Occult Deaths

A

Anonymous

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#1
Charles Walton - An Unsolved Occult Murder

Well, searched the site and found no threads on this subject yet. Could easily have slipped beneath peoples radars, or may just be lurking in the background of most peoples fortean knowledge. But the story has cropped up from separate sources throughout my interest in wierdness and I thought I would bring it to peoples attention.

Basic summary:-

An unsolved mystery from February 14th 1945 when Charles Walton, a 74 year old farm labourer from Lower Quinton in Warwickshire, well-liked if eccentric but certainly no known enemies was murdered in an occult fashion. With no known motive, or witnesses in an otherwise sleepy rural village, Robert Fabian, a famous Detective Superintendent from London attempted to solve the case but came up against a wall of silence and constant hints of witchcraft.

Charles Walton was a popular and well liked member of the community, although regarded as slightly eccentric by some, and with a mixture of suspicion and respect by others. It was well known that there was something a little peculiar about Walton, wild birds would flock to him to be fed from his hand, and he had the ability to tame wild dogs using only his voice. He was well versed in country lore, rather too well according to some people, and seemed to know much about the old ways of the countryside. Few areas of Britain have a deeper association with traditional witchcraft than Warwickshire and privately it was accepted that Walton was involved with the various covens operating in the area. Despite this, it seems that Walton had few if any enemies and could number most of the village amongst his friends...

After a short search of the area the group came across Charles Walton's body. He had been brutally murdered with his own trouncing hook, which still lay embedded in his throat, and then pinned to the ground with his hayfork. A large cross had been carved deeply into Walton's chest and neck and the blood from this wound had soaked the ground surrounding the body. The Police were immediately summoned and such had been the ferocity of the attack that it took two constables to remove the hayfork from the ground. Waltons mutilated body was carried down the hill into the village and a major Police investigation began...

Fabian tended to agree, but Spooner, who had already been doing his own research, then produced a book which was to give the crime an entirely different angle. The book, Folklore, Old Customs and Superstitions in Shakespeareland, had been written by J. Harvey Bloom, a local vicar, in 1929. Spooner had underlined a passage in the book which told of how, in 1875, "a weak minded young man killed a woman named Ann Turner with a hayfork because he believed she had bewitched him"

Further on in the book, another page had been marked. This told of how in 1885, a plough boy by the name of Charles Walton had encountered a large black dog on nine successive days while on his way home from work. On the last occasion, the dog was accompanied by a headless woman. Of course legends about black dogs are not rare, especially in rural areas, and there had long been stories of a ghostly black dog on Meon hill that heralded death to those it appeared to, but was it possible that this Charles Walton was the same person ?

Spooner then handed Fabian another book, Warwickshire, published in 1906. The author, Clive Holland, another local man, described the murder of Ann Turner in greater depth and additionally he included an account of the trial of John Hayward who was eventually found guilty and hanged. In his defence, Hayward stated that he considered he was acting for the good of the whole community as Ann Turner had "bewitched the cattle and land of local farmers". He said that he had "pinned her to the ground with a hayfork before slashing her throat with a bill hook in the form of a cross". Holland explained that this was an ancient and traditional way of killing a witch and was known to have existed in Anglo-Saxon England where it was called 'stacung' or 'sticking'. It was believed that this was the only way to prevent the dead witch rising from the grave...

Fabian reluctantly turned to the witchcraft theory and discovered that according to the old Julian calendar in use until the Middle Ages, February 14th actually fell on February 2nd which, according to local superstition was traditionally the best day for a blood sacrifice. At this point of the year the earth was just beginning to recover from the winter and a ritual sacrifice was seen as a certain way to ensure a good harvest would follow. As Fabian pursued this line, he found a general reluctance amongst the local people to talk about it, in fact one man was heard to say that Walton was "dead and buried so there was nothing to worry about". The probability that Walton had played the leading role in some sort of pagan fertility sacrifice seemed so unlikely that, faced with a barrage of silence from anyone questioned about it, Fabian decided to look elsewhere.

