SUMMARY OF EVENTS
Investigation into the death of
by Tom Grant
This summary is not the report of this investigation. It was originally
intended to serve as an outline to guide me through interviews with the
media. It started out as one line sentences to remind me of details and
events and gradually developed into its current form.
The summary is updated and revised periodically as I find time to work on
it and improve the presentation of facts. It does not contain all of the
details and information relating to this investigation. It merely
highlights some of the events in brief comments so the reader might be
better informed as to what transpired in April of 1994.
This limited information is not intended to PROVE that Kurt Cobain's death
was the result of a murder. It simply lays some of the foundation for a
much more detailed and complex case. More evidence will be presented at the
proper time and place as the theory of suicide unravels and the truth
regarding Kurt's death emerges.
PRIOR TO MY INVOLVEMENT
Courtney and Kurt had not been getting along. They'd been talking about
divorce. Kurt did not want to tour or perform anymore. He was walking away
from what Courtney said was a $9.5 million dollar contract to headline the
Courtney was angry at Kurt for the possible loss of all those millions. Her
anger wasn't working, so she tried to blame Kurt's attitude on his drug use
and put together a so-called "tough love intervention." Among others at the
"intervention" were some of the junkies Kurt did drugs with.
Courtney claimed she told Kurt, "This has got to end. You have to be a good
This statement is a somewhat pretentious one, since it came from a woman
who was doing drugs when we were first hired and continued her drug use
during the next eight months. It's hard to believe Kurt could have taken
this whole “intervention” scene seriously.
Courtney left Seattle for the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills.
Kurt and his best friend Dylan Carlson purchased a shotgun. Kurt told Dylan
he was afraid of intruders at the house. Walking out on the Lollapalooza
tour was a business decision that would cost others a great deal of money
also. I have reason to believe Kurt may have been intimidated into
believing his life would be in danger if he failed to do the tour.
The shotgun was a 20 gauge, set-up for light load. This set-up is what gun
dealers often recommend for home protection because the shot won't
penetrate walls and endanger those on the other side.
Kurt took the shotgun to his house so it would be there when he got back
from rehab. He then left Seattle to go to a rehab center in Marina Del Rey,
California, (near Los Angeles).
Thirteen phone calls were made to Kurt's rehab center from Courtney's hotel
room at the Peninsula. Most of these are to the patient's pay phone.
Courtney later told me she only talked to Kurt once that day.
That evening, Kurt left the rehab. Later, at 8:47 PM, he called the
Peninsula Hotel and left a message for Courtney. The message on the hotel
log reads: "Elizabeth's phone # is (213)_______." (This # is on my case
Courtney never mentioned this message to the media. This doesn't appear to
be a message from a person who is “suicidal.”
Kurt arrived in Seattle early Saturday morning, April 2nd, and was taken to
his house on Lake Washington by a hired driver.
Saturday night Courtney had a friend plant a phony story with the
Associated Press that she had overdosed on drugs and was in the hospital.
This planted story becomes significant later in the investigation.
EASTER SUNDAY AT THE PENINSULA
SUNDAY, APRIL 3rd.
Courtney called my office in Beverly Hills. She told me someone was using
her husband's credit card and she wanted me to try to find out who it was.
I took another investigator with me named Ben Klugman. We met Courtney at
the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills. "If you leak this to the press, I'll
sue the f___ out of you," Courtney warned me as we walked into the room.
Courtney told us her husband was Kurt Cobain and that he just left a drug
rehab. She said she lied to the credit card company and had his card
canceled. She wanted us to call the credit card company and find out what
the attempted activities were on this canceled card.
I mentioned I couldn't understand why she needed us for that. I advised her
she could do that herself and save some money. If we did it, I'd have to
charge her fifty dollars just to make a phone call.
"What? That's not enough money for you?" Courtney responded sarcastically.
Courtney told us Kurt only had one credit card and without that one card he
had no access to money. She said Kurt didn't have any friends or anyone
else that might loan him money. Knowing now who we were dealing with, this
didn't make sense!
We questioned Courtney more about Kurt's ability to get money for his
needs. "This guy can't even catch a f___ing cab by himself!" she insisted?"
Courtney told us about a story she had planted with the Associated Press
the previous evening. The story alleged that Courtney had overdosed and was
in the hospital. She claimed the reason she did this was to scare Kurt and
get his attention so he'd try to contact her.
Later that afternoon while I was with her in the hotel room, Courtney
rambled on in an angry rage about the "9 1/2 million dollars" Kurt was
walking away from.
She said, "If he doesn't want the money, he ought to do it for his child,
She said she'd do the Lollapalooza tour for Kurt if he didn't want to do
She said she'd do Saturday Night Live if he didn't want to do it...
She said she thought Kurt wanted a divorce...
She mentioned a prenuptial agreement, but said, "My name's on all the
houses and assets."
Courtney said she didn't know for sure where Kurt was. She said he might be
in Seattle, or he may have flown back east to stay with Michael Stipe.
Courtney initially failed to mention Kurt had been seen at their Lake
Washington house on Saturday morning, April 2nd, by “Cali,” (Michael
Dewitt), the male nanny who was living at the Cobain residence.
