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truman edley

Did ‘death metal’ music trigger Rotherham schoolboy’s tragic end?

A South Yorkshire schoolboy killed himself after listening to his favourite ‘death metal’ music on his iPod an inquest heard.

Truman Edley, aged 15, hanged himself in the hallway of his family home after tuning in to the heavy distorted guitar and twisted songs that glorify death.

But a coroner refused to name the band he was listening to or publish the sick lyrics which he read in evidence, for fear of giving them publicity.

At the inquest in Rotherham, coroner Fred Curtis recorded a suicide verdict and said: “I’m not going to read the lyrics out, all I will say about them is they are extremely dark in content.

“They certainly deal with dark matters and, in some respects, seem to glorify death to some degree.

“It’s also the view of the police officers in this case and Truman’s mother who, not surprisingly was unaware of the content until after his death.

“Whatever the influences, I think it right that one can say there was no appreciation by anyone of the extent of his troubles and problems.

“There may be other factors behind these problems but I think the only person who can answer for those is Truman himself.”

Truman, from Wickersley, Rotherham usually listened to his music through headphones.

His mother Nicola, 34, told the hearing:”It was a lot about death, suicide, darkness and not fitting in. He became withdrawn in that period, didn’t see his family as much.

“But it wasn’t what he would listen to all the time. He still listened to nice general music and had quite a broad spectrum.”

Pc Glyn Farrell, who attended the emergency in November 2011, said he was a fan of the music but said it could be depressive.

He said: “I do listen to that sort of music myself, which has a lot of screaming with heavy guitar sounds. It can have an effect on people.”

Nicola, who is split from Truman’s father, said Truman was protective of loved ones and able to make people laugh.

She added: “He was one of the most kind, loving and caring people. We told each other that we loved each other every day.

“He became a stereotypical teenager, like the Harry Enfield character Kevin. He was more interested in spending time with friends and took increasing pride in his appearance.”

But she added : “His self esteem was low. He didn’t like himself or they way he looked very much. On the outside he showed a lot of confidence but on the inside he was a lot more sensitive.”

Truman’s body was discovered by his mother at their home.Two months earlier he had told his mother he was having a bad day when she found him in his bedroom wardrobe, sobbing and listening to music.

On another occasion when she found scratches on his arm he said he had done it while messing around in the woods but two friends had suggested he visit a support service for youngsters called Youth Start after fearing there was evidence of self harm. Truman turned down the offer.

Det Sgt Peter Hodgson told the coroner: “There seemed to be two Trumans. The outgoing one was a happy, bubbly joker who would make people laugh, was very well-liked and had a wide group of good friends.

“But then there seemed to be another, more fragile and sensitive individual who kept things from his family and bottled them up.”

* Death Metal is a subgenre of Heavy Metal music and emerged in the early 1980s when the term was first used by the band Possessed.

It features heavily distorted guitars, fierce ‘blast beat’ drumming and growling vocals. Other band names include Death,Slayer and Morbid Angel.

  • Anon

    Stop recycling old news stories. It’s ludicrous to think a song triggered a suicide. Obviously this kid had deeper problems, and using death metal as a scapegoat is ridiculous.