Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Cobain Case Contact Information Summary (to Date) and an Acknowledgment of Your Efforts

(NOTEEmail and mailing address information is included at the end of this post.)

In the last several months I've recommended that Cobain case supporters reach out to certain Seattle and King County officials with regard to the necessity that the investigation into Kurt Cobain's death be reopened.

Those officials were 1) Kathleen O'Toole, the Chief of the Seattle Police Department; 2) Dr. Richard Harruff, the King County Chief Medical Examiner; 3) Daniel T. Satterberg, the King County Prosecuting Attorney; 4) Councilman Bruce Harrell, the Chair of the Seattle Public Safety Committee; and 5) Edward B. Murray, the Mayor of Seattle.

The suggested content of communication, in addition to citing case evidence and other information you wish to communicate to these officials, was to request that Chief O'Toole reopen the case; that Chief Medical Examiner Harruff change the “manner of death” finding from “Suicide” to either “Undetermined” or “Homicide”; and with regard to Prosecuting Attorney Satterberg, Councilman Harrell and Mayor Murray, it was suggested that you request the assistance of these three officials in helping to bring the SPD into compliance with the law enforcement obligations owed to former Seattle citizen and resident Kurt Cobain.

Additionally, as part of your communication, it was also suggested that you provide a link to Soaked In Bleach (which is available via Netflix on November 15) and cite some of the compelling testimony contained in the film, such as former SPD Chief Norm Stamper's assertions that he would 1) reopen the case if he were chief again and that 2) the behavioral patterns of those with a motive to see Mr. Cobain dead should have been investigated.

For those that did reach out to some or all of these individuals I want to acknowledge your efforts and commitment and to say that your communications have more of an impact than you may know. So great job! Also, for those that have placed their name to a petition or have engaged in other means of advocacy for a reopening of the case, well done.

It should be highlighted that one of the great strengths of the Cobain case is the presence of a large contingent or army of supporters who passionately believe in the cause. This passion, when channeled into action, is an invaluable resource and asset – it's a source of strength and power and should be leveraged, rather than dormant on the sideline. You have always been a key ingredient in obtaining justice for Kurt Cobain and, accordingly, the use of your voice towards that end is extremely important.

It should also be highlighted that the use of your voice right now is especially significant given the current and ongoing impact Soaked In Bleach is having towards achieving our goal. To use a military term, your voice is like a “force multiplier” – it's enhancing the overall effort and bringing us closer to the outcome we all desire.

That said, if you haven't had a chance to yet, please consider reaching out to the aforementioned individuals. I can also be contacted via email if you have questions at kurtfraser45@gmail.com.

Again, well done and keep up the good work!

CONTACT INFORMATION TO DATE (Email and Mailing Address):

1) Kathleen O'Toole, Chief of Police, Seattle Police Department

Email: Kathleen.OToole@seattle.gov

Mailing Address:
610 Fifth Avenue
PO Box 34986
Seattle, WA 98124-4986

2) Dr. Richard Harruff, King County Chief Medical Examiner

Email: richard.harruff@kingcounty.gov

Mailing Address:
Box 359792
325 Ninth Ave
Seattle, WA 98104-2499

3) Daniel T. Satterberg, King County Prosecuting Attorney

Email: dan.satterberg@kingcounty.gov

Mailing Address:
Room W554
516 Third Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104-2362

4) Bruce Harrell, Councilmember and Chair of the Seattle Public Safety Committee (committee name abbreviated)

Email: bruce.harrell@seattle.gov

Mailing Address:
PO Box 34025
Seattle, WA 98124-4025

5) Edward Murray, Mayor of Seattle

Email: ed.murray@seattle.gov
Mailing Address:
PO Box 94749
Seattle, WA 98124-4749

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Why Did Both Occupants of Kurt Cobain's Home Fly Out of Seattle Just Prior to the Discovery of His Body?

It's no small matter that both occupants of Kurt Cobain's Seattle home took flights out of Seattle in the days immediately prior to the discovery of his body.

According to the police report, Michael “Cali” Dewitt, a live-in nanny who was also a drug addict at the time, was transported by taxi from the Cobain home to the airport on Thursday, April 7, the day prior to the discovery of Mr. Cobain's body, whereupon Dewitt flew to Los Angeles. Jessica Hopper, the other occupant, was Dewitt's girlfriend who was visiting him while on vacation from a Minneapolis school; according to Charles Cross, Hopper was transported from the Cobain home to the airport on Wednesday, April 6, whereupon she flew back to Minneapolis.

The April 6 date of Hopper's departure is supported by multiple statements given by Hopper to Everett True, wherein, by way of example, Hopper states that she departed “midweek” and that she was present when Eric Erlandson arrived at the estate from Los Angeles, which is reported by Cross to have been on Tuesday, April 5.

Dewitt and Hopper appear to be the only individuals residing at the Cobain estate at the time.

As is widely known, Mr. Cobain's body would be discovered on the morning of April 8 in the greenhouse, which was located just next to the main residence that Dewitt and Hopper had been occupying. No legible fingerprints were discovered on the shotgun discharged into Mr. Cobain and, among numerous other questions of evidence, the results of his toxicology revealed a triple-lethal dose of heroin, suggesting he was incapacitated prior to discharge of the firearm. The official date of Mr. Cobain's death is listed as April 5.

