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Are Slayer Fans Planning To Confront the Westboro Baptist Church at Jeff Hanneman's Memorial Service Today?

Today the Hollywood Palladium will host a memorial service for Jeff Hanneman, the recently deceased founder of Slayer. The Westboro Baptist Church is planning on picketing, so we spoke to an organizer of the event, who told us his plans to drench the WBC

by Basim Usmani
11 January 2017, 2:36pm

Shirley Phelps-Roper, the spokesperson for the Westboro Baptist Church, via

Today, at 7:30 PM, the Hollywood Palladium will host a memorial service for Jeff Hanneman, the recently deceased founder of Slayer. The Westboro Baptist Church, that famous far-right congregation of deluded Kansans, has announced their plans to picket the service:

In addition, they plan on singing a parody version of Ozzy's "Crazy Train," in which the lyrics have been amended to target metal fans. If you haven't made yourself angry yet today, you should listen to it below.

Slayer's management has pleaded with fans to celebrate Jeff's life, and not engage with the WBC. As they said in a public statement to their fans this week,

Want to really piss off the Westboro Baptist Church at Jeff's Memorial Celebration? Do exactly what Slayer members and family are going to do - totally ignore them. They don't exist. And then come inside and celebrate Jeff's life with us.

Sounds peaceful enough. But last week we spoke with John Araya, who may have different plans. John has roadied for Slayer, and he is the brother of their singer, Tom Araya. He also helped to organize the memorial service, and told us on the phone last week that he his plans for the day may not be entirely passive:

Noisey: What are you going to do about the WBC?
John Araya: Can you get arrested for throwing water balloons filled with red paint at them? I figure we'll squeeze tube paints. It'll probably be pretty expensive. I would say maybe five gallons, maybe four. Maybe 5 or 6 water balloons each. It can't be diluted, it's gotta be red, red, red acrylic oil paint.

Whoa. How did this idea get started?
A good friend of ours, Doug Goodman, sent an email saying "The WBC wants to picket Jeff's funeral. We're gonna get some black water balloons and fill them with red oil paint. Then we're going to throw them at their heads." We'll see what happens. People like the WBC will use any kind of reason or excuse to hurt or damage you.

We're hesitant to even write the WBC's name on our website, because it's clear all these people want is more publicity. But this could end up as a major issue for Slayer fans worldwide. Tension runs high at memorial services, especially those of respected public figures. If the event does turn ugly, as John is insinuating, you could end up with an Angelo Galli situation—Galli was a political activist who was killed by the police in 1904, and his funeral turned shockingly violent. If Slayer fans do confront the WBC today, the incident could turn violent quickly.

Noisey will be in attendance this evening, and we'll be sure to keep you updated as things progress.


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