U2 Icon Bono’s Lyrics That Were Cited By A Criminal

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There may be numerous bands whose songs got in the middle of a controversy when they got involved in murder cases or satanic rituals, such as when one of Judas Priest’s songs allegedly encouraged two men to commit suicide. While it’s not unusual to see these cases in rock and metal music, it’s fair to say that U2 isn’t one of those bands whose music has secret messages that can lead to murders.

However, even they have a song that found itself played in the court when it motivated somebody to kill a person. Let’s take a look at the story of Bono’s lyrics in ‘Exit‘ that was intentionally based on murderers, as well as the details of how it supposedly encouraged a stalker to kill a 21-year-old woman.

Bono Explored The Mind Of A Serial Killer In ‘Exit’

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Exit’ is a song by U2 released as the tenth track on their 1987 album ‘The Joshua Tree.’ The most interesting aspect of the track is its lyrics, as they portray the mind of a serial killer, which was an outcome of Bono’s inspiration.

The lyrics were inspired by several books, including Norman Mailer’s 1980 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel ‘The Executioner’s Song,’ written about a serial killer named Gary Gilmore. Another book that inspired Bono was the 1966 novel ‘In Cold Blood,’ written by Truman Capote.

After Bono had read both novels and wanted to try to write a story from the perspective of a killer, he read some more books to extend his research. Eventually, the singer wrote ‘Exit‘ and penned the details of his creative process in the memoir of the band named ‘U2 By U2.’

In the book, Bono penned:

This was my attempt at writing a story in the mind of a killer. It is all very well to address America and the violence that is an aggressive foreign policy, but to really understand that you have to get under the skin of your own darkness, the violence we all contain within us.

Violence is something I know quite a bit about. I have a side of me which, in a corner, can be very violent. It’s the least attractive thing in anyone, and I wanted to own up to that.”

U2 Song Was Played At A Trial Of A Murderer

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A man named Robert John Bardo became obsessed with American actress Rebecca Schaeffer and started stalking her. After writing numerous letters to Schaeffer, Bardo attempted to gain access to the set of the television series ‘My Sister Sam,’ in which Schaeffer played a starring role.

Eventually, Bardo obtained her home address via a detective agency. On July 18, 1989, Bardo confronted Schaeffer at her home as he was angry at her because she had appeared in a sex scene in the film ‘Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills.’

According to him, the actress had lost her innocence and became ‘another Hollywood whore,’ as he stated when he visited her at her apartment and told her he was a big fan. After being turned away by Schaeffer, Bardo stopped at a diner for breakfast. However, the man later returned to the apartment and shot her in the chest.

Bardo was later arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. At the trial, his defense attorney said that the lyric in the U2 song, ‘Exit,’ gave Bardo his idea for the mission. Moreover, when the song was played at the trial, Bardo became animated, singing along to it.

You can listen to ‘Exit’ by U2 down below.