Both of the aforementioned departures appear to have been abrupt and, in the case of Jessica Hopper, extremely emotionally charged – Hopper asserts that she was so distressed that she vomited in the driveway while departing the estate and that “I was sick for two days when I got back because I was such a mess.” The level of this distress is echoed in a recent and highly emotional audio clip wherein Hopper is questioned about her experiences while at the Cobain home at the time.

Both Dewitt and Hopper appear to have been befriended by Mr. Cobain's widow, Courtney Love, when they were minors; Dewitt asserts that Love took him “under her wing” approximately four years prior to Mr. Cobain's death, when he was sixteen; Hopper indicates that Love befriended her approximately two years prior to Mr. Cobain's passing, when she was either fifteen or sixteen. Ms. Love has a history of violence and manipulation and engaged in a number of suspicious behaviors near the time of her husband's death, including misrepresenting her identity in a Missing Persons Report filed with the Seattle Police Department.

According to Rosemary Carroll, Ms. Love's and Mr. Cobain's attorney at the time, Mr. Cobain was in the process of divorcing Ms. Love and removing her from his unfinished will near the time of his death. A prenuptial agreement was also in place.

Norm Stamper, The former Chief of the Seattle Police Department at the time of Mr. Cobain's passing, has recently stated that he would reopen the Cobain case if he were chief again and that the behavioral patterns of those with a motive to see Mr. Cobain dead should have been studied.

Notably, additional statements by Hopper to Everett True bearing on the date of her departure from the decedent's home are strangely contradictory in nature, with Hopper twice unmistakably indicating that she left the Cobain home for Minneapolis on the same day she and Dewitt observed Mr. Cobain in Dewitt's bedroom, which was on Saturday morning, April 2. As indicated above, however, this April 2 date of departure is an impossibility given Hopper's various other assertions to True. Why is Hopper offering obviously contradictory accounts bearing on the date of her departure from the decedent's home?

Given the high volume of troubling evidentiary concerns relating to Mr. Cobain's death, Dewitt's and Hopper's departures are highly relevant and need to be probed in depth by authorities. It's worthwhile here to keep in mind that Dewitt and Hopper chose not to merely depart the Seattle residence of Mr. Cobain, but chose to leave the state of Washington altogether.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Crumbling Foundation

I've noticed of late a certain degree of discouragement regarding the fact that, despite the compelling testimony and evidence featured in Soaked In Bleach, the Cobain case has not yet reopened. While this naturally is frustrating given the various remarkable and factually-indisputable proclamations in the film from leading law enforcement and forensic voices, be reassured that as a result of this testimony a massive and irreparable crack has been created in the foundation of lies bearing on the circumstances of Mr. Cobain's death.

Norm Stamper's and Vernon J. Geberth's testimony, among others, is on record, it's there forever, and each day that someone new sees and hears former Chief Stamper express unhesitatingly that he would reopen the case if he were chief again and those with a motive to see Mr. Cobain dead should have been scrutinized, or former NYPD Lieutenant-Commander Geberth assert that the 1994 investigation team committed cardinal errors in death investigation protocol, that foundation of deceit grows more fragile and closer to collapse.

And this of course is what those disinterested in accountability have feared all along. 

It's the reason that the deceased has been shamelessly dragged through the mud in order to falsely hype the suicide myth and to thereby deflect the proper location of suspicion; it's why those cease and desist letters were sent to theaters in an attempt to deter an obviously proper and legal exercise of the First Amendment; and, among many other examples, it's why an unlawful campaign to sabotage the ratings of Soaked In Bleach was carried-out.

Know too that those disinterested in accountability want you to lose faith – they want you meek and to succumb to a sense of futility; for this is how they maintain control and avoid meaningful scrutiny of their actions.  Don't give them that power.
The fact is the remarkable and courageous testimony of Chief Stamper, and others, is out in the open and can't be “put back in the bag” – it's going to continue, in various ways, to fissure and erode that illegitimate foundation set in place over twenty-one years ago until, finally, the accountability and justice long-withheld from Mr. Cobain is secured.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Seattle Police Department's Opportunity of a Lifetime

One of the important revelations contained in the recent Shawn Helton article about the March 18, 1994 incident at Kurt Cobain's Seattle residence is that SPD Homicide investigators appear never to have inquired into the circumstances of that incident as part of their “investigation” into the death of Mr. Cobain.

As indicated in the article, newly revealed testimony from SPD Detective Everett Edwards, the responding officer to the March 18 event, plainly and credibly contradicts Courtney Love's dramatic and self-serving version of events which predictably portrays Mr. Cobain as on the brink of suicide.

This said, it is frequently the case that investigative bodies intentionally avoid certain paths of inquiry, even when it's entirely proper and necessary to pursue them. This usually occurs in sensitive, high profile matters where to pursue a certain line of investigation would be detrimental to interests deemed “superior” to the integrity of the investigation itself. So the scope of inquiry gets dumbed-down; relevant matters are cast aside or disingenuously downplayed as unimportant; and all the while the investigative team falsely trumpets their efforts as thorough, rigorous and consistent with standards of professionalism.

