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Hundreds of Reports on SRA Covered Up in St. Louis
A few days ago I read an article about “the satanic panic”. Now, this article came from a mainstream perspective mainly just talking about how many conservative candidates in the state of Missouri have been believing “baseless accusations” and “conspiracy theories” over the last several years. One of these is that satanic ritual abuse is systematic and crawls through governments, religions, and even Hollywood.
I totally disliked this article because it didn’t go into any actual details or showed any examples of how these “conspiracy theories” were debunked. They showed a few instances of SRA(satanic ritual abuse) and then told you how crazy it was. If you want to read this article you can find that here, although it’s not an article that’s worthwhile.
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During my read of this article, I did however find them talking about an article published back in the 90s by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about hundreds of reports of satanic ritual abuse, satanic worship, ritual abuse encompassing torture, molestation, and forced cannibalism. Sound familiar?
This article did not link the published story or had any other sources behind it. So I decided to dig myself! I went back through archives and through old newspapers and couldn’t quite find what I was looking for. After hours of searching, I finally came across it. This story is what I want to share with you today.
Now I’m going to link the source of where I got it from however they make you subscribe and pay money to see it so I will just link it as a source and then show pictures of the newspaper down below. See that source here and here.
I’m not going to narrate the whole two articles but I’ll give you a quick summary of what they say and then you can read them down below.
These two articles show hundreds of cases of SRA in and around St. Louis county, even up into Illinois. Reports of satanic cults where people claim to be worshipping satan through sexual and ritualistic abuse, torture and murder of humans and animals, and cannibalism. These rituals usually happened in secluded areas like abandoned buildings, underground tunnels, basements, and forests or heavily wooded areas. One example talked about the Koch Hospital(abandoned at the time) in south St Louis county as a place where rituals were being performed. The abuse happened to all ages but mostly children, some of the abuse was being reported in daycare centers. The victims came from all over talking about their abuse. Many didn’t know each other, meaning that this was happening everywhere and in many different cults/groups. Despite the hundreds of cases of satanic ritual abuse that were going to court, close to none of the perpetrators were brought to justice. Despite all having similar stories the courts dismissed the cases for “lack of evidence”. Much of the abuse included rape, molestation, sacrificing animals, humans, and babies, drinking urine and blood, smearing animal feces over their bodies, being married to the devil, being locked in coffins for long periods of time, boiling babies in pots of water, consuming/using drugs(cocaine, crack, morphine), mutilating animals, etc. Many claimed that they were threatened that if they told anyone about their dealings they would be tortured and killed by the group. There is so much more! Read it all down below!
Hints Of Darkness - Satanism Reports Stir Worry
By: Ellen Futterman Of the Post-Dispatch Staff
February 5, 1989
Publication: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
After nine months of therapy, 4-year-old Liza finally began to talk about her visits with daddy - visits that had featured long car rides to the woods where she saw people dressed in dark green robes and wearing scary masks.
There, Liza said, she often had been forced to undress and engage in sexual acts with her father and with other children. She told the therapist that she had seen animals butchered and had been made to drink their blood. Liza said she had been warned that if she ever told anyone, she would be boiled and eaten with salt and pepper.
Police and mental-health professionals across the country - and now locally - are hearing similar stories of abuse and other crimes in the name of Satan, ranging from vandalism to animal butchering to murder.
To understand and investigate these cases - many of which seem to be beyond belief - law-enforcement officers, therapists and educators are attending seminars by national experts on satanic-related crime.
Since 1985, at least 10 jurisdictions here have investigated activities believed to be occult-related. Police in Crestwood, Eureka, Crystal City, Arnold and Festus; troopers from the Missouri Highway Patrol and sheriff's departments in Jefferson, St. Charles, Franklin and Madison counties are among those that have conducted inquiries.
''As far as I'm concerned, there is enough activity with satanic overtones going on all over the St. Louis area to warrant police concern and action,'' said Detective Greg Bopp of the Crestwood Police Department.
Because of their shadowy nature, satanic activities are difficult to trace. No national statistics exist on crimes of the occult.
Liza's case represents one of the few cases nationwide where a conviction was obtained for a crime in which satanic activities had been alleged.
On Jan. 6, St. Louis County Circuit Judge Harry Stussie sentenced Liza's father to 15 years in prison for sodomizing the girl. Her name has been changed to protect her identity.
But even in that case, the decision may have been based on medical evidence rather than on testimony by Liza's therapist about satanic rituals. Liza's father denied any association with satanic cults and is appealing the conviction.
