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The devil let them do it: 10 crimes attributed to demonic possessions

It is part of the accepted vernacular to blame "demons" for personal tragedy or personal weakness. When someone commits suicide, they often talk about the battle of the dead with "his demons." When someone commits one evil, bloody act, another A series of demons is summoned – the kind that turns the mind and otherwise forces good and decent souls to commit murder.

Both the Christian and secular worldviews regard demons as malignant parasites that destroy human goodness. Some criminals believe in demons, others even so much in demons that they attribute their behavior to demonic possessions. The case of David Berkowitz, also known as the son of Sam, is the best known example of a serial killer blaming a demon for his actions. In this case, Berkowitz accused the demon who had possessed Sam, his neighbor's dog.

The following ten cases are not nearly as famous as the son of Sam, but they all show killers and the demons they allegedly made to kill.


0 alleged exorcisms and demonic possessions

10 The murder of Lauren Landavazo

Thirteen-year-old Lauren Landavazo walked in September with her friend, 13-year-old Makayla Smith, 2, 2016. The two went home after school on a typical suburban walk. At some point, the two girls were approached by a young man in a car. This young man was 20-year-old Kody Lott. Lott later gave two explanations why he did what he did that day: he was jealous because Landavazo seemed to have a boyfriend and the devil wanted him to do it.

Regardless of the truth, Lott opened fire on both girls with a .22 rifle. Smith, who had managed to survive the ambush, told the police that Lott first had eye contact with her before he pulled the trigger. Eyewitnesses also claimed that Lott shot Landavazo first before shooting her again after wounding Smith. During his trial in 2018, Lott reiterated that it was the devil who had helped him plan the shootout. The prosecution maintained the notion that Lott was mentally unstable and angry at his inability to find a romantic partner. In one of the strangest parts of the process, Lotts mother and stepfather sued the city of Wichita Falls in Texas to retrieve the murder weapon. According to them, the 22-rifle that Lott had used in the murder had been stolen from her home.

Lott was initially deemed mentally unable to stand trial, and taken to the maximum security department of Texas Psychiatric Hospital. Then, in September 2018, a Fort Worth jury found Lott guilty of murdering Lauren Landavazo and found him guilty of a serious attack on Makayla Smith. Lott, the man who claimed to have spoken to the devil, was sentenced to life imprisonment. [1]

9 The attack on Peter Churm

According to his grieving family, 65-year-old Peyer Churm was a beloved father and grandfather. 17-year-old Tommy Smith did not care about anything; The only thing that interested him on February 24, 2015 was the key handover for Churm's Range Rover. When Churm stepped in to stop the young punk from stealing his vehicle, Smith, who had already been convicted for 57 crimes, took out a knife and stabbed Churm in the head, back, neck, chest, and arms. The stabbing attack was so raging that Smith actually broke the 8-inch knife into two pieces.

Smith was tried in March 2016 for attempted murder. Smith told Wolverhampton Crown Court that he was not responsible for his actions because he was possessed by a demon that terrible day. The court most likely did not purchase this ownership record, but considered that Smith had previously been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. As such, he was released from the charge of attempted murder. However, he was convicted of serious assault and burglary. Churm was in the courtroom for Smith's sentence, though he was blind in one eye and had survived a major stroke as a result of Smith's attack.

Instead of a prison cell, Smith was indefinitely admitted to a secure mental hospital. [2]

8 The Failed Exorcism of Michael Taylor

Believe it or not, exorcisms are on the increase in our secular times. Last year it was reported that the Roman Catholic Church in the United States recorded an increase in exorcisms across the country. The archdiocese of Indianapolis alone received 1,700 applications for exorcism between January and December 2018.

Already in 1974, one year after the release of the classic movie "The Exorcist", an exorcism was carried out in the sleepy town of Osset. West Yorkshire, England. The obsessed subject was a Michael Taylor, a 31-year-old married father of five. Most of those who knew Taylor described him as a fellow Cherry, although from time to time he was prone to depression. For the most part, these black moods were the result of a back injury that made it difficult for Taylor to keep a steady job.

