The 7 Best Songs About Serial Killers

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

These days, you can’t turn on a streaming service without seeing a new documentary about some serial killer. The true crime genre is everywhere.

So, we thought, where does the music world fit in? Indeed, what are the best songs about serial killers?

Well, you’re in luck. Here are the seven best songs dedicated to some of the most notorious crime committers of the past 100 years.

1. “Sadie” by Alkaline Trio

This 2005 song is dedicated the Charles Manson and his accomplice Susan Atkins, also known as Sadie Glutz. She was one of Manson’s crew who helped to carry out nine murders in the summer of 1969. The song strangely sympathizes with Sadie and includes a bit of her testimony read by Heather Hannoura, who helped design Alkaline Trio’s heart and skull logo.

2. “Jack The Ripper” by Motörhead

This song is about England’s most famous serial killer. On the band’s 10th album, March Ör Die, frontman Lemmy growls creepily about this notorious murderer. He sings: Tall dark stranger, knocking your door / Looking through the window / It’s you he’s looking for. It’s a horror flick in a song.

3. “Ted, Just Admit It” by Jane’s Addiction

The pleasant quality of the song almost doesn’t jibe with the subject matter: the infamous murderer Ted Bundy, who admitted to killing some 30 women in the mid-1970s, but who likely killed more. Bundy would also engage in necrophilia with the dead bodies. And he decapitated over a dozen of them.

4. “Arcarsenal” by At The Drive-In

Dedicated to the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who was also known as the Milwaukee Cannibal after killing 17 people between 1978 and 1991, this song highlights the grotesque life of someone who did horrible things, including cannibalism.

5. “Suffer Age” by Fear Factory

John Wayne Gacy murdered 33 teenage boys in the mid-1970s inside a ranch house in Illinois. He became known as the Killer Clown because he would dress up as the character Pogo the Clown. Terrifying. This song is dedicated to the killer who would hide his victims in a crawl space at his home.

6. “Zodiac” by Melvins

The famed Pacific Northwest proto-grunge group dedicated this 1991 song to the famed Zodiac Killer, whose identity was finally confirmed in 2021 as Gary Francis Poster. A sludgy track in honor of the murderer who tormented a community and killed upwards of 37 people (though only seven are confirmed).

7. “Going, Going Gone” by Exodus

From the band’s 2005 album, Shovel Headed Kill Machine, this metal band offers the story of serial killer Richard Ramirez, also known as the Night Stalker. He was a Satanist who terrorized the people of Los Angeles in the mid-1980s, invading homes and slicing up and shooting his victims. He murdered 13 before he was caught.

(Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)

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