injecting with three times the lethal dosage of heroin.  Forensic experts stated that you could not function with that level of heroin in your body.  He could not have picked up a shotgun under the influence of that much heroin.  Besides, no one injects heroin and then proceeds to kill himself.  In addition, the way Kurt Cobain was holding the gun after his death made no sense.  The shotgun was lying upside down on his chest with the muzzle pointing toward his face.  The shell was found to his left side when it should have landed on his right side.

An autopsy report is supposed to be a public record.  In this case, it was not.  Also, four rolls of film of the death scene were undeveloped by the police for twenty years.  One report stated that a stool was blocking the entrance to the room, and this was not the case. 

At one point, Tom Grant had some serious questions to ask Dylan Carlson, and asked him to come to Courtney Love’s place to talk with him.  He did not know that Dylan had arrived and went upstairs to speak with Courtney first.  She sent him back down to Tom Grant in a drugged state.  After Kurt’s death, Dylan’s source for heroin became Courtney Love.  She paid his rent and gave him heroin.  He depended totally on Courtney’s money.


Before Kurt’s body was found, Tom Grant was sent on somewhat of a wild goose chase.  Courtney Love told him that Kurt loved to stay in high-class city hotels.  His friends denied this.  His best friend, Dylan Carlson, said he always stayed in cheap places along the strip.  He did not like spending money on expensive hotel rooms.  He used the aliases Simon Richie or Bill Bailey.  Sometimes they would stay two or three weeks in a cheap hotel, eating nothing but soda and potato chips, while they did heroin.  Courtney Love also said that Kurt’s mother, Wendy O’Connor, filed a missing person’s report, when in reality, Courtney Love filed the report.

Tom Grant learned that three of Kurt Cobain’s uncles had committed suicide.  His father was killed with his own revolver and his brother fell down a flight of stairs.  Neither of these last two were suicides.


Kurt and Courtney's House

                                                   Kurt and Courtney's House - Wikimedia

Kurt’s Home Town

Kurt’s family lived in Aberdeen, Washington.  A friend from his early days there, Mitch Holmquist, said that there was no employment in Aberdeen.  Most people were lower middle class.  Many young people turned to music because there was nothing else there to do.  The music group known as The Melvins came from Aberdeen.  When Kurt saw The Melvins, he knew that was what he wanted to do.  The principal of the high school took Kurt under his wing, and Kurt stayed with him for a year.  He said that Kurt was a quiet person, but optimistic.  He was not depressed.  He had so much talent and creativity.

The world took Courtney Love’s word for it about Kurt’s death.  She recently filed an order to cease and desist against the makers of the film “Soaked in Bleach,” stating that the film points to her as responsible for Kurt Cobain’s death.  The name of the film, “Soaked in Bleach” is a part of the lyrics from a Nirvana song.

Norm Stamper was Chief of the Seattle Police Department at the time of Cobain’s death. He, as well as some forensics experts, believe that the case should be re-opened.  They claim that the judgment of suicide was made too quickly.  Although the film presents a convincing case for re-opening the investigation into Kurt’s death, the Seattle Police Department has no plans to take the case on again.



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Jan 27, 2016 7:33am
Thanks for the review. I had no idea there was even a controversy over how Cobain died.
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  1. "Film Review – “Soaked in Bleach”." Variety. 1/12/2015. 1/12/2015 <Web >
  2. ""Soaked in Bleach" will challenge the official story of the death of Kurt Cobain." examiner.com. 1/12/2015. 1/12/2015 <Web >

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