Seattle police release photos of Kurt Cobain suicide gun

March 18th, 2016 by Staff


In this June 2015 photo released by the Seattle Police on Thursday, March 17, 2016, Detective Michael Ciesynski holds the shotgun which rock legend Kurt Cobain used to kill himself on April 8, 1994. (Seattle Police via AP) (Seattle Police)

Seattle police released five photos Thursday of the shotgun Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain used to take his own life 22 years ago.

A statement from the department said the photos were taken in June 2015 and added to the case’s investigative file earlier this month. The statement did not explain why the photos were taken or why they were being made public at this time.

The photos show the gun being held at several different angles by Seattle police cold case Detective Mike Ciesynski.

Cobain was found dead in his Seattle home on April 8, 1994. Forensic analysis determined he had committed suicide with a shotgun blast to his head three days earlier. He was 27.

In the years since Cobain’s death, a number of conspiracy theorists have challenged the official ruling of suicide, claiming that the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” singer was murdered. On the 20th anniversary of Cobain’s death in 2014, Ciesynski reviewed the case files and said he found no new information to change the police conclusion that Cobain took his own life. He did find four rolls of undeveloped film from the suicide scene.

After releasing two of the images in 2014, police released 34 additional photos taken at the scene due to numerous public disclosure requests for the images.

In August, Richard Lee, a self-proclaimed investigative journalist, filed a lawsuit seeking the release of graphic photographs and other records from the scene. Lee claims that authorities have deliberately withheld images proving Cobain did not take his own life. His previous attempt to obtain the photos was thrown out of court.

Cobain’s widow, rock singer Courtney Love, and the couple’s daughter Frances Bean Cobain have previously written to the court opposing the release of the photos.

Cobain and Nirvana helped popularize the Pacific Northwest’s heavy, muddy “grunge” rock, along with bands like Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and Mudhoney.

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