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Spider implicated in Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman's death

  • This 2009 publicity photo provided courtesy of Slayer shows, from left, Dave Lombardo, Kerry King, Jeff Hanneman and Tom Araya. Hanneman, 49, a founding member of the heavy metal band Slayer, has died. Slayer spokeswoman Heidi Robinson-Fitzgerald  says Hanneman died Thursday morning, May 2, 2013, of liver failure at a Los Angeles hospital with his wife, Kathy, by his side. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Slayer, Mark Seliger)

    This 2009 publicity photo provided courtesy of Slayer shows, from left, Dave Lombardo, Kerry King, Jeff Hanneman and Tom Araya. Hanneman, 49, a founding member of the heavy metal band Slayer, has died. Slayer spokeswoman Heidi Robinson-Fitzgerald says Hanneman died Thursday morning, May 2, 2013, of liver failure at a Los Angeles hospital with his wife, Kathy, by his side. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Slayer, Mark Seliger) Purchase photo reprints »

  • This 2009 publicity photo provided courtesy of Slayer shows, from left, Dave Lombardo, Kerry King, Jeff Hanneman and Tom Araya. Hanneman, 49, a founding member of the heavy metal band Slayer, has died. Slayer spokeswoman Heidi Robinson-Fitzgerald  says Hanneman died Thursday morning, May 2, 2013, of liver failure at a Los Angeles hospital with his wife, Kathy, by his side. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Slayer, Mark Seliger)

    This 2009 publicity photo provided courtesy of Slayer shows, from left, Dave Lombardo, Kerry King, Jeff Hanneman and Tom Araya. Hanneman, 49, a founding member of the heavy metal band Slayer, has died. Slayer spokeswoman Heidi Robinson-Fitzgerald says Hanneman died Thursday morning, May 2, 2013, of liver failure at a Los Angeles hospital with his wife, Kathy, by his side. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Slayer, Mark Seliger) Purchase photo reprints »

  • This 2009 publicity photo provided courtesy of Slayer shows, from left, Dave Lombardo, Kerry King, Jeff Hanneman and Tom Araya. Hanneman, 49, a founding member of the heavy metal band Slayer, has died. Slayer spokeswoman Heidi Robinson-Fitzgerald  says Hanneman died Thursday morning, May 2, 2013, of liver failure at a Los Angeles hospital with his wife, Kathy, by his side. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Slayer, Mark Seliger)
  • This 2009 publicity photo provided courtesy of Slayer shows, from left, Dave Lombardo, Kerry King, Jeff Hanneman and Tom Araya. Hanneman, 49, a founding member of the heavy metal band Slayer, has died. Slayer spokeswoman Heidi Robinson-Fitzgerald  says Hanneman died Thursday morning, May 2, 2013, of liver failure at a Los Angeles hospital with his wife, Kathy, by his side. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Slayer, Mark Seliger)

But in an unusual chain of events, a representative for the band said the bite may have contributed to Hanneman’s death more than two years later.

Hanneman died Thursday morning of liver failure at a Los Angeles hospital with his wife, Kathy, by his side, according to Slayer spokeswoman Heidi Robinson-Fitzgerald. He was 49.

Family members and doctors were not immediately available to discuss the cause of death.

Robinson-Fitzgerald said Hanneman had been slowly recovering from necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease that nearly cost him his arm. Such an infection can develop from a minor cut or scratch; Robinson-Fitzgerald blamed the spider bite, for which he failed to seek immediate treatment.

Hanneman co-founded the thrash metal pioneers in Huntington Beach, Calif., in 1982.

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