Sadly, in all of this, the rights of the victim are forgotten about. The interests of the one who has paid the ultimate price are subordinated to considerations bearing on departmental pride, career aspirations and simple politics. It's a mindset driven not by the moral and legal obligations of the badge but by fear – and since the deceased cannot speak out, this breach of professionalism is often carried-out with relative ease.

With regard specifically to the Cobain case, certain individuals within the SPD know full well, given the severe lapses in the 1994 investigation, that pursuing certain obviously relevant and necessary lines of investigation risks opening up a “can of worms” that, once opened, won't wriggle back into the can. It will mean, finally, that the extraordinary breach of care that occurred over twenty-one years ago will have to be accounted for, in the public eye and under media scrutiny.

As daunting as this all sounds, however, for those in a position to reopen the case, it is actually the chance of lifetime – for if approached head-on, with diligence and integrity, and fearlessly undeterred by where the evidence may lead, this leader could rightfully trumpet the Seattle Police Department as a national beacon of reform and law enforcement excellence to be emulated by other departments throughout the nation. Accordingly, those in leadership positions need not view the Cobain case as a dark void to be avoided at all costs – for it's just the opposite: a rare leadership opportunity for the courageous person in the Department who seizes it.

And the fact that the Seattle Police Department is currently under federal oversight should not be a reason to flinch at this opportunity – again, directly the opposite: taking ownership and responsibility for the lapses of judgment which occurred two decades ago and correcting those errors by way of a thorough and disciplined reinvestigation into Mr. Cobain's death represents the precise kind of commitment to justice and reform that the federal government wants to see out of the Department. It's precisely this type of difficult yet head-on accounting for past mistakes that will best reflect upon the SPD as it continues to navigate through this period of federal intervention.

Relevantly, one of the most remarkable aspects of the Cobain case has always been the pure strength of the evidence indicating that the suicide verdict was misplaced. From the decedent's startling blood-morphine concentration, which suggests he was incapacitated prior to being able to discharge the weapon; to the absence of legible fingerprints on multiple key crime scene items, to wit: the shotgun, the two chambered shells and the discharged shell, and the red pen stuck through the “suicide” note; to the location of the spent shell casing, which was found due opposite of the firearm's ejection port; to, among numerous other items of evidence and witness testimony, the strangely crafted note discovered near the decedent's body. This, taken in conjunction with the highly suspicious behavioral patterns of individuals with motive, plainly indicates that the investigative foundation necessary to reopen the case is solid and therefore not subject to rational criticism.

Accordingly, the leader or leadership team within the Seattle Police Department responsible for spearheading a reopening of the case would be able to rest assured that they are on firm evidentiary ground in taking such a step.

In this regard, one need only turn to the former Chief of the Department at the time of the victim's passing, Norm Stamper, who unhesitatingly stated in Soaked In Bleach that he would reopen the case if he were chief again and that the behavioral patterns of those with a motive to see Mr. Cobain dead should have been studied. In addition, there are the supporting proclamations in the film of former NYPD Homicide Commander Vernon J.Geberth and the former President of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Dr. Cyril Wecht, among other notable law enforcement and forensic leaders who have expressed concern regarding the circumstances of Mr. Cobain's death.

This all, of course, is to make the obvious point: a reinvestigation into the decedent's 1994 passing should not be viewed by the Seattle Police Department as a liability to cower from, but rather as one of those rare opportunities to attain redemption and to thereby propel the Department courageously forward.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Contacting Councilman Harrell, Mayor Murray and Prosecuting Attorney Satterberg

In addition to contacting SPD Chief Kathleen O'Toole and the King County Chief Medical Examiner, contact should also be made with those in positions of oversight or influence with regard to the law enforcement conduct of the Seattle Police Department.

In this regard, correspondence should be sent to the Chair of the Seattle Public Safety Committee, Councilman Bruce Harrell (the full name of this oversight body is the Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee); the Mayor of Seattle, Edward B. Murray; and to the King County Prosecuting Attorney, Daniel T. Satterberg.

Each of these individuals plays a vital leadership role in local government in the Seattle area with regard to matters bearing on justice and accountability and are therefore in a position to assist.

The contact information for these three individuals is listed at the end of this post.

(Please note: this is by no means an exhaustive list of individuals or government bodies that are in a position to help.)

Content of Communication

1) The main thrust of your communication to each of these individuals is your concern or belief that the Seattle Police Department is not able to carry-out its law enforcement responsibilities with respect to the death of former Seattle resident and citizen Kurt Cobain.

2) Request assistance from each of these individuals in helping to bring the Seattle Police Department into compliance with this former resident's death.

3) Highlight former SPD Chief Norm Stamper's testimony in Soaked In Bleach and provide a link to the film. Indicate that Chief Stamper expressed genuine concern over the circumstances of the victim's death and stated unhesitatingly that he would reopen the case if he were Chief again; indicate that Chief Stamper further asserted that “We should in fact have taken steps to study patterns involved in the behavior of key individuals who had a motive to see Kurt Cobain dead.”

4) Include other evidence and testimony from Soaked In Bleach, or elsewhere, that you believe will help these local government leaders better understand the troubling nature of Kurt Cobain's death.

5) Thank each individual for reviewing your correspondence and for their commitment to justice and accountability.

