Kurt Cobain bought a shotgun, barricaded himself inside a greenhouse for six days before killing himself 25 years ago
The troubled Nirvana lead singer had been in a downward spiral and was battling chronic drug addiction and depression for years before he decided to take his life
Kurt Cobain, the frontman of Nirvana, bought a 20-gauge shotgun nearly six days before using the weapon to kill himself on April 5, 1994, just over 25 years ago. The iconic musician did not contact any of his family or friends during this period, which left the people closest to him balking at the sudden, tragic loss.
“Kurt hadn’t called me,” the singer's close friend Mark Lanegan told Rolling Stone. “He hadn’t called some other people. He hadn’t called his family. He hadn’t called anybody... I had a feeling that something real bad had happened.”
The singer had been in a downward spiral before he decided to take his life, he battled chronic drug addiction and depression for years. According to his suicide note, he had lost the passion for music and he could not play with Nirvana anymore.
Cobain's body was found by an electrician nearly two and a half days after his death on the morning of April 8. A 20-gauge shotgun was lying across his chest and a medical examiner's report later revealed a high concentration of heroin and traces of Valium in his bloodstream. He was left unrecognizable and could only be identified by his fingerprints.
Nearly a month before his death, Cobain had attempted his first suicide on March 3, 1994 in Rome. The singer was diagnosed bronchitis and his wife had flown into Rome to be there for his medical treatment, but when she woke up the next morning, she found that Cobain had overdosed on a combination of champagne and Rohypnol. He was immediately rushed to the hospital and was unconscious for the whole day. The star was released after five days of stay at the hospital, with Love later revealing it was her husband's first attempt to take his life.
Love, after this incident, decided that Cobain needed intervention and enlisted the help of several of his friends and bandmates, including Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear. They staged an intervention at Cobain's home and Love, during the meeting, threatened to leave Cobain if he did not seek treatment at a rehabilitation facility. His bandmates also issued an ultimatum of breaking up the band if he didn't agree.
Intervention counselor Steven Chatoff told Rolling Stone: "They called me to see what could be done. He was using, up in Seattle. He was in full denial. It was very chaotic. And they were in fear for his life. It was a crisis.”
Days after this meeting, Cobain met his friend Dylan Carlson on March 30. The singer asked Carlson — who was also there at the intervention — to help him secure a firearm and cited problems with trespassers on his property. "He seemed normal, we’d been talking,” Carlson later said. “Plus, I’d loaned him guns before.” Cobain gave him $300 to buy a 20-gauge shotgun and a box of ammunition from Stan’s Gun Shop. Carlon reportedly found the request weird considering Cobain was soon going to Exodus Recovery Center in Marina del Rey, California for his treatment.
A day after he began his treatment, Cobain phoned Love on April 1 with a cryptic message saying: "Just remember no matter what, I love you," according to an account provided by the Hole frontwoman to a local Seattle newspaper. After spending two days at the rehab, Cobain allegedly jumped more than six-feet-high brick wall of the facility and disappeared.
Police officials suspect that the music icon spent his final days in Seattle wandering as some neighbors claimed they saw an ill-looking Cobain sitting in a park near his home dressed in a heavy coat, which was inappropriate for the April weather.
Officials believe Cobain barricaded himself inside the greenhouse above his garage on April 5, where he shot himself with the same 20-gauge shotgun, leaving a note for Love in red ink.