There’s another mystery swirling around Kurt Cobain: Why did the FBI release portions of the late Nirvana frontman’s case file? Or perhaps, more accurately, why bother?
The 10 pages — released to “The Vault,” the FBI’s Freedom of Information Act library — contain letters asking federal authorities to reopen the investigation into Cobain’s 1994 death, citing evidence or theories already widely speculated upon by the public, documentarians and television producers. Cobain’s death was ruled a suicide.
The letter writers’ names were redacted. One letter writer wrote, “There has since been evidence found that he was killed and didn’t commit suicide, as originally thought.” Another wrote, “Millions of fans around the world would like to see the inconsistencies surrounding the death cleared up for once and for all. It is sad to think that an injustice of this nature can be allowed in the United States.”
According to a Rolling Stone report, the FBI periodically makes public some of its archives on notable people, and released its file on Cobain last month for reasons the bureau has not commented on.
Rolling Stone also noted that the file contains production notes from the company behind “Unsolved Mysteries,” which featured a segment on Cobain’s death in 1997.
Beyond that, the file has little to offer beyond the obvious novelty.
While the agency kept the file, FBI officials maintained in its responses that the Nirvana singer-guitarist’s death was not in the bureau’s jurisdiction.
“We appreciate your concern that Mr. Cobain may have been the victim of a homicide,” according to one of those FBI responses, also part of the 10-page file. “However, most homicide/death investigations generally fall within the jurisdiction of state and local authorities. … Based on the information you provided, we are unable to identify any violation of federal law within the investigative jurisdiction of the FBI.”