The media love to jump on the bandwagon ridiculously claiming that heavy metal songs have incited people to commit murders, but sometimes it’s the murders that inspire the songs. As a special Friday 13th treat, we’ve compiled a list of the 13 (of course it’d be 13) best songs about serial killers along with some gory information about the horrible atrocities they committed.
In no particular order (warning: some of these crimes are messed up, seriously messed up):
SLAYER – ‘DEAD SKIN MASK’
Serial killer: Ed Gein, USA
Crimes: Multiple murders; stealing corpses from graves; making a mask, furniture, household goods, clothing and fashion accessories out of human body parts. Luckily for us, his fashion accessories remained unfashionable. Sorry folks, nipple belts are not the new black (yes, he really made nipple belts).
Bonus info: Cannibal Corpse’s ‘Addicted to Vaginal Skin’, Macabre’s ‘The Geins’ and Mudvayne’s ‘Nothing to Gein’ are also about Ed Gein.
GHOST – ‘ELIZABETH’
Serial killer: Countess Elizabeth Báthory, Hungary
Crimes: She was around in the 16th century, so the records are a bit sketchy, but she has been dubbed as the most prolific female serial killer of all time having killed hundreds of girls. She apparently had vampire-like tendencies, mutilated her victims and there’s even a tale of her bathing in virgin’s blood to maintain her youth. Virgin’s blood, the 16th century Oil of Olay.
Bonus info: Venom’s ‘Countess Bathory’, Sun O)))’s ‘Báthory Erzsébet’, Slayer’s ‘Beauty Through Order’, Cradle of Filth’s album Cruelty and the Beast and the name of the extreme metal band Bathory are all inspired by good, old Lizzy Báthory.
THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER – ‘CONTROL’
Serial killer: Jeffrey Dahmer, USA
Crimes: Also known as the Milwaukee Cannibal, Dahmer murdered 17 men and boys and committed a variety of other atrocities including rape, dismemberment, necrophilia, cannibalism and the art of body part preservation (he painted a penis).
Bonus info: The lyrics “no return from 213” in ‘Control’ refer to Jeffrey Dahmer’s apartment, which was number 213, where he committed a number number of the murders. Soulfly’s ‘Jeffrey Dahmer’ (surprise, surprise) is also about Jeffrey Dahmer as is Blood Duster’s ‘Dahmer the Embalmer’, Slayer’s ‘213’ and Macabre’s ‘Apartment 213’, ‘Freeze Dried Man’, ‘What’s That Smell’ and their album Dahmer. Macabre have a sh*tload of songs about serial killers, but it looks like Dahmer is their totes fave.
THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN – ‘THREE FOR FLINCHING (REVENGE OF THE PORNO CLOWNS)’
Serial killer: John Wayne Gacy Junior, USA
Crimes: Also known as the Killer Clown because he dressed as a clown for charity events and kids’ parties, Gacy murdered 33 or so teenage boys and young men, 26 of them he buried in the crawlspace under his house. This dude has totally perpetuated the scary clown stereotype. He and Ronald McDonald, Ronald with his creepy, red rimmed, dead eyes.
Bonus info: Fear Factory’s ‘Suffer Age’, Macabre’s ‘Gacy’s Lot’ and Bathory’s ’33 Something’ are also about Clowny McGee Gacy.
JUDAS PRIEST – ‘THE RIPPER’
Serial killer: Jack the Ripper, England
Crimes: Also known as the Whitechapel Murderer and Leather Apron, Jack the Ripper was never identified, but his MO (in Latin modus operandi which translates to method of operation) of slitting the throats of and gutting prostitutes made it clear that the victims were his (or perhaps a copycat’s).
Bonus info: Lordi’s ‘Blood Red Sandman’, Iced Earth’s ‘Jack’, Motörhead’s ‘Jack the Ripper’, Witchgrinder’s ‘Jack the Ripper’, Macabre’s ‘Jack the Ripper’ and Whitechapel’s entire album The Somatic Defilement are all also about the mysterious and elusive Jack the Ripper.
