Kurt Cobain: Did Authorities Cover Up The Rock Star's Murder?

On Thursday, Seattle police provided photos of the rifle Kurt Cobain used to commit suicide, which once again has stirred up controversy regarding his death. Did Cobain really kill himself or did someone murder him?

CNN reports that the Seattle police released photos of the gun that killed Cobain in an attempt to squash the conspiracy theories that have been around since the Nirvana lead singer's death. On April 8, 1994, Cobain was found dead in his Lake Washington home with a single shotgun wound to his head. A toxicology report stated Cobain had lethal amounts of heroin in his system. The King County Medical Examiner's Office ruled the singer's death as a suicide.

CBS News requested that the photos be released to the public to "dispel a rumor... that the shotgun had been melted down to hide evidence in a supposed... cover up of a potential murder."

Authorities provided five photos from Cobain's files on Friday, but it isn't enough for those who insist he was murdered.

In fact, murder conspiracy theorist and Seattle journalist Richard Lee is so convinced that Cobain's death was a murder that he filed a lawsuit against Seattle police officials in 2014, blaming them of a long history of covering up crimes. He also demanded that they release the rest of Cobain's death photos.

"The release of the five photos of the shotgun in the Kurt Cobain homicide case provides crystal-clear proof of one thing above all else—that the Seattle Police Department has its own culture of cover-ups and secrecy, which they generally consider unaccountable to the law....Seattle police officials have gotten nervous about the existence of the shotgun in their possession, and did not want to give me credit for such a discovery, especially if this was something that was to slip out in the course of my pre-trial investigation."
Numerous Cobain fans agree with Lee's assessments that the singer didn't kill himself. Arguably the most popular conspiracy theory that remains is that the rocker's former wife Courtney Love either killed Cobain herself or hired someone to do it for her. Lee, however, feels that Cobain's death was a secret plot carried out by the the U.S. Department of Justice.
Yet, despite the inquisitions and speculations surrounding Cobain's death, his family, including Love and their daughter Frances Bean Cobain, are adamant about keeping the rest of the photos undisclosed.

The hidden photos contain graphic images of the "Lithium" singer's fatal gunshot wound to his head. His family fears that releasing the photos will spark a frenzy of speculations and questions about Cobain that Love and Frances are emotionally incapable of handling.

Frances, who was just 2-years-old when her father died, stated that releasing gruesome images of her father's death to the public would "physically endanger me and my mother" from "very disturbed individuals who are obsessed with my father."

So far, there is no solid evidence that the Seattle police or the U.S. Justice Department covered up any information regarding Cobain's death. A Seattle judge tossed Lee's lawsuit out last year, citing procedural grounds. Regardless, Lee continues on his quest to prove Kurt Cobain was killed, even though the judge barred him re-filing the same case again.

"Of course I will refile. I've never heard of a case where an issue of such public importance was dismissed because of such trivial circumstances."
[Photo via AP/Mark J.Terrill]