What Did Exactly Happen To Hole’s Bassist Kristen Pfaff, Who Died 19 Years Ago This Month?

Written by | June 3, 2013 0:05 | 44 responses

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Probably because it was her birthday last week, probably because it’s gonna be the 19th anniversary of her death in a few days, people were tweeting about Kristen Pfaff, who played bass for Courtney Love’s band Hole circa 1993-4. May be the fact that Love was again in the news got me interested, and I realized Kristen’s death is, once again, one of these unsolved-mysterious-suspicious cases of the rock ‘n‘ roll world.

Officially, she died from an heroin overdose and her friend Paul Erickson found her dead, on June 16th 1994, locked in her bathroom with some drug paraphernalia on the floor. The last person who saw her alive was Hole guitarist and boyfriend Eric Erlandson, who visited her the evening before. The police declared it was an overdose, but once again, things don’t exactly add up.

First Kristen had just completed drug rehab, wanted to start over and had decided to move to Minneapolis with Erickson; a packed Uhaul was even ready outside. She was fed up with Courtney Love and she wanted to leave Seattle drug scene, a very sane decision for an ex-heroin addict. But was it a relapse nevertheless?

Her parents have never accepted the version of the police, and Kristen was really upset with Courtney, admitting to a friend, ‘Courtney’s scary. If I take a hike, she’ll make me look bad or do something to make my life miserable.’

Other quotes from Love to Pfaff such as ‘You fuck my guitar player, constantly make eyes at my husband and now you’re telling me how to sing. Just don’t fuck with me because you’ll regret it forever’, reveal a harsh tension between the two women.

After Kristen’s death, her mother discovered that pages out of her diary had been ripped out, and the pages missing were the ones corresponding to the week when Kurt Cobain was missing, just two months before her death.

And to add to the story, Kurt and Kristen were close friends and Kurt once said to Dylan Carlson ‘She’s a fucking talented musician, she’s also a beautiful soul. I think she’s so beautiful, but if I ever told her that, and Courtney found out, it would be hell’

So Kristen was terribly afraid of Courtney (also confirmed by her mother and her brother Jason Pfaff), and became very depressed when Kurt died. She wanted to leave Hole and Courtney Love, just as Kurt wanted to leave Nirvana and his wife, as it has been reported in may books about his death. As a matter of fact, he had just bought two one-way airplane tickets, and many have speculated he wanted to leave with his new girlfriend, who may have been Kristen? Who knows?

Kristen’s autopsy was conveniently performed by Dr. Nicholas Hartshorne, Love’s long time friend, who had already done the autopsy on Kurt and had declared it was a ‘classic suicide’.

There is much more info circulating around websites and message boards about this very fishy story,… What did Erlandson exactly do this evening? Even more troubling, C. Love declared this to Rolling Stone in December 1994,: ‘I had to go over there and get Eric away from the body. Kristen had been his lover for a really long time. He’d already broken down bathroom door after bathroom door for her.’ Why was she there with Erlandson if it was Paul Erickson who discovered Kristen’s body?

People will say that this is again about this same old conspiracy theory that Courtney Love was involved in Kurt Cobain’s death, but facts are facts, Kurt and Kristen were found dead 2 months apart in similar circumstances, both locked inside a room, their systems full of heroin. And both wanted to leave Courtney Love. Troubling? Just coincidences?

In any case, this is once again so depressing that the police has refused to do a proper investigation, they declared it was an overdose because Kristen had used heroin in the past, and nothing else will ever be done. Captain Dan Bryant of the Seattle Polices Department’s narcotics section said ‘Pfaff’s case is not being investigated by the narcotics division because it doesn’t review drug overdoses, which is how Seattle police have categorized the case’.

‘Unless we had someone who knew her and was willing to testify and work with us, we really have nowhere to go’…. How familiar does it sound! Why are sad stories repeating themselves over and over?

