Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Thirteen Songs Inspired By Serial Killers

Apart from being terrifying and horrific, serial killers are oddly fascinating. Why do we find ourselves so obsessed over them? Is it just the fear and revulsion, or is something else at play? And it's not just us. Songwriters are often inspired by serial killers. Here are thirteen songs with extremely sinister origins.

22 Comments / Post A Comment

KarenUhOh (#19)

Dastardly defective linkage. Let's try that again; "The Ballad of Charles Whitman":


KarenUhOh (#19)

All right. Copy and paste the damn thing. Where's my 44?

BadUncle (#153)

What? No "Gary Gimore's Eyes?"


blackalabama (#1,434)

came here to suggest this song by the adverts too.

Although it's not based on an actual serial killer, I always kind of dug, "Dave, Stop Killing Prostitutes" by Mclusky:

gumplr (#66)

Also Sufjan's "John Wayne Gacy Jr.". No song gives me the creeps more.

sharilyn (#4,599)

I was JUST going to suggest that – it gives me the chills, too.

Tulletilsynet (#333)

Word. What's creepier is my kids love that Illinoise CD as much as I do & so I have to listen to them listening to John Wayne Gacy Jr.

What about Midnight Creeper by the Eagles of Death Metal? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sApYX_R4LRo

HiredGoons (#603)

While not technically about a real serial killer, I find 'Lotion' by the Greenskeepers to be all kinds of awesome.


GailPink (#9,712)

Had no idea that Jane's song was about Ted Bundy. Live and learn.

KarenUhOh (#19)

"TV Set," Cramps. I'm going to assume the narrator is a repeat offender.


kilgub (#7,768)

Expected to see Nebraska.

But also happy to add it.

Dave Bry (#422)

Yes. Thanks. I thought about that. And it maybe should have been on there. But I felt like Starkweather didn't fit the strict definition of a serial killer. He went on a killing spree (and is thus often referred to as a "spree killer.") But it seems like serial killers sort of actively hunt their victims—and spread their killings out over a longer period of time? I don't know. I'm probably splitting hairs here. And "Nebraska" is an awesome enough song to be included on any list, even if it's subject matter doesn't strictly fit the criteria. Everybody should listen to it every day. But also, I liked the number 13 for the list.

Tulletilsynet (#333)

I'm grateful the D–rs didn't make the cut, for whatever reason.

kilgub (#7,768)

True, Starkweather was probably more of a "spree" than "serial" killer. Also, he kinda comes before what I think of (for whatever reason) as the serial killers' heyday (the 70s).

JohnnyP (#10,616)

Fuckin' SLAYERRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

iago (#10,946)

Harry Chapin's "Sniper" should be on the list: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NB5_N-D5sv0

anita (#10,952)

Cheap Trick did The Ballad of T.V. Violence (I'm Not the Only Boy)which was about Richard Speck. Very tense song.

theoldbalddude (#10,954)

Kinky Friedman's Ballad of Charles Whitman certainly belongs here. Better song than any of the rest of this junk.

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