AC/DC Was Blamed For Inspiring Serial Killer Richard Ramirez
With Netflix dropping their new murder mystery documentary Night Stalker this week Rock N’ Roll True Stories takes a look at how AC/DC were implicated in the murders. Check out the full story below.
1985 saw AC/DC release their fourth album with singer Brian Johnson titled Fly on the wall. Johnson replaced frontman Bon Scott who died under mysterious circumstances in 1980. I have a whole video on his mysterious death down below in the description box. The band’s previous record 1983’s Flick of the Switch marked a commercial decline for the band as it failed to match the success of 1980’s back in black and 1981’s for those about to rock fly on the wall represented a further commercial decline for the groupwith the album only peaking at number 32 in America, considering their three previous records charted in the top 15.
Not helping things was that the band was about to tour the album and before they hit the road they soon became synonymous with the Richard Ramirez murders. It wouldn’t be the first bad press AC/DC received as the group had previously butted heads with religious groups and so called family values types. The band’s critics have long asserted that AC/DC were devil worshippers with album titles like Highway to Hell or songs like Hell’s Bells and some of the band’s critics would claim AC/DC stood for Anti-Christ/Devil’s Child (or Devil’s Children) Dubbed the night stalker by the media, serial killer Richard Ramirez terrorized the greater Los Angeles and San Francisco area for two summers over the course of 1984 and 1985.
No one seemed immune from his crimes as he targeted the young, the old, men and women in the privacy of their own homes late at night. A Ramirez murder On March 17, 1985 got AC/DC connected to his crimes. At the scene of the crime Ramirez left behind an AC/DC hat and things were only made worse when a childhood friend of his revealed he was a fan of the band from a young age.
The Police released the photo of the AC/DC hat from the crime scene hoping someone would recognize the owner of it On August 31, 1985, three days before AC/DC’s tour for Fly on the Wall was set to begin a group of hispanic los angelenos arrested Ramirez. It was reported that he was arrested wearing an AC/DC shirt.At the end of his spree he would take the lives of 16 people Following his arrest Ramirez claimed that the AC/DC song Night Prowler from the group’s 1979 album Highway to Hell inspired him to commit his heinous acts.
Also hampering AC/DC and rock music at this time was that in September of 1985 the censorship group the Parents Music Resource Centre which was founded and led by the wives of four Washington Politicians initiated hearings in the US senate to look into the impact of rock music on America’s youth. The controversy energized AC/DC opponents from the religious right who sought to ban the group’s concerts. At a local show in Springfield, Illinois a local pastor referred to them as i quote “immoral, suggestive, lustful and lewd, ” According to the book AC/DC: High-Voltage Rock ‘n’ Roll: The Ultimate Illustrated History the band received death threats in the run up to their springfield concert and while the show wasn’t cancelled the band had to lie on the floor of their bus and rebrand the exterior of their vehicle to read “Singers for Christ.”
According to the book AC / DC – Uncensored on the Record some hotel chains where the band had previously stayed refused to house them. Similar boycotts and calls for cancellations threatened other dates, but the band only cancelled one show and that was at costa mesa in california. Local radio stations around the City were pressured not to play music from the band’s new album. Several record stores carried notices warning customers not to buy AC/DC’s new album and their recordHighway to Hell was pulled off shelves in these stores. So what was the song night prowler about and what did the band have to say to its critics? Here’s an Entertainment Tonight report from 1985 with the band: AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young would tell VH1’s behind the music his thoughts on the connection to the