Prepare to ‘dabble in evil’ as we sift through this hellish true crime playlists, comprised of songs written about serial killers, mass murderers, cult leaders, and sometimes, the victims themselves.
Serial killers and mass murderers are hellish, absolutely repugnant individuals. Honestly, for those of us who are normal, it’s difficult to grasp how these individuals could be so heartless and spineless to commit such horrific crimes. Even though we find ourselves turned off by these unspeakable actions, we also can’t get enough of it. It’s sick, but these killers are so outlandish, it’s almost unbelievable how and what they did. True crime is incredibly disturbing, yet also fascinating.
On The Musical Hype, I’ve compiled and written several true crime-centered playlists. What’s interesting about the songs on these lists is how they convey the stories, crimes, and mindset of the respective killers. It’s dark and more-often-than-not explicit, but also confirms how music can convey brutal, chilling tales. So, sit down, and dabble in evil on these wild true crime playlists!
Specific Serial Killer, Mass Murderer, or Cult Leader Playlists
These specific playlists are listed Chronologically by publication date (oldest to most recent).
An Eerie Soundtrack to Jeffrey Dahmer
Published June 27, 2017
Headline: Jeffrey Dahmer ranks among the most infamous serial killers ever. Numerous musicians have written songs depicting his hellishness.
Intro (Excerpt): Marilyn Manson wrote a song that seems applicable right about now: “Killing Strangers.” Indeed, homosexual serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer killed lots of strangers, all boys and men. Historically, Dahmer changed the game. Unfortunately, his idea of being game changing is absolutely abhorrent any way you examine it. This article doesn’t seek to retell the horrific biography of the infamous serial killer but explores songs that have been written based on his life and heinous acts. Many of the artists nail it.
Must Hear: Kesha, “Cannibal” (Cannibal, 2010)
A Most Gruesome Soundtrack to John Wayne Gacy
Published July 4, 2017
Headline: John Wayne Gacy ranks among the most infamous serial killers ever. Numerous musicians have written songs depicting his hellishness.
Intro (Excerpt): John Wayne Gacy lived a double life. To the naïve world until he was caught, the serial killer was a productive citizen. Notably, he dressed up as a clown, Pogo, for kids’ birthday parties. Okay that didn’t end up being harmless, but it seemed so to most. The real Gacy was a monster through and through. His house – particularly the crawlspace – was the site of utter horrendousness. Disgusting, gruesome, and devilish don’t give the man the proper respect he deserves for being such a bad man. The nine featured songs on this particular playlist provide a most gruesome soundtrack to Mr. Gacy.
Must Hear: Sufjan Stevens, “John Wayne Gacy, Jr.”(Illinoise, 2005)
12 Songs Written About or Inspired by Ted Bundy | Playlist
Published August 1, 2017
Headline: Ted Bundy. One of the very worst humans to grace planet earth, period. Numerous musicians have written songs about his horrific crimes and murders.
Intro (Excerpt): “I got wiring loose inside my head.” Porcupine Tree perfectly described the deranged nature of serial killers on the quote excerpted from “Blackest Eyes” (more on that later). Ted Bundy definitely had some wiring loose in his head, connected to at least 36 murders, likely more. He famous, but the more accurate characterization is infamous. It’s safe to say Mr. Bundy was one of the very worst humans to grace planet earth, which has its fair share of horrible people. But being infamous earns you plenty of fame, bad or otherwise, including songs written and inspired by his horrific crimes and murders. Here are 12 songs written about or inspired by Ted Bundy.
Must Hear: Jane’s Addiction, “Ted, Just Admit It…” (Nothing’s Shocking, 1988)
The Armin Meiwes EP | Playlist
Published August 2, 2017
Headline: Continuing a monstrous playlist series, Armin Meiwes, the infamous Rotenburg Cannibal, gets a twisted soundtrack of 5 songs regarding his perverseness.
Intro (Excerpt): “I always had the fantasy and in the end, I fulfilled it.” Who is Armin Meiwes and what makes him special? Armin Meiwes, a native of Rotenberg, German, killed and ate a man. Eating human flesh makes him a cannibal. The killing part, coupled with the sexual pleasure, now creates a new monster, vorarephilia. Just let that bit of info about Mr. Meiwes sink in. Even more screwed up is the fact that his victim, Bernd Brandes, agreed to be eaten and killed. To quote Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.
