DID SID REALLY MURDER NANCY? Theirs Were the Most Decadent Deaths in Pop History. but 25 Years on, a New Book Claims That Sid Vicious and Girlfriend Nancy Spungen Were the Victims of a Double Killer.

Daily Mail (London), January 30, 2004 | Go to article overview

DID SID REALLY MURDER NANCY? Theirs Were the Most Decadent Deaths in Pop History. but 25 Years on, a New Book Claims That Sid Vicious and Girlfriend Nancy Spungen Were the Victims of a Double Killer.


Byline: PAUL SCOTT

AS SUNLIGHT filtered into Room 100 in a shabby New York hotel, punk rocker Sid Vicious slowly came to after a mammoth drug-taking session that would have killed most mortals.

Stumbling over the bottles and detritus from the previous night's party, he lurched into the bathroom. There, a horrific sight confronted him.

Sprawled on her back in a pool of congealing blood, and dressed only in her underwear, lay the body of his 20-year-old American girlfriend, Nancy Spungen. Vicious's own bowie knife was protruding from her stomach.

An hour later in a holding cell at the Third Homicide Division on 51st Street, Manhattan, Vicious, 21, famously confessed to police: 'I did it because I'm a dirty dog.' It was, apparently, an appalling act of rock 'n' roll debauchery. Vicious, the snarling embodiment of punk degeneracy, had knifed his drug addict girlfriend while high on a dangerous mix of chemicals.

Four months later, the bass guitarist of the outrageous Sex Pistols was dead, too, after overdosing on a lethally pure fix of heroin while he awaited trial for his lover's murder.

But now, on the 25th anniversary of his death, doubt is being cast on the accepted version of one of the most infamous and degrading events in rock history.

A fascinating new theory concludes that Vicious was, in fact, not guilty and that he and Nancy were the victims of a double murderer who stabbed her in a bungled robbery and later killed the punk rocker before he had the chance to prove his innocence.

The claims come in a new book by Alan Parker - Vicious: Too Fast To Live.

Parker, who lives in London, is a renowned expert on the punk era and author of several books about the short and dissolute life of Vicious.

He claims that Nancy's murderer was a wellknown New York drugs dealer and bit-part film actor called Rockets Redglare who had appeared with Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan and Tom Hanks in Big.

He believes Redglare, who was 25st and an addict, killed Nancy when she caught him trying to steal the thousands of dollars in cash that Vicious had to hand to pay for his own voracious habit.

SO COULD Parker be right or is his theory no more than the farfetched imaginings of a writer who has immersed himself for too long in Vicious and the Sex Pistols, the band that shocked Britain with their anti-monarchy hit God Save The Queen and their notorious foulmouthed rants during TV interviews?

The final chapter in Sid Vicious's life began when he left London in August 1978 after a bitter fallout with the group's infamous lead singer Johnny Rotten, real name John Lydon, who this week has proved a surprisingly popular contestant on TV's I'm A Celebrity . . .

Vicious arrived in New York and checked into the Chelsea Hotel which once had been popular with writers and musicians but by then was little more than a drugs den.

With him was Nancy Spungen. Nicknamed 'Nauseating Nancy' by Vicious's own mother, she was a onetime prostitute and groupie who had been born to a middleclass American family. By her late teens she was a hopeless drug addict.

The couple led a dissolute existence paid for by the royalty payments Vicious had wired to him from London by the Sex Pistol's colourful manager, Malcolm McLaren.

On the night of October 11, 1978, Vicious and Nancy had invited a small group of musicians back to their hotel room. With them was Redglare, an unofficial minder to Vicious who had arrived with a bag of dilaudid, a morphine substitute.

Redglare, raised Michael Morra in a tough district of Brooklyn, was the son of a 15-year-old junkie and had been born addicted to heroin. His acting ambitions and drug dealing brought him into contact with the city's glitterati and he was a wellknown figure on Manhattan's bohemian Lower East Side.

Alan Parker says Redglare remained in the room with Sid and Nancy after the musicians left. …

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