44 Responses to “What Did Exactly Happen To Hole’s Bassist Kristen Pfaff, Who Died 19 Years Ago This Month?”

  1. Amy

    There is less circumstantial evidence on Forensic Files that convicts the common folk criminal of 1st or 2nd degree murder and manslaughter with a more loose motive than what happened in the Cobain/Pfaff murder/suicide/accidental overdose? case.
    HOLE was nothing before and after Kristen Pfaff and Kurt Conain. Lyrically and musically, the album, LIVE THRU THIS, was brilliant and could never have been that dynamic without the influences of Pfaff and Cobain. Their collaborative creative genius throughout the album is obvious.
    I cannot understand why in the hell SPD refuse to reopen and thoroughly investigate both cases, as opposed to revealing mere Polaroids.
    Again, it seems rather blatant that these deaths were tied together and not mutually exclusive as they were treated.
    Oh, yeah let’s create a musical about this like a damn slide show circus event, rather than tell the unadulterated truth, CL.

    Reply
    • none of your buisness

      the reason why the SPD called her death suicide is the same reason they supported the idea that cobain died of suicide even thought all the evidence did not support that, the reason they called their deaths a suicide is because don cameron and perhaps other key people of power in the SPD took a piece of the cobains estate for themselves. courtney bought cameron, who was corrupt, and perhaps some other key person, and the rest of the police are in a culture of supporting their superiors, following orders, and the SPD was part of the conspiracy to murder kc and steal his money. corrupt policemen like cameron were enabled by a predators like courtney and the person she hatched this up with, dr. hartshorne, the medical examiner who was a friends of courtney’s. he also determined pfaff’s death to be a ‘classic case of suicide’. the SPD are corrupt conspirators and subordinates who simply colluded with the conspirators because they were following orders which is what their job is supposed to be. if you don’t follow orders you can lose your livelihood, pension, future and etc.

      Reply
    • Jimmy

      Soaked in Bleach can still be found on the Pirate Bay for anyone who is interested in looking into this further …amazing doco

      Reply
  2. kim

    What brought me here was the documentary Soaked in Bleach…It never dawned on me until I watched this that Kurt and her died so close together…The first thing I thought was…”Hmmmm…Courtney thought they (Kurt & Kristen) were messing around…he bought two tickets from Delta Airlines 5-6 days prior to his death…he wanted to leave Courtney….Kristen died the same way Kurt did, with the exception of the gunshot…Yeah, something smells funky..” What is really insane about the doc is the PI Courtney Love hired to “find Kurt” when he was “missing” recorded every conversation he had with Love and if that, in itself, isn’t enough to re-open his case, I don’t know what will….As Amy said, I’ve seen people on Forensic Files, Cold Case, and other real crime shows go to jail on less evidence than the evidence that Kurt Cobain’s “suicide” is anything but….

    Reply
    • Pete67

      I’m with you Kim. I’ve thought ill of Kurt for 20 years but since SIB, and some other reading, I’ve decided he was murdered for cash. I’m not sure if it was Carlson, Dewitt or Wrench, but I’m certain Ms Love was the brains behind it and the main beneficiary as we all know.

      Reply
      • Pastor troy

        Ive thought it was fishy but o ly thing about cobains death is if a murderer was there to kill him, wudnt it have been easier and less worrysom of what could be determined if he just slipped out after plunging a shit ton of H in him, not to mention he wud be goin there on a blind bet that kurt happend to have went and got ammo for that shotgun himself, who does that? Who plans a murder w a gun thats not w him and w ammo kurt had to buy himself?

        Reply
    • Jeni

      I came here because of the same reason. It’s pretty mind blowing how they just decided not to investigate ever.

      Reply
      • Mace

        This wasn’t investigated Because police are either corrupt or inept.
        Any fool can See both these cases are murders.
        There are other people close to this that died mysteriously …CC did it or hired the killers either way She is deeply involved in this.
        She’s a jealous druggie skank and she had them killed…I do hope this case is reopened and a qualified investigation is done.

        Reply
  3. Brett

    RIP Kurt and Kristen, both murdered and their deaths made to look like suicides. And both wanting to distance themselves from Courtney. Even down under here in Australia this smells like a conspiracy to kill 2 people, and get away with murder. Let’s hope that Seattles new mayor and police chief will re open both cases, discover the truth, and let justice win out.

