Why is Connecticut killer Adam Lanza  being called the ‘Goth killer’Why is is that every time there is a killing spree in the USA is the media so quick to assume it’s a Goth.

The tragic shooting i the USA over the weekend is being labelled by some media outlets as being perpetrated by the ‘Goth Killer’. Of course he could have been a Goth, he could have had a stack of Sisters Of Mercy albums and Sex Gang Children singles- but it doesn’t feel likely. He may have erred towards the rock side in his music taste but no-one has mentioned anything about that yet. He didn’t seem to dress in Goth clothes preferring ‘khaki cargo trousers’ and ‘looking like a nerd’. It just seems Goth is an easy word to throw into the equation, like saying he wasn’t one of us and those ‘weird’ dressed types are killers…


It’s not easy to know what music taste the killer had and this does not rule anything out but it doesn’t rule anything in.

And even if he was a Goth why is his killing spree labelled as this- if he was into Fleetwood Mac would he be called the ‘MOR killer’, if was into Britney Spears would he be called the ‘Corporate pop killer’- it seems strange how quick the word Goth gets applied to these tragic murders instead of looking for the real triggers and reasons why they happen so much instead of creating more alienation.

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. Primarily it’s just lazy journalism. It also means that anyone who is a Goth or looks and dresses differently can be labelled together with Adam Lanza and treated more harshly by the rest of society. Ultimately someone is going to try an outlaw them claiming they are a underground criminal organisation

  2. This is like no Gothic style I’ve ever seen. Were the kid a Goth, he would have been friends with the other Goth kids at his school. Goths are also notorious for keeping on-line blogs. If he’s Goth, we should know all about his poetry and art by now.
    You’re not something just because someone who kind of sort of knew you and your brother thought you were that thing. Reality just doesn’t work that way.

  3. It doesn’t mean anything. It’s just a way that the media cuts corners and relies on stereotypes to calm a weeping nation. I’m sure it’s not exclusive to the USA…

  4. If he was into The Killers would he be called The Killers Killer? If he was crazy about a paticular Queen record would that make him a Killer Queen Killer? If he was a big fan of Tarentino would that make him the Kill Bill Killer. If he was a fan of Cee Lo Green would he be The Ladykiller? If he was into Hard-Fi would he be the Killer Sounds Killer? I don’t know but you have a point. Why do they besmirch Goths all the time!

  5. Welcome to the great, generally ignorant, American mainstream, where even I get asked if I’m goth when they see me in dyed black, spiky hair and punk rock gear. These people know nothing, and perpetuate it all day long. It’s disgusting.

  6. I hate when you label people GOTH. You give the world a bad idea of what a real goth is. REAL goths love and care. Just because he was in all black does not make him a goth. It pisses me off how the Media does this. HE IS NOT A GOTH. Goths are not hateful, cruel people.

    A preppy person or a jock could of done this.

    He is a sick individual.

    Now watch people hate all of us who dress in the darker and “weird” way as you NORMAL people put it. IT IS YOU GUYS WHO RUIN IF FOR US AND MAKE THE WORLD HATE US – you label – it hurts us and gives us a bad name. ALL OF YOU Are horrible

  7. Its like Columbine all over again! Why does the mainstream and media have to be so ignorant? This can happen to anybody but people always pick on them because they are different. Next thing you know, Goths are going to get bullied even worse than they already do because of this psycho. I think we need to quit pointing fingers at whole group of people( especially the WRONG group of people!) and actually do something to make sure this doesn’t happen again. And why are we even arguing if he was a Goth or not? He was a mentally disturbed killer, the end.

  8. How long will it be until the media invent a tenuous link to this tradedy and that good old American scapegoat, Marilyn Manson?
    More importanly, how long can the American nation cling to the retarded ‘Constitutional Right’ to bear arms?
    How many more atrocities will it take?

  9. One woman, allegedly the mother of a classmate, claims her son had said that Adam was “one of the goths”. This woman, Catherine Urso, has been quoted and her unjustified comment taken way out of context by the Mail, the Sun, the Mirror… made into headline material when there’s little if any basis to her allegation that her son even knew what he was talking about.


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