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- Sid Vicious
- October, 1978
- Possible suicide, drug overdose
The arrest of Sid Vicious:
This pioneering punk rocker was accused of murder and ended up dead.
He was born John Simon Richie on May 10, 1957 in London and later changed his name to John Beverly. He picked up the nickname Sid Vicious when he was named after a friend's pet hamster.
Sid was English based guitarist and vocalist of the famous punk rock group, the Sex Pistols, which featured vocalist Johnny Rotten. One of their biggest hit singles was 1977's "God Save the Queen."
As the group became more popular, Vicious met his girlfriend, and the group's manager, Nancy Spungen.
Raised in Philadelphia, Nancy was an emotionally disturbed child diagnosed with schizophrenia when she was 15.
Sid and Nancy had a mutually destructive relationship, based on drug use and marked with bouts of domestic violence. It ended when Spungen died from a stabbing while staying at the Hotel Chelsea in Manhattan with Vicious.
Sid admitted stabbing her but said he never meant to kill her. He also claimed she fell onto the knife.
Suspected of Nancy's murder, Vicious attempted suicide first by slitting his wrist and then tried to jump out of a window at Bellevue Hospital, where he was taken after the first attempt to take his own life.
Sid was arrested on separate assault charges in December, 1978 and was sent to New York City's Riker's Island jail for an enforced, 55 day detox program.
When he was released from prison, his mother hosted a party and apparently had been supplying Vicious with drugs and paraphernalia since he was young.
Sid died in his sleep with drugs and paraphernalia around him. He overdosed on the heroin his mother had given him.
Sid couldn't be buried with Nancy because she was interred in a Jewish Cemetery and he was not Jewish. So Sid was cremated and his ashes were scattered over her grave.