“I am completely convinced that there is a small amount of organised and ritual abuse in this country [U.K.] which, I think, has a definitely Satanist belief in it or is used by paedophiles to make their rituals more terrifying.”
Miss Sinason has interviewed 76 children and adults who claim to have witnessed appalling crimes at Satanist ceremonies. She claims to have evidence that babies were born specifically for ritual abuse, as well as photographs of ritual sites, mutilated animal remains and victims’ injuries. One 27-year-old victim, identified only as Teresa, told the Today programme: “There are children who are born for the purpose of sacrifice and they would be kept until that time came.”
Police sources confirmed that a nationwide probe had begun and that officers were looking into claims that babies may have been sacrificed.
Acting Detective Chief Inspector Clive Driscoll, who is in charge of the Scotland Yard Inquiry, said: "We are taking the research extremely seriously...”1
With hundreds of similar reports all over Europe and in US, there is sufficient reason to conclude that the resurgent interest in Black Magick folklore and the socio-cultural influences which stimulate those to enact some of its rituals suggest this is a real phenomena. Clearly there are many forms ranging from silly rituals rooted in pop-culture chic and the less frivolous enactment of ritualistic abuse that deserves serious investigation. The perpetrators of ritualistic abuse appear to fall into five categories:
1) the lone teenager or the twenty-something loner which seems to be the most common form.
2) A mixed gender gang practising small time ritual abuse separated from any external network. 3) The extended community network of intra-familial ritual abuse.
4) Family intergenerational ritual abuse that remains strictly within that family.
5) The male and female duo. (The male frequently perpetrates the actual crimes where the female assists or even acts as the instigator).
What connects all five categories are the fact that they are all are separated from Establishment and high-level activity and therefore act as a reflection (and a deflection) of the former while underscoring the psychopathology that has been progressively seeded in our societies.
Sociologist Sara Scott’s extensive interviews with UK intra-familial ritual abuse victims show a wariness and reluctance to give the abuse a wider context other than merely attaching to a convenient belief system. There is a common assumption from sceptics and full-time detractors of SRA that all ritual abuse is part of a network of international Satanists. While the latter is not necessarily untrue, there is a middle ground to be found, as the above categories suggest. Scott claims her interviewees had “little knowledge about how their abusers networked with others,” their main concern was how they coped with assimilating what was done to them and how to manage their lives. They also gave several different reasons as to why they thought their abusers were carrying out such acts against them, reinforcing the idea that most abusers use the mantle of Satanic practices to indulge their psychopathic whims. While one was driven by “greed and lust” another was a “true believer,” honour bound to continue the tradition. Scott asks her young interviewee:
And what was this for, were you told what any of this was meant to be about?
Well I was told it was Lucifer, but I was never told in great Detail, apart from about eating the flesh. ‘Cos my Gran thought she would be immortal if she ate human flesh. That’s proved wrong ‘cos my Grandma died this winter.2
A lesson there for Grandma....
Aside from conspiracies of satanic abuse operating at higher levels, which we will explore later on, there is a dearth of satanic related cases which are systematically played down. Back to the US and an example of the “loner” type with a background of Black Magick is common. A report from 1997 in Daville, Illinois, described the conviction of Robbie Moore who was jailed convicted on three counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault and one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Several children, some as young as 4 years old, complained of being sexually abused after joining an informal witchcraft club led by Moore. He was sentenced to a total of 67 years.3
Over in Arkansas three 8-year-old boys, Steve Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael Moore disappeared while riding their bicycles in May 1993. Their naked bodies were found the next day in a watery drainage ditch. The boys had been bound, raped and beaten and one child sexually mutilated.4 In the following month Jessie Lloyd Misskelley, 17; Michael Wayne Echols, 18; and Charles Jason Baldwin, 16, were arrested. “During the trial prosecutors presented evidence suggesting that Echols was a Satanist. Acquaintances said Echols carried a cat's skull to school, wrote satanic poems, and claimed to worship the devil.” The Chicago Tribune also reported that Jessie Lloyd Misskelley Jr. “related that the cult held orgies in the woods, and that to join, members had to kill dogs and eat their back legs…” […] ‘We go out, kill dogs and stuff, and then carry girls out there…’ and we have an orgee (sic) and stuff like that,…’5
Moving to Jordan, Minnesota, in 1984, 27-year-old James John Rud, gave police a 113-page statement in which he described sadistic assaults on children. The garbage collector already had a history of sex abuse convictions. Knowing he would be in for a long stretch, he agreed to plead guilty and testify against 24 other adults charged with molesting 37 children - from 2 to 17 years old - in ritualistic orgies. By doing this he would receive a reduced sentence. Following Rud’s arrest: “a police officer reported seeing a stack of approximately 12 VCR cassette tapes, a large box containing pornographic magazines, two green garbage bags of pornographic material,...and numerous items of children’s clothing.” Rud’s parents interrupted the search and became “so abusive and threatening” that the officer “vacated the premises to avoid an altercation.” Obviously, when he returned the next day, all the above items had disappeared.