The last line of enquiry was that of Walton's past, but nothing was found there either, except for the strange disappearance of Walton's money. It seemed that when Walton's wife had died in 1927, she left him a sum of £297, which was quite a considerable amount. He was known to have placed it in a building society but when Police investigated, the balance was only £2 11s 9d. It was estimated that his weekly outgoings were certainly no more than £2 per week and anyway he had worked all his life and been a man of very frugal habits. Some 60 shillings was found in his house but the remainder was never accounted for and no explanation was ever given for its disappearance.

As the inquiry drew to a close, Fabian took one last walk up the hill to the site of the murder, "a bleak and lonely place", as he recalled it in his memoirs. As he looked around, a large black dog ran past him. Shortly afterwards a young boy came up the hill and Fabian asked whether he had lost his dog. When the boy looked puzzled, Fabian explained that he'd just seen a large black hound, at which the boy gasped and turning, ran as fast as he could down the hill. Later that day, a large black dog was found dead, hung by its neck from a tree next to the murder scene and the same evening, a police car ran over and killed a similar dog in a lane near the village.

At the time of writing, the file on the murder of Charles Walton remains open, and in Warwickshire Police archives it is still possible to see the weapons used to commit the crime. Despite the efforts of various writers, journalists and occultists through the years, we are still no closer to finding the killer than Fabian was in 1945.

Visiting the village today, one cannot help noticing that the older inhabitants are still reluctant to talk about Walton's death, and some of those that will talk suggest that a cover-up may have taken place. There is certainly the suggestion that some people know rather more than they are admitting to. Whatever the truth about the awful events at Meon Hill on Valentines Day 1945, it is certain that they will continue to intrigue people for many years to come.
The full unabridged article can be found on the Dragon's Hoard Website

It makes for fascinating reading.
 

ogopogo3

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#2
Cult murder in India

http://www.rediff.com/news/2002/oct/04bhu.htm

Seven-year-old boy sacrificed to goddess Kali

A seven-year-old boy, Sitakanta Behera, was sacrificed on the night of October 1 apparently to appease goddess Kali, police said on Friday.

Behera was kidnapped from his house, in Ranjagola village in Dhenkanal district, on the night of September 29 while he was asleep.

His father Pramod Behera lodged a complaint at local Balimi police station after which a police team led by district Deputy Superintendent of Police Banamali Mishra searched for the kidnappers.

The police picked Arta Sahu (23) from Ranjagola village, who confessed to kidnapping and sacrificing Sitakanta before goddess Kali in a temple located in a nearby forest in the same district.

Sahu said he had a dream that he would die if he did not sacrifice the boy to the deity.

When the police team raided the temple, they discovered severed body parts from different pits around the temple.

"We have arrested Sahu and registered a murder case against him under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code," a district police official told rediff.com.
 

Dennis_De_Bacle

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#4
Murdered witch Trial

Witchcraft fan 'had mum under spell'

Man murdered on moors had 'bad aura', jury is told

by Staff Reporter

A mother whose two sons are accused of murdering a witchcraft enthusiast from Cumbria had been put 'under a spell' by him, a court heard.
A friend of Melanie Payne - the ex-lover of victim James Bowman - told a jury yesterday that he had been a womaniser who had also practised the religion of Wiccan Wichcraft.
Leeds Crown Court heard how her friend Janesse Mousea did not like Mr Bowman when she met him because he was "smelly and dirty."

