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Kurt Cobain death investigation back in Seattle courtroom

A self-proclaimed independent investigative journalist is trying to get the City of Seattle to hand over documents related to Cobain’s death investigation.

Credit: KING
Kurt Cobain of Nirvana during the taping of MTV Unplugged at Sony Studios in New York City, 11/18/93.

22 years after the death of Kurt Cobain, a Seattle courtroom continues to hear arguments over how much information authorities should release about the shooting.

Richard Lee, a self-proclaimed independent investigative journalist who many call an obsessed conspiracy theorist, is once again trying to get the City of Seattle to hand over documents related to Cobain’s death investigation. He has been testing the limits of public records laws for years, and in the process has angered Cobain's family, including Courtney Love, Cobain's widow.

Last year a judge tossed out a lawsuit Lee filed in his pursuit of graphic photos of the deceased Nirvana lead singer, who was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in his Seattle home in 1994.

“These photographs would prove that the Seattle Police Department had active complicity in concocting fraud in the death of one of the most famous people of his generation,” Lee said Friday, following another court appearance.

He’s now trying get the city to release an autopsy report, which Lee thinks will raise doubts about the death investigation. Parts of the file were not made public, citing medical privacy concerns.

“He’s asked for information, we’ve given him virtually everything the city has in its possession related to the Kurt Cobain file,” said Michael Ryan, a city attorney who is seeking summary judgment, a court ruling which would toss the lawsuit and avoid a trial.

King County Superior Court Judge Patrick Oishi listened to Lee and Ryan during a hearing that lasted less than an hour. He asked both sides to send him orders, outlining what they are seeking and what they are willing to provide, before making a ruling.

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