April 5, 1994 -Although it wasn’t reported until April 8th, when an electrician coming in to do repairs at the Cobain home found his body, dead from an apparent suicide, the actual date of his death was determined to be April 5th.
Either way, it marks twenty-five years since news of Kurt Cobain’s death spread throughout the world. Some reacted with deep shock and sadness while others shook their heads, saying it was inevitable; that Kurt Cobain was a troubled soul whose suicide seemed like his only logical way out.
Advocates of the verdict of death by self-inflicted gunshot wound have cited Cobain’s persistent drug addiction, clinical depression, and handwritten suicide note as conclusive proof. Members of Cobain’s family also noticed patterns of depression and instability in Cobain before he achieved fame. Cobain mentioned that the stomach pains from an undiagnosed stomach condition were so severe during Nirvana’s 1991 European tour that he became suicidal and stated that taking heroin was “[his] choice”; saying, “This [heroin] is the only thing that’s saving me from shooting myself right now.” Cobain’s cousin Beverly, a nurse, stated that the singer’s family had a history of suicide, that Cobain’s bipolar disorder and his struggles with drug addiction led him to suicide.
In Charles Cross’s biography Heavier Than Heaven, Nirvana band member and bass guitarist Krist Novoselic is quoted on seeing Cobain in the days before his intervention: “He was really quiet. He was just estranged from all of his relationships. He wasn’t connecting with anybody.” Novoselic’s offer to buy a nice dinner for Cobain resulted in unintentionally driving him to score heroin: “His dealer was right there. He wanted to get fucked up into oblivion … He wanted to die, that’s what he wanted to do.” In his book Of Grunge and Government: Let’s Fix This Broken Democracy, Novoselic alludes to the circumstances of Cobain’s death: “Tragically, Cobain picked the wrong way to resign from the position he was thrust into.”
In March 2014, the Seattle Police Department developed four rolls of film that had been left in an evidence vault. According to the Seattle police, the 35mm photographs depict the scene of Cobain’s corpse more clearly than previous Polaroid images taken by the police. Detective Mike Ciesynski, a cold case investigator, was asked to look at the film because “it is 20 years later and it’s a high media case.” Ciesynski stated that the official cause of Cobain’s death remains suicide and that the images will not be released publicly. According to a spokesperson for the Seattle police, the department receives at least one request weekly, mostly through Twitter, to reopen the investigation. This resulted in the maintenance of the basic incident report on file.
As a reminder, here is an excerpt of news from KROQ and KNX in Los Angeles on April 8, 1994.