I know that, for fans of the 80’s/90’s band Queensryche, there were theories about on how the character of Mary died on their conceptual album “Operation:Mindcrime.” The band was always tighted-lipped about what happened. In fact, during some of the concerts to support that album, they would ask the audience for their theories, but never revealed anything about it. Was it ever revealed how Mary died? Nick was supposed to kill her, but, according to the lyrics, he confronted her, left her, and when he returned, she was already dead. On their home video (“Video:Mindcrime”), they showed the videos from the album, and some of the videos included words being flashed on the screen (a la subliminal messages, but in plain sight). On the alternate version of the “I Don’t Believe In Love” video, shown after the credits run, in that same faux-subliminal style, the word “suicide” flashes on the screen, but was never mentioned on any of the songs (all of the other words flashed on the screen in the other videos were used in the songs on the album). I cannot find anything anywhere giving any definite conclusions on how Mary died. Does anyone know? Was it ever revealed, and I have missed it somehow?

Dr.X orders Nikki to go after the priest and “the girl”. He has fallen in love with Mary though and only kills the priest. He then decides to go after Dr.X. Mary is upset at him for killing her mentor and he goes out in to the night. While he is away Dr.X has Mary killed. When he goes back to Mary he finds “the rosary wrapped around your throat”. Then he is caught and locked up in the hospital and the album ends.

That is merely my interpretation. I have never seen a definitive quote from the band about exactly what they meant.

I always thought she committed suicide.

Great album, great band!

well, I hadn’t given it too much thought, but I found this on a queensryche website – apparently these notes were included with the Operation:Livecrime box set :

supports the suicide theory.

Looking back on it, I think an interesting (though perhaps only lightly supported) interpretation is that Operation:Mindcrime does not exist; Nikki is actually a paranoid psychotic.

panama jack tests limb, feels his way along it

Dr. X is a fabrication; a representation of whatever Nikki is afraid of. He visits a political rally, and somehow the face of the man shouting becomes that of Dr. X.
Nikki lived at a homeless shelter, Mary and Fr. William helped him out there, but were unaware of his murderous proclivities – maybe they just thought he was a junkie in need of help. Mary’s story might have been true, or not … Nikki might have invented it after actually strangling her.

panama jack stops, surveys the limb he’s climbed out on, then reaches for the tiny twigs at the end

Maybe it was Queensryche’s way of saying that ignoring the problems existing at the bottom of society will lead to the destruction of the top (1 percent that rules, that is).

panama jack falls out of the tree to the ground, and dies.

From the words in the songs, my impression was that Nikki killed her.

I take these lyrics to mean: "She said she’d meet me on the other side [the afterlife]. But i knew right then i’d never find her [because she was going to Heaven and he was going to Hell]. Therefore, he was there when she died (or at least he knew she was going to die).

Most of this particular song is Nikki speaking to Mary, but i believe these lines to be Mary speaking to Nikki. Earlier, when Nikki is speaking, he says “my faith is growing, growing tight against the seam” which contradicts “i’ve no more want of any faith”. Also, Nikki says, “your precious cross is gone” which supports that same line.

Mary wanted to die, just like the priest wanted to die(“As he died he said thank you.”). Nikki tried to convince her to stay with him and fight Dr. X with him. Mary won the argument.

By the end of the album, Nikki is very insane and depressed. I believe that it was because it was he who killed Mary. Waht bigger tragedy is there than killing the woman you love?

There are a few things which don’t jive with the suicide theory. “Your rosary wrapped around your throat”, especially since she wasn’t wearing it when she spoke to Nikki last (“Your precious cross is gone.”). Nikki was charged with two murders (hers and the priest’s). Did she kill herself and make it look like murder?

I always thought Nikki killed her. In addition to Monocracy’s quotes, when Nikki goes back and finds her dead, he says

The name of that song is “Electric Requiem”, and I took the “turn the current on” line to be a desire for the chair.

Also, the whole “The Needle Lies” song, I took to be a big regret for killing his love while under the influence of Dr. X. And “Eyes of a Stranger”, I took for more regret every time he looks in the mirror.