Friday, June 3, 2011

Riddle me this Batman: When does a dead man pull a trigger and wipe his own fingerprints?

Batman: Well it's quite simple, ol' chum: when he's not planning to be a money making machine anymore...
Yell or whale, and if I sigh,
Shake me out, teeming
If I may, and if I might,
Got a gun to bleed me...
~ "Do Re Mi," Kurt Cobain ~

What does it say about a generation when the voice of said generation takes a shotgun and blows his brains out? We found out in the 1990's, when Kurt Cobain left a rehab clinic in Los Angeles, went home to Seattle and was found dead in April of 1994. Unlike his note which said it was better to burn out than fade away, it made many feel like it was better to not even spark in the first place...In the early/mid 2000's a book called "Heavier than Heaven" came out, it was marketed as the first and only un-officially authorized book on the life of Kurt Cobain. I read it, and while I find a lot inside it's pages interesting, it turned me off the subject in some ways because of how obviously pro-Courtney Love it came out. To the point of lies and deceit's I knew weren't true. To date, probably the best overall book on the LIFE of Nirvana/Cobain is Everett Trues "Nirvana." However when it comes to the DEATH of Nirvana/Cobain, it's all about "Love & Death" by Max Wallace and Ian Halperin.

Back in the late 90's I read a book by the two of them called "Who Murdered Kurt Cobain?" While it gave me a more clear idea of what COULD have happened to Cobain than the school stories I heard that basically came straight from a bad episode of Law & Order, it didn't convince me either way. In fact, it didn't convince the authors either, near the end they don't claim to think Cobain killed himself nor that he was murdered, just that there was enough evidence and anomaly's that the case should be moved from "suicide" to "undetermined." In the end I always felt, beside what I WANTED to believe, Kurt probably did kill himself. It was maybe the fact that had he been murdered, and not taking the "chicken" way out that he would almost come back to life in some sort of way.

I miss the comfort in being sad...
~"Frances Farmer will Have her Revenge on Seattle"~

So, I decided to never read anything else on that particular subject, his death. I just wanted to accept it for what it was and move on, I've never been one for conspiracies. I don't believe the Government was behind September 11th, I don't believe Elvis is still walking around and I don't believe a midget hangs himself in the Wizard of Oz. I just don't want to put myself in that sort of negativity of thought. Then I came across a site called "" last year and it got me thinking and reading on the subject...again...

I finally decided to read "Love & Death," feeling ready to see where these two authors would lead their investigation. I figured it was a money making scheme to write a second book, what else could they tell? Well, with access to Tom Grant, the PI Courtney Love hired to find Cobain when he left the Exodus rehab center in LA and later felt foul play was involved, including an interview with Rosemary Carroll, both Cobain and Loves lawyer as well as former Godmother of Frances Bean, I thought it could get interesting. Indeed it did. On top of that they interview Cobain's Grandfather who believes foul play was involved and Courtney Love's own father who believes she is a sociopath. Along the way the evidence piles up that, besides a number of questions the poor investigation the Seattle police did (calling it an open and shut case of suicide while Cobain's body still lay in the Greenhouse over his garage; never even bothering to develop the crime scene photos, never checking his nearby root beer for traces of valium) it is scientifically impossible that Cobain shot himself with that 20-guage shotgun. Why? Because in his 115 pound body was three times the lethal amount of heroin for a 150 pound man, mixed with a good amount of the date rape drop rolyphol (a drug Courtney had a prescription for, not Kurt) that is in essence a strong form of valium. This type of dose, even if you had a high tolerance to the drug (the most common challenge of this fact) that within seconds, not minutes, you would be either dead or incapacitated. They do their research in this book, and found no other case in which someone with even near that type of dose stayed conscious long enough to do anything along the lines of what Kurt supposedly did: roll down his sleeve, put all his drug paraphernalia away in a cigar case, sit down, put a shotgun in his mouth and fire. In fact, all cases found with heroin amounts near that rate usually were found with the syringe in their arms, that was how quickly the amount effected them. The bottom line? Kurt was basically already dead or incapacitated on his way to being dead when the shotgun fired, it's scientific fact.

