Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Seeking Graphic Kurt Cobain Death-Scene Photos

Kurt Cobain’s death was officially ruled a suicide over twenty years ago, but hey, crazy conspiracy theorists will be crazy conspiracy theorists. Last year, Seattle police reviewed the case and examined four previously undeveloped rolls of 35mm film of the crime scene and came to the same conclusion of suicide, and they released some previously unseen photos (including some utterly horrifying ones) to the public in an attempt to put the matter to rest for good.

But, once again, crazy conspiracy theorists will be crazy conspiracy theorists, and it seems that the newly released evidence only reignited a perverse interest in the case. As The Seattle Times reports, longtime Seattle conspiracy theorist Richard Lee — who runs a public-access show called Now See It Person To Person: Kurt Cobain Was Murdered and maintains that the singer was assassinated in a secret plot involving government officials — filed a lawsuit last year against the city of Seattle, alleging that it wrongfully withheld photos and reports after he requested the records under the state Public Records Act. Lee believes that photos of Cobain’s body would prove that the singer did not have a gunshot wound. The Seattle PD has (rightfully) refused to release any graphic photos to protect Cobain’s family, and both Courtney Love and daughter Frances Bean Cobain wrote statements in support of the city in the case against Lee, seeking to keep the photos private. “I have had to cope with many personal issues because of my father’s death. Coping with even the possibility that those photographs could be made public is very difficult,” Frances Bean wrote. “Further sensationalizing it through the release of these pictures would cause us indescribable pain.” According to their statements, neither Love nor Frances Bean have seen graphic photos of Cobain’s body.

A King County judge dismissed the lawsuit during summary judgment yesterday, ruling that Lee improperly served his lawsuit to the city by not delivering it to the mayor, city manager, or city clerk, the appropriate recipients, and failed to give the city an adequate amount of time to respond to the records request before suing. Lee is barred from filing another lawsuit based on the same request for documents, but he has made it clear that he plans to submit another records request and will file another lawsuit if it is unsuccessful: “Of course I will refile,” Lee said. “I’ve never heard of a case where an issue of such public importance was dismissed because of such trivial circumstances.” In response to that, here is a resounding ugh.