Rituals

Mrs Mousea told the jury of 6 men and 6 women why she took a dislike to unkempt, spectacle-wearing Mr Bowman. She told the court that people have their own auras, saying: "Some people have bright ones but his was grey".
She added that she was also scared by his interest in witchcraft - a form of religion that involves magic, spells and rituals.
"James Bowman was into witchcraft and I am not interested in it," she said.
"I was concerned that Melanie was associating with him. Witchcraft is more for self-gratification and I didn't want to get into that."
When asked if if witchcraft would have anything to do with him being dominating in sex. Mrs Mousea replied: "He definitely had Mel under a spell."
Mr Bowman usedto live in a caravan near Carlisle and at an address in Workington. His ex-wife Beatrice still lives in Firth View Walk in the town.
Mr Bowman's battered and stabbed body was found on moorland in West Yorkshire on September 15 last year.
The court heard how Mrs Payne, 45 had become scared that Mr Bowman who was 44, may harass her after she threw him out of the family home in Cornholme, Todmorden, West Yorks.
Her sons Daniel Delker, 23, and Nicholas Grundy, 22, together with a friend, David Sandham, 24, are accused of his murder.
It was alleged that they went out onto Todmorden Moor to warn him to stay away from their mother. They deny the murder charge.
Mrs Mousea, who is in her 40s, told how Mrs Payne practised a religion called Shambhala.
Her interest in the supernatural took her to a psychic fair in the spring of last year, where she had met Mr Bowman.
The trial continues.
source News and Star
 
A

Anonymous

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#6
Occult Related Crimes

Looking for a website (or websites) that document crimes with ties to occult activity (satanic rituals, vampires, demons, possessed people etc.) I'm not expecting them to be considered "real" just interested in reading the M.O.s of the criminals. anything unsolved would be a perk. thanks
 

MrRING

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#8
Here are a site that seemes relevant:

http://labyrinth13.com/index.htm

It has some stuff on the Zodiac killer and the Process Church/Manson connections

As far as cases I can remember a little something about:

There was a old fellow murdered in Europe somewhere with a pitchfork around the turn of the century (1906 or so). As investigators worked, it turned out the town believed he was a witch, and that he may have been killed because of bad times with local crops & livestock.

Is there any occult references to the Moonlight Murderer in the Arkansas area in the 30's or 40's?
 
A

Anonymous

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#9
Would that be the Charles Walton case? That was in 1945 or so... there'll be sites aplenty on the web.
 

luciferrofocale

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#10
project pitchfork

93,

The pitchfork 'ritual murder' is discussed and roundly trashed in Gerald Gardner's 'Meaning of Witchcraft'.


93 93 93

Peter Grey
 

MrRING

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#11
Found a link for Charles Walton:

http://www.whitedragon.org.uk/articles/charles.htm

Listen to the description of the body, which definately shows an attempt to ward off his "evil" **WARNING: SOME GORY DETAILS**:

After a short search of the area the group came across Charles Walton's body. He had been brutally murdered with his own trouncing hook, which still lay embedded in his throat, and then pinned to the ground with his hayfork. A large cross had been carved deeply into Walton's chest and neck and the blood from this wound had soaked the ground surrounding the body. The Police were immediately summoned and such had been the ferocity of the attack that it took two constables to remove the hayfork from the ground. Waltons mutilated body was carried down the hill into the village and a major Police investigation began.

It also reminded me of the murder of Bridget Cleary , who IIRC was murder by her husband, tortured and killed, because he thought she was of the fay. Here is a link for her sad story:

http://www.controverscial.com/Fairy Witch of Clonmel.htm
 

MrRING

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#12
Just found a better link for Charles Walton:

http://www.controverscial.com/Murder by Witchcraft.htm

And here is aninteresting little bit from the page - ever hear of a "witch glass"? Thee was one found in his watch 15 years after his murder - found in the area searched by police originally.

The general consensus of opinion amongst the villagers was that this was a piece of witch glass, used to either reflect or absorb any evil thoughts that had been directed at its owner. The odd thing abut this find was that the police had searched the building shortly after the crime and found nothing, so it appears that the killer must have returned at some point later to deposit the watch. Why had the murderer felt it necessary to take such a large risk in returning the watch, when he could easily have disposed of it by other means ?
 
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#14
Mr. R.I.N.G. said:
It also reminded me of the murder of Bridget Cleary , who IIRC was murder by her husband, tortured and killed, because he thought she was of the fay.
There's a book by Angela Bourke concerning the case called The Burning of Bridget Cleary. E F Benson, better known for his ghost stories and the Mapp and Lucia series was very interested in the case and wrote an essay/article on the subject which was, I think, published in the contemporary press.
 

zygmunt_rocks_on

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#15
How strange. I was just thinking the same thing... It's so Fortean it hurts... I can't believe I'd not heard of this before today! Almost a year to the day since the OP, I was doing a google for "Fred West" and this came up:

http://www.missingpersons-ireland.freepress-freespeech.com/didfredwestmurdertoorder.htm


which claims a witchcraft link between the Hagley Wood murder, Charles Walton and the Fred West murders.


