Murder ballads have always been a thing. We’ve always been obsessed by the monsters that walk among us, not long in tooth and claw like the beasts in a fairy tale, but all the more terrifying. Because they are real, and they exist, and any of us could be their victims. Is it any surprise that these beasts would inspire stories? Movies? And yes, songs? Here are some of the best murder ballads about serial killers.
John Wayne Gacy by Sufjan Stevens
It’s weird to say you have a “favorite” serial killer, but Gacy is mine. It’s the clown thing, which is so insanely creepy as to defy being real.
Possum Kingdom by The Toadies
You may not know this is a song about a serial killer, but it is. Listen to the lyrics.
Black River Killer by Blitzen Trapper
A murder ballad in the old school style, Black River Killer tells quite the tale.
What’s He Building by Tom Waits
This song is not actually about a serial killer…or is it? The paranoia of the narrator is creepy enough, but maybe not as creepy as the goings on of the person he is watching.