ALSO ON DECEMBER 8th
The killing of Dimebag Darrell
Every December 8, we remember the 1980 assassination of John Lennon, an event that far overshadows another rock musician murder on that date — in 2004.
Guitarist Dimebag Darrell was performing with the heavy metal band Damageplan at the Alrosa Villa nightclub in Columbus, Ohio.
During the first song a psycho rushed onto the stage and pumped several bullets into Dimebag with a Beretta 9mm semi-automatic pistol.
Dimebag died on the spot. He was 38.
COURAGE AMID THE MAYHEM
The madman, later identified as Nathan Gale, began firing wildly into the crowd. The band’s head of security, Jeff ‘Mayhem’ Thompson, tackled Gale, but was fatally shot in the struggle.
A fan, Nathan Bray, and a nightclub employee, Erin Halk, rushed in and tried to grab Gale’s gun while he was reloading. Both were shot dead.
Gale grabbed a spectator around the neck and held his gun at the man’s head. The madman kept on shooting, wounding three others in the crowd.
COP AIMS FOR KILL SHOT
A Columbus police officer, James Niggemeyer, armed with a 12-gauge Remington shotgun, entered the club from the backstage. He maneuvered for a position to make a kill shot.
Gale, with his gun at the holstage’s head, made his way to the rear of the club. Then, from twenty feet away, the cop took aim and fired once. The bullet smashed into Gale’s head and he dropped dead to the floor.
The madness was over, but Dimebag and three other courageous people were dead. Gale was a former Marine who had been given a medical discharge — the diagnosis: paranoid schizophrenia.
Dimebag’s real name was Darrell Lance Abbott, the son of country music producer Jerry Abbott. Before joining Damageplan he was the guitarist for the heavy metal band Pantera.
EDDIE VAN HALEN AMONG MOURNERS
Thousands of people were at his public memorial, including Eddie Van Halen, and heavy metal guitarists Jerry Cantrell, Dino Cazares,Corey Taylor and Zakk Wylde.
Dimebag was buried alongside his mother Carolyn at the Moore Memorial Gardens cemetery in Arlington, Texas. Gene Simmons donated a Kiss Kasket for the burial, and Eddie Van Halen gave his original black-and-yellow-striped 1979 Charvel ’Bumblebee’ guitar to be included in the casket.
RAW FOOTAGE OF THE SHOOTINGS
Tap bottom right to enlarge