Cali later claimed he informed Courtney on Saturday, April 2nd, that Kurt
had been to the house earlier that morning. Cali said Kurt entered his
bedroom and they had a short conversation.
Courtney asked me to find someone in Seattle to watch a drug dealer's
apartment and other locations in case Kurt turned up, but she didn’t ask us
to watch the Lake Washington house, the one place we later learned Kurt had
actually been seen!
I sub-contracted with a P.I. firm in Seattle for the surveillance.
A FALSE POLICE REPORT
MONDAY, APRIL 4th.
I met with Courtney again at the Peninsula hotel. Courtney told me she had
called in a missing person's report pretending to be Kurt's mother, Wendy
As we monitored the progress of the surveillance team in Seattle, we
continued working with the credit card company trying to track the use of
Kurt's credit card. Someone was still attempting to use the card for
Courtney advised us Kurt only stays in the best hotels. We began calling
hotels from listings in the Seattle phone book. At one time we thought we
had located him at a hotel under one of the aliases Courtney had given us.
I notified Courtney and she asked us to watch the hotel in case Kurt might
Courtney told us she didn't want Kurt to know she was looking for him. But
during an earlier phone conversation, Courtney told me Kurt was suicidal.
"Everyone thinks he's going to die," she announced. So now I had to wonder
why she wouldn’t want the police or someone else to go to the room and try
to save him?
After less than an hour, Courtney called me and said she talked to the
person in the room and it wasn't Kurt. Of course I wondered why she’d call
his room if she didn’t want him to know she was looking for him.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6th.
Kurt had still not been located. At the hotel later that afternoon, I
volunteered to go to Seattle and search for Kurt. One of Courtney’s friends
in the room said, "Why don't you go up there, Courtney?"
"I can't, I have business I have to take care of here," Courtney replied.
I asked Courtney not to tell anyone I was coming because they might alert
Kurt. She agreed but later told me she had called Cali and told him I was
on my way to Seattle.
Courtney told me earlier that she didn't trust Cali. Now she claimed, "He
won't tell anyone."
"Save the American Icon, Tom!" Courtney shouted dramatically as I left the
hotel room and headed for the airport.
THE SEATTLE SEARCH
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6th, 11:30 PM.
I picked up Kurt's best friend, Dylan Carlson at his apartment. We went to
a cafe where we ate and planned our strategy for locating Kurt and finding
out what was going on.
I asked Dylan if he felt Kurt was suicidal. He replied, “No. Not at all.
He’s under a lot of pressure, but he’s handling things pretty good.”
I asked Dylan if he’d ever been told that the Rome incident was a “suicide
attempt,” and he said, “No. Kurt said it was just an accident.
If Cobain was so “suicidal,” and if he had really “tried to kill himself” a
month earlier, I wondered why nobody clued in his best friend, the guy he
hangs out with! Wouldn’t they want Dylan to keep a close eye on Kurt? And
if Kurt was so “suicidal,” wouldn’t Courtney want to make sure Dylan didn’t
allow him to have access to guns?!
Dylan told me Kurt had been afraid of intruders at the house lately, and
that he wanted a gun for protection. So he said he helped Kurt buy a
shotgun to have at the house when he returned from rehab. He said Kurt
didn’t want the shotgun registered in his name because the police had just
confiscated his other guns. He didn’t want them to know he had this one or
they might confiscate it also.
After leaving the cafe, Dylan and I checked out a drug dealer's apartment
on Capitol Hill and several hotels on the Aurora strip where Kurt had been
known to stay from time to time.
I mentioned to Dylan that Courtney had told me Kurt only stays at the “best
hotels.” Dylan appeared puzzled. “No, he doesn’t. He usually stays in some
pretty ratty places.”
While Dylan and I were driving around Seattle, I asked him if we should
check with Kurt's mother in Aberdeen. Dylan replied, "No. Kurt wouldn't go
there. He doesn't get along with his mom."
THURSDAY MORNING, APRIL 7th, 2:15AM.
We went to the Lake Washington house. I waited in the car while Dylan
walked up alone as we had previously planned. We didn't want to alert Kurt
to my presence if at all possible. Dylan came back to the car after at
least five minutes saying no one was home. I wondered what took so long if
no one was home?
We went to a pay phone and called Courtney. She was at Rosemary Carroll's
house in Los Angeles. Dylan talked with Courtney. I told him to have her
call the alarm company and ask them to turn off the alarm so we could go in
Upon returning to the Lake Washington house, we gained access through an
unlocked kitchen window. While we were searching the house, Dylan
commented, "I've never seen the house this clean before."
A television was still on in one of the bedrooms upstairs and the bed was
unmade. Dylan told me this was Cali’s room.
We didn't find Kurt. Dylan didn't tell me about the room above the garage,
and since it was dark and raining, I hadn't noticed it.
Dylan and I spent most of the day on Thursday checking out some of Kurt's
hangouts and talking to people who might know where he was. As evening
approached, we headed for the small town of Carnation located about 30
miles east of Seattle where the Cobains owned two vacant cabins situated on
several acres of property. But in the dark, Dylan became unsure as to
whether or not he could locate the property. The increasing rain didn't
help much so we eventually turned back. We'd try another time.
I dropped Dylan off at his apartment and went to my hotel for a few hours
sleep. Later I picked Dylan up and we resumed our search.
