Early Sunday morning, Connor Betts unleashed a barrage of gunfire outside Ned Peppers, a popular nightlife spot in Dayton, Ohio's entertainment district. The mass shooting left nine people dead, including his sister, 22-year-old Megan Betts.
Minutes after the deadly attack began, police shot and killed Connor as he was running into a bar. Although the shooter's motive remains unclear, Vice News reports that Betts was active in the hardcore "pornogrind" or "goregrind" music scene. Over the past year, he was a member of the band Menstrual Munchies, which often released songs with references to killing women.
According to the outlet, Menstrual Munchies released various albums, including “6 Ways of Female Butchery” and “Preeteen Daughter Pu$$y Slaughter,” and included cover art that depicted rape and dead female bodies. One of Betts' bandmates, 25-year-old Jesse Creekbaum, is removing the recordings out of fear they'll be romanticized.
Creekbaum has been reportedly operating under the Menstrual Munchies moniker for five years, although he saw the band's message for its shock value, and is revolted that Betts was using it as a source of inspiration.
“I feel shitty having let him be in the band, doing those lyrics,” Creekbaum said. “Because I know, like, whereas I saw it as a joke—like, ‘Let's play this and we’ll shock some people,’ and then the people that we know laugh—he didn't see it as a joke. He was like, ‘Fuck, yeah. We're gonna do this.’”
He is now asking himself how much of the band's subject matter Betts incorporated into his worldview: “It's like, Jesus Christ, how much of this was like real life for him?"
The pornogrind scene in the midwest is a subgenre within the larger grindcore arena. The bands which make up this pocket don't play large shows, but rather intimate performances for fellow acts in the scene and smaller audiences. Despite this, Creekbaum is removing all of Menstrual Munchies recordings and is asking anyone who may have copies of performances to do the same.
“I took it all down. I'm trying to get everyone I know to take all of it down,” he said. “I don't want to be associated with it. I don't want it blowing up. I don't want him romanticized. I don't want any of this romanticized. I want people to erase him from history.”
Creekbaum also noted that Betts once brought a handgun while they were touring in Iowa, and suggested to his bandmates that they burglarize gas stations. Prior to the shooting, Creekbaum and others had separated themselves from Betts on account of his suspicious behavior, including lying about his criminal record, past methamphetamine use, and appearing to take the violent lyrics in Menstrual Munchies songs seriously. The gunman reportedly was suspended from high school for maintaining a "hit list" and a "rape list" of fellow students he wanted to harm.
The shooter previously told his bandmate that he was suffering from depression, although Creekbaum never thought Betts was capable of mass murder.
“I think he decided that he was going to kill himself, and he was like, ‘I don't have the balls to do it’ and he drew a gun,” Creekbaum assumed.
You can read the full interview here. An ex-girlfriend of Betts' also spoke to the Today show, saying on their first date he showed her a mass shooting video.