Lawsuit demanding the release of all other photos of Kurt Cobain’s body. The case was ruled as an apparent suicide, but there was not enough evidence to reopen it. New photos, including exterior pictures of Cobain’s house in Washington Lake, as well as Polaroids depicting his drug paraphernalia and the box holding his grunge rocker’s apparent heroin stash, were released for the first time. Additionally, nine previously snapped Polaroids, like the ones showing Cobain’s shotgun and his license, were released. The Seattle Police Department had already released many photos, including duplicates of the ones found in the greenhouse, where Cobain’s body was discovered. Four rolls of film were developed, revealing pictures of Cobain’s body inside the greenhouse. Detective Mike Ciesynski, who had worked on the case years earlier, pulled the file out on the 20th anniversary of the frontman’s death.
Who requested their liberation?
The release of those images would infringe upon the privacy of Cobain’s widow and their daughter, and the photographs were not subject to state open-record laws, as ruled by a lower court. He argued that Cobain’s body photos should be made available to the public in accordance with Washington State’s Public Records Act, and he represented himself. Additionally, he hosted a public access TV show titled Now See It Person to Person: Kurt Cobain Was Murdered and has extensively studied the death for many years. In 2014, journalist Richard Lee, described as a “conspiracy theorist who believes that Mr. Cobain was murdered” in court documents, filed a lawsuit against the city of Seattle and its police department.
Who opposed the release of them?
Courtney Love and Frances Bean Cobain would be that. Declarations filed in the case, with Love stating, “I have never witnessed these explicit and disturbing images, nor do I ever desire to. Undoubtedly, public disclosure would reopen all my past injuries and inflict me and my family with permanent — in fact, endless and unnecessary — anguish and agony, and would be a grave violation of our privacy concerns.” She discussed how the images would inevitably “end up on the internet, where they would be permanently circulated. Due to the fact that Kurt is my deceased spouse, they will also probably appear in search results about myself. I would inevitably stumble upon them, and I would never be able to erase those haunting images from my memory. I cannot even fathom the enormity of the trauma and psychological damage this would cause me, not to mention many others.” (The release of photos concerned Love as far back as 1995, when, according to police documents, she “called and asked if the photos could be destroyed to prevent any mistaken release.”).
I cannot imagine how terrible it would be to see the publication and release of photographs that inadvertently show my loved ones, including my sisters, mother, and father, and knowing that they would be made public. Once, I saw mocking photos depicting my father’s body, which deeply scarred me. Frances, who was a toddler when her father died, said that the release of the photos would physically endanger me and my mother.
Frances stated, “I have had to deal with numerous personal challenges due to the passing of my father. It is extremely challenging to handle the mere chance of those photographs being exposed to the public. Releasing these images would inflict unimaginable agony by further sensationalizing the situation.”
Courtney Love recently commemorated her spouse on the 24th anniversary of his passing.
No one should worry about whether photos of a family member will appear on their social media feed as they scroll through. Pete Holmes, the city attorney of Seattle, who regularly advocates for the opening of death scene records, said he had the support of the women.
The statement made by the court ruling
Autopsies are considered private under state legislation. For instance, the judge additionally rejected Lee’s appeals to obtain several other classified records pertaining to Cobain’s passing. The ruling elaborated on the established legal principle that the disclosure of images from the scene of death may infringe upon the rights of relatives, although it is worth noting that Lee was representing himself. Lee was criticized for presenting a feeble argument.
Cobain was found dead on April 8, 1994, after disappearing from the drug scene and taking a large amount of heroin. His death was ruled as a suicide, as an autopsy revealed a single gunshot wound to the head. However, there have been conspiracy theories claiming that Cobain was murdered, which started when Love hired a private investigator to look into his disappearance. The speculation grew from there, and even a Wikipedia page was created to examine the possibilities of films and books with a profitable business.