    Reply
  4. joey

    Burn seattles po dunk back woods police department down along with the investigators and police forces and coroner’s involved in these cases. Burn email all. Fuckin nazis.

    Reply
  5. IsmellsomethingFishy

    Watch Soaked in Bleach it completely explains Courtney Love’s motive. Kurt Cobain wanted a divorce from her not only did he write it in a separate letter to Courtney he wrote it in his last song recorded in January 1994. You know you’re right’s original lyrics are as follows:

    I will never walk it through.
    I could never promise you
    This complaints follow due
    I will never wanna chew

    Does this mean I’ll love again
    guess I’ll never have a fan
    This is me on layaway
    I could never have a say
    It’s a neverending dream

    I will always wanna flee
    If I’m me you’ll never know
    Everything I’ve ever known.

    DreamX4
    It’s in every point of view
    look at me when I was you
    I COULD NEVER DIE AGAIN
    I won’t lose another friend
    she will see another me
    when I’m through melting……

    obviously about Kurt leaving Courtney for his new found SOBER Love.

    Reply
  6. Erik

    I haven’t seen the Soaked In Bleach thing but has anyone looked into anything about the coroner guy at all? I’m talking like bank statements and those types of things after the deaths? I don’t know how that would even be allowed, having a close friend of the deceased’s wife do the autopsy for a questionable death. That in itself should be more than enough reason to open a case back up.

    Reply
  7. Lindsay

    Courtney is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Remember OJ? Money talks, bullshit walks. That nirvana money bought her silence and immunity. Noone is reopening shit. RIP kurt and kristen.

    Reply
  8. Doom

    I just can’t believe that the entire f***ing world just ate up all the things Courtney said about Kurt in those final months, weeks, days. I mean the things about him being suicidal. She planted that idea in the world’s head. And I love that she thinks she had the power to make him want to die (if you watch “Montage of Heck”, another recent Cobain doc, she says he tried to kill himself in Rome because she simply THOUGHT about maybe cheating on him. She says she didn’t act on the opportunity and didn’t say anything about, but Kurt somehow knew and immediately decided he wanted to die because he couldn’t bear the thought. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.) I cannot stand Courtney Love for a lot of reasons. In fact, I’d say I despise her. Moreso, I cannot stand the injustice. Why aren’t more people upset about this? I’ve read all the comments everywhere: anywhere from people saying, “Let it go. He’s dead. Nobody cares anymore. It’s not the 90s” to “this is simply a smear company against Courtney Love.” Well, the truth really can smear a person, I guess. That’s what gets me most: this is EVIDENCE of the possibility of murder. Not just hearsay, not just circumstantial bullsh*t. It’s enough to reopen this case. Suicide beyond reasonable doubt?

    Reply
    • Gabrielle

      Your so right, I’m not some obsessed cobain fan. I am however a fan of his music. Like you I have read and seen many things about this. All indications point towards foul play. NOT To Be indepth But A Shotgun Wound To The Head should Have Been a Very messy Seen. There was only blood leaking from his ear? We have 3 2 liter bottles of blood in us , there should have been close to that amount and spatters of blood. The shotgun bullet never penetrated utter bullsh*t. No fingerprints, that alone should have been a huge red flag. I guess money really does talk. Smh

      Reply
  9. Dawn

    Why in the HELL was Courtneys friend allowed to autopsy both? That alone is Damn suspicious! Courtney got away with double murder!

    Reply
  10. kcufgreedTruthisfree

    CL is a professional murder. Not with her own hands but clearly with money. Paying junkies to kill junkies. Easy enough :(. Just use people with no credibility (due to addiction) and spin whatever tale about them you’d like. If this case isn’t reopened and polygraphs dished out I’ll lose my mind. Seriously SPD, do your job!!!!! Nobody in this case is a “stand-up” human but justice is justice! Possibly why they won’t reopen. Why waste the resources digging for the truth on a few junkies? Why reopen a case that was obviously mishandled? Why let the people that mishandled it just resign? KC + KP deserve some justice. Even if they were a couple of users. Clocks ticking…

    Reply
  11. kurtwascool

    Courtney was laughing on the howard stern show when asked about what her thoughts were on kurt and courtney documentary and why doesn’t she sue. She then went on to say that it would open her up in court to be liable. If I were being accused of murdering my husband and slandered all over the media; I would definitely open up lawsuits because I would have nothing to hide. Liable to what, Courtney?

