10 Attempts to Blame Death on Music
10) "Gloomy Sunday" Song Linked to Astonishing Number of Suicides
Gloomy Sunday is a song that was written by the pianist and composer Rezső Seress in 1932. It has been connected to more suicides than any other song in history. In Hungary alone the song is linked to at least 18 deaths.
The song is of a man singing to his dead lover whom he misses terribly, asking her to join him at his own funeral, as he plans to take his own life in order to be reunited with her. This tragic song is set to the melancholy C minor key and the lyrics are quite haunting.
There was so much hysteria surrounding "Gloomy Sunday" that the BBC banned playing it up until 2002. It was also banned in France and England. A Time Magazine article was published on March 30, 1936 linking the song to multiple deaths.
Some of the suicides that have been linked to "Gloomy Sunday" are: that of shoemaker Joseph Keller who left a suicide note quoting the lyrics; victims that were found clutching the lyrics in the Danube River; the suicide attempt of Jerry Flanders who hired a soloist to play the song for him and was stopped only moments before he was going to drink poison; a 13 year-old boy that hung himself with the song lyrics folded up in his pants pocket.
Whether a song truly has the hypnotic powers to compel someone into the unnatural act of suicide has been a hot topic for years. In Jimi Hendrix's own words, "You can hypnotize people with music and when they get at their weakest point, you can preach into their subconscious minds what you want to say."
Was the heartache of a broken man captured so perfectly in this song that it connected to something deep within those who listened to his words? Years after the songs release Rezső Seress would also go on to tragically take his own life.
9) Band Slayer Blamed for Murder of 15-Year-Old Girl
15 year-old Elyse Pahler was a pretty young girl who had her entire life ahead of her. Unfortunately, she was savagely lured to her death by three Satanists.
Royce Casey (17), Jacob Delashmutt (16) and Joseph Fiorella (15) would go on to callously cut Elyse's life short. The boys were huge fans of the band Slayer. In fact, their love of Slayers music inspired them to form their own band called, "Hatred".
While the boys practiced heavy metal songs they would devise different ways to kill Elyse. Eventually, they settled on the idea of luring Elyse from her home with the promise of free drugs. Once alone with her they intended to strangle, stab and rape her. Sadly, that is exactly what happened to Elyse on July 22, 1995.
Once Elyse was lured to a eucalyptus grove she was strangled by Delashmutt and then held down by Casey while Fiorella stabbed her at least 12 times. It was reported that Elyse prayed and cried out for her mother. Since none of the stab wounds were fatal she ultimately succumbed to blood loss. It was only after her heart ceased to beat that the boys despicably raped her one by one.
8 months after the deed took place Royce Casey led authorities to Elyse's decomposed body. It had been left in the very same Eucalyptus grove where the crime took place. Royce confessed to authorities because he was afraid that he would be the groups next victim.
Court records reflect that Fiorella had told a probation officer that he had been influenced by Slayers music. Slayers albums contain lyrics about sacrificing virgins and the devil. The boys had felt that if they sacrificed Elyse, who was a virgin, they would please the devil and would then be gifted with better musical ability, perhaps even becoming 'professionals'.
No doubt the band Slayer had made a huge impression on Elyse's killers, causing them to create their own similarly styled band, and then inspiring them to sacrifice a virgin in hopes of ever increasing their own musical talents. Was it just a coincidence that Slayers own lyrics idolize the devil and condone sacrificing virgins? The links between slayers lyrics and what happened to Elyse are pretty self-evident.
8) Judas Priest Blamed for Suicides
18-year-old Raymond Belknap and 20-year-old James Vance shot themselves in a park after listening to the Judas Priest album Stained Glass. Belknap would succumb to his injuries immediately while Vance would go on to survive for an additional three years horribly disfigured.
The parents of the boys were convinced that the album contained subliminal messages that influenced the boys to shoot themselves, "Better by You, Better than me" was fingered as the song which contained the subliminal messaging and drove the boys to their heinous act. The event took place on December 23, 1985 and would result in a sensationalist trial in which the boys' parents would try to sue Judas Priest for $6.2 million dollars.
