Seattle Judge Dismisses Case to Make Kurt Cobain Death Scene Photos Public
Yesterday (July 31), a Seattle judge heard arguments in a lawsuit that sought to make Kurt Cobain’s death scene photos public. The case was ultimately dismissed.
The lawsuit was filed by Richard Lee, who hosts the Seattle public access television show, Now See It Person to Person: Kurt Cobain Was Murdered. He believes Cobain’s 1994 death was not a suicide but rather a conspiracy orchestrated by the government. Lee argued that the death scene photos would prove his theory and subsequently filed to have the photos released under the Washington state Public Records Act. When his request wasn’t heeded, he filed a lawsuit against the city of Seattle.
King County Superior Court Judge Theresa Doyle dismissed the case, because Lee didn't deliver his lawsuit to the mayor, city manager or city clerk as required. Judge Doyle also found that Lee didn’t give the city enough time to respond to his initial request for the photos.
Now, Lee is barred from filing another suit for the same photos and documents, however, he hasn’t been deterred. “Of course I will refile,” Lee told the Seattle Times. “I’ve never heard of case where an issue of such public importance was dismissed because of such trivial circumstances.”
Prior to the hearing, Cobain’s widow, Courtney Love, and their daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, implored the court to not release the photos.
“I have had to cope with many personal issues because of my father’s death,” Cobain wrote. “Coping with even the possibility that those photographs could be made public is very difficult. Further sensationalizing it through the release of these pictures would cause us indescribable pain.”