Please note: these are just suggested points of communication.  The most important thing is to communicate what is true to you.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or if you would like further guidance regarding drafting this communication. My email is kurtfraser45@gmail.com.

Great job everyone!


Councilman Bruce Harrell
Chair of the Seattle Public Safety Committee
(Long form name of Committee: Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee)

Mailing Address:

PO Box 34025
Seattle, WA 98124-4025

Telephone: 206-684-8804

Fax: 206-684-8587

Website – Bruce Harrell: http://www.seattle.gov/council/harrell/

Mayor Edward B. Murray

Mailing Address:

City of Seattle
PO Box 94749
Seattle, WA 98124-4749

Daniel T. Satterberg
King County Prosecuting Attorney

Mailing Address:

King County Courthouse
516 Third Avenue, Room W554
Seattle, WA 98104-2362

Telephone: 206-477-1200

Fax: 206-296-9013

Monday, August 17, 2015

Law Firm Representing Courtney Love Sought to Persuade SPD Chief in '95 to have SPD Rid Itself of All Records and Copies Thereof Pertaining to Death of Kurt Cobain

Recently released records by the Seattle Police Department (SPD) include a letter dated October 20, 1995 from a Seattle law firm representing Courtney Love addressed to then SPD Chief Norm Stamper, pleading to have the entire Kurt Cobain case file turned over to the firm, “with no further records or copies to remain with the Department.”  See end of article for full copy of the letter.  (The letter can also be found in "Notebook2" on page 105 (as well as on other pages) - click HERE to download "Notebook2."  All records pertaining to this release by the SPD, which appears to have occurred on July 24, 2015, can be downloaded at the end of the following website page - HERE.)

The letter goes on to say that “...Mr. Cobain's estate and Ms. [Courtney] Love-Cobain [are] satisfied that the Seattle Police Department performed a complete and thorough investigation into Mr. Cobain's death” and that “[o]ur clients agree with and accept, without any reservation, the Department's final determination that Mr. Cobain's death was a suicide.” The author of the letter then instructs the Chief of Police that the “The matter can be closed” and concludes by thanking Stamper “in advance for your favorable response to this request.” (A letter marked "Draft" from Chief Stamper denies the firm's “request” - see "Notebook2," page 543; this request appears to have been denied orally by the Chief as well, as indicated in the "Draft" letter.)

First off, it's extremely reassuring and comforting to know that Courtney Love is “satisfied” that her beloved husband received a “complete and thorough investigation” into his passing, and that she “agree[s] with and accept[s], without any reservation,” that he died as a result of Suicide. It's also so reassuring to know that the firm representing Ms. Love's interests is so confident in her truthfulness that it's actually willing to instruct the Chief of Police - as though the firm is somehow in the chain of command - that “The matter can be closed.”

I guess there was nothing to that deceptive Missing Persons Report Ms. Love filed on April 4, 1994 with the Seattle Police Department; and I suppose that apparent practice handwriting sheet and the “Get Arrested” note found in her backpack by her attorney just before Kurt was discovered in the greenhouse is of no concern either; and we should also simply forget about that incapacitating blood-morphine concentration (1.52 mg/liter) that prevented Kurt from discharging the shotgun into his mouth; or the spent shell casing that was discovered due opposite of the shotgun's ejection port; or the lack of legible fingerprints on the shotgun, the two chambered shells and the discharged shell, or on the red pen supposedly used to write the “suicide” note; we should also disregard the fact that Ms. Love's very own attorney at the time was highly suspicious of her client's involvement in Kurt's death and proclaimed that she believed the "suicide" note was a forgery.

This all is to say, of course, that this letter from Ms. Love's firm at the time, seeking to acquire the entire police file bearing on her husband's highly suspicious death, with no copies of the records therein to remain with the SPD, is quite troubling in light of the large quantity of evidence indicating foul play and the suspicious behavior of the firm's client. Given these considerations, one must look upon this letter as yet another piece of evidence relevant to the circumstances bearing on Kurt Cobain's death.


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Undisclosed Kurt Cobain Crime Scene Photos and Judicial Intervention

King County Superior Court - Seattle, Washington.

Given the graphic nature of the Kurt Cobain crime scene photos and the significant privacy and public interest issues raised by a potential public release of them, it's of course entirely understandable that impassioned debate would ensue from the recent lawsuit that sought to compel their disclosure. Importantly, that lawsuit was dismissed by the Court on procedural grounds, rather than on the substantive question of whether or not those images belong in the public domain. (All this means is that the person seeking disclosure of the images apparently did not “follow the rules” in bringing the suit, so the Court was simply unable to proceed to the main question at hand.)

Also, as a preliminary matter in this article, while I understand the instinct to raise it, the character of the requester or the purpose for which the requester seeks the records is, as a matter of law, ultimately not of issue here. (See, for example, WAC 44-14-04003“Agencies shall not distinguish among persons requesting records, and such persons shall not be required to provide information as to the purpose of the request.” There are some limited exceptions to this rule with regard to “purpose of the request,” but they are not pertinent.)