Whether the subliminal messages in the album really drove the boys to shoot themselves is still a matter of public debate, but in Vance's own words he claims, “all of a sudden we got a suicide message, and we got tired of life.” In a letter to Belknap’s mother, he later wrote, “I believe that alcohol and heavy-metal music such as Judas Priest led us to be mesmerized.”
7) Denver's "Linkin Park Strangler" Blames Violent Music for Crimes
Richard Paul White is one of Colorado's most notorious serial killers. He has confessed to killing 6 people but only three have been confirmed; Annaletia Maria Gonzales, 27, Victoria Lyn Turpin, 32, and Jason Reichardt, 27 (former co-worker). He has been dubbed "Denvers Linkin Park Strangler" following his confession from jail that, "I would listen, actually, to LINKIN PARK before I would kill," He said, "And, while I was killing usually that music LINKIN PARK was on".
It was during an exclusive interview with Denver News reporter Rick Sallinger that White stated how he felt that Linkin Park and Metallica influenced him. In his own words, "Music was a big influence in my life. Metallica probably the most".
The six-foot tall red-headed serial killer must have been a horrifying sight to his victims as he cruelly strangled them before burying them in his own backyard.
White claims that violent music, video games, and movies influenced him to commit these violent and horrible acts.
6) Leroy Smith III Says Band Slayer Held Gun to His Head
During the May of 2014, Leroy H. Smith III killed and dismembered his father, 56-year-old Leroy Smith Jr., in their Cannard Street apartment located in Maine.
Leroy admitted to authorities that he stabbed his father in the head and neck. After murdering his father he cut him into pieces and placed the body parts in trash bags. He was initially deemed mentally incompetent and placed in a psychiatric facility.
In 2011, Leroy interjected during court proceedings and started speaking of an incident that he claims took place between himself and the band slayer. He is quoted as saying, “I had a gun held against my head and was sworn to keep secret about what I am. They refused investigating any persons responsible. The whole entire group Slayer was there. I was told then that what they did was too overboard. I sent them a message on Facebook and Jeff Hanneman guitarist took his own life. He took his own life May 5.” It is stated on the bands website that the guitarist died on May 2nd.
After evaluating Leroy the director of the State Forensic Service, Dr. Ann LeBlanc, went on to explain that Leroy was delusional and that he thought he was God. He also believed that he was the best guitarist in the world. These delusions led Leroy to believe that it was his attorney’s job to seek out heavy metal bands and bring them together so that Leroy could speak with them.
Currently, efforts are being made to medicate Leroy in hopes of him becoming mentally competent so that he can stand trial.
5) Black Metal Band “Mayhem” Linked to Arson and Murder
The black metal band Mayhem has been largely accredited with being the pioneers of Norwegian black metal. The story surrounding some of its members and their dark behaviors are wild and almost unbelievable.
The original lead singer committed suicide by slitting his wrists and shooting himself in the face. His body was discovered by bandmate Euronymous who took pictures of it and then used the pictures as the bands album cover for "Dawn of the Black Hearts". To take things even further, Euronymous then did the unthinkable and fashioned a necklace out of his bandmates skull fragments.
Euronymous would go on to replace the lead singer with a man by the name of Count Grishnackh. The two of them did not get along. One of the only things the two men agreed on was the topic of Aryan racial superiority. Euronymous was murdered by Count Grishnackh, who repeatedly stabbed him in the head. Grishnackh would later recount to officers how he delighted in seeing Euronymous's eyes bulge out of his head as he stabbed him.
While Count Grishnackh served his 21 year sentence for Euronymous's murder he remained the active head of the Nordic terrorist group Heathen Front. Under his direction the group would go on to burn some of Norway's oldest churches.
Most fantastic of all is that the remaining band members are still on tour to this very day.
Count Grishnackh has since been released from Prison and resides in France. He no longer plays with the band.
4) Two San Bernadino Kids Listen to Slipknot Before and After Killing Friend
16-year-old Amber Rose Riley and 22-year-old Jason Lamar Harris brutally murdered Terry Ray Taylor by slashing his throat and stabbing him more than 20 times.
