Psychiatrist: DIMEBAG's Murderer Fits Pattern Of Other Celebrity Killers

Dr. Reed Meloy, a San Diego-based forensic psychiatrist who specializes in celebrity stalking cases, told Newsday.com that the profile of "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott's shooter, Nathan Gale, fits the pattern of other killers — such as Mark David Chapman, who murdered John Lennon 24 years to the day before Gale killed Abbott — who first feel attached and then betrayed.

"It's likely a lot of his identification with this band was a way to replace the blighted area of his life," Meloy said. "He feels he's part of the band, the band has personal significance for him. There's great ambivalence played out in a lot of cases. The shooter idealizes the target, and then a few months later they kill them."

Gale was described as a hulking, 6-foot-3 young man who had drifted from job to job since high school, lost friends, washed out early from a stint with the Marine Corps and then never really reconnected — a man who clearly had problems but never gave a clue what they were, and accumulated a small-time police record but never showed violent tendencies.

"He seemed to want to tell people something, but couldn't get it out," said Nikki Lawrence, who got to know Gale through friends at the Bears Den Tattoo Studio, where he started hanging out during the past year. "I think he was lost, and felt lost."

It is a biography that, music experts say, is probably typical of many of the young, working-class white males drawn to the metal culture of groups such as PANTERA. The screaming guitar riffs of Abbott's music and the lyrics of alienation, in a sense, brought him together with his killer, and Gale's fanatic attraction to the music somehow brought him to murder one of its makers.

"Metal is outsider music, non-mainstream," said Brad Tolinski, editor of Guitar World magazine. "The people attracted to it are outsiders, on the outskirts of society. It speaks to their problems. They identify with it very strongly and invest a lot in the bands, that express what they can't express."

So if Gale's attraction to metal music was obvious, the murder rampage was not.

"What makes this so shocking is that violence is exactly the opposite of what the metal scene is about," said Juliya, who hosts the hard rock show "Uranium" on the Fuse cable channel. "This music is about working out your frustrations by jumping into the pit, not shooting someone." Read more.

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