The night was December 23rd, 1985 and Metal music was very popular and band’s like Judas Priest and Mötley Crüe were all over the radio and album sales were going through the roof.
A pair of Nevada men ended a night of drinking, drugs and listening to music by heading to a local playground and shooting themselves.
The boys, 18-year-old Raymond Belknap and 20-year-old James Vance had been listening to the Judas Priest album “Stained Class”
Raymond died instantly and Vance survived but had serious injuries that left him disfigured.
Five years later, Vance and his parents sued the band and their label, CBS Records, for 6.2 million in damages.
The trial put the national spotlight on Heavy Metal music and was broadcast live. This was one of the first trials to be national televised.
When speaking to Rolling Stone about the case, Judas Priest’s frontman, Rob Halford, said they were “baffled by some of the things that were coming out in the courtroom.”
The band was acquitted and finally put the end to this sad and tragic story.
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