10 Stupid Times Music Was Blamed For Death

Music can be blamed for deaths around the world. Take for example when 16 year-old Jessica Michalik died during Limp Bizkits set at Big Day Out in Sydney Australia 2001; after falling and being unable to get up or have help get to her due to the crowd. Today we are focusing on just 10 stupid times music was brained for death, were unlike the tragic case above, the tragity does not directly involving the band, or is plan outlandish and kind of crazy.

1. Manson Family Murders, The Beatles ‘Helter Skelter’

Manson Family Mug Shots

This is probably one of the more well known one on this list of times music was blamed for death. Charles Manson interpreted the Beatles song ‘Helter Skelter’ on their album The White as a confirmation of his belief that a rase war that would trigger and end-of-days apocalypse scenario would indeed happen. He believed this so wholeheartedly he named this race war after the song, although the song itself was actually written about an English Roller Coaster. Former Manson Family member Catherine Share outlined Manson’s view in the 2009 documentary Manson “Every single song on The White album, he felt that they were singing about us. The song ‘Helter Skelter’ he was interpreting that to mean the blacks were gonna go up and the whites were gonna go down.”

2.  Suicide Pact Inspired By Judas Priest’s”Better by You, Better Than Me” 

Again; probably one of the better known of the instances where Music was blamed for death. While suicide may not be considered as many as a crime, this instance did go to court, and the case set the precedent for musicians being sued for their lyrical content. In 1989 after a night of drinking, smoking and listening to the album Stained Glass by Judas Priest, 18 year-old Raymond Belknap and 20 year-old James Vance shots themselves in the head in a suicide pact. While Belknap died, Vance was left horribly disfigured, living for a further three years. Their families took Judas Priest to court for $6.2 million lawsuit, alleging that the song ‘Better Than You, Better Than Me’ contained subliminal messaging, the band was found not guilty.

3. Man Claims Eminem Lyrics Were Why He Murdered Family

Michael Miller at the time of his arrest

In 2009 when Michael Miller Attacked his wife and children, leaving only his four-year-old son alive he told a very strange story. Miller confessed he stabbed his son more times than anyone else because he loved him more. He also went into state in his police confession that he believed he was possessed by the devil, and that before he stabbed his wife and children he yelled words from an Eminem song especially focusing on the lyrics; ‘Here comes Satan, I’m the antichrist, I’m going to kill you.’  Although these aren’t lyrics in any of Eminem’s known songs. After the crime was commuted Miller said a prayer and called 911, recounting his story to the operator who answered his call.

4. Murder at A High School blamed on Slipknot.

18 year-old Morne Harmes Before His Trial


In 2008, 18 year-old Morne Harmes donned a mask and walked through the halls of Nic Diederichs Technical School in Krugersdorp, South Africa. He stabbed and killed a fellow student; 16 year-old Jacques Pretorius with a samurai sword. He also wounded a second student, and two grounds keepers employed with the school before being arrested by police. Upon police review of the mask Harmes was wearing, they discovered it was much like the one Joey Jordison (Drummer of the band Slipknot) wore on stage.
The weapons and masks presented during trail
 Witnesses also recalled the outfit Harmes was wearing resembled what Jordison would sometimes wear on stage. A close friend of the attacker later stated that Harmes became very interested with the band and often spoken of demonology in the days before the attack. He made masks that looked like all the band members masks, including the one resembling Jordison’s that he wore the day of the attack.


5. Shooting Rampage Inspired By Drowning Pool

Jared Laughner at the time of his arrest

Jared Loughner is the man responsible for the 2011 Tucson shooting rampage that claimed the life’s of 6 people, including nine year-old girl, and critically injuring US Congresswomen Gabrielle Gifford, who’s slow recovery was followed around the world. The investigation that followed his arrest found that the song ‘Bodies’ recorded by Drowning Pool was one of his favourites. Many people, mostly news outlets, to theorise the songs repartition of the lyrics ‘let the bodies hit the floor’ may have inspired Loughner’s rampage. This isn’t the first time this particular song was blamed for murder. 19 year-old Joshua Cooke, shot and killed his parents while listening to the song through headphones. 

