Syko Sam, Horrorcore Rapper, Suspected of Murders

By Caleb Groos on September 21, 2009 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A self-billed horrorcore rapper has been arrested on suspicion of four murders in Virginia. A Myspace trail led police to "Syko Sam" (Richard Alden Samuel McCroskey III) of Castro Valley, California.

The AP reports that authorities arrested 20 year old McCroskey, who has been charged with the murder of a Virginia pastor. He is also a suspect in three related murders.

MySpace messages connected McCroskey to the daughter of Reverend Mark Niederbrock, of Appomattox County, Virginia. Supposedly, McCroskey and the pastor's daughter, Emma Neiderbrock, met on MySpace through love of horrorcore music -- a subgenre of hip hop music with horror themed lyrics and macabre imagery.

According to the AP, someone who friends identified as Emma Neiderbrock exchanged MySpace messages with McCroskey, and posted to him on September 7th that "[t]he next time you check your myspace, YOULL BE AT MY HOUSE!"

At this point, McCroskey has only been charged with murder of pastor Mark Niederbrock, robbery and stealing the pastor's car. However, three more murder charges appear possible.

Reverend Neiderbrock was tentatively identified as one of four people found dead at the home of Emma and her mother, Longwood University professor Debra Kelley, from whom the pastor was separated.

Virginia police stated that "there are a number of factors relating to why" they would not yet officially identify all victims.

Last Thursday, police went to Professor Kelley's house after a mother of one of Emma's friends reported her missing. A man matching McCroskey's description told the investigator that the girls were out. When police went back on Friday, they found the bodies.

The case, and its coverage, will likely feature discussion of horrorcore music, and whether the 20 year old's lyrics and online boasts about the joys of killing people became too real.

McCroskey had his first court appearance today, via videoconference in Virginina, where he's been given a court appointed attorney.

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