On top of that, you have a note, a note that sounds more like a retirement letter than a suicide note. Oh, except for the last four or five lines, which have a VERY different handwriting. You have a credit card missing from his wallet, a credit card tried used post-mortem a number of times. A Courtney Love that seems more concerned with how this will effect her career more than her missing husband. A Courtney Love that files not one but two FALSE police reports in the weeks leading up to his death, both making mention of Kurt having a gun and being suicidal. A Courtney that leaks false reports to the press like a baby leaks it's diaper. A Courtney who leaves a backpack with Rosemary Carroll, who finds two pieces of paper in it: one that reads simply like a to-do list: "Get Arrested," something she did the day Kurt was SUPPOSED to be found, and another note full of the alphabet written different ways, like someone planning to forge a letter. A Courtney Love that never mentioned Kurt's Rome overdose was a suicide attempt until after he died, oh yes, also waited for over two hours after she found his over-dosed body in Rome before calling an ambulance. A Courtney Love who heard from ex-boyfriend current nanny "Cali" Dewitt that Kurt had been seen at his house, yet didn't tell her PI. A Courtney Love who asked how to get out of a pre-nuptial agreement that basically stated, if they divorced, she gets nothing of Kurt's. You have Kurt's best friend who not only didn't believe he was suicidal, but happily bought him a shotgun BEFORE he went off to rehab, a fact many ignore. A Kurt who was planning to go fishing with his Grandpa, cut an album with REM's Michael Stipe and also do an album of Leadbelly covers. A Kurt who days before his death contacted his lawyer Rosemary Carroll about getting a divorce...and taking Courtney's name out of a will he had yet to sign. A Kurt who had bought not one but two plain tickets out of Seattle. A Kurt who is found with a shotgun loaded with three shells (wouldn't one do?), the fired shell found on the WRONG side of the gun's release chamber. A Shotgun, shells and pen that wrote a suicide note with no fingerprints. A crime scene said to have very little blood for a guy who shot himself in the head (here's a fact, dead men don't bleed much). You have Courtney's band member, a friend of Kurt's, who stops taking drugs the day she found out Kurt died yet is found of an overdose three months later when she took one final trip to Seattle to gather her belongings and leave Courtney's band, Hole, for good. Then you have a man who claims Courtney Love, in the winter of 1993, came to him and offered him $50,000 to kill Kurt Cobain, and passed a polygraph test with the devices leading techs, with flying colors. A man who 8 days after giving a video interview about said subject was found dead on a train track. A man who the last person who saw him suddenly had a wealth of cash out of nowhere in the mid 1990's.

I don't wanna give too much away about the book or go to in-depthly into it's pages, but I just wanted to touch/briefly mention some of these questions the book raises, and raises quite well.

I don't know what happened to Kurt Cobain in his final days. I don't know who that second plane ticket was for, and I don't know who killed him. The bottom line is, I know who's profited since then. I know he was a man who was said the be anything but suicidal since Frances Bean was born and he found a doctor who diagnosed his long-standing stomach issues. I know he wasn't some angel saint who was too good for this world, he was a shy funny guy who could also be rather mean and moody. I know near the end this was a Kurt who simply wanted out of the limelight, out of being in the biggest band in the world and out of the clutches of his manipulative wife. I also know there's more to his death and his story than the open and closed investigation in his life wants anyone to believe. You have over 70 young people worldwide who killed themselves in the years since, and said it was because/for Kurt. People deserve the truth, and they never really got it. If you like reading, specifically about music or maybe true crime, you could do a whole lot worse than "Love & Death." I know I was surprised by the amount of detail and research that went into it.

I will move away from here
You wont be afraid of fear
No thought was put in to this
I always knew it would come to this
~"You Know You're Right"~