We stopped at a pay phone and Dylan made a call. When he returned to the
car, he said, “Courtney’s had some trouble. She got arrested and she’s in
Dylan eventually managed to speak with Courtney on the phone to get further
instructions. Courtney wanted us to go back to the Lake Washington house to
look for the shotgun. She said it could be in a hidden compartment in her
Since Cali had been at the house quite a lot, I wondered why she hadn't
asked him to look there before now?
Dylan and I returned to the Lake Washington house. Inside I found a note
from “Cali” which had been placed on the main stairway. It wasn't there the
night before. The note read in part, "I can't believe you managed to be in
the house without me noticing. You're a f---ing a--hole for not calling
I had a feeling the note was intended for me to find, not Kurt. It just
Cali later claimed he was hardly at the house from Monday on. If so, why
would he find it so hard to believe Kurt had been in the house? Cali said
he was hardly there himself! Besides, it's Kurt's house!! What gave Cali
the right to be angry at Kurt for being in his own home? This didn't make
But Cali explained later that he wasn't staying at the house because
Courtney kept calling and saying she knew Kurt was there. If so, why wasn't
she having us watch the house during our surveillance?
On Thursday afternoon, April 7th, Cali told friends he was leaving for Los
Angeles. I never got to see or talk to Cali while I was in Seattle. I had
the feeling he was trying to avoid me.
KURT IS FOUND
FRIDAY MORNING, APRIL 8th.
Dylan and I were our way once again to the Carnation property when we
stopped for gas. Dylan made a call. When he came back to the car, he said a
friend just told him a body was found at the Lake Washington house. We
turned on the car radio and soon heard that person found dead was Kurt
Cobain. There was no reaction from Dylan.
Later we heard on the radio that Kurt's body was found in “the greenhouse.”
I turned to Dylan and asked, "What's the greenhouse?" He told me it was a
room above the garage.
"Why didn't we look there?” I asked.
"It's just a dirty little room. I think they keep some lumber in there or
something," Dylan replied
I called my office and spoke with Ben Klugman. He told me the credit card
company indicated someone had continued trying to use Kurt's credit card as
recent Friday morning, April 8th, just hours before Cobain’s body was
Of course we soon learned Cobain had been dead for two days or more. So now
it was apparent that someone was trying to use his credit card, from the
time he left Los Angeles for Seattle and even attempted to use the same
card after he died!
I called the Seattle homicide detectives and tried to tell them something
was wrong. The detective told me Kurt was locked in the room by himself. He
said the door was locked from the inside and the fire department had to
break a window on the door to get in, inferring that Cobain had to have
been alone in the greenhouse when he died. I assumed they must know what
they're talking about, but I was curious about what kind of door lock this
I spoke to Courtney on the Phone that afternoon. She wasn't at all upset
that we hadn't found Kurt. She acted as if she thought Kurt died the night
before. If so, we could have saved him! Why wasn't she angry at us?
Courtney tried to get me to talk to the press. I told her I didn't want to
say anything until I found out more about what happened.
This whole thing smelled rotten!
I left Seattle and flew back to Los Angeles.
RETURN TO SEATTLE
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 13th.
I met with Courtney’s entertainment attorney, Rosemary Carroll, at her
Hollywood office. She indicated that she was suspicious about Courtney's
involvement in Kurt's death.
“He wasn’t suicidal Tom. Kurt wasn’t suicidal!” Rosemary blurted with a
Rosemary told me that Courtney had called her “a couple of weeks ago” and
asked her to find “the meanest, most vicious divorce lawyer” she could
find. Courtney also asked Rosemary if the prenuptial agreement could be
Rosemary told me that Kurt had also called during that same time period.
According to Rosemary, Kurt hadn't completed his will yet and he told her
he wanted Courtney taken out of it.
Among other items discussed, Rosemary mentioned she was disturbed and
somewhat suspicious that Courtney wouldn't let her or anyone else see the
so-called “suicide note.”
I mentioned to Rosemary that Courtney said she couldn’t go to Seattle
herself because she “had business in L.A.”
"She didn't have any business in L.A.!" Rosemary responded.
Rosemary also told me that on Thursday morning, while Courtney was at her
house talking to Dylan on the phone, she overheard Courtney say, "Be sure
and check the greenhouse."
Since Courtney directed Dylan to check the greenhouse, I couldn't help but
wonder why she hadn't asked Cali to check the greenhouse in the past few
We now know that after talking to Dylan on the phone Thursday morning,
Courtney left Rosemary Carroll’s house and went back to the Peninsula
Hotel. A short while later, she called 911. First reports have Courtney
overdosing again. She was later arrested. Rosemary Carroll has since shown
me evidence that this was possibly a deliberate and planned event.
As Rosemary and I concluded our meeting, we agreed it would be best for me
to return to Seattle for further investigation into the events surrounding
Cobain’s death. Rosemary, however, was adamant that Courtney would not be
made aware of her suspicions and of the conversations between the two of
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 13th.
I flew back to Seattle. The next day I went to the Lake Washington house. A
security guard at the house let me in and I found Courtney sitting at the
dining room table. As I approached and sat down to talk, she said, "I guess
I really found the right P.I. this time." The flattery was nice, but it
didn't make much sense.