Must Hear: Bloodbath, “Eaten” (Nightmares Made Flesh, 2005)
Source: The Armin Meiwes EP | Playlist
A Twisted Soundtrack for Ed Gein: Butcher of Plainfield
Published August 7, 2017
Headline: Ed Gein was another one of those terrible serial killers. Here, we’ve compiled 13 songs that make up a Twisted Soundtrack for the Butcher of Plainfield.
Intro (Excerpt): “In the depths of a mind insane / Fantasy and reality are the same!” That must be what was happening in the mind of Ed Gein. By no means was Ed Gein, The Butcher of Plainfield, a prolific serial killer. But, he was definitely mentally unstable. After the death of his mother, Gein seemed to completely lose it. That said, he was always cray cray. Besides being a murderer, he was also a grave robber, exhuming bodies and desecrating the deceased. Famously, Gein repurposed human skin and body parts…we’ll leave that at that.
Must Hear: Mudvayne, “Nothing to Gein” (L.D. 50, 2000)
A Blood Soundtrack to Countess Elizabeth Báthory | Playlist
Published August 14, 2017
Headline: One of the rare female serial killers, who happened to be royalty, a number of songs have been written about the ‘Blood Countess,’ Elizabeth Báthory.
Intro (Excerpt): Countess Elizabeth Báthory was something else – a hot mess to say the least. Safe to say, the Blood Countess wasn’t playing around when it came to murder… Despite being part of a family that included royalty, the same family also included dysfunction beyond the countess herself. Her status allowed her to be prolific, but as with all serial killers, they make mistakes – even royalty. After feeding on the lowest females in society, she began to expand into those with status. That was a no-no.
Must Hear: Candlemass, “The Bleeding Baroness” (Death Magic Doom, 2009)
10 Dark, Twisted Songs About Albert Fish
Published September 5, 2018
Headline: Many serial killers have had their crimes and suspect mental states captured via songs. Here are 10 songs written about early serial killer Albert Fish.
Intro (Excerpt): Albert Fish (1870 – 1936) was NOT a good guy. Sometimes, he’s referred to as “The Gray Man” or “The Werewolf of Wysteria,” among other names. Clearly, Fish represents everything that’s wrong with the world. EVERYTHING! He was a pedophile, a murderer, and a cannibal… Like so many serial killers, their crimes and psychological mindsets have made their way into a number of songs. Most of the time, it is rock bands, particularly death metal bands, that tackle such heavy subject matter. Death metal bands as well as a couple of rappers get in on the action to capture Fish musically. Expectedly, the results are diabolical and infernal.
Must Hear: Exhumed, “Instruments of Hell” (Platters of Splatter, 2004)
12 Songs About Jack the Ripper
Published October 17, 2017
Headline: In our latest true crime playlist, we explore 12 songs written about the infamous, unidentified, British serial killer, Jack the Ripper.
Intro (Excerpt): …Jack the Ripper is a breed of serial killer that’s more mysterious than some. Why? We never found out who he was as he was NEVER caught. What we do know is, he killed women, but not just any women – prostitutes – the lowest members of society… This list compiles 12 songs written about Jack the Ripper. Undoubtedly there are more and surely in the future some dark soul will compose another but think of this as a starting spot.
Must Hear: Whitechapel, “The Somatic Defilement” (The Somatic Defilement, 2007)
10 Songs About Cult Leader Jim Jones & Jonestown
Published October 20, 2017
Headline: In our latest true crime playlist, we highlight 10 songs about cult leader Jim Jones and his followers at Jonestown.
Intro (Excerpt): Jim Jones perfectly exemplifies the phrase “false prophet.” Ultimately, he led his “flock” to their deaths. That death was a mass suicide thanks to chiefly to cyanide-laced punch. Perhaps it’s his persuasiveness and devilish actions and influence that also often finds him labeled as not only a cult leader, but also a mass murderer. This playlist of 10 songs centers around Jones, the infamous cult he led, and most sadly, the unfortunate aftermath.