    Reply
  12. LoveYouGuys

    I’m just glad to see recent comments. I just watched SIB as well and started researching. I saw Kurt and Courtney when it first came out but thought it was a bunch of bs and went with the suicide story for Kurt. Enough talk about this could maybe get the case reopened? It’s pretty obvious both were murdered.

    Reply
  13. Barbara Wolf

    Funny, the Seattle police department has NO file or case number on Kirsten’ s case. When they, SPD, were recently asked for it, the were amazed to not having the file or case number….

    Reply
  14. Jae Jay

    I hadn’t even heard of this movie until reading this site, but I’ve long been convinced that Love had Kurt Cobain murdered for money – there’s no doubt at all that he was leaving Love, the ONLY suicidal ideations on Cobain’s part come from Love — even the doctor in Rome who treated him for his supposed ‘suicide’ attempt said that he was convinced there was no suicidal intent whatsoever. So why does everyone believe Love? Everyone who knows her says that she is a pathological liar; she lies even when there is no reason to. So, again, why does everyone take on faith her statements that Cobain was suicidal when there is zero evidence to support it?

    There are many things that convinced me Cobain did not commit suicide and anyone on this site likely knows all the discrepancies already. But, the bottom line for me was the lack of fingerprints on the gun and on the pen Cobain used for his supposed ‘suicide’ note. Dead men don’t wipe their fingerprints off the instrument of their death. Period. That alone should have been a huge red flag for Seattle PD.

    And look at what Love did as soon as Cobain was dead — spent thousands of dollars recreating herself to be the plastic barbie that she and Cobain supposedly loathed. I remember seeing the new “improved’ Love everywhere — she must have paid millions for the exposure she got after her complete surgical do-over. Of course, she’s such a slag, in the end, it doesn’t matter. She’s a hot mess and nobody, absolutely nobody, will so much as admit to sleeping with her because they are so shamed by it.

    Love wanted to be beautiful, but she sold herself to Cobain as something entirely different. From her perspective, he needed to be dead, not just so she got control of the money, but also so she could make herself into the type of woman that Cobain detested. And she was, IMO, blatant about how she went about making him dead. Stunning that these discrepancies were simply ignored. Stunning also, the sickeningly self-serving “montage of heck” and all the critical kudos, despite the lack of Grohl’s presence in the film, and the fact that pretty much everything is filtered through the lens of the woman that, by all accounts, appear responsible for Cobain’s death. This isn’t a conspiracy theory in the manner that most are — Kennedy’s death and so forth. With those, there were unanswered questions. There really are no unanswered questions in Cobain’s death; even the hired killer and the manner of payment are known and have been publicized. Kristen’s death is just one more of a piece. How many of Love’s enemies have to die from overdoses before somebody starts taking this seriously?

    Reply
  15. trip

    Great post! Soaked in Bleach is so solid that is sad to watch because it confirms something that always seeemed obvious. I wanted to share something that really gives me the chills; if you visit the private twitter account for Courtney Love, , (according to http://gawker.com/5901050/courtney-love-accuses-dave-grohl-of-seducing-her-daughter , or http://jezebel.com/5882326/a-tale-of-two-courtneys) @cbabymichelle, you find this quote from a pink floyd song:

    the bleeding hearts and artists let me get away with murder

    I mean it is so obvious and makes so much sense in every word with all the murder scenario that it blows my mind. But i see her like a very unreal person that likes to test the limits of situations and people, especially after watching “Soaked” and recognizing the type of person she was because we all know that people like that EXISTS. This is so depressing! I Love both bands and don´t want their music to remind me of such dark stuff.