After a short conversation, Courtney got up to get a cigarette and a lady
walked over to where I was sitting. She was wearing a black T-shirt that
read, "Grunge Is Dead." I assumed she was a relative of Kurt's, maybe a
sister or cousin. She stood in front of me and asked, "You're the
investigator?" I nodded while she continued, "What do you think?"
Not knowing who she was, I replied, "I don't know. What do you think?"
She answered by introducing herself. "Well, I'm Kurt's mom, Wendy. I don't
know. Something doesn't seem right. Why didn't Dylan look in the
I told Wendy I'd like to sit down and talk to her sometime in the next few
days. She agreed and said she'd like to talk to me too.
I noticed Courtney looking over her shoulder as Wendy and I talked. She
seemed to be concerned about our conversation. As she walked back towards
us Wendy began walking away. Courtney put her arms around Wendy and kissed
her. I noticed Courtney whispering something in Wendy's ear. The rest of
the time I was at the house, Wendy seemed cool towards me, almost evasive.
I HAD TO SEE THE "NOTE"
Courtney took me upstairs where we sat on her bed and talked. Since she
wouldn't even let her close friend and attorney, Rosemary Carrol, see the
suicide note, I had to come up with a way to get a copy for closer
"I heard you read the note on TV the other day," I told her. "I was
confused about something. It sounded like the note said, "I'm lying here on
the bed..." If Kurt was lying on the bed when he wrote the note, why was
the bed was so neat when I came in here the other night? It didn't look
like anyone had been on this bed."
"No, Tom, I was lying on the bed," Courtney answered and repeated, "I was
lying on the bed recording the message to Kurt's fans."
"Are you sure that's what you said? " I asked. "I got the impression it was
Kurt saying he was lying on the bed."
"No. Here, I'll show you," she said, and reached over to retrieve a folded
paper from under a pillow. Handing me the note, Courtney pointed out, "It's
only a copy. The police have the original."
I studied the note as if looking for the phrase in question, then
commented, "I can't read this without my glasses. Can I go downstairs and
make a copy on your fax machine? I'll look at it later."
"Yeah...sure," Courtney mumbled as her eyes dropped out of an icy stare.
When I came back up, Courtney was kneeling on the floor looking in a phone
book. A telephone was on the floor next to her. "Would you wait downstairs,
Tom?" she snapped. A few minutes earlier she was friendly-- now she seemed
A TRIP TO CARNATION
Later that day we made plans to go to the Carnation property. Eric
Erlandson, Hole's guitarist, was supposed to go with us but while at the
Lake Washington house earlier, Courtney took Eric into another room to talk
to him in private. When they came out, Eric left the house alone in his
"I thought Eric was going with us?" I asked.
"He'll meet us there," Courtney replied.
I drove Courtney to Carnation. Kat Bjelland, guitarist for Babes In
Toyland, rode along in the back seat of my rental car. During the drive
Courtney began talking about the "son of a bitch" who gave the story to the
Associated Press saying she had overdosed on April 2nd. She became agitated
as she grumbled, "I'm going to find out who the hell it was and sue that
mother f...er for libel. I can prove I was at the hotel. People saw me
there. It was a total lie."
"You told me you planted that story," I reminded Courtney.
"Huh?...Oh" she responded, and turned to look out the window.
During the drive Courtney wanted to stop twice for snacks. We also missed
the turn off, getting lost temporarily and having to solicit directions
from a nearby farmer. This seemed a little strange when I later discovered
one of the houses on the property had just been built. Courtney must have
been out there several times while the house was under construction and it
wasn't all that difficult to find. I wondered if these delays in our
arrival at the property were deliberate?
When we arrived at the Carnation property, I noticed the two houses on the
property reflected what I’d already come to know about Kurt and Courtney's
individual personalities. One is an old weathered cabin full of well used
furniture and bedding. It looked like the home of a person living in
poverty! This is where Kurt apparently felt the most comfortable.
The other house is a brand new wood sided mansion, vacant and yet to be
furnished. This house is an “exhibition” of success and wealth.
The two houses are separated by a pond with a newly constructed walking
bridge connecting the old to the new.
We went into the old cabin first. Courtney and Kat went upstairs to the
loft while I stayed downstairs to look around. I noticed a jacket and other
clothing spread around the living room and on the floor near the coffee
table was a large box containing nothing but Rolling Stone magazines, about
thirty or so.
Conversations in the car had indicated Courtney wanted me to believe Kurt
had been to the Carnation property after he fled the rehab in Los Angeles
and returned to Seattle. But as I looked around the old cabin, I noticed
everything was covered with a very thin layer of moss. The moss was
apparently present due to high humidity and it indicated no one had
disturbed anything in this cabin for quite some time.
When Courtney and Kat came back downstairs, Courtney reached into her coat
pocket and pulled out a cloth pouch. "Look Tom. Kurt was here," she said,
as she opened the pouch revealing a syringe inside.
“No way!” I thought to myself. This didn't look like something a person
like Cobain would use to keep a syringe in. If he did bring it to the
cabin, why would he have left it here? And what about the moss? I suspected
Courtney had brought the pouch with her.
A few minutes later we found five dead rats in the toilet. They'd been
there for a long time.It was obvious no one had used this cabin recently!
