This interview began with a tip from a friend who was a fellow journalist from another college. She had been in contact with him through e-mail and showed me the original Tom Grant Cobain Murder Investigationdocuments. I was amazed that this story hadn't been covered in the major media or even on MTV. Only Newsweek had covered it at the time, but the treatment essentially hinted that Grant was too paranoid to be taken seriously. After gaining some credibility, Grant seemed to disappear, many people were wondering had I heard from him. Fact is, after the interview, Grant and I never talked again. Now Grant has a new site, which I have tried to update in the links where possible, but he has come full circle and seems to be content with being the first to draw major attention to the case's indescrepencies.
Meanwhile, several years later, Courtney Love has shed the heroin chick rockstar widow image. The grunge queen formerly known as Kurt Cobain's wife, still occasionally known as the singer of (a noticably cleaner sounding) band Hole, has somehow turned up smiling on the E! network and Access Hollywood, giving television audiences another celebrity to adore. And then there are the films in which her uncanny knack for realism is making even more people forget that she once shot heroin with a very dead rockstar. But even after all these roles, the role many can't forget is the one they say Love may have played in the death of an icon.
A good number of the films Love acted in feature graphic representations of introveinous drug abuse (Sid & Nancy, People Vs. Larry Flynt, Beat). The leading man is often times an enigmatic male artist who dies at a tragically young age (Sid & Nancy, Man in the Moon, Basquiat). The choice of roles can be seen alternately as personal catharsis, mere coincidence, or as the Anti-Courtney throngs will testify, a case of "like attracts like."
In an upcoming film centering on the relationship between William S. Burroughs and doomed wife Joan, Courtney's character is mortally wounded when her husband attempts the old "William Tell" sharpshooting excercise in which an object, usually an apple, is shot off the head of a volunteer. Courtney was on Access Hollywood saying with some friviality, " It was kind of a small production so I was like 'are you sure that thing's not loaded?'" Whether you consider courtney a villian or a victim of circumstance, doesn't it seem odd for the merry widow to feel so comfortable making jokes about gunplay after only a few years? Apparently, the public and the media are both so enamored with the actress Courtney Love that they missed that sticky irony.
Here is the grant interview.
We need to level the playing field," Grant began," Most of the information that everyone's heard has been false or misleading. Most people aren't aware of the real facts in this case."
The facts, according to Grant:
Kurt was in fear for his life
Grant asserts that the Remington M-11 used to kill Cobain was originally purchased for protection. "It was loaded with three shells. It was loaded for protection, not for suicide"
Courtney Love was facing a divorce.
"Kurt was in the process of leaving Courtney . Just a few weeks before Kurt was found dead, Courtney had called one of her attorneys, Rosemary Carrol, and asked Rosemary to get her the 'meanest, most vicious divorce lawyer' she could find."
What about theSuicide Note?
"There's nothing in this note that mentions suicide... It was obviously written to Kurt's fans, simply saying that he was leaving the music business, that he was retiring. There was a small footnote to Courtney and Frances [Kurt Cobain & Courtney Love's daughter]. There's nothing in that note about him killing himself."
Cobain did not 'barricade' himself inside the room.
" The barstool was not wedged against the door and Kurt did not leave his driver's license exposed for identification as reported by MTV, The Seattle Rocket, and other media sources."
THC: It's been three years since Cobain's Death. Is there any doubt in your mind that Kurt was murdered?
"No, in fact 7 months later, there was no doubt in my mind. Courtney disclosed in Rolling Stone magazine that Kurt had left her another letter. The quotes that she made in the magazine was something to the effect of 'I don't know where I'm going...I'll be there to protect you... please don't follow me,' statements along those lines... That second note clearly explains that he was leaving her."
THC: Some would argue that you are trying to sell a book or in some way take advantage of the death of Kurt Cobain.
"I've gone for almost three years refusing money. I've even sent back a few small donations. I've never accepted any large donations at all. I've done this to maintain my credibility and still no matter what I've done, people are accusing me of doing it for money or to get publicity. I don't know what more I could have done.
The day the body was found, I was talking to the police, telling them to slow down. I was telling them that I had been involved in this for the last week and things weren't adding up, it wasn't making a whole lot of sense. They started down playing everything I had to say from that first conversation. It was one of the sloppiest potential homicide investigations that you'll ever see. "
THC: Now, what about the negative stories about you in the press, for instance, the Newsweek article that essentially labeled you a crackpot?
"I feel that stories like that do open some doors. They allow the media to come in and talk about it more without being so afraid of lawsuits...Gradually the media is paying more attention to this case and I think we will get to the bottom of things eventually."
