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20 Songs About Real-Life Murders

From Dahmer to Manson, music’s homicidal muses

In the days and weeks since Making a Murderer first appeared on Netflix, almost as much energy has been given to assembling lists of other binge-worthy true crime docs as to trying to figure out who really killed Teresa Halbach (if, of course, you don’t believe it was Steven Avery). But the truth is, we’ve always been obsessed with murderers and serial killers. Songwriters in particular. And so, instead of serving up another list of movies and TV series you should watch to fill the void Making a Murderer has left in your life—plus, we kinda already did it, too—here are a bunch of songs about some truly messed up crimes and people (Jeffrey Dahmer and Charles Manson chief among them).

— Jonny Coleman

Cheap Trick—“The Ballad of T.V. Violence (I’m Not The Only Boy)”
Sun Kil Moon—“
Richard Ramirez Died Today Of Natural Causes”
Sufjan Stevens — “
John Wayne Gacy, Jr.
Mudvayne — “Nothing to
Blind Melon — “
Bob Dylan — “Pretty Boy
Prince — “Annie
David Gilmour — “
Elliott Smith — “
Son of Sam
The Boomtown Rats — “
I Don’t Like Mondays
Hollywood Squares — “
Hillside Strangler
Thin Lizzy — “Killer on the Loose”
Josh Ritter — “
Folk Bloodbath
Insane Clown Posse—“
The Tower
The Black Keys — “
Stack Shot Billy”
Rolling Stones—“
Midnight Rambler
Macabre — “The
White Zombie — “
Real Solution #9
Swans — “
Killing for Company