Selections from The Punk Vault
[Serial Killers]

Serial Killers – Roadside Rendezvous LP
(1987 Plus Records)

I can’t recall how I first came to hear of this band, it was either the fact that someone from Condemned to Death was playing with them and I read about it in MRR, or it was simply the fact that this record was on Plus Records, and I loved that compilation that they put out (featured in a previous Vault selection). Either way, when I first saw this record in a store (which just so happened to be Rose Records in Downers Grove) when it was released, I snapped it up.

Aside from the C2D ties, I didn’t really know much about the band aside from their having a charismatic lead singer by the name of Paul Bearer, and that they only put out two records before disbanding, this LP and then a 7″. Through this site a fellow by the name of Jimmy, who was a former band member, got in touch and shared some history with me.

The Serial Killer’s roots lie in Condemned to Death, a Frisco band that lived in the Vats (very famous punk squat) with MDC and the Dicks. In fact, much of the Serial Killers first sets were songs Tim wrote for, or played with, C2D. I heard Tim say once that Jello Biafra was going to be the singer for the Serial Killers but a bad breakup made him decide against it for some reason. Anyway, Paul Bearer was in Frisco with Ruin for their shows there and must have found a good pot smoking buddy in Tim Omen, cause eventually Paul Bearer returned to Philly and a little while later Tim moved to Philly and the Serial Killers started soon after. The first show was opening for Samhain at the kennel club.

Mixing gran Guignol with rock and roll and pro wrestling was actually a new concept at the time and though they will probably dismiss the idea, I personally saw a member or two of Gwar at a Serial Killers show in the audience and then Gwar having a similar stunt to one the Serial Killers just did at their next show. Not many people remember when Gwar was a little straight edge band with no makeup and Gwar stood for Germ Warfare And Recovery. Well the Serial Killers ruled Philly for a while playing with DOA, Mudhoney, TAD(opened for us), White Zombie, Murphy’s Law, The Hard Ons, L7,and many others. There were many personnel changes, but the core of Strangler Tim Omen and The King Paul Bearer was consistent. By the time the album was released the lineup was Tim(guitars), Paul(vox), Randy the rapist Mayhem(drums), Bates(bass), and Mega Jimmy (background vox, sound check vox, stunts, effects coordinator). Our steady go-go victim, Ghoulina Bately, had just left (and later was a real victim in a famous Philly Murder)and Mega jimmy usually recruited victims from the audience, or talked one of his girlfriends into it. By the time the first tour started Bates had been replaced by Robin Graves on Bass.

There was to be more as he had written “to be continued” at the end of the story but sadly I never heard from him again and my last two emails went unanswered. Perhaps Jimmy will see this and share the rest of the story with us.

After this LP they put out a 7″ titled Gary Heidnick’s House of Horrors” that was about the serial killer of the same name and many copies of that record came with a small bag of dirt from Gary’s yard! The band continued to do shows for quite awhile after that but eventually just faded away. I do not know what any of the members are up to now.

As always, if you have any additional information or were in the Serial Killers, please get in touch.

Listen to “Dead Bitch” from the record.


7 Responses to “Selections from The Punk Vault
[Serial Killers]”

  1. Dave M. says:

    I could be wrong, but I think some of the dudes from Serial Killers formed a band called Double Penetration in the early ’90s.

  2. SJ-Mike says:

    Double Penetration was Jimmy/Mega Jimmy’s band. The last thing I remember Paul doing was 3 Foot Acid. I have a demo tape from ’92.

  3. Zion says:

    Whats up..I was like 14 years old when i saw the Serial Killers perform with Shotgun Wedding at the Revival In Philly. My Buddies older Sister was Ghoulina Bately..the one who was murdered here in Philly years ago…You can hear her on the record say..Oh My god..he’s gonna kill me..ect ect…kinda ominious if ya think about it..anyway..this is one of my all time fav albums..I have the cassete…I downloaded the mp3..how did ya do that?..man..i’de love to be able to convert this to mp3..or put it on a cd to listen to…I also have Gary Heidnick’s house of horrors copied onto a maxwell cassette somewhere…i stumbled onto yer site..cause i was looking to see what information was available about them..I knew Randy as well..he later was in a Band called Rellik (Killer backwards..lol)
    So..yeah..if u know a way..i can get this on a disc..or mp3..lemme know..i’de love to have it..thx

  4. olesia savchak says:

    I spoke to Tim ‘Omen’ about 3 years ago and he was selling stuff at B movie horror conventions. I was supposed to meet up with him at a local convention and wasn’t able to make it. Hopefully someone he knows will read this and pass it on. Want to get together still.

  5. ghost.the. 4th. says:

    The Serial Killer’s roots lie in Condemned to Death,………