Things in Taylor's household began to change as they joined the Christian Fellowship Group, a local church organization. The previously non-religious Michael regularly attended the service. One of the reasons for this dramatic change was 21-year-old Marie Robinson, the group's preacher. Robinson convinced her community that "the power of God" could cast out their demons. Outside of these meetings, some in Osset began to claim that Robinson and Taylor had an affair.

The more Taylor engaged in Robinson, the more his attitude changed. The former Chippermann was easily irritated and in a bad mood. Things came to a head when Taylor and Robinson were found naked together. Taylor blamed a wicked presence in himself, and a local Anglican pastor was called to perform an exorcism. During a nightly ceremony in October 1974, the pastor and other ministers apparently evicted forty demons, including the demons of bestiality, incest, indecency, and blasphemy. The exhausted clerics, however, decided to go home, although they still believed that three demons – murder, violence and madness – were still in Taylor.

Several hours later, Taylor was found bloodied, claiming it was Satan himself. The blood belonged to his wife Christine, whose mutilated body was later discovered in Taylor's home. Taylor was eventually found guilty of insanity. [3]

7 The Murder of Angie Escobar

On September 10, 2015, a body was discovered in a deserted car in Whitestone, Queens, New York. The body of 28-year-old Angie Escobar, who had been stabbed eighty times. The coroner found that Angie had died four days before her discovery.

Soon, New York police arrested a suspect – 31-year-old Luis Zambrano from Flushing, Queens. Zambrano was arrested on September 18 after fleeing to Virginia. Zambrano finally confessed to the police that he had stabbed Escobar with scissors after the single mother admitted that she wanted to break off their relationship. Zambrano pleaded guilty and claimed to have been possessed by a demon at the time of the murder. Zambrano also blamed "trust issues" for his actions.

Zambrano was convicted of manslaughter in April 2016 and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Queens Public District Attorney Richard A. Brown also helped convict Zambrano for an independent burglary that extended Zambrano's term for another three years. [4]

6 Mommy is a Murderer

Elizbieta Plackowska of Naperville, Ill., Ceased hearing voices just before October 30, 2012. These voices told Elizbieta that her child and one of his friends were obsessed and had to die in the right order to find salvation. Elizbieta gave in to those voices, killing seven-year-old Justin Plackowska and five-year-old Olivia Dworakowski on October 30. Justin was Elizbieta's son, while Olivia spent the night in the house of the family Plackowska.

The case of Elizbieta Plackowska included several possessions. At first, Plackowska believed that her son Justin and Olivia were obsessed with demons. At the same time Plackowska was obsessed with a unity that she called the "black shadow". When Plackowska was in court, her defense team naturally turned her ownership history into a plea of ​​insanity. Dr. Phillip Resnick responded by stating that the 45-year-old accused murderer had suffered a psychotic episode before committing the cruel crime.

During the trial, the jury heard the terrible truth that Elizbieta had stabbed her son 100 times and Olivia 50 times. The jury also learned that Elizbieta had originally told the police that an unknown stalker had committed the killings after breaking into the family home in Naperville.

More than five years after the killings, Elizbieta Plackowska was sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted of two murders and one animal cruelty (she had also killed the family dog ​​and Dworakowski's dog that terrible night). , She is not eligible for parole. [5]

5 "Rage of extreme violence"

Luton, England, is a rough place. Earlier this year, UK crime studies revealed that the city has one of the highest burglary rates in England and Wales. Luton is also notorious for some of Britain's most frightening jihadists. It was not until July 2019 that a 28-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman were arrested in the city and accused of carrying documents that involved them in an impending terrorist attack.

Luton was the scene of another horror on May 26, 2015. That night, 32-year-old Jason Nelson, originally from Grenada, went to the home of 20-year-old drug trafficker Jordan Maguire. The goal was to buy weeds. However, Nelson did not buy anything that night. Instead, he stabbed Maguire several times before fleeing into the night. Maguire managed to cling to life long enough to die like a dog in the street.

After the police arrested Nelson in Trinidad and Tobago and returned them to Britain, the ex-con was charged with other crimes related to the attack on Maguire. The same night he murdered Maguire, Nelson also attacked a 25-year-old and a 60-year-old woman, both of whom lived near Maguire on the Marsh Farm estate in Luton.

