Suspect in 4 Va. killings posted violent rap songs

FARMVILLE, Va. — Richard Alden Samuel McCroskey III rapped about the thrill of murder in songs he posted on the Internet. Police believe the fantasy lyrics became a gruesome reality in a small Virginia college town.
McCroskey, 20, was being held Sunday in the killings of four people who were found at a Longwood University professor's home near campus in Farmville, which is about 50 miles west of Richmond. McCroskey, of Castro Valley, Calif., faces charges of first-degree murder, robbery and grand larceny of an automobile, said Farmville police Capt. Wade Stimpson.
The aspiring rapper in the underground horrorcore genre, which sets violent lyrics to hip-hop beats, was arrested Saturday at a Richmond airport, where authorities believe he was trying to catch a flight back to California. Officers found McCroskey asleep in the baggage claim area.
A day earlier, authorities discovered the bodies in the home of Debra S. Kelley, an associate professor of sociology and criminal justice studies, school spokeswoman Gina Caldwell. Authorities have not released the names of those killed or said how they died.
McCroskey recorded songs that spoke of death, murder and mutilation under the name His Myspace Page. Web page said he has only been rapping for a few months but has been a fan for years of the horrorcore genre.
"You're not the first, just to let you know. I've killed many people and I kill them real slow. It's the best feeling, watching their last breath. Stabbing and stabbing till there's nothing left," McCroskey sings in "My Dark Side."
A friend who owns a small, independent record label that specializes in horrorcore confirmed the site and the songs were McCroskey's. Andres Shrim, who owns Serial Killin Records in New Mexico, said others shouldn't judge McCroskey by what they see on his Web site or hear in his music.
Describing McCroskey as a "great kid," Shrim said he has known him for at least two years, and he last saw him Sept. 12 at an all-day music festival in South Gate, Mich.
"You would never, ever imagine that kid even being a suspect," Shrim said. "If he is found to be guilty, I would be 100 percent shocked."
Shrim said even though horrorcore focuses on murder and other morbid subjects, performers and fans shouldn't be labeled violent.
"People get the impression we're these twisted, sick individuals and we don't have hearts and we just want to talk about murder and the devil," said Shrim, who performs himself under the name SickTanicK. "But we just want to express that other side of life."
On his Web page, McCroskey posted videos and pictures of a grave where a cross and miniature American flags had been turned upside down.
"We defiled the grave, and then lightning struck seconds ago. I think we were being warned," he says in the video, laughing. In the photos, the gravestone identifies the person buried there as a Marine.
McCroskey was scheduled to appear Monday in court, when he can either hire an attorney or have one appointed.
Longwood, a school of about 4,500 students, did not issue an alert after the bodies were discovered because it happened off campus, Caldwell said. She said the small town was unaccustomed to such violence.

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