So a detective reviewed the case files - including evidence photos and statements. He found no new information to change the police conclusion that Cobain took his own life, but did discover four rolls of undeveloped film from the suicide scene.
Late Thursday, Seattle police released two previously unseen images from those rolls. One showed a box containing drug paraphernalia, a spoon and what look like needles on the floor next to half a cigarette and sunglasses. The other showed the paraphernalia box closed, next to cash, a cigarette pack and a wallet that appears to show Cobain's identification.
"There was nothing earth-shattering in any of these images," police spokeswoman Renee Witt said. "The detective went into the case files to refresh himself. The outcome of the case has not changed."
Cobain's body was discovered in Seattle on April 8, 1994. An investigation determined that days earlier Cobain had gone into the greenhouse of his large home and taken a massive dose of heroin. He then shot himself with a 20-gauge shotgun.
Earlier that year, Cobain had tried to kill himself in Rome by taking an overdose of tranquilizers.
Cobain, who was 27 when he died, sold millions of albums with Nirvana and helped popularize the Pacific Northwest's heavy, muddy "grunge" rock, along with bands like Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and Mudhoney.
Cobain grew up in the logging town of Aberdeen, Wash., about two hours southwest of Seattle. After he died thousands of young people converged on Seattle Center, near the Space Needle, for a public memorial.
Though his death was ruled a suicide some refused to believe that, leading to conspiracy theories that Cobain had been killed.
In a statement on the Seattle Police Department's online blotter, the detective who re-examined the case dismissed that speculation.
"Sometimes people believe what they read_some of the disinformation from some of the books, that this was a conspiracy. That's completely inaccurate," said Detective Mike Ciesynski, who found the four rolls of undeveloped crime scene photos. "It's a suicide. This is a closed case."