Despite Drowning Pools devastation of the tragedy as Gillsford; they released a statement on their website saying the shooter misinterpreted the lyrics of their song, which could not be blamed for the tragic events.


6. Boy Kills Girlfriend Trying To Recreate Marilyn Manson Picture.

Luke Mitchell during 2003 TV interview before his arrest


Marilyn Manson has been blamed for murder more than once, even coming under fire for inspiring the Colombine massacre, this is once of the few cases of argued imitation through murder. In 2003 Luke Mitchell killed his 14 year-old girlfriend Jodi Jones while taking a walk through the woods. He hit and stabbed her in such a manner, her body resembled the painting of the Black Dahlia Marilyn Manson painted. Jodi’ wounds were so similar the painting was brought as evidence before the jury in Mitchell’s trial. One of the arguments for him being innocent was that a 14 year-old boy did not match the FBI proflie of the killer, and that’s why it wasn’t presented at court. Although it was made known Marilyn Manson was one of Mitchell’s favourite bands: and only two days before the killing, he bought “The Golden Age of Grotesque” Manson’s newly released DVD.

7. Law Student Killed by Eminem Impersonator.       

Christopher Duncan at the time of his arrest


Ever idolised a musician so much you didn’t just want to be them, but recreate what they are writing music about? In 2005, 21 year-old Christopher Duncan did just that. He was such a fan only Eminem, he got copycat tattoos, fashioned his hair, and dress to emulate the musician. He frequented Karaoke bars where he would drink heavily and perform Eminem song regularly. It was after a night such these, and on a date, Duncan returned to his apartment in Bethnal Green, South London with 26 year-old Japdip Najran, a law student. He then proceeded to beat her over the head with a bat, and stuffed her still living body into a suitcase, where she died over an hour later, her injuries overcoming her. The crime scene was likened to the rap video ‘Stan’. 

8. Serial Killer Dubbed Linkin Park Strangler.

Christopher Paul White during his trial

Richard Paul White, one of Colorado’s most notorious serial killers, confessed to killing 6 people, while only being convinced of the three murders of 27 year-old Annaletia Maria Gonzales, 32 year-old Victoria Lyn Turpin, and former co-worker 27 year-old Jason Reichardt. During his confession he stated “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”. After which he was dubbed Denvers Linkin Park Strangler. White claims the violence in music, movies and videos games influenced him to commit these crimes.

9. Norwegian Band “Mayhem” Linked to Arson and Murder.

Varg Vikernes during his last year in prison for arson and murder (2009)


While been hailed as pioneers of Norwegian black metal; the stories connected to the band Mayhem’s members are twisted and almost unbelievable. Their original lead singer sadly committed suicide, he slit his wrists and shot himself in the face. His fellow band member Øystein “Euronymous” Aarseth discovered the body, and took photos of the scene. The photos were later used for the album cover for “Dawn of the Black Hearts”. Euronymous, taking things further still, fashioned a necklace out of his deceased band mates skull fragments. Euronymous did go onto replace the lead singer with Varg “Count Grishnackh” Vikernes (who is also known by a number of names). The two did not get along; mainly arguing about Aryan superiority. Euronymous was murdered by Grishnackh, being repeatedly stabbed in the head; Grishnackh has recounted his delight at the sight of Euronymous’s eyes bulging out of his head. Grishnackh remained the acting head of the Nordic terrorist group Heathen Front during his 21 year sentence for the murder and the Arson of some of Norways oldest churches.


10. Man Kills Teen For Playing Music Too Loud.

Michael Dunn at the time of his trail


One of the few cases where it can be proved that music was the cause of murder, isn’t about the lyrics or being inspired by it at all. In September 2012 seventeen year-old Jordan Davis and three friends where outside a convenience store in an SVU, listening loudly to rap music. 47 year-old Michael Dunn was so angered by the level they were playing what he referred to as ‘that rap cr*p’ at he fired 10 rounds into their car, hitting and killing Jordan Davis. While music was blamed for the murder; his racism showed when he became surprised that non of the young men in the car had criminal records; this due to their race, being African-American. He also claimed he saw a gun in the back seat, and was defending himself. No weapons were found at the scene, or connected to any of the boys in the car.

What what’s the most idiotic on our list? Any that we have forgotten?
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