“White Hen Decapitator” by Macabre
The lyrics of Macabre’s “White Hen Decapitator” narrate the true tale of a very notorious murderer from America named Michael Bethke.
Michael, who suffered from a certain kind of schizophrenia, gained nationwide attention when after murdering his co-worker proceeded to decapitate him in a very shocking manner. From the song’s lyrics, we get to know that Michael murdered his colleague at the workplace using a “chef knife”. Thereafter he proceeded to cut of his victim’s head and display it for the public to see. He then fled the scene of the crime. However, he wasn’t on the run for long before the authorities caught him.
According to the lyrics, he was only a few blocks away from the crime scene when he was swiftly arrested by the police.
FYI: his victim was a 49-year-old colleague of his named Joseph Lesinski.
When was “White Hen Decapitator” released?
Macabre released this song in April of 1993 from Macabre’s second studio album which is titled “Sinister Slaughter”. The entire album was heavily inspired by real life killers. It even features images of these killers plastered all over the album’s cover.
The Incident that inspired the song
On June 6, 1991, workers at the White Hen Pantry in Burnharm, Illinois, witnessed a shocking and unpleasant scene. Michael Bethke and Joseph Lesinki were working together when suddenly Michael grabbed a butcher’s knife and used it to decapitate Joseph when he bent over to pick up a box of cigarettes.
Michael’s swing of the knife was so strong that it cut off his coworker’s head in one swing. He then scrawled the word “repent” on Lesinki’s forehead with his blood and left it for display on a glass counter.
Michael left the Pantry and wandered in a nearby forested area for several hours. He then approached a group of people and asked them to call the police for him. He was arrested upon the arrival of the police.
During his trial in 1993, Bethke admitted to beheading his coworker, Lesinski. In Bethke’s defense, Assistant Public Defender Paul Brownlee claimed that he had chronic paranoid schizophrenia when he committed the crime. He described Bethke’s condition as a typical form of command hallucinations that orders a person to kill.
The claims of Paul Brownlee were true, as a health center had diagnosed Bethke with schizoaffective disorder. Bethke was found not guilty and ordered to stay at the Elgin Mental Health Centre for 49 years.