The Walton murder i find paricularly fascinating, not least this bit:

"This told of how in 1885, a plough boy by the name of Charles Walton had encountered a large black dog on nine successive days while on his way home from work. On the last occasion, the dog was accompanied by a headless woman. Of course legends about black dogs are not rare, especially in rural areas, and there had long been stories of a ghostly black dog on Meon hill that heralded death to those it appeared to, but was it possible that this Charles Walton was the same person ?"

It's almost a 'horned god' scenario... a 'chosen one' sacrificed for the sake of the fertility of the land.
 

MrRING

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#16
There is more on him in this thread here:

[link deleted - threads now merged.]

(I think I may be summoning the Old Gods of Merging by putting this link on - and the Old Gods are Angry! :D )
 
A

Anonymous

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#17
I believe there was some talk that Walton kept his money on him, underneath his shirt. Perhaps it's simply a murder-robbery, and the manner of the killing just a smoke screen?
 

Mighty_Emperor

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#19
Occult murders

Quite a few strange deaths involve some kind of 'occult' connection (I'm including other odd religious things too, for now) I think it is worth haivng a separate thread for them (there are also more specific threads for vampire killings, muti, witch killings, fatal exorcisms, serial killers, etc.).

Some recommended reading:

The Encyclopedia of Occult and Supernatural Murder
Brian Lane (1995)

PB:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0747246955/
HB:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0747225265/
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1860197930/
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/074721204X/


============================
Salvation brew kills 64

Thu 4 December, 2003 21:27

KINSHASA (Reuters) - A priest is on the run after 64 members of his congregation were poisoned to death by a potion he said would grant them salvation.

"Sixty-four of the approximately hundred people who drank the potion have died. We have sent two doctors and a Red Cross team to the site," the Democratic Republic of Congo's health minister Yagi Sitolo told Reuters in the capital Kinshasa on Thursday.

The incident happened about a week ago in the remote town of Bosobe, some 500 kms (315 miles) northeast of Kinshasa. It was not clear whether the victims died immediately.

After years of war that has left millions dead and most of the country's infrastructure destroyed, large parts of the population have had little education and vast swathes of the former Zaire are cut off from the rest of the world.

Churches have mushroomed since the start of the war, collecting sizeable donations from poverty stricken congregations in exchange for cheap fixes to life's problems.

Many of the churches are known to advocate belief in child witchcraft, offering commercial exorcisms for a handful of dollars and more chairs for the congregation.

Congo's health minister said the Bosobe authorities were looking for the priest who had fled for fear of recrimination.

"There is an investigation in process, we will find out what has happened," Sitolo said.
http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsPackageArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=415575&section=news
 
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#20
I'm sure this has happened before:

Nigerian herbalist shot dead as anti-bullet charm fails

Wed Dec 17,11:55 AM ET Add Offbeat - AFP to My Yahoo!



LAGOS (AFP) - A traditional doctor in central Nigeria has been shot dead by a patient who was testing the potency of an anti-bullet charm the herbalist had prepared for him, police told AFP.


Ashi Terfa died when patient Umaa Akor fired a gun at his head two weeks ago in south-central Benue state, police spokesman Bode Fakeye said Wednesday.


"Akor went for an insurance against bullets and contacted Terfa to prepare it for him," he said.


"To confirm its efficacy, the herbalist tied the charm around his neck and insisted that Akor should fire a gun at him. The experiment proved fatal for the herbalist and his skull was shattered," he added. "He died immediately".


Fakeye said the suspect had appeared in court for culpable homicide, but had been release on bail.


"The motive to kill could not be established against the suspect since the herbalist asked him to shoot to test the charm," he added.