    Reply
  16. trip

    I mean it´s the profile quote for the account! If i was in her situation i wouldn´t quote that

    Reply
  17. Fogeddabotit

    Doll Parts
    Written by Courtney Love,
    who reconstructed all her parts, as beneficiary to the life insurance award of Cobain’s fingerprint-free cluicide (was this a ryder to the policy, which usually does not pay out for suicide???)… plastic parts for a plastic demeanor and plastic public image, IMHO. And I’m sorry… I loved Hole, but I always hated that bitch. Karma’s a bitch too Mis-Love!

    I am
    Doll eyes
    Doll mouth
    Doll legs
    I am
    Doll arms
    Big veins
    Dog bait

    Yeah, they really want you
    They really want you, they really do
    Yeah, they really want you
    They really want you, and I do too

    I want to be the girl with the most cake
    I love him so much, it just turns to hate
    I fake it so real I am beyond fake
    And someday you will ache like I ache
    …Someday you will ache like I ache…

    I am doll parts
    Bad skin
    Doll heart
    It stands
    For knife
    For the rest
    Of my life

    Yeah, they really want you
    They really want you, they really do
    Yeah, they really want you
    They really want you, but I do too

    I want to be the girl with the most cake
    He only loves those things because he loves to see them break
    I fake it so real I am beyond fake
    And someday you will ache like I ache
    …Someday you will ache like I ache…

    Reply
  18. gladi'mme,really

    Kurt was apparently so scared of being exposed as a fake and he ended up marrying one. It’s a living nightmare in which he drew to himself all that he despised and feared. I really want to know why Jessica Hopper, who was apparently residing with Dewitt at Cobain’s residence AT THE TIME of his supposed suicide was never questioned at length? She said people enteredd and exited the house whilst she was in bed. Who were these people?What does she know? And why is she still so defensive about the events that transpired so many years late? If my good friend died in suspicious circumstances I’d still be asking questions today and I’d be an open book about what I knew. it just doesn’t add up. I don’t know if it was Courtney but I think there were a lot of people who were jealous of Kurt including his old so-called friends from Olympia. I think they need to be investigated as well.

    Reply
  19. Tracey

    I have never seen either movie about Kurt , even though I liked his music. Somthing I did read which I found interesting about his death were the bullets, my husband being a farmer knows a lot about guns. The pictures that have been recently shown showed bullets in a box which were 2 3/4 , size but the police report said the one that killed him was 2 1/4 ,this could be a typo mistake on the police’s behalf , however this is a major evidence mistake. CLove and her band of cronies missed this , so why hasn’t any levelled headed police officer questioned this. If people enlarge the box of bullets placed squarely at his feet you can read the size of the bullets, three missing . However the ones in the gun were not the same according to the police reports. I’m starting to question why has it taken so long with all the evidence that this case along side Kristen Pfaffs case hasn’t been opened long ago. There’s more in this than meets the eye!

    Reply
    • Dan Bassist

      I wish Kurt & Kristen had ended up dating each other. I gauantee Kurt and Kristen would have made an awesome album together. Everything points to foul play about Kurt & Kristen’s death’s, Courtney’s a suspect, so how in the hell could she get a close friend to do the autopsy on both of them? Fucking money that’s how!! Unfucking believable. Why couldn’t Courtney Love just divorce Kurt Cobain and get money that way? Well when judgement day comes for Courtney she’s going to be all alone then, and no money in the world will help her. FUCKIN MURDERED 2 AWESOME PEOPLE!! YOU FUCKIN LOSER BITCH!! JUST REMEMBER, YOU WERE NOTHING UNTIL KURT WAS IN YOUR LIFE, AND THAT’S HOW YOU THANK HIM. Some people have a change of heart, that’s when you let them go and wish the best for them, not kill them. Kurt & Kristen R.I.P.

      Reply
  20. Carolyn crneck

    I pray Kurt and Kristine get justice, I wish he had escaped alive , left the scene with Kristine, at lease she was a caring loving human being not domeone totally devoid of a conscience and full of lies and deception.. Look at the trail of dead people behind C L , the all knew alot.. Kristine was missing pages in her diary chonicling the day Kurt went missing, we could get some insights from her testimony if she was alive.

