Debate still rages around the circumstances of the iconic singer’s death in 1994 – even though cops officially ruled it a suicide.
And now bizarre footage has emerged which appears to suggest that someone may have tried to order a hit on the Smells Like Teen Spirit singer.
Eldon Hoke, also known as El Duce, told BBC documentary Kurt and Courtney he was approached at a record store in Hollywood in December 1993 with the proposal.
But the ex-lead singer for ‘rape rock’ band The Mentors said he turned down the money.
In a drunken interview at his home in Riverside, California, in April 1997, he said: “God damn, I wish I would have taken it, man.”
He claims he suggested another friend carry out the murder.
“Hey, 50 grand does a lot of talking,” he said.
Hoke reportedly passed a lie detector after being asked directly if he had received the offer.
But none of his claims were ever verified.
Just two days after the strange interview, he was run over by a train with no witnesses present.
Three years earlier, Cobain had been found dead at his Seattle home from a gunshot wound to the head on April 5.
The beloved singer, who suffered with heroin addiction and mental illness, was discovered by electrician Gary Smith, who had arrived to install a security system three days later.
Coming up to a room above the garage, Gary thought Kurt was asleep until he saw how a gun was pointing at his chin.
The coroner ruled that Cobain, 27 at the time, and father to then one-year-old daughter Frances Bean Cobain – had killed himself.
A high concentration of heroin and a small amount of diazepam were found in Cobain’s body.
The death came at the height of his fame, after the band he’d formed in 1987 had hit the big time with their track Smells Like Teen Spirit, and were all over MTV.
A public vigil was held on April 10, 1994, at which his widow Courtney Love read sections of his suicide note to the gathered 7,000-strong crowd.
On March 3, just over a month before his death, Kurt had attempted suicide in Rome by overdosing on champagne and rohypnol.
After that, he was taken back to Seattle by his wife Courtney, but she was soon calling the police to tell them that Kurt had locked himself in his room with guns and bottles of pills.
When police asked him if he’d been threatening to kill himself, he claimed he was merely hiding from Courtney.
Kurt then agreed to go to a Los Angeles rehab facility, where he spent his last moments with daughter Frances – but he escaped the compound by climbing over a wall at the end of March.
He was thought to be missing for several days, but had secretly flown back to Seattle, where his body was found.
Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl said of the death: “I remember the day after that I woke up and I was heartbroken that he was gone.
“I just felt like, ‘Okay, so I get to wake up today and have another day and he doesn’t’.”
What did Kurt’s suicide note say?
A suicide note – found near Kurt’s body – was addressed to his imaginary friend Boddah, but bore messages for his wife, daughter and fans.
It read: “Speaking from the tongue of an experienced simpleton who obviously would rather be an emasculated, infantile complain-ee. This note should be pretty easy to understand.
“All the warnings from the punk rock 101 courses over the years, since my first introduction to the, shall we say, ethics involved with independence and the embracement of your community has proven to be very true.
“I haven’t felt the excitement of listening to as well as creating music along with reading and writing for too many years now. I feel guilty beyond words about these things.
“For example when we’re back stage and the lights go out and the manic roar of the crowds begins, it doesn’t affect me the way in which it did for Freddie Mercury, who seemed to love, relish in the the love and adoration from the crowd which is something I totally admire and envy.
“The fact is, I can’t fool you, any one of you. It simply isn’t fair to you or me. The worst crime I can think of would be to rip people off by faking it and pretending as if I’m having 100% fun.
“Sometimes I feel as if I should have a punch-in time clock before I walk out on stage. I’ve tried everything within my power to appreciate it (and I do,God, believe me I do, but it’s not enough).
“I appreciate the fact that I and we have affected and entertained a lot of people. It must be one of those narcissists who only appreciate things when they’re gone.
“I’m too sensitive. I need to be slightly numb in order to regain the enthusiasms I once had as a child.
“On our last 3 tours, I’ve had a much better appreciation for all the people I’ve known personally, and as fans of our music, but I still can’t get over the frustration, the guilt and empathy I have for everyone.
“There’s good in all of us and I think I simply love people too much, so much that it makes me feel too f***ing sad.
“The sad little, sensitive, unappreciative, Pisces, Jesus man. Why don’t you just enjoy it? I don’t know!
“I have a goddess of a wife who sweats ambition and empathy and a daughter who reminds me too much of what i used to be, full of love and joy, kissing every person she meets because everyone is good and will do her no harm.
“And that terrifies me to the point to where I can barely function. I can’t stand the thought of Frances becoming the miserable, self-destructive, death rocker that I’ve become.
“I have it good, very good, and I’m grateful, but since the age of seven, I’ve become hateful towards all humans in general. Only because it seems so easy for people to get along that have empathy. Only because I love and feel sorry for people too much I guess.
“Thank you all from the pit of my burning, nauseous stomach for your letters and concern during the past years. I’m too much of an erratic, moody baby! I don’t have the passion anymore, and so remember, it’s better to burn out than to fade away.
“Peace, love, empathy. Kurt Cobain.
“Frances and Courtney, I’ll be at your alter. Please keep going Courtney, for Frances. For her life, which will be so much happier without me.
“I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU!”
What are the theories about Kurt being murdered?
There is a common theory among fans that Courtney Love orchestrated Kurt’s death and made it look like a suicide.
A 2016 movie called Soaked In Bleach presented various pieces of evidence to support this theory.
And its creator Tom Grant – the very private investigator who Courtney hired to track down Kurt at the end of March 1994 – even got former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper to state he thinks the case should be reopened.
Stamper says in the film: “We should in fact have taken steps to study patterns involved in the behaviour of key individuals who had a motive to see Kurt Cobain dead.”
Among the arguments presented in the movie are the fact that a “handwriting practice sheet” was found in Courtney’s bag, and it apparently matches some of the text at the bottom of Kurt’s suicide note.
A linguistic expert has also pointed out that the opening of the note and the end of the note are dramatically different.
Grant theorised that the note was actually written by Kurt as a farewell to his fans when quitting Nirvana and the music scene, before being altered to seem like a death note.
This, coupled with the claim Kurt was trying to divorce Courtney and alter his will, forms the main thrust of the film’s argument, but since its release many people have criticised its methods.
Soaked In Bleach was not the first film suggesting Courtney influenced Kurt’s downward spiral, as 1998 documentary Kurt & Courtney by Nick Broomfield did just that.
One of the most compelling parts of that movie is the interviews with Courtney Love’s father, who’s written a book about how he thinks his daughter killed his son-in-law.
He said of his daughter in 2014: “I can’t prove she pulled the trigger, but I can prove her involvement to a high degree of certainty.”
Broomfield’s film was due to be screened at Sundance in but Courtney threatened to sue the festival if they showed it.
Last year, Broomfield praised the director of the latest Courtney-approved Cobain documentary Montage Of Heck.
But he added: “But I think when you make a pact with the devil, you’re somewhat compromised in what you can say.”
Back in 2014, 20 years after Kurt’s death, a note found in his wallet was made public, and it read: “Do you Kurt Cobain take Courtney Michelle Love to be your lawful shredded wife, even when she’s a b**ch with zits and siphoning all (your) money for doping and whoring.”