The belief in withcraft and charms is rife in Africa.
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1517&e=15&u=/afp/nigeria_crime_offbeat
 
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#21
Indian human sacrifice

Grim stuff:

Five killed, mutilated - may be human sacrifice

9-January-2004


Ahmedabad, In a barbaric incident, five people, including four children, were killed in a Gujarat village and their body parts strewn on the road.

Police said Friday that the killings in Bawla village of Ahmedabad district, 70 km from here, could be an instance of human sacrifice from the way that the bodies had been mutilated.

The gruesome murders, where the bodies were chopped into pieces, took place Thursday evening.

The killings were confirmed Friday morning when police found different parts of the children's bodies on the main road of the village.

Not one of the 5,000-odd villagers came forward to testify as a witness to crime.

Police officials said Bawla village is dominated by nomadic tribes, known for black magic and occult practices.

"For black magic and occult practices, the ritual of human sacrifice is supposed to be required. We strongly suspect that black magic could have been one of the main reasons behind these killings," an investigating official said.

The grotesque way in which the mutilated parts of the slain children's bodies were found from the village "pointed the needle of suspicion to human sacrifice for black magic", he added.
http://www.keralanext.com/news/index.asp?id=22911
 

drjbrennan

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#22
The equally barbaric practices of Suttee and Thugee were also widespread until stamped out by the British.
 

OneWingedBird

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#23
Old traditions die hard. There are still occasional cases where Asian women mysteriously burn to death in their kitchen in Bradford...
 
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#24
And the votes are in for best Christian name (in more ways than four)......

Girl, 20 Killed Over Alleged Witchcraft Pushed Down From 3-Storey Building





P.M. News (Lagos)

February 10, 2004
Posted to the web February 10, 2004

Abimbola Adebayo
Lagos

A 20-year-old girl, Nkiru Iruka, has been murdered by her cousin, ThankGod Ukwueze, 19, who accused her of witchcraft.

Investigations revealed that Nkiru was beaten to death with a pestle and later thrown down from the third floor of Block 15, 1004 Flats, Victoria Island, Lagos, where she resided with her uncle, Group Captain Okibedi.


P.M.News gathered that ThankGod and his friend, who carried out the dastardly act, had earlier smoked Indian Hemp and gulped several bottles of beer before they got home on the fateful day, 17 January, 2004.

It was learnt that trouble began when ThankGod asked Nkiru and another cousin, Iju Ike, to go and sleep, but should not lock the door.

P.M.News gathered further that at about 2 a.m. on the fateful day, ThankGod and his friend stormed Nkiru's room and tried to exorcise the witchcraft power in her by beating her with a pestle, shouting "holy ghost fire" and later threw her down from the third floor.

It was gathered that ThankGod and his friend, who were deported from the US had earlier blamed Nkiru for their fate. They allegedly accused her of using witchcraft power to cause their deportation from the US on 6 January, 2004.

On arrival, P.M.News gathered further that ThankGod immediately burst into tears and phoned his father, accusing Nkiru of being behind his problems. He vowed to deal with her, but his father warned him against that.

In her statement to the Police, Iju Ike said it took the intervention of neighbours before ThankGod was overpowered and arrested. She claimed that the suspect, who is currently being detained by the police, tried to kill her too, but she was saved by the intervention of neighbours.

The suspect, in his statement, denied killing the deceased.

He claimed not to have known what happened on the day in question. The matter would soon be taken to court.
http://allafrica.com/stories/200402100438.html

Indian Hemp eh? It'll probably hit the papers as drug addicts kill girl.

Emps
 
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#25
Black magic ritual to create vengeful ghosts



February 11 2004 at 06:06AM


Two Hong Kong girls were allegedly killed and then raped as part of a black magic ritual to create ghosts to torment their killer's wife, a news report said on Wednesday.

The girls, aged one and 11, were allegedly snatched within two weeks of each other by father-of-three Duong Vinh Cuong after his wife walked out on him, prosecutors told Hong Kong's High Court on Tuesday.

