Gary James' Interview With Courtney Love's Hired Detective
He was called " The spokesperson to his generation".
As lead singer for Nirvana he was the most famous symbol of " Grunge Rock".
On that awful day of April 8th 1994 the world learned that Kurt Cobain was dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
One man who challenged the official findings of the Seattle Police Department, from the beginning - and still does to this day is Private Investigator Tom Grant.
Tom Grant was initially hired by Courtney Love ( Kurt's wife) to find Kurt.
What Tom Grant has discovered over the years is a trail of deception.
As we approach the 15th Anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death, we say to Kurt Cobain and Nirvana fans the world over, and especially to the fans who stood outside of Kurt's Seattle home on that rainy April day, in stunned dis-belief, with tears running down their face - This Interview Is For You!
Q - How much time do you devote to the Cobain Case? Are you still actively working on trying to find out exactly what happened?
A - Iím still a working, licensed private investigator, so I spend most of my time working on new cases as they come in. A large amount of my free time is still dedicated to the Cobain Case. I receive occasional new information and/or leads on the Cobain case, mostly through e-mail. However, as a private investigator I have no authority to file charges or reopen the official police investigation. This means I must limit my time and efforts to keeping the Cobain case in the public eye. This has been accomplished through our website at www.cobaincase.com as well as radio, television and magazine interviews that Iíve continued to do on a regular basis since Cobainís death in 1994.
Q - And, what does that entail? Are you re-interviewing people? Are you going back over documents?
A - I traveled to Seattle in February of this year, (2009), to meet with several individuals and do some video work on a video documentary weíre working on. It is titled, Project Unplugged and will be released on the Internet in segments beginning in April of 2009 and continuing over the next year.
Q - Tom, fifteen years. I know what your critics are saying about you - "If he has any overwhelming evidence that will prove Kurt Cobain was murdered let him present it." In other words, they're saying - Put Up or Shut Up. If you have something why haven't you shown it to the world?
A - Iíve released more than enough evidence for over 14 years now. I have proven Cobain was murdered. But no criminal investigator ever reveals every tiny detail of a case simply because the public is curious. Iím sure everyone has heard police and government investigators respond to media inquiries by saying, "Iím not going to get into the details right now because this is an ongoing investigation." There are many legitimate reasons for withholding information from the public. One of the most obvious is that it helps weed out the phonies who claim they know something. Some even want to confess to the crime. Since Iíve withheld some information, itís been very easy for me to close the door on several sad individuals who were merely seeking attention, such as Brad Barnett, Allen Wrench, the Dream Machine story, and other false stories published by gullible journalists. Showing your entire hand during an investigation is exactly the same as showing your hand prior to bets in a poker game. Of course the public wants everything now. They also want this case to be resolved immediately. Unfortunately, thatís not how things are in the real world of crime. Iíve always said, "This is going to be a long, slow process." Itís not unusual for a case to take this long or even longer to finally be resolved. The murder of Martha Moxley by Michael Skakel is a good example. Twenty five years after Marthaís death, Michael Skakel was finally arrested, tried and convicted. He now sits in prison for Marthaís murder. As with the Moxely murder, sooner or later something will happen to cause this house of cards to fall. When it does, Iíll be there to offer my assistance if needed. As for my critics, "proof" is in the eye of the beholder. I believe O.J. Simpson was proven guilty of two murders in his criminal trial. The twelve people in the jury didnít think so, so he was acquitted. There is no such thing as absolute "proof" in a court of law. To find a defendant guilty, the evidence is supposed to indicate his or her guilt, "beyond a reasonable doubt" not "beyond any doubt." Defense attorneys are often successful at convincing a jury that if they have any doubt whatsoever, they must acquit the defendant. These are clever attorneys playing word games to confuse the generally naÔve jury of peers. "Proof beyond a reasonable doubt," in laymenís terms, simply means that the evidence causes the Judge or jury to mentally calculate what the odds are that the defendant is guilty. For example, if the odds are only one in 10,000 that the defendant is innocent, the defendant should be found guilty.