POLKADOT CADAVER – ‘LAST CALL IN JONESTOWN’
Serial killer: Jim Jones, USA
Crimes: Jim Jones, the leader of the religious cult Peoples Temple, is notorious for inciting the mass suicide of 900 of his followers in Jonestown, Guyana which included 300 children. Jones gave the group a drink laced with cyanide and encouraged them to commit suicide to avoid being tortured and murdered by some sort of conspiracy theory mumbo jumbo.
Bonus info: Jones was found dead, with a gunshot to the head, but it wasn’t determined whether it was self-inflicted. Manowar’s ‘Guyana (Cult of the Damned)’ and The Acacia Strain’s ‘Jonestown’ are also about Jimbo Jones and his crazy crew.
EXODUS – ‘THE BALLAD OF LEONARD AND CHARLES’
Serial killers: Leonard Lake and Charles Ng, USA
Crimes: The crime duo raped, murdered and tortured somewhere between 11 and 25 people in a dungeon beside Lake’s woodland cabin.
Bonus info: After being apprehended by the police, Lake revealed his and Ng’s identities then swallowed cyanide capsules he’d sewn into his clothes, dying four days later.
SYSTEM OF A DOWN – ‘ATWA’
Serial killer: Charles Manson, USA
Crimes: Leader of the group known as the Manson Family, was found guilty of conspiring to murder seven people. Although he didn’t actually commit the murders himself, he was convicted because he instructed members of his group to commit the murders and there is a law that makes co-conspirators guilty of the act that they conspired to commit.
Bonus info: ATWA stands for air, trees, water animals and all the way alive, which was some sort of environmental theory espoused by Manson.
SLAYER – ‘ANGEL OF DEATH’
Serial killer: Joseph Mengele, Germany
Crimes: Mengele, also known as the Angel of Death, was a doctor in the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz during World War II. He performed torturous and deadly experiments on the prisoners in the camp.
Bonus info: After many Mengele sightings after his supposed death in 1979, his body was exhumed in 1985 and it was determined that the body was highly likely to be his. DNA tests confirmed this in 1992.
RAMMSTEIN – ‘MEIN TEIL’
Serial killer: Armin Meiwes, Germany
Crimes: While technically not a serial killer, Armin Meiwes has made it to this list based on the unusual nature of his crimes. Meiwes advertised online, seeking a person that he could kill and eat. Strangely enough, someone responded to his ad. Meiwes cut off his volunteer’s penis and cooked it in a pan (did someone say hotdog?). The word on the street is that Meiwes’ later stabbed his victim in the throat, hung him from a meat hook and ground his bones to use as flour.
Bonus info: Mein teil means ‘my part’, which in German is a slang term for penis. Bloodbath’s ‘Eaten’, Marilyn Manson’s ‘Eat Me, Drink Me’ and Macabre’s ‘The Wüstenfeld Man Eater’ were also inspired by Meiwes.
SUFFOCATION – ‘BIND TORTURE KILL’
Serial killer: Dennis Rader, USA
Crimes: Also known as the BTK Killer, BTK being an acronym for bind torture kill, killed ten people and sent letters to the police and the media describing the murders.
Bonus info: In addition to the letters, Rader also wrote poems. Presumably not romantic love poems. Sorry ladies.
CELTIC FROST – ‘INTO THE CRYPTS OF RAYS’
Serial killer: Gilles de Rais, France
Crimes: In the fifteenth century de Rais was convicted for murdering hundreds of children and was later sentenced to death.
Bonus info: The Black Dahlia Murder’s ‘The Window’, Macabre’s ‘The Black Knight’ and Cradle of Filth’s album Godspeed on the Devil’s Thunder are all inspired by de Rais. Have a look at the lyrics to ‘The Window’ for some extra creepiness.
KING DIAMOND – ‘KILLER’
Serial killer: Richard Ramirez, USA
Crimes: Ramirez was dubbed the Night Stalker because his murders were nocturnal home invasions. He was convicted for the murder of 13 people along with some attempted murders, sexual assaults and burglaries.
Bonus info: Exodus’ ‘Going Going Gone’, Macabre’s ‘Night Stalker’, The Acacia Strain’s ‘Ramirez’ and Melbourne’s own Internal Nightmare’s ‘Profuse Bleeding’ are also about Mr Ramirez.
– Photo by John Raptis