Nelson apologized for his actions by claiming that a demon had been possessed on the night in question. It was the demon who ordered him to kill Maguire, and it was the demon that made him rape a grandmother in front of her grandchildren. Nelson later tried to claim that he had killed Maguire for self-defense, but in October 2015, Luton Crown Court sentenced him to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after twenty-seven years. [6]

4 The Devil in Court

Brookline, Connecticut is the kind of city where murder never happens. When 40-year-old Alan Bono was assassinated on February 16, 1981, this was Brookline's first murder since the city was founded 193 years ago. The culprit had stabbed Bono more than twenty times with a common penknife. The murderer, 19-year-old Arne Cheyenne Johnson, has been brought to justice to proclaim a highly unusual defense – not due to demonic possession.

Without the demon possession story, this would have been a simple, open case. Johnson had stabbed his landlord Bono after the two fought violently, and was arrested by the police only two miles from the scene. The roots of the madness of the case, however, began one year earlier on July 3, 1980. That night, eleven-year-old David Glatzel woke up screaming. He told his parents that he had seen a demon in his dreams – a demon with pointed ears, sharp teeth and split hooves. David called his demon the beastman.

Since David was not a fan of horror movies and was not prone to nightmares, his parents took his claims seriously. It got even worse as the nightmares persisted, leaving scratches and bruises on David's skin. David's sister Debbie asked her fiance for help. This fiancé was Arne Johnson.

The Glatzell and Johnson families decided to contact Connecticut-based demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren to free David forever from beastmen. The Warrens have involved the diocese of Bridgeport in the case, which ended in an exorcism. Johnson said at his trial that he ordered the beastman to invade his body. Johnson Minella, Johnson's lawyer, used recorded records of David's exorcism and statements by Ed and Lorraine Warren to support Johnson's claim of demonic possession. The story immediately became a sensation and led to the publication of a paperback entitled "The Demon Murder Case". Two years later, the book was turned into a television movie starring Kevin Bacon and Cloris Leachman.

Although Johnson was convicted of the terrible crime, he was released from prison one month early after five years of imprisonment. The Connecticut authorities supported this decision by calling Johnson a "model" inmate. [7]

3 The Devil App

In February 2019, the police in Kalamazoo, Michigan, released gunman Jason Dalton's interrogation cassettes of 2016. 48-year-old Dalton conducted one of the most inexplicable mass shootings in recent history. On February 20, 2016, Dalton, an Uber driver, shot and killed 62-year-old Mary Lou Nye and her sister-in-law, 60-year-old Jo Nye; The 74-year-old Dorothy "Judy" Brown; 68-year-old Barbara Hawthorne; and 53-year-old Richard Smith and his 17-year-old son Tyler. Between some of these drive-by shootings, Dalton continued to pick up passengers and drop them off at their destinations. 14-year-old Abigail Kopf and 28-year-old Tina Carruthers were also shot during Dalton's rampage but survived.

During his interrogation, Dalton told the detectives that the mobile Uber app changed his personality. "I know you're going to have a hard time believing that, but it's literally taken over body and mind," Dalton told the investigators. Dalton went on to explain that he saw "the symbol of the Eastern Star" in the Uber App, and regularly a horned "devil's head" appeared on the screen of his phone when he logged on to work. In short, Dalton reduced his rampage to the fact that he was possessed by a demon hiding in the Uber app. [D-19659002] On Tuesday, February 5, 2019, Dalton was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Kalamazoo District Court, Jude Alexander C. Lipsey. The verdict came as no surprise, as Dalton had already pleaded guilty a month earlier. There was a surprise when Dalton remained silent and merciless throughout the procedure. Apart from the justification of the Devil app, no one has come up with a theory why Dalton did what he did that terrible night. [8]

2 Cannibal Murderer

It's not easy to shock the Russian public, but that's exactly what happened in August 2008. In a forest outside the city of Yaroslavl, there were four mutilated corpses found. The bodies had been incredibly desecrated, and the investigators of the murder also learned that the victims, who were all teenagers, had been robbed either before or after death. Nevertheless, the sheer brutality of the crime led the investigators to believe robbery was not the motive.