This all said, there can be no reasonable argument at this juncture as to whether or not these images should be subject to expert review so as to ascertain the value of the evidence contained within them. The potential forensic value therein cannot be understated and they must be subject to such inquiry. The problem in this regard is that despite compelling evidence indicating a renewed and full review of Kurt Cobain's death is required, local agency resistance over the years to doing so has been unyielding.

This is a real predicament of considerable legal and moral significance, squarely impacting upon various public interests. The law in this regard, at least with respect to questions bearing on whether such a release would be detrimental to privacy interests (see RCW 42.56.50), plainly states that for privacy concerns to be violated such records must not be of “legitimate concern to the public.” It goes without saying, with respect to the forensically invaluable crime scene photos in the death of Kurt Cobain, and the twenty-one year roadblock imposed in obtaining a competent investigation into his death, that these images are of considerable concern to the public.

At the most basic level in this regard, we have an individual who has lost his life without it ever being meaningfully investigated by those bestowed with the obligation to do so; in addition, while all lives are equal, this individual's cultural, social and artistic contributions to society are of an extraordinary magnitude – this of course ought not ever be taken for granted nor the ongoing societal loss with regard to future artistic contributions this person would have gifted to us had he not died so young. Certainly the public has an interest in ensuring Kurt Cobain and other violent death victims be afforded a thorough review as to how they met their end.

In addition, the public interest in ensuring a correct determination on cause of death as it relates to the copycat suicide phenomenon is also paramount and very real. This is so not only for the sake of all those kids who have already ended their lives, but also because these young individuals are almost certainly continuing to do so, particularly given Kurt Cobain's heightened media presence of late and certain media events that inappropriately validate the misplaced suicide verdict.

Further, there are genuine and significant public interest concerns as to whether certain individuals within the Seattle Police Department responsible for ensuring proper public disclosure of records with respect to the death of Kurt Cobain can meet this obligation. This is evidenced by the vested interest some in the Department have to ensuring Kurt Cobain's death is not re-investigated: such a position is maintained in order avoid subjecting the Department and individuals therein to embarrassment and other potential liabilities. By way of example, one need only turn to Detective Mike Ciesynski's 2014 dismissive reaffirmation of the suicide verdict or the agency's withholding of the “Phoenix Note,” which – irrespective of whether it was authored by Kurt Cobain or Courtney Love – is soaked in considerations bearing on motive.

There are of course other public interests at play here, but one need not run through all of them for the point to be made that there are compelling reasons that all the evidence bearing on Kurt Cobain's death be thoroughly re-evaluated. And, naturally, review of the unreleased crime scene photos would be a vital and necessary component of any such investigation.

All this said, taking into consideration various public interests, the understandable privacy concerns in the matter, and the very real questions bearing on whether certain segments of the Seattle Police Department can responsibly carry-out their public disclosure obligations, I believe the Court would be entirely justified in releasing at least some of these images into the public domain.

In this regard, as provided for in the Washington Public Records Act (RCW 42.56.550) and in the Washington Administrative Code (WAC 44-14-08004) (see image below), the Court could conduct a private “in camera” review of each individual undisclosed photograph and, in the Court's discretion, make a determination as to which photos may have been wrongly withheld and should be in the public domain. Doing so would immediately enable independent expert review of the forensic data contained in the released images, which could shed enormous light on the highly suspicious nature of the victim's death.  Importantly in this respect, the WAC plainly states that "Court's are encouraged to conduct an in camera review because it is often the only way to determine if an exemption has been properly claimed."

Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 44-14-08004.

In conclusion, for twenty-one years the deceased has been denied a meaningful inquiry into his passing, the circumstances of which being indicative of Homicide. The Court, accordingly, would be well within its legal and ethical prerogative to insert itself where appropriate, such as in the aforementioned manner, to help effectuate a just outcome to this individual's premature end.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

On the Effectiveness of Petitions

I was tweeted a very good question recently by a Cobain case supporter bearing on the impact of petitions upon the Seattle Police Department. This individual expressed the concern that the Department would not take petitions seriously and that it seemed futile therefore to submit them.

First off, this is a valid concern and I'm glad the question was asked: for twenty-one years, despite a wealth of evidence indicating a reopening of the case is required, Cobain case supporters have been met with silence and derision. This, naturally, is quite frustrating – indeed, maddening at times – and it therefore is easy to conclude that it is pointless for anyone to engage in the petition process.

My belief, however, is that petitions are important and do make a difference: they make a difference by ensuring that authorities are aware that support for a reopening of the case is alive and well and that an ever-present and growing contingent of supporters is committed to accountability; they also help in an educational and recruiting capacity, by creating additional public awareness of events bearing on Kurt's death and thereby helping to inspire others to join the cause; further, petitions are essentially permanent records which can be pointed to or cited as evidence of the public's consistent support to reopen the case; in addition, petitions help in a cumulative sense because, taken in conjunction with other efforts and strategies to reopen the case, they are a form of added pressure – and if enough of these individual components of pressure sufficiently come together then – finally – the dam will in fact give way.

There are other reasons as well as to why the petition process is valuable: anytime essentially that we are able to exercise our individual voices and free speech rights this is extremely positive – not only because it's your right and is individually empowering, but also because, as briefly noted above, it can help influence others to speak out as well.