Editors Note: The text in italics is taken from Tom Grant's Website
PROOF OF MURDER
Let's Keep This Simple
As noted previously, Kurt Cobainís toxicology report indicated he had a heroin, (morphine) blood level of 1.52 mgs. This is three times a lethal dose, even for a hard core heroin addict! I'll begin by reminding readers that what I'm about to say, Iíve said in nearly every interview I've done for more than 14 years!
When it comes to so-called "expert" opinions, donít tell us, show us!
During one of my interviews in a film documentary, the interviewer commented, (as if he was simply making a statement of fact), "But it's possible that he would have been able to operate the shotgun." I replied, "Well, it's possible if you believe that a man can stand on a roof, flap his arms and fly! But you're going to have to show me that it's actually been done before I'll believe it!" An "expertís" opinion makes for interesting conversation, but these opinions are meaningless unless they can be backed up with specific experiences and examples. In fact, opposing legal counsel often hire so-called medical and psychological "experts" for both criminal cases and civil lawsuits. These "experts" disagree and maintain opposing opinions on issues of evidence in hundreds, maybe even thousands of courtrooms around the country every single day! Using similar cases as examples however, can prove whether or not something is possible. All I've ever asked is for someone to prove I'm wrong by showing me where it's happened before.
If there are no examples or cases with heroin blood levels similar to the Cobain case, the medical evidence discovered during Cobain's autopsy must be so rare and unusual that his alleged "suicide" would have to be called "miraculous" rather than "typical" as the Seattle authorities would lead us to believe.
What do I mean by an "example" or "similar case"? For more than twelve years now, I've challenged doctors, nurses, paramedics, police detectives and even journalists to provide just one documented case that meets the following criteria:
1. The heroin blood level was determined AFTER the person was found dead.
2. The person had INJECTED the heroin, (or had been injected by someone else), directly into the veins of his or her arm(s). The ingestion, (swallowing), of any drug is totally irrelevant here due to the prolonged drug reaction time when compared to an injection directly into a vein.
3. The heroin blood level of the deceased person was found to be equal to or higher than 1.53 mgs per lite, (the same as Kurt Cobainís or higher).
4. There is evidence within the documentation regarding the circumstances surrounding the death that establishes this person was not immediately incapacitated and would have been capable of voluntary physical activity for the time required to do what Cobain was alleged to have done.
It doesn't take a genius!
If you examine the criteria carefully you'll see that what I'm asking for is not a complex set of circumstances at all. I don't care if the "similar case" involves a murder, a suicide, an accidental overdose or even a car accident! There are literally hundreds of thousands of well documented cases in the U.S. and around the world where the victim was found dead and heroin was later found to be in his or her blood system. Hundreds of thousands of cases that meet the criteria of items 1 and 2! There are also thousands of documented cases which would meet the criteria of items 1,2, AND 3! These would be deaths involving heroin blood levels equaling or even surpassing the level found in Kurt Cobain. Remember though, these people died from the heroin. Now, out of the thousands of those deaths meeting the first three criteria, try to find just one that also meets the criteria of #4 - "evidence within the documentation that establishes this person was not immediately incapacitated; that he or she would have been capable of voluntarily performed the physical activity within the seconds necessary to do have accomplished what Kurt Cobain was alleged to have done." This request apparently mystifies writers and investigative journalists around the world. They seem to simply ignore the obvious! Not one has ever followed through. If they did and if they reported their findings, this case would soon be reopened and reinvestigated by a new team of impartial investigators.
To this date, not a single "similar case" has been provided or even offered for the purpose of legitimate debate.
To the contrary, every letter we've received from medical professionals or those in law enforcement has been supportive of this investigation and extremely skeptical of the "suicide" ruling based on Cobain's heroin blood levels. "Impossible" is the word most often used. One has to wonder why Courtney Love, with all her millions, hasnít hired an "expert" or researcher to prove me wrong. Donít wonder for long though. The reason she hasnít is obvious. Courtney already knows the truth! I think I've made my point. Consider the heroin blood levels and calculate the odds. It's a matter of simple mathematics. When the "odds" are taken into consideration, the medical evidence alone PROVES Kurt Cobain was murdered.