Duong, who claimed to have learned black magic in Thailand, apparently later admitted to police that he killed the girls then raped them as part of an occult ritual to make them related to him by blood, the court heard.

He apparently smothered them to death with pillows, believing their deaths would unleash ghosts to take revenge on his wife for leaving him, the South China Morning Post reported.


The girl's bodies were found hidden in a wardrobe
Duong, a Vietnamese immigrant, told police he had to kill five blood relatives and then commit suicide, the newspaper said.

After the murders, he allegedly tried to gas himself to death with his three children, aged two to six, in his home in Hong Kong's Yuen Long district.

Duong is believed to have set off an explosion when police and firefighters reached the scene but he and his children survived the blast. The girl's bodies were found hidden in a wardrobe under a manhole outside the house.

He denied the murder of the two girls and the attempted murder of his own three children. The trial continued in Hong Kong's High Court on Wednesday.
http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?click_id=3&art_id=qw1076472365197B252&set_id=1
 
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#26
Blimey.

last updated: 2/25/2004

Woman Burns to Death in Apparent Ritual Gone Wrong

By Lucy Yang

(Bronx-WABC, February 24, 2004) — A woman was found dead tonight in a Bronx apartment badly burned, and police believe it was the tragic result of a religious ritual turned deadly.

Lucy Yang reports from University Heights with late details.

A freak accident on North Street by Grand Avenue has claimed one woman's life, and left another hospitalized. Police believe they were engaged in a ritual, the apartment was lit with candles.

For several hours police had no idea what exactly caused the fire that took the life of a 41-year-old woman, and they searched the area for a possible killer on the loose.

But in the end it appears it was some kind of horrible accident, a spiritual exercise gone wrong.

Jose Jimenez, Building Maintenance: "The lady was in the bathtub, and she was pouring maybe some kind of cleansing on her, with alcohol or something.... And the same time she was pouring it, it looked like she (was using a candle) to bless her or something. And some way or another the alcohol jumped on top of her, jumped on top of the candle, the candle ... just lit her up."

According to police the resident of apartment 2C, a 62-year-old woman, was performing a sort of cleansing ritual on a 41-year-old woman, dousing her with special water which is also flammable. They were in the bathroom, candles were lit, and in a flash the younger woman who was unclothed caught on fire.

Officials say she ran into the kitchen, collapsed, and died.

The older woman who was taken to the hospital had burns on her hands.

Neighbors are insisting this was no devil worship.

We're told the victim may have been suffering from some sort of physical ailment, and came here seeking a miraculous healing.
http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/news/wabc_022404_womanburned.html
 
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#27
When black magic turns badder

Too much spirit kills sorcerer

From correspondents in Colombo, Sri Lanka
April 10, 2004

A SRI Lankan magician killed himself during a black magic ritual to harness evil forces after he was overwhelmed by the spirits he had drunk, rather than those he was trying to cast spells on, a press report said today.

The 71-year-old man had used his full force to dash a coconut on the ground as part of the ritual on behalf of a customer, but lost his balance and ended up hooked on the trident, a weapon of Hindu gods, the Sinhalese-language Lankadeepa said.

The paper quoted the victim's son as saying he had been drunk at the time.

Doctors said his death last week was due to excessive bleeding and shock.
http://news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,9242298^13762,00.html
 

original_fLeebLe

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#28
Devil-worshipper slaughtered girlfriend

Devil-worshipper slaughtered girlfriend
Thu 13 May, 2004 14:39

LONDON (Reuters) - A devil-worshipper, who sacrificed his psychology student girlfriend on a Nazi altar, has been jailed for life.

Conrad Stanford, 20, caused 67 injuries to the body of Paula White as he butchered her on the altar, which was adorned with a swastika and a skull-and-crossbones.

"She was someone who showed you warmth and affection," Judge Brian Barker said at the Old Bailey on Thursday. "Your behaviour, lifestyle and surroundings had become increasingly bizarre and it is clear you suffer from a psychiatric disorder."

