In 1983, Dave Navarro's mother, Connie Navarro, was killed by a former boyfriend. Navarro revisits the personal tragedy in a new documentary Mourning Son, which led him to meet with his mother’s murderer, John Riccardi, at a California prison in 2013.

The prison would not allow Navarro and director Todd Newman to film the encounter, but the Jane’s Addiction guitarist has recounted the experience in an interview with the New York Times. “One of the ways in which trauma survivors get past trauma is to walk through the ugliness,” Navarro said.

“I happen to have one of these conditions where if I’m afraid of something, I have to do it,” he added. Conquering that fear led Navarro to meet Riccardi, which ended up being “an awkward exchange.”

Riccardi, who killed Navarro’s mother and a friend in her L.A. home in 1983 when Navarro was 15, is serving a life sentence at the San Quentin State Prison. Navarro said he wanted the meeting to “make me feel scorn and anger and rage, and it just didn’t.”

Mourning Son explores the emotional fallout of Navarro’s mother’s death rather than highlighting Riccardi. “I don’t want to turn this guy into an interesting character,” the guitarist said. “I like a lot of crime television: 48 Hours, Dateline, Investigation Discovery. And very rarely in those stories are they focused on the family and the horror and the emotional impact. They’re always focused on the killer, and I didn’t want to tell that.”

The documentary is available as of today (Dec. 1) on Video on Demand and iTunes. Watch the trailer at the top of the page.

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