The sheer number of stories about satanic activities in recent years has convinced many that there is reason for concern. But the lack of corroborating evidence generates just as much skepticism.
In the St. Louis area, recent reports include cases of ritual abuse where youngsters say they were sexually exploited in satanic ceremonies. And teen-agers seem to be turning to satanism, say police, mental-health professionals and educators.
Franklin County authorities say they are investigating multiple incidents of ritual abuse involving children. The Illinois State Police and Missouri state officials are conducting similar investigations.
''We have one 5-year-old who talks about Jesus being sad, the devil and wanting to hurt people,'' said Sgt. Dennis Kuba, a special agent with the Illinois State Police in Collinsville.
Kuba said several children in Southern Illinois had described being taken from day-care facilities by monsters; hearing unusual voices; and being subjected to numbers painted on their bodies, food placed in their rectums and pins stuck in their genitals.
Sgt. Curt Mathews of the Missouri Highway Patrol said state investigators were looking at a case where children had been convinced that a bomb would blow up in their stomachs if they revealed information to anyone. Mathews heads the patrol's Missing Persons Unit.
Therapists at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital have identified at least five ritual abuse cases since 1986, said Wayne Munkel, a social worker at the hospital.
More often, police and therapists deal with teen-agers obsessed with Satan.
For example, police arrested a 14-year-old Festus boy who admitted torturing and butchering three household pets in a satanic ritual late last year.
The most notorious case occurred last year in Jasper County, in southwestern Missouri, where three high-school seniors from Carl Junction were convicted in the beating death of a fellow classmate during a satanic ritual. The three hit Stephen Newberry over the head with baseball bats more than 50 times before dumping his body in a cistern with the remains of two mutilated squirrels and a cat.
The assailants - Ronald C. Clements, James M. Hardy and Theron R. Roland II - each were sentenced to life in prison for the murder. The defense at their trials focused on their obsession with satanism, drug use and the influence of heavy metal music with lyrics promoting sadistic behavior, devil worship, suicide and murder.
Some self-styled authorities on cults estimate that devil worshippers perform 50,000 human sacrifices a year nationwide. The toll supposedly includes babies bred purely for such a purpose.
These people say the murders are not recorded because the bodies are never found. And the bodies are not found because they are mutilated, the blood drained and any remains not used for ritual purposes are burned, say people who claim to have witnessed human sacrifices.
These people include Jacquie Balodis, head of Overcomer's Victorious in Garden Grove, Calif., a program that shelters, counsels and assists ex-cult members. She said she has helped 300 to 400 people get out of satanic cults in the past nine years.
''From what we are hearing, I have no trouble believing'' the 50,000 figure, she said.
Possible? Perhaps, said the FBI's Kenneth Lanning.
But probable? ''I'm not saying some of these things haven't happened,'' Lanning said. ''But 50,000? If that's true, then we're talking about one of the greatest crime conspiracies in the history of man.''
He noted that 50,000 is more than twice the number of murders that were reported to the FBI nationwide in 1987.
Lanning is supervisory special agent of the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit in Quantico, Va., and an expert on child sexual victimization. He estimated that he has been consulted in more than 200 child sexual-abuse cases with possible ritualistic overtones.
''When I first started learning about this, I believed most everything,'' he said. ''But I have yet to be involved in or know of any case in the United States where stories of human sacrifice could be corroborated. This tends to be the most polarizing issue. Either you believe satanists are everywhere consuming our country or think it's a big joke.''
Lanning conceded that a middle ground exists and agreed with Crestwood's Bopp that police officers need to be well-versed in the subject.
Bopp spends a good portion of his day on the phone with police officers, therapists, educators, parents and teen-agers discussing satanism. Because he is one of the few law-enforcement officials in the area willing to discuss the problem openly, he has become the person others seek out for guidance.
''Believe me, this isn't any job I applied for,'' he said. ''But having empathy for youth, whom I work with quite a bit, this issue is flooding me.''
His involvement began a year and a half ago, when Crestwood police found a group of teen-agers dressed in horror costumes and armed with knives at the Father Dickson Cemetery on Sappington Road. One of the teen-agers told Bopp later that a man in a hooded robe had accosted her friends and chased them. She also told him she had heard about satanic activities at the cemetery.
So Bopp decided to investigate. ''I found nothing, because I didn't know what I was looking for,'' he said.
Bopp contacted Shane Westhoelter, a self-taught authority who heads the National Information Network, based in St. Louis. The network acts as a clearinghouse for information on satanic cults.
Bopp and Westhoelter combed the cemetery before they found a nine-foot circle surrounded by yew branches. The yew tree is significant in witchcraft and satanism; circles where rituals generally take place measure nine feet.