My suspicions appeared to have been confirmed.
In the new house we found a sleeping bag, some cigarette butts, and soda
cans scattered about. Courtney wanted to take these items back with us. She
said she wanted to get them fingerprinted.
What's the big deal here? I wondered. Why is it so important to Courtney
that Kurt had been here recently? I noted that Eric never showed up at the
Carnation property. Had he come and gone before we arrived?
During the drive back to Lake Washington, Courtney told Kat and I that she
was going to make a rubber hand from a cast she'd made of Kurt's hand. She
said she was going to use it to slap people in the face and say, "There!
That's from Kurt!"
I mentioned I'd worked with hand casts and it was amazing how you could
even duplicate fingerprints using certain silicon materials. Courtney
appeared strangely discouraged. After this bizarre conversation, I never
heard any more about printing the items found at the Carnation property.
Had this been part of a scheme to try to convince me and others that Kurt
had been to the Carnation property after leaving the rehab in Los Angeles?
Further conversations in the car indicated Courtney was still thinking more
about her career than about Kurt. This was a woman who seemed to be
obsessed... with herself!
At one point Courtney talked to narcotics Detective Antonio Terry on my
carphone. I later learned she'd been talking to Terry quite a lot during
the time Kurt was missing. Detective Terry was even mentioned in the
missing person's report as having additional information about Kurt.
Remember Terry's name. It will come up again later.
While Courtney was out of the car at one time, I heard radio commentator
Paul Harvey talk about a rumored suicide pact which supposedly existed
between Courtney and Kurt. This was typical of the type of planted stories
I'd heard Courtney originate on her own and then blame others for leaking
to the press.
I wondered if there was a connection between her fake "overdose" Saturday
night and her possible deliberate overdose and arrest Thursday morning. Had
she expected Kurt to die Saturday night? Had she expected us to find his
body Thursday morning? Had she tried to make this look like a suicide pact?
OBSTRUCTING THE INVESTIGATION
Back at the house, I told Courtney I'd like to talk to Cali and Dylan
together. Courtney replied, "Cali went to rehab in El Paso, or Georgia...
no, he's in L.A. with friends." Then she shouted to Eric, "Call Cali and
tell him to get back up here on the next plane."
Dylan arrived at the house while I was in the kitchen. When I came out and
started looking for him, I was told he was upstairs talking to Courtney in
her bedroom. They came downstairs together after about twenty minutes. It
was obvious Dylan had just gotten a heroin fix.
I took Dylan into the kitchen to talk. As I began questioning him, I
noticed his response was canned as if he'd just been prepared and
rehearsed. Dylan kept nodding off from the heroin so there was no sense in
I left the house and asked Eric to call my hotel when Cali got there. After
several hours, I called and spoke to Eric. He told me that after I left,
Courtney had him call Cali and tell him he didn't have to come to Seattle.
Eric said, "I don't know what's going on here!"
SATURDAY, APRIL 16th.
Ben Klugman had flown to Seattle the day before to work with me. Ben and I
went back to the Lake Washington house to talk to Courtney.
The lady who answered the door told us Courtney was upstairs sleeping. I
asked her if Wendy was there. She said Wendy was downstairs. I asked the
lady to let Wendy know I was there and to ask her if we could talk.
The lady left, returning in a couple of minutes. "Wendy says she has
nothing to talk to you about," she said.
We left the house and after following up on some other leads, Ben and I
returned to our hotel.
The electrical supervisor who had been at the scene of Kurt's death, met
with Ben and I later in my hotel room. He described the position of the
body and the shotgun. He also told us, "Kurt's hair looked like it had been
combed by a hairdresser. It was all spread out nice and even."
I realized this could just be one man's perception of what he thought he
saw while under stress, but I wanted to see the police photographs to see
what he was talking about.
We learned Courtney called the electrical contractors on Wednesday, April
6th, before I had agreed to fly to Seattle. She instructed the electricians
to begin work on the lights and motion detector on the greenhouse!
Did she know Kurt was inside?
Was she trying to get the body discovered?
DOCUMENT EXAM - NOT CREDIBLE
I had faxed off several documents, including a copy of the "suicide note,"
to two separate document examiners in Los Angeles. The document examiners
later told me, based on the photocopies they had examined, it was their
opinion Courtney wrote the letter left on the stairs, not Cali.
This explanation wasn't logical. Courtney was still in Beverly Hills when
this note showed up on the stairs. Why would Courtney write a note and make
it look like Cali had written it? Why not just tell Cali what to write?
If the document examiners were right, something very unusual was going on
here. Still, I found their conclusions hard to believe.
MEETING WITH THE POLICE
On April 15th, one week after Cobain’s body was found, I went to the
Seattle police station and met with Sgt. Cameron, one of the homicide
investigators assigned to the Cobain case. Items discussed with Sgt.
