While the tears of grief-stricken Slayer fans are still fresh on their cheeks, a cause of death for the late guitarist Jeff Hanneman has been released by the band.
Hanneman had been fighting necrotizing fasciitis, a rare and complex flesh-eating bacterial infection since 2011, but as officially released by Slayer today, his cause of death was attributed to alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver.
Despite his drinking habits, his rapidly deteriorating liver condition had come as a surprise, as the Slayer website reports:
“Contrary to some reports, Jeff was not on a transplant list at the time of his passing, or at any time prior to that. In fact, by all accounts, it appeared that he had been improving – he was excited and looking forward to working on a new record.”
Many fans speculated that his death had been a result of the necrotizing fasciitis contracted from a spider bite, but The Gauntlet posted an article quoting a source close to the band as saying “Jeff was drinking Heineken and vodka for breakfast, lunch and dinner up until a few months ago. The spider bite was no longer an issue with him, it was his drinking. He just never stopped.”
Hanneman’s family and Slayer are still finalizing the details on his memorial service, while controversial religious group Westboro Baptist Church still plans to picket the service singing their version of Ozzy Ozbourne’’s “Crazy Train”. Counter-picketing Slayer fans and supporters are being advised to be cautious around the notorious group, as a large amount of their funding comes from winning assault lawsuits.