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Slayer Guitarist Jeff Hanneman Dies at 49; Spider Bite Might Be Related to His Death. Flesh-Eating Disease? AP; CNN

"Jeff Hanneman, 49, a founding member of Slayer whose career was irrevocably changed after a spider bite, has died," the Associated Press reports

The story continues, "Slayer spokeswoman Heidi Robinson-Fitzgerald said Hanneman died Thursday morning of liver failure at a Los Angeles hospital with his wife, Kathy, by his side."

The story adds, "The guitarist had recently begun writing songs with the band in anticipation of recording a new album later this year. He had been slowly recovering from what was believed to be a spider bite that nearly cost him his arm after he failed to seek immediate treatment."

The article also says "Robinson-Fitzgerald said it's believed the spider bite contributed to the failure of Hanneman's liver, but it is unclear whether an autopsy will be scheduled. No funeral arrangements have been made."

A CNN story about the death of the Grammy-winning heavy metal guitarist says: "Though there was no official word from a physician or medical professional about Hanneman's death, several news outlets reported what Hanneman's band said in a statement Friday -- that the rocker's death was connected to a spider bite that he suffered at least more than a year ago.

"On the band's website, a statement read that in January Hanneman 'had contracted necrotizing fasciitis likely caused by a spider bite, and has been undergoing surgeries, skin grafts and intense rehab since.' "

Necrotizing fasciitis has long been commonly known as the flesh-eating disease.

Jeff Hanneman Slayer.bmp