* Numerous inconsistencies and contradictions in logic...
o The missing credit card and continued activity on the card after
o The fact that Courtney specifically told to Dylan check the
greenhouse, and he didn't even tell me about it...
o The letter on the stairs from Cali seemed phony and didn't make
o Document examiners said Courtney wrote the letter on the
o Doubts about Kurt's handwriting on the so-called “suicide note,”
especially the bottom portion...
o The electrician's statement about Kurt's hair appearing to have
* Courtney’s motives for possible involvement in Cobain’s death?...
o She'd get more money from a suicide than from a divorce. With a
suicide, Courtney would inherit and control the entire Cobain and
Nirvana estate. If Kurt divorced her, she'd have to settle for
half, at best, of Kurt's assets...
o Kurt's record sales would increase, leaving Courtney with even
o And finally, based on what I'd learned about Courtney's
personality, Kurt's death and the publicity it generated would
help her launch her own career.
I also asked Sgt. Cameron why he told me the door was locked from the
inside, pointing out that the lock was a simple push-in and twist type.
"Anyone could have pulled that door shut after locking it!" I added.
"There was a stool wedged up against the door," Sgt. Cameron replied, with
a touch of resentment in his voice.
I assumed the police had evidence that Kurt was alone when the shotgun was
discharged, but I still had some real problems with this case!
When I asked Sgt. Cameron if I could look at the photographs to see why the
electrical supervisor thought Kurt's hair had been combed, he responded,
"We haven't developed the photographs and probably never will. We don't
develop photographs on suicides."
"Nothing you've said convinces me this is anything but a suicide," Sgt.
Cameron informed me as we concluded the meeting.
CONTINUING THE INVESTIGATION
I spent the next few weeks trying to determine if my document examiners
were correct. Through my own testing I was eventually convinced they were
wrong. I concluded Cali did write the letter I found on the stairs at the
Lake Washington house. It was not written by Courtney.
One of the document examiners finally admitted her mistake. The other
remained firm in her original opinion.
I don't believe in the accuracy of the work done by these two document
examiners. We want to get to the truth here. I’m not interested in false
hype over unreliable evidence.
I called Detective Kirkland and told him the document examiners had made a
mistake. He didn't understand the significance in the first place, so it
was obvious they had paid little attention to anything I had to say about
I studied media material and found it was full of planted stories and
misinformation. One story had Courtney grieving at home, while she was
actually calling me from Canyon Ranch in Arizona and bragging to me that
she was sleeping with Billy Corgan. This was only three weeks after Kurt
COURTNEY LOVE ON NOTICE
MAY 8TH, 1994.
I sent Courtney a letter indicating my suspicions about Kurt's death.
I'm sure you know by now that my investigation has been somewhat more
active than you might have been aware of. The purpose of this letter is to
clarify my position regarding our working relationship.
You may recall our trip Carnation on Thursday, April 14th. I mentioned
during the drive that I was beginning to turn over some "rocks" that I
wasn't sure you'd want turned over. I asked you if you wanted me to
continue digging. Kat, who was in the back seat, said, "Oh yeah, she wants
to know everything." You responded, "Yeah Tom, do what ever it takes. I
want to know everything that happened." Your instructions were clear, so in
the days and weeks that followed, I proceeded to "do whatever it takes."
As the investigation continued, my attempts to get at the truth often
seemed to be deliberately hindered. While reading some of the articles
being written in newspapers and magazines, I discovered the information
being released to the press was inaccurate and often cleverly misleading.
I consider the circumstances surrounding your husband's death to be highly
suspicious. My investigation has exposed a number of inconsistencies in the
facts of this case as well as many contradictions in sound logic and common
sense. I'm required to report findings such as these to the police, so on
Friday, April 15th, I spoke with Sgt. Cameron about some of what I've
learned so far.
As I've experienced in past cases, police detectives don't often welcome
the work of outside investigators. I've learned it's somewhat idealistic
and naive to think the truth might be more important than professional
I've decided to continue working on this case until I see it to its
conclusion, without additional charge. Attached you will find an invoice
which accounts for the charges billed for our services, including time and
expenses. As you can see, prior to my return to Seattle on April 13th,
these charges exceeded the retainer amount. However, please consider your
bill paid in full. There will be no further charges.
As I pursue the truth regarding the events surrounding your husband's
death, your cooperation and assistance will be appreciated, but not
THE GRANT COMPANY
FIREPROOFING THE BRIDGE
I anticipated an angry reply from Courtney. Instead she responded by
retaining me to do more work for her. This work was unrelated to the
investigation into Kurt's death. The work was time consuming and when I
finished it became obvious she didn't really care about the results.
During conversations with Courtney over the next several months, she
encouraged me to continue investigating Kurt's death, but she often
sabotaged my efforts to obtain information.
Whenever I started talking to people close to Courtney about Kurt's death,
she'd hire me to do another job. It seemed that she really had very few
options at this point it. Getting angry would just create more suspicion.
Cutting off contact would keep her in the dark about what I was doing.
Courtney may have also assumed I'd accept more work as a payoff.
Courtney often told me she thought Kurt was with “Katlin” before he died.
Katlin was a drug dealer living in Seattle's Capitol Hill area. Since we
had someone watching Katlin's apartment and video taping nearly everyone
coming and going, it seemed odd that Courtney had not asked for the
At a meeting later in my office in Beverly Hills, Cali told us he checked
the greenhouse on Sunday but never looked after that. He said, "It's just a
dirty gross little room." The greenhouse is a rather large, clean room. It
measures 19' x 23'!
