SEATTLE — The Seattle Police Department on Thursday released five photos of the shotgun that Kurt Cobain used to commit suicide.
“The department is releasing five additional photographs of the firearm, taken on or about June 11, 2015. These photos were placed on the City’s computer system on March 3, 2016, and added to the investigative file shortly thereafter,” SPD said.
The photos show Seattle police cold case detective Mike Ciesynski holding the shotgun. It’s unclear why they took the photos last year or why they’re releasing them to the public at this time. A message left with Seattle police wasn’t immediately returned.
Cobain, the lead singer of the American rock band Nirvana, was found dead at his home in Seattle on April 8, 1994. Forensic analysis determined he had committed suicide with a shotgun blast to his head three days earlier, on April 5.
On the 20th anniversary of Cobain’s death in 2014, Ciesynski reviewed the case files and said he found no new information to change the police conclusion that Cobain took his own life. He did find four rolls of undeveloped film from the suicide scene.
After releasing two of the images in 2014, police released 34 additional photos taken at the scene due to numerous public disclosure requests for the images.
Cobain, who was 27 when he died, helped popularize the Pacific Northwest’s heavy, muddy “grunge” rock, along with bands like Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and Mudhoney.
While the Seattle Police Department released several images last year from the scene of Cobain’s 1994 suicide, some conspiracy theorists believe images showing his head and body were intentionally withheld because they would prove Cobain was actually murdered.
Cobain’s widow, rocker and actress Courtney Love, and their daughter have previously written to the court about the physical and psychological impact that the release of the graphic photos would have on their lives.