Robert Bedzyk, Jr., who was convicted of murdering DESTRUCTOR bass player Dave Iannicca 21 years ago, was denied parole by the Ohio Parole Board in a decision rendered on July 14, 2009. His next parole hearing has been scheduled for November 2012.
A petition drive supported by the international heavy metal community to deny parole for Bedzyk generated 4,271 signatures. These signatures were submitted to the parole board for consideration before reviewing the case.
Iannicca played on and contributed songwriting to DESTRUCTOR's underground classic "Maximum Destruction" album, released by Auburn Records in 1985. The band was in the studio recording the follow-up effort and major label debut, "Decibel Casualties", for Island/Auburn Records when the tragedy happened.
Iannicca had just gotten engaged to his girlfriend on Christmas Eve. The band was celebrating both the engagement and their major label deal with a small private party at their practice spot for New Year's Eve. Bedzyk, a stranger, crashed the party after wandering in from a bar down the street. He began bothering the guests and refused to leave. After finally persuading Bedzyk out of the building, the band noticed he was still lingering outside. They were worried about any further trouble or damage to where they leased their practice spot from. Iannicca, always a peacemaker, approached him in the parking lot with open arms again asking him to just leave and that no one wanted any trouble. Bedzyk had a long knife hidden behind him and suddenly stabbed Iannicca directly through the heart, cutting it in two. He tried running away but was caught down the street and held until the police arrived. Iannicca never made it out of the parking lot alive. He bled to death minutes later with the band and his fiancée by his side.
Both the band and Auburn Records' Bill Peters, who had a very close friendship with Iannicca, had a difficult time continuing after the incident. It took several years to recover and both went on a temporary hiatus. After several bass players did not work out, DESTRUCTOR eventually connected with bass player Jamie Walters (MIDNIGHT, ex-BOULDER). They have gone on to record several more albums for Auburn and travel to Europe on a regular basis. Last year the Cleveland-based thrash band performed at both the Wacken Open Air and Headbangers Open Air festivals in Germany.
"Dave was a very close personal friend of mine", says Bill Peters. "I wish he could have been there with us to experience all of the recordings and tours we have done since his passing. We often talked about how great it would be to do things like playing overseas. The band's dream came true but it was without Dave. This tragic loss affected so many people."
Iannicca's father passed away shortly thereafter, due indirectly to the stress of having to deal with his son's death. Ianicca's surviving mother, two brothers and five sisters have had a difficult time coping with the losses.
"My brother was very special to me from the minute he was born", says Pam Iannicca. "We bonded at an early age and I vowed I would always be there for him. We were very close growing up. I supported him with the band. David had such a bright future. All of his hard work he had put into music was finally paying off and then to have this happen? During the holidays, I had asked David if he had made a resolution for the new year and he said he hadn't but did have one wish instead. He said 'I just want everyone to be happy'. He was such a selfless, quiet, humble kind of person. He promised me a black limousine ride to his first big concert after the new album came out but instead a black limousine ended up taking me to the cemetery. I lost my brother and my father. "
Channel 5 ABC News interview - 1987: