Jim Morrison and serial killers

Zodiackiller.com Message Board: Zodiac Media: Jim Morrison and serial killers

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-td041.proxy.aol.com - on Friday, November 16, 2001 - 02:42 am:

I was really fascinated by the Jim Morrison MP3 clip that Tom added. It truly makes one wonder what JM thought about Charles Manson and other known killers of the time.

Also, I remembered that Morrison wrote a short script entitled, The Hitchhiker - An American Pastoral. It's not very long, only about ten pages or so, but you can definitely see the influence that the subject of serial killers had in the story. It was very Charles Starkweather-like: A serial killer on the run with a manhunt encroaching, etc. It was interesting that JM mentioned both Starkweather and Zodiac in the clip. If the short script he wrote, The Hitchhiker - An American Pastoral, predated Riders on the Storm, which I'm almost certain that it did, dating back to his days spent at UCLA as a student film maker, and the sound clip postdated Riders on the Storm, which is obvious, then I believe it's safe to assume that Ol' Jim was drawn to the subject as strongly as any of us here. I wonder what parts of the subject matter intrigued him the most? It seems to me that he was somewhat more morbid about the subject than those of us here.

Just some thoughts.


By Ryedawg (Ryedawg) (mail.wroctv.com - on Tuesday, November 20, 2001 - 06:01 am:

I can check, but I'm almost positive he wrote the Hitchhiker around the time of Waiting for the Sun-Soft Parade albums, which would have been after UCLA, anyway I'm almost positve (99%) it was after UCLA. I haven't had time to check out the audio clip, yet, but unless it makes a reference to the song I'd say it was before Riders because that song was on L.A. Woman, and he was in Paris by the time the album was released and before the song was finished gotta go, I'll finish later

By Scott Bullock (Scott_Bullock) (spider-ntc-tc071.proxy.aol.com - on Tuesday, November 20, 2001 - 03:11 pm:

The Hitchhiker -- An American Pastoral was written in 1969; I'm not sure exactly when. So you're right, JM was no longer in film school. Several of the scenes were filmed with the hope of raising the money to turn it into a feature length film. Obviously, this never happened. It is interesting to note, however, that Morrison wrote the script during the peak of Zodiac's activity.


By Ryedawg (Ryedawg) (mail.wroctv.com - on Wednesday, November 21, 2001 - 05:31 am:

Umm yeah, I was going to tell you the year and stuff cuz I checked on it last night, I had to cut off when I did cuz I work a news station and we had a breaking story I had to go to.
So anyway the song was only released a few weeks before his death and I doubt the interview was done in Paris, but it could of been.
Morrison was drawn to chaos. Most books written about him talk about his interest in the subject, and he also talked about how chaos fascinated him.

By EviI (Evii) (spider-wn063.proxy.aol.com - on Friday, November 23, 2001 - 07:58 pm:

Well, there's no question that Morrison was a lot darker then most of the rock stars of his time. And he did exhibit a fascination w murder. I've heard a rumor that he killed a guy while hitchhiking, before becoming famous.
Craig Stallone

By Curt (Curt) ( on Monday, November 26, 2001 - 10:33 am:

Craig Stallone wrote, "I've heard a rumor that he killed a guy while hitchhiking, before becoming famous

I've heard a similar rumor before, too (although I can't remember exactly what was said or the source at the moment).

Morrison indeed had a fascination with lone killers; one of the Doors’ best songs (of which Morrison wrote the lyrics) is The End, a song about a killer who murders his family with an axe.

In the Morrison biography No One Here Gets Out Alive the author strongly implies that Morrison had a hidden past but as far as I recall, he doesn't mention anything about suspecting that he might have committed a murder. There is a section in that same biography that discusses the fact that Morrison once had a private confession with a priest about some mysterious problem in his life that he would never disclose to anyone (the author seemed to be suggesting that it may have had something to do with homosexuality).

The same book also has a lot of information about the proposed Morrison film The Hitchhiker and discusses Morrison's fascination with murder and death in great detail.


By Mike_D (Mike_D) (spider-mtc-tk073.proxy.aol.com - on Monday, November 26, 2001 - 09:32 pm:

I read awhile back that the author of the desk top poem at Riverside in the Cheri Bates case may not be the same as the later letter writer.This interests me because if you think of it the desktop poem read exackly like the work of someone well known:Jim Morrison.This occured to me last spring and I listened thru his work for macbre touches like the desktop writer.His method too was free verse scattershot stream -of-consciousness:Enscenada dull crucifix/the dead seal/ghosts crowd the young childs frgile eggshell mind/icant live each slow century of her moving....
or"i let my cheeks slide down the cool smooth tiles feel the good warm stinging blood/the smooth hissing snakes of rain"
Anyway I compared the Riverside poem to some of Morrisons other poetry and was surprised at the similarities in diction and format as well as theme.I also found out the Doors played in the Riverside area around the time of the murder-not on that date of course.I wonder if Jim heard about it nad was moved to write about a ficticious assault.Who knows?
p.s.In one of the biographies it mentions him chasing a girl around her apt.with a knife around that time.

By Paul (Paul) (spider-wq072.proxy.aol.com - on Tuesday, November 27, 2001 - 03:53 am:

i heard that jim morrison liked drinking alcoholic beverages. and i also imagine the guy who told tom about the morrisom mp3 did'nt expect someone to try connecting the doors with the zodiac. thats like thinking charles manson was somehow involved.

By Curt (Curt) (1cust189.tnt4.krk1.da.uu.net - on Tuesday, November 27, 2001 - 06:39 am:

Oh, I don't think anyone is really trying to connect Morrison with the Zodiac in this thread.

For me personally, I happen to like The Doors, the era during which The Doors were at their height, and, I am also fascinated by the Zodiac case . . . so when I listened to the mp3 that was provided where Morrison mentions Zodiac, well, nostalgia took over . . .

However, even with that said, I found Mike D's comparison of the literary style of Morrison's poetry to that of the Riverside desktop poem to be very, very interesting . . .


By EviI (Evii) (spider-mtc-ti014.proxy.aol.com - on Tuesday, November 27, 2001 - 09:10 pm:

To Curt: I've read No One Here Gets Out Alive several times, & I believe the passage you're referring to is one in which the authors state that there was an incident JM was involved with in which his conduct was so shocking that his family felt the need to cover it up entirely (Thus, there was no specific info about it presented in the book). This is supposed to have happened somewhere in his teens, if I recall correctly.
btw, "Riders on the Storm" also depicts a lone killer. Interestingly, the killer is a hitchhiker who kills those who offer him rides...
Craig Stallone

By Curt (Curt) ( on Wednesday, November 28, 2001 - 11:09 am:

Yeah, that's the way I remember the "confessing to a priest" incident in that book. I believe the authors purposely left that area of JM's life unresearched, both because they met with a stonewall as far as the Morrison family was concerned and in my opinion, because they wanted to build up the aura of mystery around Morrison to make their book a better seller.

The song "Riders on the Storm" was composed around the same time that Morrison was working on the proposed Hitchhiker film project and is a direct reference to his ideas for the film:

There's a killer on the road
His brain is squirmin' like a toad
Take a long holiday
Let your children play
If ya give this man a ride
Sweet family will die
Killer on the road, yeah


By Ed N (Ed_N) (acb554dc.ipt.aol.com - on Wednesday, November 28, 2001 - 12:03 pm:

Was The Hitcher (1986), starring Rutger Hauer and C. Thomas Howell, perchance based on that song? Or was it an independent idea? Anyone know?

By Curt (Curt) ( on Wednesday, November 28, 2001 - 02:13 pm:

Ed N: As far as I know, The Hitcher (an excellent and scary movie) wasn't based on the Doors song (at least I haven’t seen where anyone has admitted as much!)

But the similarities are most surely there: a psychopathic killer who is hitchhiking through the desert and who kills anyone trusting enough to give him a ride. That was Morrison's idea for The Hitchhiker - An American Pastoral to a "T."

Every biography about Morrison, including the Oliver Stone movie, The Doors discusses Morrison's own penchant for hitchhiking, a pastime that took him through many of the deserts in America (Morrison was enamored of the beat poets and writers who had done the same thing and had written about it). The killer in the proto-screenplay that Morrison wrote is strung out on benzedrine and kills people who pick him up with a .38 caliber pistol.

Link to the original story that might have become the screenplay: The Hitchhiker by James Douglas Morrison

By EviI (Evii) (spider-ta084.proxy.aol.com - on Wednesday, November 28, 2001 - 07:57 pm:

The authors also wanted to do a portray Morrison in at least a semi sympathetic light. One of them (Danny Sugerman) knew him personally. Morrison was sort of a mentor to Sugerman, who was in his early teens at the time & developing in a rebellious direction.
btw, if memory serves, the incident in question was extreme enough that he could've done some serious time for it.
Craig Stallone

By Roger Redding (Roger_Redding) (user-33qs161.dialup.mindspring.com - on Thursday, November 29, 2001 - 06:06 am:

I always thought the lyric was "sweet memory will die", which seemed to me a profound and cool way of describing death, at least at the time.


By Curt (Curt) (1cust72.tnt1.krk1.da.uu.net - on Thursday, November 29, 2001 - 06:20 am:

Roger said, "I always thought the lyric was "sweet memory will die", which seemed to me a profound and cool way of describing death, at least at the time.

I double-checked and you are absolutely right (and I agree that the substitution of "memory" for "family" evokes a much more poetic image of death).

Lesson For Me: Never write down lyrics from memory when said memory may have been damaged from one's former rock and roll lifestyle.

As Jake would say, pass the Quaaludes.