Grant personally maintains a website on the World Wide Web. I wanted to know if it was working and why he gave up on the "normal" media.
"We got on radio initially and that worked for a while until Courtney's attorneys started threatening the radio stations. She was even able to force a couple of them into doing some retractions."
With some coaxing from some of his supporters, the unofficial Cobain murder investigation went World Wide.
"I don't know where I would be right now without the internet. It really has been a lifesaver. It's been the thing that has kept this case alive and has forced the media to pay attention to it. Interest is continuing to grow because of the internet."
Tom Grant:"There was another incident at the house, sometime earlier, where Kurt had supposedly overdosed. Courtney injected him with some additional drugs and she claimed that she knew what she was doing, that she was trying to help him come out of this state that he was in.
"He[Cobain] apparently got some fibers from the cotton in his vein... We have a list of those drugs and from all the checking we've done, there was nothing there that would have helped him in his situation. Everything that she injected into him would have made him worse.But there were other people at the house and, again, I believe that incident was interrupted and Kurt ended up getting some medical help.
"In the Freedom of Information act, the police release reports but they black out names and addresses and really personal stuff like that. You rarely see a whole entire paragraph blacked out. One of the things I thought was pretty strange was - if you order the police report on that incident, when you come to the paragraph about Courtney injecting stuff into Kurt's veins illegally, that entire paragraph is blacked out for some strange reason. "
I asked Tom about allegations from Love which appeared on David Perle's "Anti-Tom Grant" page. In brief, Love's message called Tom Grant lazy and alleged that on the night that Kurt died, Love had told Grant to check Kurt's "hiding place", the greenhouse. Overlooked by Grant and longtime Kurt companion Dylan Carlson, Cobain's body was found in this greenhouse three days later.
Grant:"I didn't know the greenhouse was up there when we pulled up the driveway there was a spotlight shining directly down the driveway on the car. It was raining and it was dark and with the raindrops on the windshield and all the reflection and everything,I couldn't see a whole lot of what was ahead, other than there was a garage with a light on inside and a car parked in there. My attention was focused off to the right. We thought there was a good possibility Kurt was inside the house and that he could be walking around with a shotgun in there.
"The windows were uncovered, no drapes or anything so I was focused off to the right as we were pulling up and parking. Dylan had been up there just a little bit earlier by himself I sent him up alone first and he came back and said no one was there. So we were pretty sure no one was there although Dylan hadn't actually gone in the house. Nobody answered the door when he went up. So when we were going in the house, I wanted to get in and out of there as quick as I could. I was totally reliant on Dylan to show me around because he was familiar with the property and I wasn't.Now, when I saw the greenhouse for the first time on Friday morning during the daytime when I saw that room up above the garage, I felt foolish, I mean, I felt like a total idiot. Good grief! There it is right there! I knew what was going on in my mind and what I could see and what I couldn't see and I was really reliant on Dylan to show me around.
"It was only after I talked to Rosemary Caroll [Courtney's Entertainment attorney and a key "witness" in Grant's investigation] several days later...in her office. She happened to have been standing right next to Courtney when Courtney was talking to Dylan on the phone and Courtney said to Dylan 'Be sure to check the greenhouse.'
"That was a conversation I never heard. Dylan was talking to her on the phone. Courtney never told me to check the greenhouse, she told Dylan and Dylan never even mentioned the greenhouse to me. "
In doing my research for this piece, one piece of nastiness from Tom Grant's website caught my eye. From Grant's page:
I studied the media materials and found it was full of planted information and misinformation. One story had Courtney grieving at home while I know she was actually at Canyon Ranch in Arizona sleeping with Billy Corgan.
I wondered what Courtney Love's past romantic conquests and had to do with a murder investigation. Grant offered this explanation.
Grant:"That's one of the revisions I just made to my site. I've gotten a lot of questions from people saying 'how did you know that?'
When I wrote that summary of events, it started off, just one line after another. I needed something to guide me along when I was on the radio or whatever. Then when we did the website, I felt that would be a good thing to use, sort of just as a basic summary. So I sort of amplified some of the lines of information there until it grew into more of a follow along story. There's still a lot of work that really needs to be done to make it totally cohesive. But when I come to that part now, just as of the other day, I revised that particular paragraph and I made it clearer that she had called me from Canyon Ranch and started bragging to me on the phone that Billy Corgan was there and that she was sleeping with him and 'Oh, I'm just so vulnerable' and that type of thing. And yet I just heard on MTV or someplace in the media that she was at the Lake Washington house grieving. Hours before that, she'd been calling me from Arizona, bragging about sleeping with Billy Corgan. I got that information directly from Courtney on the telephone.