In a subsequent search of another suspect’s home, police did retrieve candles and miniature bowling pins children alleged were used to violate them. Lab tests confirmed the objects were contaminated with human faeces.6 Parents, relatives and family friends were all said to be involved in the abuse. Pornographic photography, sexual assaults and the use of drugs and alcohol were described by the children, some of which took place inside Rud’s trailer.7
However, one child witness recanted his accusation of abuse against two defendants who were acquitted. This led to Atty. Gen. Hubert Humphrey III formally asking Scott County Prosecutor Kathleen Morris “…to explain publicly why she suddenly dropped all criminal charges against 22 remaining defendants,” even though a 126 pages of police notes contained allegations that implicated some of the former defendants in ritualistic child murders.8 Rud was sentenced to 40 years in January 1985.
In February 1984, in Virginia, Richmond, 12 year old Jessica Hatch had set out to walk to her grandmother’s house. She never arrived. Her upper torso was discovered outside the city with wounds and markings suggestive of ritual abuse. Just a few months previous to the murder, two children, ages 7 and 5, were taken into care after allegations that their mother and her boyfriend had been sexually abusing them. The children said they were forced to witness the murder of a 12-year-old girl during a cult ritual. While the police later found occult paraphernalia, at the home of the abused children testimonies were unforthcoming as they would ‘would freeze up...’ and the police ‘couldn't tell whether they were telling the truth or fantasizing.’ 9 The sexual abuse charges were dismissed.
A convicted sex offender and friend of the two suspects Gary Jay Beattie was: “arrested for making indecent proposals to a 9-year-old girl and two 13-year-old girls. All three girls knew Jessica Hatch and said that Beattie had also propositioned her. Beattie was acquitted of accosting the 9-year-old, but entered a plea bargain on outstanding sex charges involving the 13-year-old victims. His 5-year prison sentence was suspended.” 10
Beattie continued to be in and out of court on multiple charges of voyeurism which is not indicative of satanic abuse. However, he was seen as the closest thing to a suspect, though his history and character did not fit the butchering and mutilation characterised by the Hatch case. According to the local magazine in the area, it was not until a Richmond homicide detective “leaked” the true story that the crime was officially labelled as a satanic sacrificial killing. According to the police officers interviewed there was a certain “police dilemma” in handling the ritual-in-progress situations which meant that the “police couldn’t legally interrupt a satanic sacrifice ritual until the High Priest’s hand is actually seen arching downward toward the sacrifice-victim-to-be.”11 Constitutional protections of the free exercise of religion were cited. While important constitutional rights disappear we have the exercise of freedoms for those to prey upon others still in place. Ergo, Jessica Hatch murder remains unsolved.
1 ‘Children born for sacrifice’ The Daily Mail, by David Taylor, Febuary 10, 2000.
2 p. 90 (Scott, 2001)
3 ‘Ritual child-abuse allegations draw attention to Danville case.’ By M. Kelley, The Associated Press, January 27, 1997.
4‘Missing boys found mutilated, slain’ authorities baffled Chicago Tribune, May 7, 1993.
5‘Murders of 8-year-olds reportedly a cult ritual’ Associated Press, Chicago Tribune, Jun 8, 1993.
6 Moss, D.C. ‘Are the children lying?’ by D.C. Moss, ABA Journal, May 1, 59-62. 1987.
7 ‘Sexual abuse case continues to haunt town in Minnesota.’ By J. Crewdson, J., Emmerman, and E. Ogintz, Chicago Tribune, December 16, 1984.
8 ‘Dropping of sex cases investigated’ by Eileen Ogintz Chicago Tribune, Oct 17, 1984.
9‘Sensational cases across the country.’ By A. Ross, San Francisco Examiner, September 29, 1986.
11 Style Weekly, Richmond, Issue January 19, 1988, styleweekly.com.
11 Style Weekly, Richmond, Issue January 19, 1988, styleweekly.com.