As a general matter, one way control and power is maintained is by fostering an environment where those with legitimate grievances and concerns are left feeling disillusioned and passive. It's critical in this regard, in our endeavor to achieve a reopening of the case, that we keep speaking the truth as we have been, and asserting ourselves in those ways that make the most sense to us individually – whether by the petition process or other means of advocacy.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Why Do Narratives In Police Report Not Reveal Presence of Note Left Inside Main House by Michael "Cali" Dewitt? Grant and Carlson Left Item In Place As They Had Found It

Note left by "Cali" on staircase of main house.

As recounted in Soaked In Bleach, on the evening of April 7, one day prior to the discovery of Kurt Cobain's body, Courtney Love issued a random instruction to Dylan Carlson and Tom Grant to conduct a search for the shotgun at the couple's Seattle home. Upon entering the house, Grant and Carlson spot a note, addressed to “Kurt” and understood to have been written by Michael "Cali" Dewitt, sitting in plain view on the staircase; the note was not present at the Seattle home during Grant's and Carlson's search of the house the evening prior.

The contents of the note - which Courtney Love's attorney at the time opined were insincere and were formulated by Dewitt because he “knew that Kurt was dead” - suggested Dewitt had seen evidence of Cobain's presence at the estate and adamantly urged Kurt to contact Courtney Love.

As indicated importantly in Soaked In Bleach, and in Tom Grant's free Case Study Manual (CSM), Grant and Carlson did not take the note with them upon leaving the estate, but rather left it on the staircase where they had originally found it.

Remarkably in this regard, as pointed out in the CSM, narratives in the police report pertaining to the discovery of Cobain's body the next day (April 8), state that despite Seattle Police Department officers conducting a search of the main home “there was nothing of note discovered” and that the main home "had not been disturbed.”

"Statement of [Officer] V. Levandowski"

"Follow-Up Report"
As Tom Grant indicates, given that he and Carlson left the note in plain view the evening prior where they had originally found it, what possible reason accounts for the SPD stating they did not find it? It goes without saying that this note – touched upon only briefly in this article – is an important crime scene item, the relevance of which being all the more significant given the disputed nature of it and the large quantity of other troubling evidentiary considerations in the case.

As indicated in the CSM, the original note was returned to Tom Grant the following week by Eric Erlandson, guitarist at the time in Love's band, Hole, who stated to Grant that he obtained the note from Courtney Love.

Friday, July 10, 2015

PART 2 – April 2, 1994: An Implausible Excuse is Created that Only Increases Suspicion Upon Courtney Love

As indicated in the last article, Michael “Cali” Dewitt admitted to informing Courtney Love on April 2 that he had observed Kurt Cobain on this same day at Cobain's Lake Washington, Seattle home, yet Love failed to disclose this fact on April 3 to the private investigator, Tom Grant, she had just hired to locate Cobain.  In addition, the Missing Persons Report Love filed with the Seattle Police Department on April 4 – under the false name of Cobain's mother, Wendy O'Connor, as indicated in a recording by Grant – as well fails to disclose the location Love knew Cobain had been seen two days earlier.

It goes without saying that given Love's proclamations that Cobain was missing, suicidal and armed, and taken in conjunction with other troubling evidence in the case, that these two non-disclosures are extremely suspicious and add weight to the argument that Love's true reasons behind hiring Tom Grant and filing this Missing Persons Report were not legitimate, but rather intended to portray Love in a favorable light while also deceptively promoting the idea that Cobain was on the verge of suicide.

Love of course could potentially be given a pass with regard to these two non-disclosures if it was shown that Dewitt had in fact not informed her of his April 2 sighting of Cobain.

And this is where things get downright surreal and just plain silly.

After Tom Grant had gone public regarding Love's non-disclosure to him, the Courtney Love-friendly author of Heavier Than Heaven, writes in this book in 2001, without providing a specific source, that Dewitt failed to inform Love of his sighting of Cobain because Dewitt believed it was merely “a dream,” and thus it was not until two days later, on April 4, that he told her.  This fantastical account is also smartly pointed out in the 2004 major investigative work on Cobain's death authored by Max Wallace and Ian Halperin, and, truth be told, it's somewhat difficult to keep a straight face while writing about it here.

This is so not merely because Dewitt admitted to Tom Grant that he informed Love on April 2 of his sighting of Cobain the same day, as illustrated in Grant's free Case Study Manual; and that this admission has been corroborated by, for instance, Eric Erlandson, guitarist at this time in Love's band, Hole, as indicated by Wallace and Halperin, who had access to some of Grant's secret recordings; or that, by Love's own significant words, “[Cali will] tell me if Kurt shows up,” as again recounted by Wallace and Halperin; but also because – remarkably – the Dewitt-dreamscape-excuse collapses onto itself in a later – 2006 – account provided by Dewitt himself to Everett True - an author with close historical ties to Love - where Dewitt makes quite lucid and detailed statements about his sighting of Cobain on April 2, 1994, over a full decade earlier. 
This all, of course, is to make the obvious point that an implausible excuse has been formulated that would, if true, help to conveniently exculpate Love from suspicion regarding her troubling non-disclosures bearing on the April 2 sighting of her husband.  This is naturally relevant and valuable in an evidentiary sense because is shows an attempt to deceive and manipulate the narrative regarding a well-founded event bearing on Cobain's death.

