Did Spider Bite Kill Slayer Guitarist?
Jeff Hanneman died of liver failure yesterday at age 49
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 3, 2013 8:28 AM CDT
This 2009 publicity photo provided courtesy of Slayer shows, from left, Dave Lombardo, Kerry King, Jeff Hanneman and Tom Araya.   (Mark Seliger)

(Newser) – Jeff Hanneman, a founding member of Slayer whose career was irrevocably changed after a spider bite, has died at age 49. Slayer spokeswoman Heidi Robinson-Fitzgerald said Hanneman died yesterday morning of liver failure at a Los Angeles hospital with his wife, Kathy, by his side. The guitarist had recently begun writing songs with the band in anticipation of recording a new album later this year. He had been slowly recovering from what was believed to be a spider bite that nearly cost him his arm after he failed to seek immediate treatment. Robinson-Fitzgerald said it's believed the spider bite contributed to the failure of Hanneman's liver, but it is unclear whether an autopsy will be scheduled.

Hanneman co-founded the thrash metal pioneers in Huntington Beach, Calif., in 1982. "The music industry has lost a true trailblazer, and our deepest sympathies go out to his family, his bandmates, and fans around the world who mourn his untimely passing," said Neil Portnow, president and CEO of the Recording Academy, in a statement. "Jeff Hanneman will always be a metal god," rocker Andrew WK tweeted.

Copyright 2016 Newser, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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Showing 3 of 21 comments
May 4, 2013 10:42 PM CDT
Life as a rock star is what killed him. More than likely drank himself to death...The dude was on the liver transplant list. He just didn't make it in time. RIP...A sad day for Metal.
May 4, 2013 9:43 AM CDT
Would be nice to know which species of spider it was that bit him. Never heard of such a thing before. Where do these spiders live and where are they from ? Have you heard of the desert spider of the Sahara ? It will sneak up on you while your sleeping, bite and numb your face, and eat your nose off. This is true. Kill all the spiders !
May 3, 2013 8:18 PM CDT
It wasn't the spider, it was the frog he licked!