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I heard it on the news today/ 39 people dead they say/ A madman had led them astray... Triangles on their faces and money in their hands/ he told them they would venture to faraway lands.

"I was shocked and surprised when I heard about the Heaven's Gate cult, and I wrote the song shortly after it happened," says Mark James Haemmerle of "39 Dead." The song refers to the mass suicide that occurred in Rancho Santa Fe ten years ago this week. Eighteen men and 21 women took their lives at the instruction of music professor Marshall Applewhite, who'd promised his followers a comet ride into the afterlife with aliens.

Haemmerle's tune is playable online at myspace.com/11925402. He currently plays with Starcrossed, which has appeared at the Zombie Lounge, Scolari's, and the Ken Club.

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