The 6 Musician Murders That We May Never Solve


When you hear a song on the radio, you hardly think about what an artist goes through to get there: the competition, the hard partying, the pressure to succeed. These six unsolved deaths bring the ugly underbelly of the music industry to the surface. We pair each artist with their swan song hit.

NANCY SPUNGEN (1958-1978)

Sid and Nancy. The punk rock couple had a tumultuous relationship fueled by — you guessed it — sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Nancy was found dead in the bathroom of THE REPORTEDLY HAUNTED HOTEL CHELSEA, of a stab wound to the belly. Though Sid Vicious of The Sex Pistols was accused and charged with murder (he died four months later of a heroin overdose), many claim another may have done the deed. Two drug dealers were at the apartment that same night and many items were missing from the room — including a large amount of money. The case was closed following Sid’s death.

BOBBY FULLER (1942-1966)

Singer Bobby Fuller’s life ended just as his career was gaining traction. Fuller was found dead in the driver’s seat of his car, doused with gasoline, bruising on his chest and shoulders, with a broken right index finger. LAPD ruled it as an accidental suicide. To this day many speculate there was foul play — brother and band mate Randy Fuller just penned a biography I FOUGHT THE LAW: THE LIFE AND STRANGE DEATH OF BOBBY FULLER (1942-1966) — possibly involving the mob, Charles Manson, LSD, and/or an official cover up.

PETER IVERS (1946-1983)

Musician Peter Ivers was widely known as the host of the underground cable access show New Wave Theatre. He penned the song “In Heaven” for David Lynch’sEraserhead. Ivers was found beaten to death in his bed, a loft in Los Angeles’ Skid Row, but a culprit was never named. A 2009 book IN HEAVEN EVERYTHING IS FINE unearthed new research findings into the events surrounding his murder, and the LAPD has since reopened the case.

TUPAC SHAKUR (1971-1996)

The outspoken rapper had long been embroiled in an East Coast/West Coast hip-hop rivalry involving rapper Biggie Smalls and record label Bad Boy Records (helmed by P. Diddy). While in a vehicle with record producer Suge Knight, Tupac was shot multiple times in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas and died six days later of his injuries. That same night he was involved in an altercation with the South Side Crips. Though many were implicated, no one was charged for the murder.

 BIGGIE SMALLS (1972-1997)


Tupac’s contemporary and rival met a similar fate. Christopher Wallace was gunned down in the passenger side of a Suburban while leaving a party in Los Angeles. Again, no one was charged, further fueling accusations of foul play, the involvement of Suge Knight, and criminal police activities. The rapper’s mother and widow filed a wrongful death suit against the city of Los Angeles, but it was later dismissed.

 ELLIOTT SMITH (1969-2003)


Mr. Misery sang somber indie rock songs of depression and addiction. His hit song “Miss Misery” was featured in Good Will Hunting. Friends of Smith confirmed he talked about taking his life on a regular basis. But when he actually did die in 2003 of an apparent suicide, suspicions arose that he may have been murdered. His musician girlfriend Jennifer Chiba told police that she locked herself in the bathroom during a big fight. When she emerged, she found him with a knife to his chest, pulled the knife out, and called 9-1-1. The medical examiner’s reports raised eyebrows: There were what appeared to be small defensive wounds on his hands and right arm and a lack of hesitation wounds, preliminary attempts common to self-inflicted wounds. No charges were ever filed.

This article originally appeared on The Lineup.

Photos: YouTube

  • Guest

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        • Rebecca

          😁 lol.

        • carolyn

          Douche bag. Get a life and a real job.

  • Camille

    I can’t believe they would put that nasty, NO TALENT, junkie, tramp, Nancy Spungen, in same category as these guys that were off the charts talented.

    • Cupcake Pajamapants

      She wasn’t even a musician!

  • Guest

    Every Time crimefeed with you ————— SEE MORE INFO<—– <<<<

  • Not Scorsese

    Was wondering if Elliott Smith would make this list…

  • Bear3825

    Biggie Smalls and Tupac are not musicians. They are rappers. Even Nancy Spungen had vocals on “Did You No Wrong” even played guitar. Tell me again what instrument or singing Biggie or Tupac play or do. Guys like them are responsible for the glorification of the Gang Member Lifestyle along with the rest of the no talent hacks who think speaking in cadense is art.

