“Music Made Me Do It” — 7 Cases

Throughout history, there have been a good number of serial killers, madmen etc., who have claimed in one sense or another that ‘Music made me do it!’  Let’s check out a few….

1) Drowning Pool song blamed for assassination attempt/ shooting spree, and the murder of 2 adoptive parents


Tucson, Arizona – 2011:  Jared Loughner terrorized the community in a shooting rampage that resulted in him killing six people, including a nine-year-old girl and injuring eighteen more people, including the US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.  The intent of the attack was to assassinate US Congresswoman Giffords. The dead included Giffords staffer Gabe Zimmerman and U.S. District Judge John Roll. Giffords recovered in a Houston, Texas rehabilitation hospital.  People around the world watched as Ms. Giffords recovered slowly, sharing her details of the day of the shooting.

Loughner, was quickly arrested soon after the shooting suffering only minor injuries when people at the shopping center hit him and wrestled him to the ground moments after he fired more than 30 shots.

In the following Police investigation, police learned that Loughner was a fan of the band Drowning Pool, and their song “Bodies” was his favorite. With this claim, the media did what it does (guesses?) and began to air reports claiming the song might very well  have been an inspiration for the shootings.

When asked about the subject, Drowning Pool was said to be devastated by the Giffords shooting. As well as posted a statement on their website that the shooters misinterpreted their lyrics, which cannot be blamed for the actions of these people and the resulting tragedies.

2)Richard Ramirez ‘Night Stalker’ and AC/DC ‘Night Prowler’

Los Angeles and San Francisco, California – 1984-1985: Richard Ramirez, was an American serial killer, rapist, and burglar. 

In June 1985, a highly publicized murder case began revolving around Richard Ramírez, who was responsible for more than 15 brutal murders as well as rapes and attempted murders in Los Angeles. Nicknamed the “Night Stalker”, Ramírez was a fan of AC/DC, particularly the song “Night Prowler”. Police also claimed that Ramírez was wearing an AC/DC shirt and left an AC/DC hat at one of his crime scenes. During the trial, Ramírez shouted “Hail Satan!” and showed off the pentagram carved into his palm. The incident brought extremely bad publicity to the band, whose concerts and albums were suddenly campaigned against by parents in Los Angeles County.[citation needed] On VH1’s Behind the Music on AC/DC, the band claimed that while the song had taken on a murderous connotation by Ramírez, it is actually about a boy sneaking into his girlfriend’s bedroom at night.


3)Mayhem & Norwegian Black Metal Violence

Norwegian black metal has been blamed for much violence in Norway, including multiple church burnings. But few black metal bands are more infamous than Mayhem. In 1991, their lead singer Per Yngve Ohlin aka Dead, killed himself in a house owned by the band. Band member Euronymous found the body and went to the store and bought a camera and took pictures of the body, which ended up as album art on one of the bands bootlegs. Rumor has it that pieces of his skull were kept as mementos.
Then in 1993, temporary Mayhem member Varg Vikernes (of Burzum) stabbed and killed Euronymous. Black Metal became subject of intense scrutiny as waves of violence across the country brought the underground music to the media’s attention.


4)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.


5)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. 

6)Chancey Luna, James Edwards, And Michael Jones


These three teenagers were involved in the shooting of Australian baseball athlete Chris Lane in 2013 while he was in the United States on a scholarship. Lane was out for a jog and heading to his girlfriend’s home in Duncan, Oklahoma. It was during this jog that Lane was shot dead by Luna and Edwards. Jones provided a vehicle for a quick means to escape. Upon being questioned, the teenagers said they believed the gun they had contained blanks. Luna fired the fatal shot; Jones was the driver, and Edwards was reportedly rolling blunts in the passenger seat of the car during the shooting.

Luna and Jones were charged with first-degree murder, and Edwards was found to be an accessory.

At first, the police suspected the crime to be gang-related, but after reviewing tweets from the teens’ phones, they suspected that rapper Chief Keef had a major impact on the teens, as he was mentioned in those tweets. This rapper was a major influence and idol to the teens and the lyrics from his songs which are known to be violent, are thought to have spurred the teens into committing a murder. Chief Keef is seen as a role model by many in the gangster rap culture.


 7)Man Murders Boy for Playing Rap Music

Jordan Davis

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.


So what are your thoughts on this topic?  Do you think it is fair to place blame on the music?  Leave your thoughts in the reply box and don’t forget to hit that follow button!

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