Stanford had pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Judge Barker said Stanford, whose personality disorder cannot be treated, should serve a minimum of eight years. But because of time he has already spent in custody, he could be considered for release after 6-1/2 years.

Stanford, who grew up in Montserrat, met White when they were both studying at London's Southgate College. He hoped to join the police force.

"He was a Michael Ryan waiting to happen," said his college tutor John Morgan, referring to the 27-year-old gun fanatic who rampaged through the village of Hungerford in 1987, killing 16 people and wounding 11 before shooting himself.

link
 
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#29
CREEPY 'CULT' CLUE

By MURRAY WEISS, LARRY CELONA and DAN MANGAN
SARAH FOX


May 28, 2004 -- Two dozen yellow flower petals were found around the nude corpse of Juilliard student Sarah Fox, forming an eerie semicircle on the left side of her body, investigators revealed yesterday.

In addition to the bizarre, cult-like floral arrangement, the corpse was left on its back, making it appear that the third-year drama student was asleep.

"She was left in a position of repose by the killer," a source said.

The petals, fresh and some still on the vine, were from a tulip tree. They were found in a 12-foot radius from Fox's head to her feet in the woods of Inwood Hill Park in upper Manhattan.

Investigators — consulting with Detective Marcos Quinones, an NYPD cult expert — are looking into whether the killer returned after the crime to place the flowers as a bizarre personal or cult ritual.

A botanist called to the scene when the body was found Tuesday agreed with detectives that the flowers had to have been placed by the killer.

But a botanist from the New York Botanical Gardens — who joined the investigation yesterday — believes the flowers may have fallen and been blown into the extraordinary pattern, an NYPD spokesman said.

A police official countered, "A botanist can tell you about flowers but not crime scenes. The flowers are too heavy to be blown."

The case is further complicated because the killer took all the clothes and items Fox is known to have had — spandex workout pants, a white T-shirt, sneakers and a CD player.

Police suspect the killer took them to hide any potential evidence of his identity, as trophies of the slaying or for both reasons.

Authorities believe that Fox, 21, was jogging in the park near her Inwood apartment on May 19 when she was accosted by her attacker, who took the petite blonde to a secluded area that he knew.

The body's severe decomposition has made it impossible for authorities to determine if she was sexually assaulted or if there were any defensive wounds, which would indicate she fought back, said the NYPD spokesman.

The manner of her death, as well as possible ritualistic elements of the crime scene, suggest to some investigators that a sex-obsessed psychopath killed the south New Jersey native.

The spokesman denied earlier reports the woman's legs were left apart. Another source said they were in line with her shoulders.

Fox's body was found Tuesday by volunteer searchers in what police said was a difficult spot to access, since it is not linked to any of several narrow paths nearby. It's an open space within an overgrown area.

"She's left to be found," said a law-enforcement source. "It's a perfect spot. How did he know it? There's nowhere to walk, there wasn't a visible path. You have to know it's there,"

More than 250 police recruits planned to do a tight-grid search of the area today for Fox's belongings and any new clues.

Fox's family remained in seclusion in New Jersey, where a shrine of candles and flowers was erected at her mother's home, similar to one that has gone up in the lobby of the aspiring actress's Isham Street apartment building.
http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/21841.htm
 
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Mother uses trident in ritual killing

From AFP
June 10, 2004

AN Indian villager speared her nine-year-old son to death with a trident in a suspected black magic ritual seeking to ease her impoverished family's troubles, police said Wednesday.

Bidyulata Swain, 40, repeatedly stabbed her son Satyanarayan when her husband and elder son were away from home Tuesday in Jarakapada in the eastern state of Orissa, police said.

"It looks like a case of mistaken belief in black magic, that she believed the death of her son might change a bad patch for the family," said D.K. Das, a police official in the town 230km north of Orissa's capital Bhubaneswar.

He said Swain's husband was in poor health and in financial ruin after he had closed his small construction workshop.

Swain killed her child with a trident known as a trishul, the weapon of the Hindu god of destruction Shiva.

Human sacrifices are reported periodically in rural India where many people put faith in the occult.
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,9799582%5E29677,00.html
 
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