In the May 11th issue of the Seattle Times, Dylan told a Times reporter he
didn't know the greenhouse was there. "For all the times I'd been there, I
didn't even realize there was a room above it associated with the house."
This contradicted the conversation I had with Dylan in the car on the day
Kurt was found.
Several weeks later, Courtney told me she gave Cali $30,000 to go to a
rehab somewhere back east. She was angry because he took his girlfriend
with him. I couldn't help but wonder if this was actually an excuse for a
BRING STARTLING REVELATIONS
I finally received copies of the police reports. The reports indicated the
credit card used by Cobain to purchase the tickets for his flight from Los
Angeles to Seattle - the credit card Courtney had canceled but someone was
still attempting to use - was not found in his wallet or other property.
Kurt had two other Versateller cards in his wallet, along with $120 in cash
which was on the floor, and $63 in cash, which was found in Kurt's coat
Studying the reports further, I discovered misleading information had been
given to the police, to me, and to the press.
The Missing Persons report filed by Courtney Love while pretending to be
Wendy O’Conner, reads, "Mr. Cobain ran away from California facility and
flew back to Seattle. He also bought a shotgun and may be suicidal."
The wording of this report made it sound like he purchased the shotgun
AFTER he left the rehab in L.A. The report also failed to mention Kurt was
last seen at the Lake Washington house after he left the rehab!
According to the police reports:
* The stool Sgt. Cameron said was wedged against the entrance doors, was
actually just sitting in front of the unlocked balcony doors on the
other side of the room. These doors didn't allow access since there's
no stairway to that balcony.
* As mentioned earlier, the entrance door to the greenhouse had a push
and twist lock. Anyone could have locked it and pulled it shut as they
left, so Kurt was NOT barricaded in the room as the police had
indicated to me and as the media had reported.
* Kurt’s driver's license had been removed and placed in front of his
wallet for a photograph BY AN OFFICER on the scene. Kurt DID NOT leave
his license out so his body could be identified as reported in the
* The first officers on the scene had taken 23 Polaroids. The police DID
have photographs they could have shown me!
* The canceled credit card was not in Kurt's possession.
* There was no attempt in these reports to explain the missing credit
card... and yet the case was now closed!
NO LEGIBLE PRINTS ON THE SHOTGUN!
The police reports also indicated the shotgun had been sent to the crime
lab to be checked for fingerprints. The Fingerprint Analysis Report for the
shotgun reads: " The above item was processed for prints on 05/06/94 by Sr.
ID Technician T. Geranimo, #4466. Four cards of latent prints were lifted.
The four cards of lifted latent prints contain no legible prints."
So the shotgun wasn’t even checked for prints until nearly one month after
Cobain’s body was found!
I have to wonder how Kurt could have handled this shotgun before he left
for rehab and after he returned to the house without ever leaving any
legible finger prints.
MORE DEATHS, MORE MURDERS?
JUNE 4th, 1994
Narcotics Detective Terry was murdered. He's the first Seattle police
officer to be murdered in the line of duty in nine years. I've read the
news reports and although it is quite a coincidence, it doesn't appear
Detective Terry's murder is connected to the Cobain case. But, I'd like to
Kristen Pfaff, the bass player for Courtney's band Hole, died of an alleged
drug overdose. Her body was found in the bathtub inside the bathroom of her
Seattle apartment. Kristen's death occurred the evening before she was to
leave Seattle to go back to Minneapolis.
In a recent interview, Courtney said she had to go drag Eric away from
Kristen's body. At the very least, this means Courtney was in Seattle at
the time of Kristen's death.
I'm very suspicious of the circumstances of Kristen's death. Evidence will
show Kurt was planning to leave Courtney and Seattle shortly after he
returned from the rehab in Los Angeles.
Kristen was also leaving Seattle, getting away from Courtney. Was this a
coincidence?... Or was it murder?
Reports of so-called copycat suicides continue to surface. Many of Kurt's
fans are having difficulty dealing with his alleged "suicide" and feel if
he thought suicide was the answer for his problems, then they'd solve their
problems the same way.
I'm appalled that no one in the Cobain camp is speaking out about this,
trying to put a stop to these senseless deaths.
The original so-called "suicide" note from Kurt's death was returned to
Courtney. The police also returned the note from Rome at this time.
Courtney had given the Rome note to the police for handwriting comparison.
I find it interesting that the police would return to Courtney, some of the
last pieces of physical evidence relating to Cobain's death, right after
Kristen Pfaff was found dead!
As my investigation continued from Beverly Hills, I tried to get Cali back
in for additional questioning. He was living in Los Angeles at the time, so
it would have been convenient for him to come to my office.
Every time I started to focus on Cali, Courtney would give me another time
consuming job unrelated to this case.
Courtney eventually tried to get me to sign a confidentiality agreement. I
told her to send me a copy and I'd look at it. But, I added, "I'm not going
to sign anything that could interfere with my investigation."
Courtney also said she wanted to get Cali and another friend of hers by the
name of Renee Naverette, to sign a confidentiality agreement. She said,
"Everyone who works for me has to sign it."
Why now? I wondered. She's known Cali for years!