You're a former police officer. So you would know the answer to this question better than anyone else would. Are police officers trained to look for certain tell-tale signs of murder and of suicide?
Only if they are promoted or transferred to the homicide division, (some large departments combine robbery and homicide as a single specialty unit). Then they receive special training and on the job experience working with seasoned homicide investigators. I was told by detective Cameron that Seattle P.D. didnít normally even send detectives to an obvious suicide scene. He seemed slightly irritated as he added, "The only reason we even showed up in this case was because of who it was." I couldnít believe what he just told me! Every large or semi-large police department Iíve ever known of ALWAYS sends a homicide detective to the scene of ANY dead body. Patrol officers do not have the training or experience to examine a death scene properly. Patrol units are normally just used to secure the scene and even stay away, without walking around and trampling on potential evidence. In fact, a thorough reading of the police reports in the Cobain Case indicates the incompetency and inexperience of the patrol officers who first arrived on the scene. Murders are staged as "suicides" around the country hundreds of times a year. And when they are staged as suicides, the crime normally involves drugging the victim first! Because of their policies regarding the response of a homicide detective to all death scenes, the city of Seattle seems to be the best place in America to commit "murder by suicide."
Q - And the Seattle detectives who came into the Cobain residence were seasoned, experienced detectives weren't they?
A - Yes, they were. But as I mentioned before, by the time Sgt. Cameron and Detective Kirkland arrived, it had already been determined to be a suicide. This is indicated plainly in the initial police reports. Once that leaked to the press, there was no turning back. By the way, Sgt. Cameron was later forced to retire after being acquitted on corruption charges. The jury had voted eleven to one for conviction. All it takes is one jurist to acquit.
Q - So, how is it they could look at Kurt Cobain in the greenhouse and say suicide? What in your opinion did they miss? What did you initially see?
A - They were set-up to find a suicide by Courtney when she called in the missing personís report, lying as she claimed to be Kurtís mother on the phone, and said he left the rehab, flew to Seattle, bought a shotgun and may be suicidal. If I was a detective and walked into that scene after believing Kurtís own mother had filed that report, I would have had the same knee jerk reaction. But I believe the detectives with the L.A. Sheriffís Department would have been much more diligent and would have welcomed information from anyone, especially a private investigator who had been in the house the night before and had spent the past several days with the victimís wife and his best friend, Dylan Carlson. I agree with everything the Seattle detectives saw at the scene. I would have simply been much more careful about statements and speculation until everything had been thoroughly investigated and the results of the autopsy were complete.
Q - In the Unsolved Mysteries segment you said you told the Seattle police early on to " slow down". You had a feeling something was wrong. Did you tell the Seattle police what you felt was wrong?
A - Definitely. I had a sit down meeting with Sgt. Cameron and I showed him documents, discussed my involvement with the search for Kurt, my conversations with Courtney, and the suspicions of Courtneyís own attorney, Rosemary Carroll. Cameron told me there was a stool wedged against the door. This was later proven to be untrue based on the police reports from the first officer on the scene. I can only conclude Sgt. Cameron deliberately lied to me about that. He didnít know I would eventually see the police reports. Sgt. Cameron also told me they had no photographs of the scene. He said, "We donít develop photos taken at suicide scenes." The police reports which were later released under the freedom of information act lists there were 35mm photos and several Polaroid photos taken at the scene. As I went over a list of information with Cameron, he just stared at me without batting an eye. When I was done, he sneered and said, "Nothing youíve said convinces me this is anything but a suicide. In fact, we normally donít even send detectives to the scene of a suicide!" I realized right then I was viewed as a political threat to the department. They were not going to allow some PI from California make them look like they didnít know what they were doing.
Q - Also from that Unsolved Mysteries show - you said you believe there was someone with Kurt in that green room. After fifteen years of investigating this case, do you have a pretty good idea who was in that green room with Kurt?
A - Yes, but thatís something I will share with the proper authorities when this case is reopened.
Q - Did that Unsolved Mysteries Show bring in any tips?
A - I donít know. Since the crime occurred in the State of Washington and Iím a civilian private investigator in California, they would have passed any tips on to the Seattle police, not to me.
