The white son of a Louisiana sheriff’s deputy accused of torching historically black churches may have been motivated by “black metal” music, according to reports.
Holden Matthews — son of St. Landry Parish Deputy Roy Matthews — was arrested Wednesday on arson charges stemming from three church fires that occurred in a span of 10 days.
The first blaze was last month at St. Mary Baptist Church in Port Barre, officials said. Days later, the Greater Union Baptist Church and Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Opelousas were torched.
“We can now confirm all three of these fires are intentionally set and all three of these fires are related,” State Fire Marshal Butch Browning told CNN.
Police haven’t released a possible motive, but social media profiles linked to Matthews show he was influenced by black metal, a genre which has been associated with church burnings, according to CNN. Black metal music by popular groups such as Behemoth and Gorgoroth often contains lyrics that embrace satanism and paganism.
A Facebook page that purportedly belongs to the 21-year-old features a photo of him with the words “black metal” spray-painted on a wall.
He also reportedly made a Facebook comment about a movie’s portrayal of Varg Vikernes, a black metal musician who was convicted of manslaughter and arson at three churches.
Matthews was booked Wednesday at St. Landry Parish Jail on three counts of a simple arson on a religious building. If convicted, he could face up to 45 years in prison.
With Post wires
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