Mansfield murder suspect says heavy metal music inspired him before crime, police say


A Mansfield murder case is raising the question: Did music motivate someone to commit murder?

It all started when Mansfield police began questioning 31-year old Cody Lutz who, until his arrest, had no criminal record, not even a speeding ticket. Now, Lutz is in custody on a $1 million bond for the murder of 90-year-old Omar Brown.

Police say Lutz told them prior to the alleged crime, he had been listening to a lot of heavy metal music.

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"He told me he had been listening to — I believe Nordic heavy metal — and in the music, it spoke to him as to how he had to kill before midnight that night," said Detective Dave Scheurer.

Police say Brown was found stabbed in the neck with the sharp end of a broken wooden dowel that he had used to block his front door.

"I asked (Lutz) to estimate how many times he stabbed him and I asked him if it was more or less than 20 and he said it was less than 20," said Detective Scheurer.

If convicted, Lutz could face a possible death sentence.

For those who knew Omar Brown, they are at a loss as to why his life had to end this way.

But can listening to metal motivate someone to murder? 10TV asked Ohio State Associate Professor Daniel Shanahan, whose expertise is in music theory.

"Music is no more of a motivator than anything else to do evil," he said.

Shanahan said dark poetry and morbid lyrics have been around for centuries and said those who blame music have for their crimes use it conceal their own mental health issues.

"I'm a big Beatles fan, Charles Mansion also listened to the Beatles, but had a much different reaction to Helter Skelter than any other Beatles fan," he said.

Blaming music for crimes is not new.

In the late 1980's Ozzy Osbourne's song "Suicide Solution," faced both media and legal wrath. On Jan. 13, 1986, California youth John McCollum committed suicide while listening to the song. His parents took Osbourne to court, alleging that the song's lyrics caused their son to commit suicide.

Osbourne was cleared.

In one of the more famous instances of music and death, Judas Priest came under scrutiny in 1985 when 18-year-old Raymond Belknap and 20-year-old James Vance shot themselves in the head after drinking, smoking and listening to Judas Priest's album "Stained Glass". Belknap died and Vance lived for three more years.

Their families took Priest to court for a $6.2 million lawsuit, claiming that Priest's song, "Better by You, Better Than Me" contained subliminal messaging. The band was found not guilty, but the case set the precedent for bands to be sued for lyrical content.

Serial Killer Richard "Night Stalker" Ramirez wreaked havoc on California for 14 months in the 1980s. He committed 16 killings across the state, but when he accidentally left an AD/DC hat at one of the crime scenes, metal was blamed for his motivation. When he was caught and put on trial, Ramirez claimed that AC/DC's song "Night Prowler" inspired him to sneak into people's houses and kill them. The song is actually about someone sneaking into his girlfriend's house while her parents slept.

When Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students during a rampage at Columbine High School in 1999, it was later revealed they listened to industrial act KMFDM, German metal-heads Rammstein and Marylin Manson. Manson later appeared in the movie "Bowling for Columbine" by Michael Moore.

According to LA Weekly, " When Moore asked Manson what he would have said to them just moments before the massacre, Manson replied, 'I wouldn't say a thing. I would just listen to them... and that's what nobody did.'"