Q - The green house has been demolished?
A - Yes. The body was cremated, the greenhouse was demolished, the shotgun and the note from the Rome incident were returned to Courtney. She destroyed them all.
Q - Was that room ever checked for fingerprints? Or footprints?
A - There is nothing in any of the police reports to indicate it was carefully checked for either. Of course, any footprints that might have been there would have been smeared by the police and fire personnel who arrived first. The scene was not properly protected for homicide investigators.
Q - Was Kurt cremated or was he buried? You would like, in the event the case was re-opened that his body was exhumed?
A - Courtney had Kurtís body cremated asap. Of course, the police had no objection.
Q - How likely is it that this case would be re-opened? What would have to happen to make authorities take a second look at it?
A - I could write a book of potential scenerios that could get this case reinvestigated by the Seattle authorities or the State Attorney Generalís office. I believe it will happen. Iíve seen it happen in many cases everyone had given up on. Thatís why they have specialist on most larger departments who only work on cold cases.
Q - Why when Kurt left the rehab center, why did Courtney call you to find him and not the police?
A - Courtney did call the police. She claimed to be Kurtís mother, Wendy OíConner, when she filed a missing personís report. The police even claim to have checked the Cobain residence on several occasions leading up to the discovery of Kurtís body. Iíve taken a lot of heat for being at the residence twice, in the middle of two dark rainy nights, without seeing or knowing about the greenhouse where Kurt was lying dead. The truth is, there were at least five other people who were at the house during this same period, in broad daylight, who did not discover Kurtís body. And these people knew about the greenhouse!
Q - Dylan told you Kurt was under a lot of pressure. Did he ever say from who?
A - Yes, from Courtney. She was upset that Kurt was turning down an appearance at the upcoming Lollapalooza music festival. Courtney claimed Kurt would be paid nine million dollars for the bandís appearance. On the day she hired me, Courtney even told me, "If he doesnít want to do it. Iíll do it! Who turns down nine million f___ing dollars?!" Dylan also told me Kurt was not suicidal and that he, (Dylan), never understood why he married Courtney. He added, "All they ever do is fight and argue."
Q - You have said, "I have reason to believe Kurt may have been intimidated into believing his life would be in danger if he failed to do the tour". Who was intimidating him?
A - Courtney. She was angry about all the millions of dollars they were going to lose.
Q - In the Unsolved Mysteries show you said that Kurt's decision to stop touring meant that Kurt was worth more dead than alive. To who? His record company? His management? His fellow band members? Where did that conclusion of yours come from?
A - They were getting a divorce. That would mean half of everything, at best, for Courtney. If he "commits suicide" she would get it all. And she did!
Q - Courtney said that Kurt had a $9.5 million dollar contract to headline the Lollapalooza Tour. Did anyone ever confirm that? Is there any independent verification of that?
A - Not to my knowledge. I have Courtney telling me that twice on tape. But no matter what the exact figure was, it certainly was in the millions. And no matter what the figure was, it was only a small portion of Courtneyís anger. After all, she had her first major album coming out in just two weeks! She was relatively unknown and disliked compared to Kurt. If Kurt would have left her at this critical stage of her career, it would ruin her ambitiously well planned celebrity success as a recording artist.
Q - The shotgun said to have been used by Kurt to kill himself was purchased for protection. Protection? Protection from who?
A - Dylan told me Kurt was worried about intruders. At the time, there was no fence around the Cobain residence. I was amazed when I first saw the small park right next to the house with only very thinned out bushes separating the public from access to the entire Cobain property. Anyone could walk up the driveway. It had no gate at the time. And anyone could walk through the bushes at the public park, or just stand there gazing into windows with curtains which were often left wide open. Kurt was afraid of intruders. Living next to that park and with so little security, I would have been too, and Iím not a celebrity!
Q - This electrical supervisor who saw Kurt's body in the greenhouse said his hair looked like it had been combed by a hairdresser? As I understand it, the Seattle police took photos of Kurt in the green house, but because it was a suicide, never developed the photos? How could Kurt's hair look like it had been combed? I realize that it's just an observation but it certainly is an odd thing.
