The 10-page file, now available online in the FBI’s Freedom of Information library, called The Vault, includes two messages sent in 2006 calling on the agency to open an investigation amid suspicions that Cobain may have been murdered.
The iconic grunge rocker was found dead of a shotgun wound at his Seattle home on April 5, 1994. A a suicide note was next to his body. Local authorities determined that he killed himself.
An email and letter to the FBI in the file referred to information or attention from the media speculating about the singer’s death. The names of the individuals who wrote the messages are redacted in the file.
“Millions of fans around the world would like to see the inconsistencies surrounding the death cleared up for once and for all,” stated the email in the file, which was first reported by Rolling Stone. “It is sad to think that an injustice of this nature can be allowed in the United States.”
A letter claimed that Cobain’s “killer is still out there and now, because of the haste of the police department, has the chance to claim other victoms.”
The FBI responded to both that such an investigation would be outside of its jurisdiction.
“We appreciate your concern that Mr. Cobain may have been the victim of a homicide,” said the response. “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.”
The FBI also included a letter from an official working in the U.S. Office of Congressional and Public Affairs responding to a letter sent to then-U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno in 2000. The original message was not included.
“Your recent communication to Attorney General Janet Reno expressing your belief that Kurt Cobain was murdered has been referred to the FBI for reply,” the official stated. “Based on the limited information you provided, we are unable to justify any violation of federal law within the investigative jurisdiction of the FBI. We are, therefore, unable to take any investigative action in this case.”
The FBI file also contained production notes from the company that created “Unsolved Mysteries,” which featured a segment on Cobain in 1997 that raised questions about his cause of death.
If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HOME to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.