The parents of a teenage girl who was raped, tortured and stabbed to death have filed a lawsuit accusing the rock band Slayer of inspiring the ritualistic killing.
The lawsuit, filed Monday, contends lyrics to Slayer songs prompted three teenage boys to drag 15-year-old Elyse Marie Pahler into a secluded grove last July, rape her, tie a belt around her neck and stab her.
“Defendants, with reckless disregard for the consequences, composed, performed, distributed and marketed satanic … music, lyrics, literature and other materials which influenced the emotions, behavior and actions of certain individuals,” said the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages.
Slayer, its individual members and its record company, American Recordings, are named in the lawsuit. A call seeking comment from the label was not immediately returned.
Pahler’s mother, Lisanne Pahler, told KSBY-TV that she and her husband, David, filed the lawsuit after learning from investigators that the boys had modeled their own band, Hatred, after Slayer and had been influenced by Slayer lyrics.
Prosecution documents allege the boys “formed a musical band to glorify Satan. To enhance their musical ability to worship Satan and thereby earn a ‘ticket to hell,’ they discussed the need for human sacrifice.”
The three also, “to glorify Satan and commit ‘the ultimate sin’ against God, selected a virgin to sacrifice,” the documents said.
Royce E. Casey, 17, Jacob W. Delashmutt, 16, and Joseph Fiorella, 15, are charged with murder, rape, torture, and conspiracy to commit murder.
Lisanne Pahler said she did not believe the band was protected by the First Amendment.
“Are we going to allow freedom to murder?” she asked. “How far can you take it?”
The lawsuit also names the boys’ parents as defendants on the grounds they “knew or should have known of their tendencies and habits towards satanism and violence.”
Slayer was a pioneer of the “death metal” sound with albums that include “Show No Mercy,” “Hell Awaits” and “Reign in Blood.”