A - I didnít think it looked combed. I believe the electrical supervisor was a nice, sincere man, but his observation was probably obstructed by the emotional circumstances.
Q - What I find so strange is no one ever saw Kurt come into that home. No one ever heard a shotgun blast. In the last week of Kurt's life, no one can really pin point his exact movements. That's so bizarre. Kurt Cobain was famous! Someone out there must know where he was at what time during that 1st week in April of 1994.
A - Someone did. Someone can. Someone will talk. Itís just a matter of time.
Q - Now let me quote from Danny Goldberg's new book, Bumping Into Geniuses, My Life Inside The Rock And Roll Business. He has a section about you. "The day after the funeral, a fax was circulated in various parts of the Rock community, a hoax that purported to be a letter from (John) Silva to me celebrating the money we would supposedly make from Kurt's death. By this time I was making no money whatsoever from Gold Mountain and in any event, Gold Mountain would have made far more money from Nirvana tours later that year than from increased record sales. More to the point we were consumed with grief and devastated at any inference to the contrary. I figured that it had come from somewhere in the Northwest. I certainly understood that people who had known and loved Kurt from his early days in Seattle might have a resentment toward people he later met in the mainstream music business."
A - I donít think Danny meant to imply that he suspected this fax came from me. It probably was sent from Seattle. I had no thoughts about Danny Goldberg or John Silva until I learned more about them as the weeks went by. If I would have sent something like that, I would have identified myself.
quote from Danny Goldberg's book - A week or so later, after the funeral, Rosemary told me about Tom Grant. Grant was a private detective whom Courtney had retained to look for Kurt after Kurt left rehab. In keeping with the dubious theory of "independence" that Kurt had articulated during the latter stages of the last intervention, Courtney had gotten Grant's name from the Yellow Pages.
A - I love the way Danny Goldberg and Charles Cross use such weak material to discredit me. But then, weakness is all they have., Theyíre forced to grasp at straws. I have to assume they want folks to believe that those who advertise in the Yellow pages are not to be trusted and that we should only trust those who are referred to us from others. Maybe Danny and Charles should speak to the thousands who took advice from friends and financial experts, then invested and lost nearly 50 billion dollars in a Ponzi scheme run by the very "reputable" Bernie Madoff. Those taken in, through reference, by this high stakes criminal, include:
Steven Spielberg - Producer/Diretor
Jeffrey Katzenberg - Chief executive of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc.
Kevin Bacon and wife Kyra Sedgwick - Actors
John Malkovich - Actor
Zsa Zsa Gabor - Actress
Eric Roth - Hollywood screenwriter
Larry King - Talk-show host
Phyllis George - Former Miss America
Fred Wilpon - Owner of the New York Mets
Norman Braman - Former owner of Philadelphia Eagles
Leonard Feinstein - Co-founder of retailer Bed Bath & Beyond
Senator Frank Lautenberg
Burt Ross - Former Mayor of New Jersey
Sandy Koufax - Former Los Angeles Dodger pitcher
The New York Law School
Maybe they all should have used the yellow pages!
quote from Danny Goldberg's book - She retained him to find Kurt and told Rosemary to co-operate with him in every way possible. The day before Kurt's body was found, Grant and Dylan had searched the Seattle house but had neglected to look in the green house, where Kurt had shot himself. Now, Rosemary told me, Grant had come up with a theory that Kurt had not committed suicide but had been murdered.
A - Rosemary suspected foul play at the same time as I did. She expressed her feelings to me, face to face, in her office the week after Kurt died and she furnished me with information and evidence, telling me Courtney would "freak out if she ever finds out I told you this." (I have this on tape). So Danny can try to water down Rosemaryís roll in encouraging my investigation, but like nearly everything else Danny says, it doesnít fly.
quote from Danny Goldberg's book - I met Grant in his modest one-room Hollywood office. He was husky, a bit paunchy, and sporting what looked to me like a bad, dark brown hairpiece.
