Monday, June 27, 2016

The Aftermath of "Soaked in Bleach" - Part I

by Silvia K.

"He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual [...]" (Thomas Jefferson)

The docu-drama “Soaked in Bleach“ combines the recollections of private investigator Tom Grant (who was hired by Courtney Love to find her missing husband) with testimonies from experts in various fields including Forensic Document Examination and Pathology. The film has successfully managed to convince many viewers that Kurt Cobain did not commit suicide and was actually murdered in a conspiracy plot improvised by Courtney Love.

Via statements from the former Seattle Police Chief Norman Stamper and the American forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht, the movie implies that the goal is to reopen the Cobain Case. The dramatizations and edited interviews appear to show that some of the other experts who were interviewed agreed with the homicide theory.

One example of these experts is Vernon J. Geberth, a retired Lieutenant-Commander of the New York City Police Department with over 40 years of law enforcement experience. He retired as the Commanding Officer of the Bronx Homicide Task Force, which handled over 400 murder investigations a year. Vernon J. Geberth also taught his popular “Practical Homicide Investigation” course in the Seattle area for over 28 years and he has had many members of the Seattle Police Homicide unit in his classes over the years. Such an expert should have been given more testimony time in a documentary but instead only a few minutes were shown. In fact, Vernon J. Geberth was interviewed over two hours and was asked to review and respond to some 40 questions. Many questions concerned proper police procedure and basic death investigations. During this session the film producers asked him questions repeatedly in an attempt to show that he agreed that Kurt Cobain was murdered.

Screenshot from "Soaked in Bleach"
But Vernon J. Geberth never agreed to this conclusion. His opinion is that Kurt Cobain's death was a classic suicide. Before going to the “Soaked in Bleach“ interview he was given access to the Seattle Police Department’s homicide information and interviewed one of the investigators who was actually in service at the time of the Kurt Cobain incident. In the movie Mr. Geberth stated that in cases of “staged crime scenes” when you arrive “If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck. It must be a duck.“ He added that in the Kurt Cobain death case it was not like that and he concluded suicide. He points out as well that a Seattle Homicide detective who was working that day told him that the Detective Lieutenant instructed his detectives to handle the case like it was a homicide. They were very well aware of the publicity that would erupt for this high profile case and were concerned that there would be a media circus if they released everything at the time. But this resulted in feeding people believing in a homicide conspiracy plot.

But why was Mr. Geberth's information cut out, taken out of context and hidden from the viewers who were not able to see important evidence that led to the suicide conclusion? Is it possible that the film producers acted in the same way as other experts shown in the docudrama? But what is the motive for omitting information? Probably to fit the narrative that the producers wanted to follow; the Hollywood hype about celebrity deaths that always draws attention worldwide. And it doesn't matter if the celebrity's name is Kurt Cobain, Michael Jackson, Janis Joplin or John F. Kennedy, as long as it sells.