" I'm not a 'gossip' person, believe it or not. I'm appearing to be in this particular case. I don't think it's anybody's business. I only used that because I needed an illustration of what was really going on here. I needed people to be aware Courtney's got so much leverage with the press because of who she is and because of Kurt Cobain that whatever she tells them, they print and they repeat it, whatever it happens to be. So she can get anything published in the media that she wants to get published. And I'm sitting here seeing all this garbage going on when she's telling me that she's sleeping with some guy three weeks after Kurt died. But everybody in the world thinks that she's at home, grieving for her husband. So I put that in for that specific reason. I wasn't comfortable with it but I felt I needed to do it. "
I also asked Grant about the section where he answers his critics, in particular, the following passage. I really wanted to know if this was a personal attack on Courtney Love or if it was integral to the investigation. Again the following passage is from Grant's site:
"COURTNEY NEEDS HELP!"
One of my young outspoken critics wrote that he's helping Courtney because she needs his help.
For possibly the first time in her life, Courtney has gotten herself involved in a situation where she's unable to speak for herself or even to launch an effective attack in her defense! Apparently with all her money and connections, Courtney is still not getting enough help from the twelve attorneys she's always bragging about.
But if you really want to know how helpless Courtney Love is...
Talk to those she's punched out...
Talk to those whose hotel rooms she's trashed...
Talk to those who careers have been damaged because of her vindictive public and Private verbal attacks...
Talk to those whose windows she thrown a brick through...
Talk to those she buys drugs from and then snitches on to the cops...
Talk to the people whose lives this woman has destroyed!
To this young man I need to say... I applaud your efforts and I admire your convictions. But while blinded by the deceptive allure of celebrity, you've jumped into a sinking ship with a very sick, self-centered person who will be the first to throw you to the sharks.
Look closely and you'll see many of her former friends already in the water.
Grant:"That's stuff that, really, everybody knows about. Even most writers that have written about Courtney and talked to her friends and have been around ah that's not new news to anybody. I can relate specific incidents to every comment that I made there and these are events that could easily be substantiated."
Cobain Conspiracy: Every Man for Himself?
Grant:"I found out about[fellow Cobain murder theorist] Richard Lee, the guy up in Seattle that has this little cable television show. I'd heard that he was just a little bit off the deep end and everything but at least somebody was out there saying something.
When I heard about him, I called him on the phone and my idea was to try to give him some information that he could use...and of course,I wouldn't want him to tell anybody where it was coming from.
"After about a ten minute conversation with him, I realized that wasn't going to work. I mean, one of the first things he said to me was, 'Well, you're just kinda known as the bumbling detective that came up here and couldn't even find the body', you know. So I could see that there was going to be a little ego problem there.
"I did everything that I could to get other people out front with this thing. I didn't want to do it myself. ...It was not something I wanted to do ... I'm not used to the media I'm not used to dealing with the media I'm not used to going on the radio or television or anything. Nobody has any idea how much I dislike doing this. This was something that had to be done and I got to the point where I felt like I didn't have any other choice"
Tom Grant: Conspiracy buff or naked clown?
Grant:"I'm one of the world's biggest skeptics. I've never, to this day, seen [Oliver Stone's Film] JFK...When people come up with these crazy conspiracy ideas and theories, it's the last thing in the world that interests me. I'm the first one to scoff and to not pay attention and to say 'Oh come on. Give me a break. The police know what they're doing' or whatever.
"So I knew exactly how I would be viewed by so many other people because I've looked at other people the same way... I can't help believing what I believe because I saw and I heard things that no one else has seen or heard. And since I believe it, I feel obligated to tell what I know. To that extent, I don't feel that I have a choice.
"It's not a fun thing to do. I've described it as feeling like a person running around naked with clown makeup all over and everybody's laughing and pointing at them. [Grant Laughs]That's not a way to gain fame and fortune. It's nothing that I ever really wanted to do with my life. "
We did this interview about two weeks before the Unsolved Mysteries segment aired. Grant shared some mixed feelings on the taping of the segment.
Grant:"This show is going to be very limited in its information... I don't know yet what the police said in response. But there is a big step that's been made.And that is that they've finally gotten the police on camera to respond to some of this stuff. What they say, I have no idea. But it's a first step. Hopefully, it'll go from there and we'll get more and more from the police and from the medical authorities. "