A white string surrounded the circle. Carved on a tree near the circle was an inverted cross, a common satanic symbol. Remnants of a fire were found on a nearby grave.
''We found kids from St. Louis, Pacific, Arnold, all over who heard about things going on (at the cemetery) and came to check it out,'' Bopp related. ''Now, I'm pleased to say, nothing is happening. We still check fairly frequently but haven't found anyone poking around in the past few months.''
Bopp continues to get several calls each week about occult-related activity in other areas of St. Louis and the Metro East area.
He has counseled a former Bishop DuBourg High School student who said she had left a satanic cult after learning that they were planning to sacrifice her in a ritual. He has spent hours with a mother whose young daughter was taken from her baby sitter's home to a private residence in West County where she allegedly was ritually abused.
But again, when Bopp or others seek proof, they have come up empty-handed.
''Some of the teen-agers have been so drugged up that they don't remember exactly what happened,'' he said. ''That one girl (from DuBourg) thinks she witnessed a human sacrifice. I say, 'You think? How could you not know?' She tells me she was injected with speed and had had so much to drink that she can't say for sure.''
In St. Charles County, authorities received word that devil worshippers were planning a human sacrifice around the winter solstice in late December near an abandoned water-treatment plant known as the ''Aquadome'' in Weldon Spring. When police arrived, they found no evidence that any sacrifice had taken place or was about to. They did find three armed men who said they were former satanic cult members trying to stop such a sacrifice. The three were arrested.
The St. Charles site is one of about 30 in the St. Louis area where satanic activity is said to have occurred in the past few years, according to a list of occult meeting places circulated among some local police departments.
The list includes a private residence in Jefferson County; an abandoned mausoleum in Columbia, Ill.; sites in Kirkwood, Crestwood, Ellisville, Collinsville, Florissant, St. Louis, De Soto, Elsberry and Jefferson and St. Charles counties. Other sites include tunnels under the now-shuttered Koch Hospital in south St. Louis County; Castlewood and Babler state parks and Pelican Island Park in north St. Louis County.
Westhoelter has visited several of these sites. Pictures he took show makeshift altars at some and niches where candles had been placed. Most are covered with satanic graffiti and symbols such as pentagrams. Mutilated animals and blood were seen at several.
John I. Nesbit, a St. Louis County senior park ranger, has written a confidential report saying that park rangers have found several suspected ritual sites since 1986. The sites include an ''organized worship site with several candle-burning, symbols and chains hanging from a tree'' at Pelican Island Park on the Missouri River. A medallion also found was believed from the Ordo Templi Orientis, a well-established satanic cult originally formed in 1902.
But even with good leads, law-enforcement authorities are not sure how to proceed.
For example, when Eureka police officers investigated a call last month involving a teen-ager suffering from shortness of breath, they found a group of 20 youths engaged in a seance. Several had pictures and symbols of the devil written on the backs of their hands.
''It may be weird, but there is nothing criminal here,'' said Eureka Police Chief Michael A. Wiegand. He noted that worshiping Satan is protected by the First Amendment.
Crestwood police are investigating an incident in which a goat head mounted on a sharp stick was placed in the back yard of a residence in early January. The owner of the residence found a chain necklace of chicken claws hanging from the antenna of his car a few months before and a decapitated eagle that had been nailed to the ground with its wings spread.
The homeowner told police that he had no idea why he might be a target for this type of activity. It smacks of Satanism. But is it? Police wonder.
St. Louis University officials are bewildered by a goat head that turned up on the doorstep of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.
Capt. Robert Hertz of the Madison County Sheriff's Department doesn't know what to make of 32 crows that were strung up last week in trees on Chouteau Island. Satanic graffiti was found nearby, but Hertz insisted that it had been there for a while. He said hunters could have left the crows.
And Arnold police can't say for sure if the cat head they found last weekend in a wooded area of the city was some sort of satanic calling card.
Until recently, many of these findings were ignored or dismissed as juvenile pranks.
Franklin County Sheriff Gary Toelke pointed to an incident on Halloween about seven or eight years ago. While chasing some teen-agers in a truck, sheriff's deputies stumbled across the remains of several animals tucked away in the woods: a couple of goat heads, a calf fetus, a plastic bag containing a pair of cow's eyes and a cow's heart.
''Since it was Halloween, we figured it to be kids playing around,'' he said. ''But there was no place to go with the information, and a lot of the time it wasn't really reported. Now we think it might have been something satanic.
''But who really knows for sure?''
