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

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:

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.