Tim Lambesis Trial

Is it Possible That Austrian Death Machine Fans Helped Crowdfund Tim Lambesis’ Alleged Murder for Hire?

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I wanted another album from Austrian Death Machine, Tim Lambesis’ Schwarzenegger-themed side project. So via crowd funding website Indiegogo, I contributed $20 to fund a campaign for the band to make a new album, Triple Brutal, as well as tour in support of that album. Instead, it looks like I — and 1,689 other fans — may have inadvertently helped fund the singer-guitarist’s alleged attempt to have his wife killed.

Earlier this month, Lambesis was arrested for hiring a hitman — who was really an undercover policeman — to kill his estranged wife, Meggan. According to the prosecutor, Lambesis gave the agent an envelope with $1,000 cash as part of a package that also included optimum dates for the murder and security access codes to Meggan’s home. The $1,000, according to the prosecutor, was a downpayment on a $20,000 contract to kill his estranged spouse.

While MetalSucks has no information about Lambesis’s previous financial affairs, we can tell you Lambesis could afford the deposit on services to be rendered, in part, because of a recent financial infusion from fans who just wanted to help the singer-guitarist-producer — who, prior to this shocking affair, was highly regarded in the metal world.

As of May 20, Austrian Death Machine’s Triple Brutal was Indiegogo’s No. 89 top-funded project, having raked in $78,170 (the initial goal was $63,000) from 1690 contributors. The deadline for contributions was April 19.

The ADM Indiegogo page says “This campaign received all of the funds contributed by Fri 19 Apr.” Indiegogo terms of service/payment FAQ says PayPal funds go though immediately; contributions made via credit cards take 10-15 days to process. (Indiegogo takes a four percent fee for fully funded projects.)

Lambesis allegedly solicited the hit on May 2, providing the undercover policeman $1,000 cash. He was arrested on May 7.

Eight business days elapsed between the end of the campaign and Lambesis allegedly giving the would-be hitman the funds.

If the album and its attendant bonus swag do arrive, it doesn’t look like it will be any time soon. Some of the perks promised include backstage passes, merch, time with the band, and personal training sessions with Lambesis — whose attorney says has been using steroids. Lambesis is still incarcerated, with a $2 million bail option.

The Austrian Death Machine project’s future is unclear. As of this writing, the project’s page has not been updated for 29 dates, since before its fulfillment.

Whether contributors can get a refund is up to Lambesis, according to the Indiegogo terms of use:

“Special Rules Regarding Perks

“You agree:

1. All Perks must be lawful and otherwise comply with this Agreement.

2. To fulfill all Perks and to respond promptly to all questions and comments regarding Perks. If you are unable to fulfill a Perk, you will work with the Contributor(s) to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution which may include, without limitation, issuing a refund promptly.

3. Indiegogo is not liable nor responsible for the fulfillment of Perks, the failure to fulfill Perks, the quality of the Perks and as otherwise disclaimed or limited by this Agreement.”

The issue of “timely delivery” is unclear. According to a contributor, Lambesis had projected a late May completion.

Indiegogo — which, full disclosure, DOES THIS STUFF WITH METALSUCKS —also clearly had no idea about Lambesis’ plans. The crowdsourcing company declined to answer questions sent by MetalSucks regarding the ADM project, but did provide this statement:

“Campaign owners are responsible for fulfilling any promises and/or agreements they make with funders for providing perks or other benefits in exchange for funding, and because this relationship is directly between the campaign owners and the funders, Indiegogo is both practically and legally unable to intervene.”

Any connection between the crowdfunding contributions and the alleged hit are pure speculation.

But could you give someone $1,000 cash right now? Now, if your bank account had just received a $70,000 infusion, would that make it easier to commit to a $20,000 transaction?

D.X. Ferris is the author of 33 1/3: Reign in Blood, the first English-language book about Slayer, which is available now as physical book, a Kindle book, and as an audio book on Audible. You can follow him via Facebook and/or Twitter: @dxferris and @SlayerBook.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly claimed Indiegogo takes a 9% fee of fully funded projects. The correct figure is 4%.

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