A - Paunchy? Yes, a little. So are many of Dannyís famous celebrity friends. Whatís his point? A hairpiece, give me a break! I have never nor will I ever wear a hairpiece, wig, or any item to make it look like I have more hair than what I have. I do use Just For Men to color my hair. Iíve done that since I was about 40. Iíve also been very open about it. When someone tells me I look younger than I am, I automatically reply with, "I use Just For Men. My hair is actually grey, almost completely white." I was speaking to a group of college kids in Seattle last month , (February, 2009), and I told them the same thing when they seemed surprised at my true age. Iíve even shaved my head completely bald several times in the past few years and may go back to doing that soon. But a hairpiece?! If that ever happens, just shoot me! While he attempts to discredit my work on this case, Danny should have his eyes examined. He also needs to find some stronger material, like relevant facts!
quote from Danny Goldberg's book - Grant had been with the Los Angeles Police Department for a few years in the early seventies before embarking on a career as a private detective.
A - I was with the L.A. Sheriffís Department, not L.A.P.D. But then, accuracy is just a word to Mr. Goldberg
quote from Danny Goldberg's book - I felt that Grant was intoxicated by his unexpected proximity to the media limelight and seemed to be savoring every moment as he told me his theory that Kurt was murdered.
A -I feel Danny doesnít even believe his own statement there. Iíve worked for and have friends that are bigger celebrities than Courtney Love will ever be. Iíve also arrested world famous celebrities.
Iíve never been impressed with fame. Very few famous people that Iíve hung out with and gotten to know personally, are happy with their lives behind their camera trained smiles. In fact, many of the happiest people Iíve known live in the ghettos of South Central L.A. There are some really great people with loving families and huge hearts who live in poverty. Fame may be Danny Goldbergís definition of success. Itís never been mine.
quote from Danny Goldberg's book - He claimed that Kurt's body had had enough heroin in it to have rendered him unconscious and thus unable to have shot himself. I suggested that Kurt may well have developed a very high tolerance for heroin. He suggested that part of Kurt's note had been forged to change a note to his fans about leaving the music business to a suicide note. I just didn't see it that way. It seemed like suicide note to me.
A - And it seemed like I was wearing a hairpiece!
quote from Danny Goldberg's book - "Why?" I asked, would people want to kill him anyway? It was clear that he thought Courtney was in on whatever "it" was. Grant said the reason was money. I explained that Kurt was worth a lot more money alive than dead, but Grant, who knew nothing about the music business, smiled cynically as if I was either naive or duplicitous. "Are these just theories?" I asked, "or do you have proof?" Grant looked at me cagily and said, " I'm not going to show it to you. I don't know what your relationship is to this". I asked why if there was compelling evidence of a murder, the Seattle Police Department wasn't investigating. Grant snorted and said that as a former police officer, he knew about police departments. At this moment the last most tenuous thread of Grant's credibility vanished as far as I was concerned. The idea that Courtney could have masterminded a conspiracy that included the Seattle police was absurd. In any event, Grant's whole shtick violated every instinct I had about both Kurt and Courtney. I rose, shook his hand, and told him I had to go. We later found out that that Grant had surreptitiously taped some of his conversations with Rosemary, including the one in which she had mentioned that Kurt and Courtney were contemplating a divorce. This was what Grant considered "evidence" of some dark plot. Of course, it was common knowledge among all of their friends and colleagues that Kurt and Courtney had a tempestuous relationship , and Courtney herself had told Rosemary to be completely open with Grant. In years to come, Grant would achieve a sort of mini-celebrity as the result of his conspiracy theory. He was the primary source for two books and a dozen years later his website with tapes of Rosemary's voice was still up. In 1997, Grant had another tenuous brush with headlines when he was briefly hired by Paula Jones in connection with her lawsuit against Bill Clinton.
A - What can I really say about a guy who makes it up as he goes? I realize heís trying to save face here, but the truth is, Danny was not at my office to help. Once I realized he wouldnít answer my questions and that he was actually just there to pick my brain, I told Danny the interview was over and that he should leave. The look on his face was priceless! I told him to leave. He did not tell me he "had to go." But what do I know? I was constantly distracted by my slipping hairpiece. I actually worked for Paula Jones from 1994 to 1998. Four years. Is that "brief"?