Thankfully, such attempts are largely self-evident, and merely add to what is already a wealth of evidence readily accessible to the prosecutor who will, eventually, be assigned the honor of charging this case.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

PART 1 - April 2, 1994: Why the Sighting of Kurt Cobain on this Date Matters

A recent image of the Lake Washington, Seattle estate.
On the morning of Saturday, April 2, 1994, the day prior to Courtney Love hiring Tom Grant, Kurt Cobain is understood to have been observed at his Lake Washington, Seattle home by Michael "Cali" Dewitt.  Dewitt was a live-in nanny to Frances Bean and a former boyfriend of Courtney Love's.  As explained in Tom Grant's Case Study Manual, Dewitt revealed to Grant that he observed Cobain on the morning of April 2.  This sighting has been reported by other sources, including some seemingly loyal to Courtney Love, and is also recounted near the end of Soaked In Bleach.  It is additionally referenced in a statement given by Dewitt to the Seattle Police Department, dated April 18, 1994, which reads:  "He does not know where Kurt was after the Sat morning when he awoke to find Kurt sitting on his bed."

Most significantly, however, Courtney Love is understood to have been made aware of this sighting on the very day it occurred.  This is indicated, in part, by call records, which, as illustrated in Soaked In Bleach, show Dewitt and Love spoke to each other "eight times on April 2," and by Dewitt's own remarkable acknowledgment to Tom Grant, as explained in his Case Study Manual, that he informed Love on April 2 of this sighting.  The call records evidence as well as this admission by Dewitt in the CSM are confirmed in the major investigative work by Max Wallace and Ian Halperin, who had access to some of Tom Grant's clandestine recordings of case participants.

Given this evidence indicating that Love was aware of Dewitt's April 2 sighting of Cobain at the Seattle estate, what possible justification is there for why she withheld this information from Tom Grant the next day, on April 3?  What reason is there to not inform the private investigator she had just hired to locate her husband, to whom she claimed was missing and suicidal and in possession of a shotgun, that she in fact was told of the precise location where he had been observed?  This inconsistency is particularly troubling and it most certainly bolsters the contention that Love's true motives in hiring Tom Grant were not legitimate, but rather intended to create the false impression of care and diligence with regard to the whereabouts of her husband.

But even more shocking perhaps is the fact that the Missing Persons Report Love filed with the Seattle Police Department on April 4 - under the false name of Kurt Cobain's mother, Wendy O'Connor, as revealed in a recording by Grant - does not disclose the sighting of Cobain by Dewitt two days earlier.  Given Love's contention that Cobain was missing and suicidal, what possible reason explains the non-disclosure of this absolutely critical piece of information in the Missing Persons Report?  This inconsistency, like the one involving Grant the day prior, is again very troubling and is directly relevant with regard to what Love's true motivations were when filing this report with the Seattle Police Department.  More specifically, the nature of this report - touched upon only briefly in this article - goes directly to questions bearing on the creation of a false "suicide trail," wherein law enforcement are led astray with regard to the true nature of certain events.

In addition, it's important to look at occurrences relating to this April 2 sighting of Kurt Cobain in context with other evidence in the case:  taken in conjunction, for instance, with the various crime scene irregularities, Cobain's astronomical blood-morphine concentration (a triple lethal dose), and a large number of other suspicious occurrences involving Ms. Love - who also had clear motive based on a looming divorce and removal from Cobain's will - the significance of events relating to the April 2 sighting become very revealing.

In conclusion, Dewitt's observation of Kurt Cobain on Saturday, April 2, and the disturbing non-disclosures that followed, are extremely valuable evidentiary occurrences that will, naturally, be very important points of inquiry for any new law enforcement team that re-opens the case.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Assuming the Suicide Position: The Significance of Vernon J. Geberth's Testimony in Soaked In Bleach

The significance of Vernon J. Geberth's testimony in Soaked In Bleach really can't be understated.

As his biography indicates, Mr. Geberth “is a retired Lieutenant-Commander of the New York City Police Department with over 40 years of law enforcement experience.  He retired as the Commanding Officer of the Bronx Homicide Task Force, which handled over 400 murder investigations a year.”  In addition:  “He has personally investigated, supervised, assessed and consulted on over eight thousand death investigations” and served as a Homicide Instructor for the Police Training Division of the New York Office of the FBI.  He is also the author of Practical Homicide Investigation, which is recognized as the leading Homicide investigation textbook and is otherwise known as “The Bible of Homicide Investigation.”

Given this background and experience – and this is only a portion of it – there can be no doubt as to the credibility and significance of his claim in Soaked In Bleach that the Seattle Police Department “assumed the suicide position,” which means that a determination of suicide was made prior to any meaningful review of the evidence.  As Commander Geberth explains in the film:  “As a homicide commander, I would not be making any proclamations that the case was a suicide without the evidence having been processed, [such as] the victimology, the medicolegal process, [and] toxicology.  It's a death investigation.”  He continues adamantly:  “The reason we call things death investigations is that we don't want to prematurely make them homicides, suicides, or accidents.  It's a death investigation.