THE ROLLING STONE INTERVIEW
The DECEMBER. 15, 1994 issue of Rolling Stone featured an interview with
Courtney by David Fricke. This was one of the most interesting interviews
I've read so far. It describes Courtney's mind-set and reveals what I
consider to be a psychopathic personality.
Throughout this interview, Courtney seems preoccupied with convincing
everyone how suicidal Kurt was. She tells a story about Kurt bringing a gun
to the hospital room when Frances was born and she heroically grabbed the
gun from him and said, "I'll go first, I can't have you do it first. I'll
This whole story is difficult to believe. I find it interesting that
Courtney was so absorbed in promoting the image of Kurt's suicidal
tendencies right after his beautiful daughter was born, that she displayed
no concern whatsoever for the fact that Frances would have to grow up
hearing this horror story once it got published. I don't think this will be
the best thing for this little girl's self esteem.
I realize my own writing may be read by Frances some day. I don't like that
idea, but I feel I have to say these things now in an attempt to protect
her in the future.
Questions about the Seattle "suicide" note are being raised. I firmly
believe the note left at the scene in Seattle was not a "suicide" note, but
actually a note of retirement written to Kurt's fans. The words at the
bottom, "Which will be so much happier without me," appear to have been
added to the note.
BUT NOW...THERE'S ANOTHER NOTE?!
In the Rolling Stone interview, Courtney now says Kurt wrote her another
note, in addition to the note found by the police at the scene!
Courtney later claimed she found this “other note” on her bed under a
pillow. I know this is NOT TRUE because Thursday morning, well after the
time of Kurt's death, I looked under the pillows. I also looked under the
bed and between the mattresses. That's where I found a package of the drug
Rohypnal that I later told Courtney about. Dylan and I were looking
everywhere for drugs and drug paraphernalia that might indicate whether or
not Kurt had been in the house recently.
Even more important however, is what this "other note" says. Courtney
admits it's not suicidal. She quoted from the "other note" in the Rolling
Stone interview. "You know I love you, I love Frances, I'm so sorry. Please
don't follow me... I'll be there, I'll protect you. I don't know where I'm
going, I just can't be here anymore."
This seems to confirm what my investigation had already revealed... that
Kurt was simply leaving Seattle and wanted to be left alone.
Courtney later claimed she told Sgt. Cameron about this other note. If so,
I have to wonder why Sgt. Cameron never mentioned this other note in any
police reports and why it was never mentioned to the press.
I also have to wonder why Courtney never told me about this other note
during the seven month period following Kurt's death. I continued doing
other work for her. She acted as if she wanted me to continue investigating
this case but she obviously hadn't told me everything.
Now we have two notes left by Kurt. Neither one is suicidal! Both notes
simply confirm Kurt wanted out of the music business and he was leaving
Seattle to get away from it all.
WHAT ABOUT THE NOTE FROM THE ROME INCIDENT?
During a conversation I had with her on January 19, 1995, Courtney told me
the Rome note mostly just "trashes" her. But, she claimed, "It says one
thing very definitely suicidal." Then Courtney quotes a line from the note
written to her by Kurt in Rome.
"Dr. Baker says I would have to choose between life and death. I'm choosing
If this statement really is in the Rome note, what does it mean? To think
that the doctor was telling Kurt that suicide was some kind of an option is
absurd! I've never known a doctor to recommend suicide as a cure for drug
addiction. Have you? I think it's obvious to any person with the least bit
of common sense, this Doctor was simply telling Kurt that if he doesn't get
off drugs, he'd eventually die from using them.
Unfortunately, Kurt was severely addicted to heroin. I believe Kurt's
response meant that he was going to do what he wanted, even if he might
eventually die from his drug addiction. Heroin withdrawal involves physical
pain and torment. This would be a typical response from a severe heroin
addict who was afraid or wasn't ready to kick an overwhelming heroin
A self-destructive comment? Yes. But, suicidal? No. Ask any therapist.
There's a huge difference between the two.
A simple statement from Kurt that he would make his own choices in life,
even if it meant the use of heroin might eventually kill him, got twisted
by Courtney into something she thought she could use to convince everyone,
"He wanted to kill himself."
Keep in mind, the incident in Rome was never called a suicide attempt, by
anyone, until AFTER Kurt died in Seattle.
The doctor in Rome even said he believed the overdose was an accident. Dr.
Galleta says, "The last image I have of him, which in light of the tragedy
now seems pathetic, is of a young man playing with the little girl. He did
not seem like a young man who wanted to end it all."
In a recently released book "COBAIN" by the editors of Rolling Stone, Neil
Strauss writes regarding the Rome event, "Gold Mountain, [Nirvana's
management company], still denies that a suicide attempt was made. A note
was found, says a company spokesman, but Kurt insisted it wasn't a suicide
note. He just took all of his and Courtney's money and was going to run
away and disappear."
Was it or wasn't it? Kurt, the person who actually wrote the note, insisted
it was not a suicide note. What more do we need here?!
Of course, if Courtney is telling the truth and if Kurt was lying, Courtney
could release this so- called "suicide note" to the public to prove what
she's been telling the media is true, couldn't she?
Well... there's a little problem there.
When he returned the note from Rome to her, Courtney claims Sgt. Cameron
told her, "This will never do you any good. I'd get rid of this if I were
So, Courtney says... "I burned it!"
The investigation continues.....