Must Hear: Accept, “Koolaid” (Rise of Chaos, 2017)
3 Musical Selections About Gilles De Rais
Published November 16, 2017
Headline: This ‘quickie,’ true crime playlist contains 3 songs about Gilles de Rais, who both fought alongside Joan of Arc and killed and sexually abused children.
Intro (Excerpt): Who was Gilles de Rais? De Rais (c. 1405 – 1440) is notable in history for fighting alongside Joan of Arc. Unfortunately, he is also infamous because he was a convicted pedophilic serial killer. Eww! Not only did he kill innocent children, but the pervert also sodomized them. Metal bands The Black Dahlia Murder, Macabre, and Celtic Frost depict this devilish man musically.
Must Hear: Macabre, “The Black Knight” (Grim Scary Tales, 2011)
8 Chilling Songs About Charles Manson
Published November 21, 2017
Headline: Following the death of cult leader, murderer, and pop cultural icon Charles Manson, we examine 8 chilling songs about, influenced, or referencing him.
Intro (Excerpt): Infamous cult leader and mass murderer Charles Manson died on Sunday, November 19, 2017. Manson had been incarcerated for five decades, escaping a sentence that originally called or the death penalty. Since influencing his followers, The Family, to commit utterly brutal murders in 1969, including actress Sharon Tate, his influence within pop culture has run rampant. Manson has made a name for himself…albeit negative to the nth degree. Hmm, interesting how his “dash” is defined…
Must Hear: Ozzy Osbourne, “Bloodbath in Paradise” (No Rest for the Wicked, 1988)
Songs About or Inspired by The Son of Sam
Published January 23, 2018
Headline: In our latest true crime playlist endeavor, we explore 10 songs about or inspired by David Berkowitz, better known as ‘Son of Sam.’
Intro (Excerpt): Berkowitz/Son of Sam isn’t a good man…or at least that was the case the late 1970s. Son of Sam was a New York serial killer who is currently serving a sentence of life imprisonment for his pointless murders…This playlist is comprised of 10 songs centered on Berkowitz. Featured musicians depicting Berkowitz’s hellishness are Hall & Oates, Overkill, Macabre, Dead Boys, Green Jelly, Church of Misery, Elliott Smith, The Electric Hellfire Club, and Shinedown.
Must Hear: Daryl Hall and John Oates, “Diddy Doo Wop (I Hear the Voices)”
8 Songs About ‘The Night Stalker,’ Richard Ramirez
Published January 31, 2018
Headline: 8 Songs About ‘The Night Stalker,’ Richard Ramirez captures the hellishness of one of the most repugnant individuals to walk the earth.
Intro (Excerpt): “666, the number of the beast / Hell and fire was spawned to be released.” The famed lyric from the Iron Maiden classic “The Number of the Beast” seems appropriate when speaking about Richard Ramirez (1960 – 2013) … Notably, one of the few handsome serial killers, his good looks don’t supplant his horrific ways… Ultimately, the eight songs featured in Songs About ‘The Night Stalker,’ Richard Ramirez capture the hellishness of one of the most repugnant individuals to walk the earth.
Must Hear: The Acacia Strain, “Ramirez” (Wormwood, 2010)
Compilations True Crime Playlists
18 Chilling Songs About Serial Killers
Published July 26, 2017
Headline: The world is disgusted and fascinated with serial killers and the crimes they commit. Here are 18 Chilling Songs that capture the horror of Serial Killers.
Chilling Songs About Serial Killers, Take 2
Published August 18, 2017
10 Songs About Mass Murderers, Vol. 1
Published August 22, 2017
Headline: Move over twisted serial killers. The equally, if not more disturbing mass murderers are the subject of our latest, criminally insane playlist.
Chilling Songs About Serial Killers, Take 3
Published September 22, 2017
17 Songs Written in the Aftermath of Columbine
Published September 26, 2017
Headline: Numerous songs have been written in the aftermath of the Columbine Massacre. This playlist explores 17 songs written in the aftermath.
10 Songs About Mass Murderers, Vol. 2
Published September 29, 2017
Chilling Songs About Serial Killers, Take 4
Published September 29, 2017
Chilling Songs About Serial Killers, Take 5
Published November 3, 2017
Chilling Songs About Serial Killers, Take 6
Published November 10, 2017