Commander Geberth's point, of course, is backed up succinctly in the film by Dr. Cyril Wecht, a leading forensic expert and former President of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, who passionately emphasizes:  “They knew nothing about the drug level; they knew nothing about fingerprints; they knew nothing about anything else at that time except that they had found him with a shotgun.”

In sum, Commander Geberth's assertion that the Seattle Police Department “assumed the suicide position” is a devastating charge, as it means the investigation into Kurt Cobain's death was corrupted from the outset.  And as a consequence, various and vital pieces of evidence were discarded and/or destroyed, such as the deceased, who was permitted to be cremated less than a week after being discovered.

This “assumption of suicide” and the Departmental shame associated with it is essentially why there has been a twenty-one year public battle wrought with disinformation and ongoing attempts to thwart a re-opening of the case.  It is the reason that the Seattle Police Department insincerely reaffirmed its suicide verdict in 2014 and why certain media spectacles are concocted.  And, worst of all, it's the reason why there have been so many kids that have taken their lives under the misinformed impression that that's what their hero did.

The sooner a re-investigation is commenced by an impartial team of professionals, the sooner we can move on from the past and really begin, in full, to celebrate the life of Kurt Cobain.  For as Norm Stamper concludes:  “It's about right and wrong.  It's about honor. It's about ethics.”

Monday, June 29, 2015

On the Growing Media Attention Regarding Norm Stamper's Testimony in Soaked In Bleach

Recent widespread media attention to Norm Stamper's momentous assertion in Soaked In Bleach that he would re-open the Cobain case if he were Chief again is an extremely positive development.  Stamper's impassioned and entirely justified assertion – including his claim that the behavioral patterns of "key individuals who had a motive to see Kurt Cobain dead" should have been studied – is big news and to not give attention to it would be journalistically negligent.

Yet it's important to keep in mind that the evidentiary basis justifying the re-opening of the case has been publicly and rationally put forth by Tom Grant for over twenty years.  There really is no reason, given the availability of the evidence for the last two decades, that questions bearing on Cobain's death should not have been “big news” in 1994, as well.

Ideally, the legitimacy of the evidence would stand on its own, irrespective of who the speaker is.

That all said, the growing media attention with regard to Stamper's courageous and powerful words in Soaked In Bleach is an outstanding development, and is exactly what the case, and Kurt Cobain, deserves.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

What's Really Behind Courtney Love's Recent Cease and Desist Threats to Theaters?

Courtney Love's legal team recently issued cease and desist letters to theaters showing the documentary film Soaked In Bleach, which delves into the troubling circumstances surrounding the death of her husband, Kurt Cobain.  Allegations that Love conspired to murder Cobain have been leveled against her since shortly after his passing, and Soaked In Bleach highlights some of her suspicious behaviors near the time of his death.  Most significant about the film, however, is that it features a panel of forensic experts and the former Chief of the Seattle Police Department at the time of Cobain's passing, who weigh in on the Department's handling of his death.

The forensic testimony, in sum, is a clear and reasoned indictment of the Seattle Police Department's conduct in the Cobain matter, with fault found primarily in the fact that the Department determined Cobain had committed suicide without conducting even the most bare minimum of investigation.  The consequence of this premature determination is made abundantly clear when testimony is offered with regard to Cobain's triple-lethal blood-morphine concentration, which suggests he would have been incapacitated prior to being able to fire the alleged suicide shot.  This would naturally indicate Homicide as the proper determination of cause of death and consistent in this regard is the former Chief's telling assertion that the Seattle Police Department should have conducted an investigation into the behavioral patterns of “key individuals who had a motive to see Kurt Cobain dead.”

In total, the forensic testimony makes undeniably clear that as a result of not following basic death investigation protocols, significant and necessary areas of evidentiary exploration were ignored, thereby rendering the Seattle Police Department's finding of suicide improper and a re-opening of the case necessary.

This of course should be of no concern to Ms. Love.  That's because, as to be expected, one of her recently released cease and desist letters to theaters makes unequivocally clear that she played absolutely no role in her husband's death:  with confidence her legal team asserts that “there is simply no credible evidence” to support such an allegation and that claims to the contrary are merely “debunked conspiracy theor[ies]” to be brushed off and discarded.

Yet this all begs a very large question.  Given such adamant reassurances, when then can we expect to hear Courtney Love demand answers from the Seattle Police Department to the troubling questions that surround the death of her husband?  Now that leading experts and the former Chief at the time of Cobain's passing have weighed in, when can we expert her, as widow, to petition for a re-opening of the case?

The answer to this question, of course, is the “tell,” and reveals the true reason behind those cease and desist letters:  Courtney Love and her attorneys know that a re-opening of the case will necessitate, as a matter of standard police procedure, inquiry into Love's behavior surrounding the time of Cobain's death, and that there are numerous and entirely valid avenues of inquiry in this regard that will need to be pursued.  If there is “no credible evidence” behind the allegation that Love was involved in the death of her husband; if such a claim is merely a “debunked conspiracy theory,” as her attorneys contend, then, by all means, she should welcome a re-investigation with open arms, and her legal team should advise her to do so.

The more Courtney Love and her lawyers resort to First Amendment-obstructing legal threats and belittlement of credible case details supported by forensic experts and the former Chief of the Seattle Police Department, the more evident the truth really becomes.