Slayer's social media outlets are reporting that founding member Jeff Hanneman died Thursday morning at 11am, of liver failure. A constant of the band from his first meeting with Kerry King in 1981 until taking his leave from the band in 2011 due to a case of necrotizing fasciitis potentially contracted from a spider bite while on tour, Hanneman is undoubtedly one of the most influential guitarists in metal history.
It's too early to say if the lingering effects of the illness directly contributed to his death this morning, but as recently as April 8 Tom Araya was quoted as saying that Hanneman was still very much a part of Slayer and would return soon, after working on new material he was writing. Below is the post, taken from Slayer's Facebook account.
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Slayer is devastated to inform that their bandmate and brother, Jeff Hanneman, passed away at about 11AM this morning near his Southern California home. Hanneman was in an area hospital when he suffered liver failure. He is survived by his wife Kathy, his sister Kathy and his brothers Michael and Larry, and will be sorely missed.
Our Brother Jeff Hanneman, May He Rest In Peace (1964 - 2013)