The popularity of Monster: The Jeffery Dahmer Story on Netflix shows that, like a train wreck, viewers can’t seem to turn away from, offers insight into the gruesome mind of a serial killer. A renewed interest has been cast on what drives these deranged killers — what makes them so different and also what is relatively mundane. One of these things, although it’s bizarre to think about, is that these maniacs have their favorite bands and songs, just like us.
Would you be shocked to know that Dahmer himself was a fan of arguably one of the greatest bands of all time? Sadly, his love for this band had a dual, insidious purpose. (He would listen to this band while doing unspeakable things to his victims.) Another famous killer said that a particular hit song was his “inspiration” to commit murder. Yet another may have been further driven into madness by his failure to become a successful musician.
It is important to note, a few of these killers were into heavy metal. Some people have said that heavy metal music is a corrupting force in society. A movement spearheaded by senator Al Gore’s wife, Tipper, in the mid-’80s had a lasting effect on the way the public viewed certain kinds of music such as rap and metal. Gore and her ilk had decided that youth hearing “objectionable” forms of music with violent imagery or risque lyrics could turn them into ne’er do-wells, criminals or worse. Bands such as Judas Priest, Motley Crue, Twisted Sister and even Prince were vilified by these politicians.
So is there a correlation between heavy metal and serial killers?
Loads of scientific research has been done to see whether heavy metal makes good people bad, or that a preference for listening to heavy metal means one is rotten inside.
As one study, [The] Impact of Heavy Metal Music On Children, put it, “findings indicate that extreme music did not make an angry person angrier; rather it appeared to… result in an increase of positive emotions. [It] might represent a healthy way of processing anger.”
Plus, the favorite bands of the criminals below span way beyond heavy metal. Yacht rock, pop and classical music are represented, too. (Now that that’s out of the way, lets move on.)
Below, we cautiously wade into the musical tastes of 10 of the most infamous serial killers that terrified the world.
Content Warning: The nature of the crimes described ahead are disturbing and graphic and may be triggering to some individuals.
The Bands 10 Infamous Serial Killers Loved
The favorite musicians and songs of infamous serial killers.