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Who Killed Kurt Cobain? The Mysterious Death of an Icon Paperback – June 1, 2000

4 out of 5 stars 92 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

On April 8, 1994, Kurt Cobain's corpse was discovered in his Seattle home. By the summer of 1996, rumors of cover-up and murder were making the rounds in coffee shops and rock clubs and on the Internet, with most fingers pointing at Cobain's widow, Courtney Love. Music journalists Halperin and Wallace fill about half their pages with a serviceable joint biography of Cobain and Love, though the meat of the book is their investigation into the rock star's death. The essence of the crime theory, as promulgated by Tom Grant, a private investigator initially hired by Love herself, is that Cobain was murdered with a fatal injection of pure heroin, and then shot. The question of why anyone, after injecting a known junkie with a fatal dose of heroin, would bother to shoot him is the most prominent problem with the theory. The authors cite other, perhaps more provocative data, including statements by a man who claims he was hired to kill Cobain. The motive the authors uncover seems more plausible: When the two rock stars wed, they report, Love, the more successful of the pair at the time, made Cobain sign a prenuptial agreement. But now Cobain was worth a fortune, and there is some evidence that Cobain was going to divorce Love. The evidence isn't solid, and in fact much of what's presented here is wispy, but the authors certainly seem to have dug hard, making this, while not a good bet for serious true crime fans, manna for rumor-mongers and for those who find horror behind the ironic names of Nirvana and Love. Illustrations not seen by PW.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Just who did kill Kurt Cobain? Was it really Cobain himself, through careless use of drugs and intentional aim with a rifle? Or was it Courtney Love, Cobain's extravagant and chameleon-like wife? Or could it have been someone she hired--a professional assassin or lucky amateur? At this point one can't tell, yet the compelling chain of events that Halperin and Wallace expose constitutes evidence of a plausible alternative explanation to the official verdict of suicide. Cobain's short life (he was 27 when he died) was fraught with anguish--broken family, lost love and a desperate search for its return, youthful rebellion, homelessness, drugs. Reality surpassed Cobain's dreams, yet even when he became a millionaire rock star, his past wouldn't let go, and he continued to drown depression in heavy drug use. Halperin and Wallace have written a very good and interesting book, sans hero worship, for fans of pop music and murder mysteries alike, one that soberly lays out the case for thinking this pop icon's death may not be an open-and-shut case. Raul Nino --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Citadel; Rev Upd edition (June 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806520744
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806520742
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #667,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
When the rock icon of a generation dies, media attention isinevitable. In April 1994, the death of Kurt Cobain created a tidalwave of attention. Thousands of fans mourned Cobain, the lead singer of the band Nirvana, a group often credited with pioneering the Seattle grunge scene.
More than 65 young people eventually followed their hero into death, committing "copycat" suicides.
Cobain's death was a sensational and strange tale that inspired passionate debates about suicide, the emptiness of the 90s generation, and the responsibilities of pop culture heroes.
Cobain, who died at the age of 27, was a brilliant and creative man who led an emotionally troubled life. He was a heroin user who reportedly committed suicide, leaving a young daughter and wife behind. Days before he died he had disappeared from an L.A. drug treatment center.
The book "Who Killed Kurt Cobain? The Mysterious Death of an Icon" does not answer the question posed by its title. But it does provide compelling reasons why the investigation into his death should be reopened.
The book relates biographical information about Kurt Cobain and his wife Courtney Love; the events leading up to his death; information and insights gleaned from friends, relatives and people who had been in contact with the couple; and professional opinions from experts in various fields, including pathology and graphology.
Many people who knew Cobain do not believe that he killed himself. Either does Tom Grant, a private investigator hired by Courtney Love to find Cobain after he left the drug treatment center. Grant does not accept the verdict of suicide and has done everything in his power to convince the authorities to reopen the investigation into Cobain's death.
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Format: Hardcover
When I first heard a story that Kurt Cobain did not commit suicide but instead was murdered I found it implausible and ridiculous, not to mention sick. It must be some wacko's rantings. Everyone knows that Kurt killed himself, right? The disturbed personality, the suicide attempt in Rome, the note...
After reading this book I am left feeling very disturbed that a terrible injustice has gone overlooked by today's media and society.
This book first gives the story of Kurt's life, his phenomenal success and his marriage to Courtney Love. Then in a verifiable and coherent manner lays down an excellent case that Kurt's death was not the obvious suicide as it was portrayed in the media. It points out many unreported or misreported facts that dispute the cut-and-dried suicide theory. It also provides more than enough proof to seriously question the character and motives of Courtney Love.
If you are at all interested in the facts about how Kurt died, and especially if you were affected personally by his words and music, I HIGHLY recommend it. The truth must come out.
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Format: Hardcover
A superb book full of facts and stories relating to the mysterious events and unsolved circumstances relating to the death of my hero, Kurt Cobain. Was his sucicide note just a musical retirement note to his loving fans? Why is there someone else's handwriting on the so called suicide note? The legal systems in America must re open this case and send whoever killed Cobain down...Courtney Love? I recomend this book to anyone...even if you hated NIRVANA and thought Cobain was just a junkie, read this book and bring Cobain's killer to justice.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is brilliant and easy to read. It covers the life of Kurt pretty well and it also really makes you think about how he died. Did Courtney have anything to do with his death? Well, after reading this great book I must admit that I've got every reason to think she has something to hide. Wether or not she killed him or got someone to kill him you have to decide yourself after reading the book. The book dosen't answear a lot of questions but it sure raises alot of them ! A MUST READ FOR ALL COBAIN FANS.
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Format: Paperback
This book has been popularized as the one that contains private investigator Tom Grant's theory that Courtney Love hired someone to kill Kurt Cobain. I read it thinking it would be borderline wacko with the conspiracy theory. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was an exhaustively researched account of the history of Nirvana, Kurt, Courtney, the days surrounding Kurt's death, and the investigation of the incident by the Seattle PD. The authors do present Grant's theory and his main arguments pointing to murder, but they are quick to point out that there absolutely no smoking gun, nothing explicity incriminating Courtney. They even point out some failing's in Grant's work and theories. Their main case is that there are enough unanswered questions and questionable actions during the investigation that the case should be re-opened. In fact, most people who review Grant's theory, when polled, say that the investigation should be re-opened to lay to rest all the discrepancies that he turned up.

The authors took nothing at face value when writing this book. Anytime someone claimed to have a degree, or that an incident happened, or the police were called, or that they said a certain thing, anything, the authors looked it up and verifyed whether it was true. If they couldn't verify it, they identify it as a claim. A lot of Courtney's official bio seems to be her wacky brand of lies and tirades, since the authors found many, many discrepancies in her statements, especially those to her biographer, Melissa Rossi.

Courtney is a fascinating woman, a spectacle, a force to be reckoned with. The authors remind us that no matter how much Courtney bashing goes on, we have to remember that our icon Kurt did love and trust her, and she was one of the few people he was close to.
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