When Dave Navarro was 15, a spurned ex-boyfriend of Navarro's mom killed her and a friend who was also at her LA condo. Due to a custody scheduling swap, Navarro was with his dad at the time; otherwise, the rocker says, he believes John Riccardi would have murdered him as well. Navarro, the lead guitarist for Jane's Addiction and one-time guitarist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, made a documentary about the 1983 murders, Mourning Son, that was released on Tuesday, and as part of the filmmaking process he met with Riccardi at California's San Quentin State Prison, where he's serving a life sentence. Navarro recounted the 2013 meeting to the New York Times: "I happen to have one of these conditions where if I'm afraid of something, I have to do it," he explains.
He didn't want the documentary to focus on Riccardi: "I don't want to turn this guy into an interesting character," he explains. "I like a lot of crime television: 48 Hours, Dateline, Investigation Discovery. And very rarely in those stories are they focused on the family and the horror and the emotional impact. They're always focused on the killer, and I didn't want to tell that." So he was happy prison policy kept him from recording his meeting with Riccardi—a meeting that ended up being simply "an awkward exchange," he says. "I wanted it to make me feel scorn and anger and rage, and it just didn't." It did, however, cause him to have a big realization: that Riccardi is "just some old dude dying in jail." Mourning Son is available via video on demand and iTunes, Billboard reports. (Read more documentary stories.)