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Slayer: Jeff Hanneman Didn't Die of Spider Bite, but From Alcohol-Related Cirrhosis

Jeff Hanneman, Slayer Kevin Winter/Getty Images

While Jeff Hanneman's sudden death at 49 from liver failure last week brought tons of attention to the possible lingering effects of venomous spider bites, his mates from Slayer say that is not what ultimately killed their founding guitarist.

"We've just learned that the official cause of Jeff's death was alcohol related cirrhosis," the band said Thursday in a statement on their website.

"While he had his health struggles over the years, including the recent [necrotizing fasciitis] infection [from a spider bite] that devastated his well-being, Jeff and those close to him were not aware of the true extent of his liver condition until the last days of his life.

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"Contrary to some reports, Jeff was not on a transplant list at the time of his passing, or at any time prior to that. In fact, by all accounts, it appeared that he had been improving—he was excited and looking forward to working on a new record."

The Huntington Beach, Calif.-based band had posted an update on Hanneman's seemingly improving health right before he died, informing fans that, though he nearly lost his right arm to flesh-eating bacteria in 2011, he was undergoing physical therapy and regaining strength in his damaged limb.

Frontman Tom Araya, guitarist Kerry King and drummer Dave Lombardo also said yesterday that, while details are still being worked, they are planning a celebration of Hanneman's life with his family and friends that will be open to the public.

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