Guns N’ Roses have unwittingly found themselves at the centre of a shocking murder trial in California’s Orange County.
According to one of the case’s chief prosecutors, accused killer Thomas Michael Wilhelm was listening to the rifflords’ classic G N’ R Lies tune Used To Love Her, minutes before he shot and killed his girlfriend back in 2012.
For the uninitiated, this is awkward because the song unfolds the tale of a man who kills his annoying girlfriend and buries her in his backyard.
Of course, the song was originally written as a joke, as frontman Axl Rose famously disclaimers before the Live Era album version that was recorded during the band’s 1988 performance in Tokyo.
“We write most of our songs based off an element of truth, this is like the only song we’ve written kind of out of fantasy and a joke,” Axl tells the cheering horde in the live track. “It’s kind of a sick subject, but you know, sometimes you think about it when your girlfriend or your boyfriend’s just a pain in the fuckin’ ass and you just wish you could cut their fuckin’ head off and stuff it in a bag and stick it in the backyard. This is a song called I Used To Love Her But I Had To Kill Her.”
Unfortunately though, Wilhelm may have taken some warped inspiration from the tongue-in-cheek lyrics of the jaunty blues number – AKA “I used to love her, but I had to kill her / I had to put her six feet under / and I can still hear her complain” – with the prosecutor alleging that he drunk-texted his mate eleven minutes before the shooting to reveal that he was listening to the GNR classic.
However, miraculously – because, well, the US – so far nobody has tried to pin any blame for the murder on GNR themselves, with the State alleging that Wilhelm plotted his crime well in advance.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Jim Mendelson claims Wilhelm killed his 45-year-old girlfriend Christine Marie Murray as vengeance for her taking over his long-time sprinkler business.
“He told her on multiple occasions that he was going to arrange her to see God,” Mendelson alleges (via OC Register), adding that on the night of the murder, Wilhelm broke into his neighbour’s home and stole a .32-caliber pistol, before blasting some GNR — and then blasting his GF six times.
The prosecutor adds that Murray’s niece arrived back from the chemist just in time to hear her aunt’s last words: “Tom shot me, call 911. I’m dying.”
Then, as police arrived, Wilhelm allegedly tried to shoot himself with the shotgun, but misfired.
“Please tell me she’s dead,” police claim he said as they dragged him away.
The defence are arguing that Wilhelm suffered from mental health issues and was “clouded by alcohol and extreme emotion over the loss of his business” at the time of the killing.
Wilhelm has been charged with first-degree murder and faces 50 years to life behind bars if convicted.
So chances are, this GNR fan is going to end up going from cranking Used To Love Her to being some big thug’s very own Rocket Queen.
Listen to the Live Era version of Used To Love Her below (and remember it’s a joke, you sickos).
Listen: Guns N’ Roses – ‘Used To Love Her’ (Live Era Version)