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Courtney Love Was Suspicious of Kurt Cobain’s Suicide, According to Alice in Chains Book

The book claims Love asked Layne Staley’s stepfather if the AIC frontman knew anything about Cobain's death

Generally when conspiracy theories about Kurt Cobain’s death are tossed about, his wife is often alleged to have played a nefarious part (like in the melodramatic docudrama Soaked in Bleach). But now, new information suggests that Love herself had doubts about the Nirvana frontman’s suicide — information that has weirdly enough come to light in a new book about grunge peers Alice in Chains.

Alice In Chains: The Untold Story, by David De Sola, claims that Love contacted Layne Staley’s stepfather after Cobain died. The frontman was also a heroin user and friends with Cobain, and Love reportedly thought he might know something.

A few weeks after Cobain’s death, Jim Elmer [Layne Staley’s stepfather] got a call from Courtney Love. She had been trying to get ahold of Layne and somehow got Elmer’s phone number. According to him, they spoke twice. “The gist of the conversation was that she was looking for Layne because she knew Layne and Kurt were friends and wanted to find out what happened the last few days, that she intimated to me that she was not happy with the outcome that it was a suicide. She thought there was more to it than that, and she wanted to chase down Layne and have a discussion with him.”

Love was probably assuming that because Cobain and Layne ran in the same social circles — musicians, drug users, and drug dealers — he might have seen Cobain or have some knowledge of his final days. Whether Layne saw Cobain during his final days is not known, but there is evidence of at least one mutual drug connection.

The book also claims that Layne, who died in 2002 of an overdose, had significant doubts that Cobain was the type of person who killed himself.

“I saw all the suffering that Kurt Cobain went through,” Layne would recall. “I didn’t know him real well, but I just saw this vibrant person turn into a real shy, timid, withdrawn, introverted person who could hardly get a hello out.” Layne’s private views were skeptical of the official story. “Layne was a little more vocal on the Kurt issue, because he never thought Kurt would take his own life,” Jeff Elmer said. “He mentioned that multiple times, about that issue, that he never did believe it. And so this was not right after he died, this was years after, too. He still remembered that and just thought that was not characteristic of Kurt.”

(h/t Stereogum)