The two images show an array of what appears to be drug paraphernalia (including needles and a spoon) and personal effects like sunglasses and a wallet.
The new images were taken from four rolls of film containing crime scene images that had gone undeveloped until recently. On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Cobain's suicide, Seattle police cold-case detective Mike Ciesynski reviewed the case files but did not formally reopen the case or start any new investigation. The case remains closed.
“We knew with the 20th anniversary coming up ... there was going to be a lot of media interest,” Ciesynski said in a statement. “I’ve been a detective in homicide for 20 years and I’ve been in the cold case unit for 10 years. Most of the cases I work on, I look for something that wasn’t done.”
The review was prompted by the still-widespread conspiracy theories surrounding Cobain's death (some speculate he was murdered) and the intense interest in his life. The photos were not initially released, Ciesynski said, because detectives at the time already had ample photographic documentation of the suicide and didn't feel the images contained any new information.
“There were so many conspiracy theories out there, it was good judgment on their behalf to hold to this,” he said. "Sometimes people believe what they read — some of the disinformation from some of the books — that this was a conspiracy. That’s completely inaccurate .... It’s a suicide. This is a closed case.”