    • Nikhil Bhushan

      @Bear3825. “A musician is a person who plays a musical instrument or is musically talented, or one who composes, conducts, or performs music.
      Musicians can specialize in any musical style, and some musicians play in a variety of different styles.”-Websters dictionary.

      So you are indeed wrong. Those “thugs” both wrote their own lyrics(composed),recorded those songs(conducted) and went and performed them many times(perform) in concert. Your racist views are what show in your comment. There are a lot of Tupac songs that are about the exact opposite of violence and about various other topics. But you wouldn’t know. They aren’t the bigger hits so you never heard them or would give them a chance. Your closed off mind is made up. And I’m neither white or black so this isn’t about supporting one race over another. I don’t do what you do. I see people. Not skin color. Regardless, you are indeed wrong about them not being musicians.

      • Bear3825

        Oh now if anyone says anything about anyone who is black is a racist. I have black, white, asian, and Pacific islanders in my family. Love all of them the same. But you know who agrees with me? My black stepdad and my black stepbrothers. None of which believe tupac or biggie have one iota of taken along with all the rest of the rappers. We all are however bhig fans of parliament, Luther, and many other R&B artists.

      • Bear3825

        I believe you are confused. They are talking about musicians. People who play instruments. The definition that you are looking for is vocalist. Tupac never wrote a note of music on a staff. Never conducted a score. And never played an instrument in concert. Your argument is invalid. Go back to Reddit.

    • carolyn

      Can you do it? That’s a very judgmental comment..

      • Bear3825

        No I play and read music and perform classical vocal pieces as well as perform with over 7 different instruments.

        Can you do that?

        • carolyn

          No, I never said I could. But, there are rappers that can. I mean, Flavor Flav is a prodigy and can play almost any instrument. Now what?

          • Bear3825

            Flav has my respect along with several others, but they are the exception not the rule. Most are using the extreme stretch of the definition “spoken word performers”. So I’ll sit and rhyme on your dime. See, I’m a rapper now too. Where is my record contract?

    • nina bates

      I agree with Bear3825. Rappers are not musicians. They are no-talent nobodies whose music sucks [in my opinion]. They sample all of the good music out there because they can’t even write any of their own.

  • ZeroMustGo

    The only actual “musician” in this article was Bobby Fuller. The rest? Thugs and poseurs.

    • nina bates

      You got that right ! Thank you !

  • Priscilla Nomiddlename Moreno

    Smalls and tupac ARE musicians, they are poets. Have you ever heard tupacs “the rose who grew from concrete”? I think rappers especially the freestyle rappers are very talented, smart and clever….. as far as nancy spungen goes…. she wasnt a musician but she was deeply disturbed… pick up “and i dont want to live this life” by deborah spungen (her mother) such a good read and a better understanding to her persona…

    • nina bates

      It’s not music. It’s talking fast. Music is singing. Not talking so fast and every other word is a swear.

    • Bear3825

      No Byron was a poet. At best rappers can be considered spoken word artists set to a rythmic cadence.

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  • Jack Hamilton

    What about John Lennon? Mark Chapman broke loser, flew to NYC from Hawaii several times, went to fancy hotels, shopped and lived like no tomorrow. The money he spent never made sense to me.
    What about Mozart? Everyone who saw Amadeus knows he was poisoned.
    So many interesting stories out there.

    • Brew Pub

      Paul hired and funded him. I thought that was common knowledge by now.

      • ImpertinentVixen

        Complete nonsense

        • Brew Pub

          and todays award for the person who thinks everything everyone says online is said as fact as opposed to tongue in cheek or joking go’s to…drumroll please….ImpertinentVixen

    • ladyoatie

      Because these are -unsolved- murders. Lennon’s was solved

    • nina bates

      John Lennon was a solved crime.

  • Klarn Mxyzptlk

    “. . . he talked about taking his life on a regular basis.” My impression is that one can take one’s life only once. Perhaps a study of syntax ought to be made by the author.