Dave Navarro is a survivor of a trauma so intense it colored everything in his adult life, from fueling drug addiction to forcing him to turn inwards and heal himself with creative endeavors.
This past year the Jane’s Addiction and former Red Hot Chilli Peppers guitarist, along with his best friend writer-director Todd Newman, produced Mourning Son — a personal documentary about the brutal murder of his mother.
In the documentary, Navarro bares his soul as he recounts the brutal murder of his mother Connie, killed by an estranged boyfriend when he was 15.
It changed everything about who he was as he struggled to cope with the horror.
Trying to make sense of a senseless and cruel act, Navarro has supported numerous domestic violence organizations.
Now Investigation Discovery is honoring him in its fourth annual Inspire A Difference honors event this fall (date TBA) in New York City — making him the first man to receive the accolade.
It honors people who “inspire a difference” in people’s lives through their work raising awareness of victims’ rights.
His mum Connie was stunning, blonde, beautiful and described in the documentary by her friends as “warm” and “loving”.
She divorced Navarro’s father when he was seven yet remained close. It was her fateful relationship with bodybuilder John Riccardi that changed the course of Navarro’s life and ended his mother’s.
Riccardi took their breakup in 1983 badly and stalked Connie. Tragically, on March 3, 1983, Riccardi then broke into Navarro’s West Los Angeles condo and shot her and her friend Sue Jory, killing them both.
Navarro was 15 at the time and by a stroke of luck he was not at home. He states in the film how he believes he would have died that day too.
Riccardi was on the run and in hiding for eight years until caught. During that time, Navarro became the lead guitarist for Jane’s Addiction, as fame and fortune found him — but inside he was ripped apart from the violent end his mother suffered.
Riccardi was caught in 1991, after John Walsh’s America’s Most Wanted aired a segment about him. He was sentenced to death for the murders, but in 2012 the California Supreme Court re-sentenced him to life without parole.
Navarro said: “Losing a loved one to domestic violence is a difficult and unfortunately much-too-common event. It is my hope that Mourning Son was a way to shine a light on this horrible epidemic within our culture, so that we can all help end it.
“I appreciate the efforts by Investigation Discovery and Inspire A Difference, and am touched that they would bestow me with this honor.”