Riley and Harris lured the unsuspecting Terry Ray Taylor to Perris Hill in San Bernardino. As the trio sat beneath a pepper tree listening to a Slipknot album Riley signaled for her boyfriend to stab Taylor. Following the murder the two continued to listen to the Slipnot album.
Afterwards, while being interrogated by investigators, Riley and Harris would go on to quote lyrics from the song "Disasterpiece" which can be found on the Slipknot album Iowa, "I wanna slit your throat and f— the wound/ I wanna push my face in and feel the swoon.”
Riley and Harris had, in fact, slashed innocent Terry Ray Taylor's throat. The lyrics clearly meant something to them as they both quoted the song to investigators and reported how they had listened to the Slipknot album before AND after the slaying.
3) Eminem Impersonator Kills Law Student
Twenty-one year-old Christopher Duncan was way more than just an Eminem fan. He went so far as to get copycat tattoos and fashioned his hair and dress in a similar manner to that of the famous rapper. He frequented karaoke bars where he would perform Eminem songs and drink heavily.
After singing numerous Eminem songs at a karaoke bar in the UK Duncan took his date, the young and beautiful law student Jagdip Najran, back to his apartment. Once there, Duncan cruelly beat her and stuffed her body into a suitcase. Najran did not immediately die of her injuries, succumbing to them over an hour later as she was uncomfortably crammed inside the suitcase. The crime scene was reminiscent of the Eminem rap video "Stan".
The Eminem impersonator is also the main suspect in the killing of aspiring artist Margaret Muller. Muller was a 27 year-old art student that was stabbed to death while jogging. It was reported that Duncan had been sleeping in the park not far from where Muller's studio apartment was.
Eminem’s lyrics are full of violence and disrespect towards women. It's hardly surprising that one of Eminem's impersonators would go on to kill two innocent female victims.
2) Boy Kills Girlfriend to Imitate Marilyn Manson Painting
Luke Mitchell and Jodi Jones were two teenage lovers who attended David's Roman Catholic High school in the UK during 2003. The young lovers shared a mutual interest in the Goth lifestyle and enjoyed listening to musicians such as Marilyn Manson. They were rebellious teens who experimented with drugs and engaged in sex.
In 2003, the two set off for a walk in the woods. During the trip Mitchell went on to savagely attack Jodi, who was only 14 at the time, by hitting and stabbing her, which resulted in her death.
The injuries sustained by Jodi very closely resembled a death painting that Marilyn Manson painted of the Black Dahlia. Jodi's wounds were so strikingly similar to that of Marilyn Manson's painting it was brought before the jury at Mitchell's trial. It was also made to be known that Manson was one of Mitchell's favorite musicians and that only two-days following Jodi's death Mitchell purchased the newly released Manson DVD "The Golden Age of Grotesque".
The question remains: Did Manson's violent lyrics and graphic death painting hold so much sway over his young and impressionable fan that Mitchell could not help but act out Manson's fantasies in real life?
1) Man Murders Boy for Playing Rap Music
47 year-old Michael Dunn murdered seventeen year-old Jordan Davis because he was playing rap music too loudly. The deadly incident occurred during the September of 2012.
Jordan Davis and three of his buddies were listening to rap music in their SUV outside a convenience store in Florida when Dunn, angered by the loud "rap cr*ap" music that they were listening to, fired ten rounds into the car. One of the bullets hit young Jordan Davis, cutting his life short and sparking a national sensation with the ensuing trial that would take place.
Dunn's distaste for the rap music that the boys were playing became clear. His racism also seemed evident when he appeared surprised when the investigators told him that none of the teenage boys had criminal records. Dunn is a middle-aged white male and all the boys were African-American.
Dunn stated that he shot the boys in self-defense as he claims he saw a gun in the car. Investigators never recovered any weapons in the vehicle or on any of the boys. In October of 2014 he was convicted of murder and sentenced to life plus 90 years.
Do you believe music can make someone commit a crime?
- 20% YES
- 80% NO