    Reply
  21. katie

    I have read a lot on this and not made a judgement based on one oppinion. There is just too much evidence and inconsistencies pointing to murder. Her own father released a letter written by Kurt which was released by the police where he calls Courtney names. I’ve also heard an original version demo of one of nirvana’s songs and it’s talking about divorce and hate in the lyrics. It adds up with everything the private detective says and all the pieces come together. I’ve heard that she hated Kristen because her and Kurt were close. I also saw hole live at a festival weeks after Kurts death and she was acting weird. I know she is a heroin addict and weird anyway but something wasn’t right. She was in UK rock magazines NME and melody maker weeks after his death hinting about the new guys she was sleeping with and even interviewers were saying ‘Kurt isn’t even cold yet’. Her own father who admittedly isn’t a nice person himself is convinced she killed Kurt and her ex boyfriend has talked about her and backed up things. I don’t understand how these cases have never been ‘re opened. I know police can be corrupt but come on to the right thing and investigate fully make things right. Courtney is talenless and her voice is awful live so Kristen was totally right there. She’s a psycho who has friends in high places and it wouldn’t suprise me one bit if she paid people off. No way someone who knows her personally should have been involved at all in any part of the investigation. It looks as if Kurt and Kristen both for thselves clean so they could run away and be together.I’ve even read her saying that Kurt phones her from a phone box whilst he was missing and commented on her new album? He was dead at the time. She lies so much she slips up all the time.

    Reply
  22. David

    Don’t forget el Duce mention a guy named Allen (Allen wrench) in a interview and a week later he was hit by a train when really he was murdered .

    Reply
  23. Emily Ragbun

    I see that no one here is a heroin addict. Heroin addicts drop like flies. Someone wrote how many of Courtney’s friends/family have to die this way before someone pays attention. Well, until she’s totally free from substances, particularly opiates. I’m an opiate addict, and we go through these phases of groups dying together. It is an odd thing, but it is a real thing. One thing you can be certain of, if someone gets out of rehab and they do relapse, they have a huge chance of dying. They always think their tolerance is the same, so they do their old amount, and they accidentally kill themselves. But beyond that, you guys do see the other obvious difference between these two deaths, right? Hello. A shotgun. In fact, the ONLY similarity IS Courtney. Look, I can’t stand her. But something I can’t stand less is common sense.

    Reply
  24. Axe

    This is very eerie, and certainly a strange coincidence. It’s hard to say with Kristen for sure, but I can’t blame anyone for being skeptical.

    Although with Kurt, I can see murder being a very realistic possibility. The stakes were high, money involved, and Kurt was obviously tired of being a popular commercial rocker. Turning down Lollapalooza may have been the breaking point and from there the plan unfolded.

    The suicide note always felt strange to me, he made a point to say he didn’t feel the excitement playing music anymore, but almost gave that as his primary reason. That seemed peculiar to me.

    Reply
  25. Bex

    Anyone here read the biography by Charles R Cross? He interviewed Kurt’s friends and family, it’s called ‘Heavier than Heaven’. This book suggests he was from a very suicidal family in a town with a high suicide rate, he told a friend when he was 14 he was going to become a rock star then blow his own brains out. Had a tough early life and seems to have suffered from chronic depression, probably made much worse by his addictions. I agree everything about the investigation doesn’t add up but the guy seemed desperate to escape many things in his life, fame, addiction, dealers, his wife, his past etc etc. True Courtney had much to gain from his death but she was becoming a star in her own right so why not just divorce him? Ok you can then argue he earned more money for her after his death but murder? Seems too drastic. Everyone loves a conspiracy theory right?

    Reply
  26. Barbara Wolf

    3 separate events, 2 common denominators. Rome, Kurt, Courtney, and Eric Erlandson present. Seattle, Courtney and Eric each have unaccounted time, enough to hop on the private jet at their disposal and get from L.A. to Seattle and kill Kurt. Seattle, Kirsten’s death. Last person to see her alive is Eric Erlandson. Law officials will tell you there’s TOO MANY COINCIDENCES!!!

    Reply

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