Contact Us

Jeff Hanneman’s Widow Details Guitarist’s Spider Bite Incident + Recovery Process

Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Late Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman died from alcohol related cirrhosis of the liver, but he had suffered a separate traumatic experience just two years prior. As has been widely documented, the guitarist was bitten by an insect carrying a flesh-eating disease called necrotizing fasciitis. The bite left doctors rushing to save Hanneman’s life and lots of physical therapy followed as the guitarist hoped to return to the stage. Hanneman’s widow, Kathryn, goes into detail about the incident and her husband’s struggles with recovery in Guitar World‘s upcoming August 2013 issue.

She recalls, “Jeff had been visiting a friend in the L.A. area. He was in the Jacuzzi one night relaxing and he had his arm over the side and he felt something like a bite or a prick. But, of course, he didn’t think anything of it. He came home about a week later, and he was pretty well lit when he came through the door. He wasn’t feeling well and he just wanted to go upstairs and go to sleep.”

Luckily, before he did, he showed his wife his arm and she noticed the redness and swelling. She said she tried to rationalize with him that he needed to get it checked, but he just wanted to sleep, so the next morning she was finally able to convince him to get to the doctor.

Kathryn says, “Jeff told me to go home because we both knew he’d be there for hours and neither of us thought it would be a life-or-death situation. About three of four hours later, Jeff called me and said, ‘Kath, it’s not good. They may have to amputate. I think you need to come back here.’”

After four days in the ICU, Hanneman finally began breathing on his own again and the road to recovery began. But despite his life being saved, there was still a mental battle to be faced as depression set in. “I couldn’t get Jeff to go to rehab or therapy,” she continues. “I think he was letting the visual of his arm get to his emotions and it was messing with his mind. It was hard to keep him upbeat at that point.”

Hanneman concludes, “I think he thought he could do this on his own — that he would go to rehearsal and play, and that would be his rehab. But I think he started to learn, once he tried rehearsing, that he wasn’t playing up to his ability and that he wasn’t able to play guitar at the speed he was used to. And I think that really hit him hard and he started to lose hope.”

To read Kathryn Hanneman’s entire interview, pick up the August 2013 issue of Guitar World magazine.

Best of the Web

More From Around the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://noisecreep.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on Noisecreep quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here.

Sign up for an account to comment, share your thoughts, and earn points to get great prizes.

Register on Noisecreep quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!