The investigators were right. The crime was committed by six self-proclaimed Satanists led by a young man named Nikolai Ogolobyak. Before the killings, the band of the Satanists had brought several animal sacrifices, but believed that people would have to be killed to please Lucifer. Therefore, Ogolobyak and his brood killed and dismembered the four teenagers as part of an initiation ritual, and reportedly ate portions of the bodies of their victims as well.

In June 2010, the 21-year-old Ogolobyak was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment following a lawsuit closed to the public for robbery, murder and desecration. The other five members of his group (four boys, one girl) were sentenced to between eight and ten years in prison.

The fall of the Yaroslavl satanists caused quite a stir in Russia, as all members of the gang belonged to the much-vilified Goth subculture of the country. The Yaroslavl crime did not take place long before the drowning murder of a 16-year-old St. Petersburg girl in January 2009, who was also self-proclaimed gothics. One of the Yaroslavl killers also alleged that he had committed the crimes to provide Satan with victims. All in all, the Yaroslavl and St. Petersburg cases led the Russian State Duma to propose several legislative changes that regulate "emo websites" and forbid teenagers associated with Gotha from entering government buildings or schools. [9]

1 The Strange Case of Serial Killer Sean Sellers

At the tender age of 16, Sean Sellers was a practicing satanist who regularly drank his own blood. According to Sellers himself, his descent into darkness began around the age of seven. However, given his rough upbringing, one could say that Sellers was damned from the start.

Sellers was born in California to a 16-year-old mother and alcoholic father, the latter of whom left the family when Sean was three years old. Sean's mother Vonda tried to stabilize Sean's life by marrying truck driver Paul Bellofatto. The desired stability never materialized, and when Sean was sixteen, the family had moved thirty times.

Sean had other problems besides the chronic move. He was physically abused by his mother and grandfather while one of his uncles humiliated him by forcing him to wear dirty diapers on his head. This punishment was exacerbated by the fact that Sean regularly wet the bed until he was thirteen years old.

All Sean's anger and humiliation exploded on March 5, 1986. Sean sneaked into his parents' bedroom with only a pair of black underwear and both shot face to face. Sean would later say that he was angry with his mother for disapproving of his girlfriend and the fact that he had dropped out of high school. Before the killings, Sean had performed an occult ritual.

The murder of Vonda and Paul Bellofatto was deliberate. Sean had undressed down to his underwear to avoid blood spatters on his clothes, and he tried to pose his victims in such a way that investigators of the murder believed that an unknown intruder was responsible. Such planning suggested an experienced killer like Sean. A year earlier, Sean had shot a Circle K supermarket employee named Robert Paul Bower after the clerk refused to sell him beer.

Sellers never hid the fact that he was responsible for all three murders. Sellers, who was sentenced to death and convicted, is still the youngest criminal ever to be sentenced to death in America. When he languished in prison, Sellers became famous as a born-again Christian and crusader against the occult. During his trial and after, Sellers claimed that he had committed himself to Satanism after falling for the fantasy role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons. Sellers, who claimed to have been possessed by a demonic entity, became a fixture on television programs and conducted interviews with Geraldo Rivera and Oprah Winfrey. In these interviews, Sellers often spoke as an "expert" on Satanism and occult practices.

On February 3, 1999, the state of Oklahoma finally delivered the death sentence he had promised thirteen years earlier. Two days before his death, a petulant salesman in his prison diary complained that people kept referring to the 1985 and 1986 killings: "I am amazed at the self-righteousness that I still experience from people who do not even know me "Sellers wrote," people … for a moment, let my own sins out of sight and look at your own. They want to go for something that happened 13 years ago. Thirteen years! "Sellers ended his diary by saying that he repented of his sins and served God ever since. [10]

About the Author: Benjamin Welton is a freelance writer in Boston.

Benjamin Welton

Benjamin Welton is from West Virginia and currently lives in Boston. He works as a freelance writer and has been published in The Weekly Standard, The Atlantic, Listverse and other publications.

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