Cult Memories Stir Horror, Doubt
By: Ellen FuttermanOf the Post-Dispatch Staff
February 6, 1989
Publication: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Power is what first drew Joe to Satan.
Joe was 13 years old, living at home with his family in Jefferson County and bored with school, when he began courting the devil. A satanic cult offered him a chance to do whatever he wanted, even if it meant hurting people. He says he felt powerful, not guilty.
Keith, 16, a former student in the Parkway School District, remembered how he had felt when he had killed a stray cat as part of a satanic ceremony. Both he and Joe asked for anonymity because they fear retaliation from cult members.
''I was so pissed off at my parents, so mad at my girlfriend and so drunk at the time that I was raging,'' Keith said. ''I broke (the cat's) neck and then ripped it apart with my hands and a knife. I had blood all over me by the time I was done. But it felt good at the time.''
During the seven years he was involved with the cult, Joe estimated that he killed about 100 animals - ''everything from a cow to a mouse'' - in various satanic rituals. He said he had drunk blood and urine cocktails, smeared animal feces over his body and stabbed his wrist with an ice pick to sign a blood pact with the devil.
Police officers, mental-health professionals and educators fear that many more teen-agers like Keith and Joe, now 21, are finding the allure of the occult irresistible.
Because of their bizarre nature, such stories generate skepticism. But authorities say they are hearing too many to ignore. And they are finding the stories from children are strikingly similar to those told by former adult cult members.
Police and therapists across the country are teaming up not only to investigate the claims but to help those who consider themselves victims.
Pamala G. Klein, a Chicago-based therapist who treats former cult members, said she had been skeptical at first that children were being victimized by satanists. But she said the stories she had heard from her own child clients had been consistent and had matched those told by adults who said they had suffered ritual abuse as children.
Klein is assisting Missouri social-service investigators and Illinois State Police in examining ritual abuse cases of young children.
''At first I was taken aback by what these children were trying to tell me,'' Klein said. ''I knew I wasn't dealing with psychosis or fantasy but what these little people were trying to describe had happened in some form.
''Little girls were talking about being married to the devil and (wearing) white dresses and having pins stuck in their vagina and chanting. The kids seemed to be abused in a similar fashion and yet it was like nothing I had ever come across.''
Klein compares ritual abuse today to child molestation and incest 15 years ago. ''No one wants to believe it can happen,'' she said. ''As therapists, we hadn't been taught to see it, so we didn't.''
Judith Schechtman, a social worker in west St. Louis County, is working with six children, ages 3 to 10, who she said are victims of ritualistic abuse. The children come from four different counties in the St. Louis area; only two know each other. All their stories are similar.
Most said they had witnessed murders of adults and babies, been made to participate in killing babies and forced to eat their flesh and drink their blood. All said they had been photographed while engaging in sexual acts with other children.
One child is Liza, whose name has been changed to protect her identity. A St. Louis County circuit judge sentenced Liza's father last month to 15 years in prison for sodomy. The verdict is being appealed.
At the trial, Schechtman testified that Liza, then 4 years old, had told Schechtman of being locked in a coffin for long periods, seeing animals being butchered, drinking their blood and being sexually abused by her father. Months later, she divulged having seen a baby being boiled in a pot of water.
Schechtman believes that Liza, now 5, will be in treatment for a long time. Liza's mother says her daughter has nightmares about the devil coming to get her, her therapist said.
While many of the stories seem unbelievable, therapists contend that children rarely lie about being sexually abused. They add that their accompanying descriptions of ritual abuse are too precise to be something they contrived.
''How does a 7-year-old know exactly how a dead body smells to be able to describe it so accurately?'' Schechtman said. She added that many people don't want to believe such stories, despite such detail.
Elsewhere, parents of children who have been ritually abused in pre-school or day-care settings have formed a support group called Believe the Children. The 300-member group was organized in 1986 by parents who, in many cases, could not get police or prosecutors to consider seriously children's allegations of ritual abuse.
In dozens of communities across the country, day-care employees have been charged with sexually abusing children as part of ritualistic ceremonies. The first case, in 1983, stemmed from a single allegation of child molestation at the McMartin Pre-School in Manhattan Beach, Calif. The case has turned into the most costly one in the state's history as it enters its seventh month in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Initially, seven people were indicted on more than 300 counts of child molestation. Charges were dropped later against five of the defendants because of a lack of physical evidence or corroborating testimony, which often happens in such cases.
''For some reason, these victims are describing their victimization in terms of witnessing human sacrifice, cannibalism, vampirism and so on. Yet there is nothing to corroborate their stories.''
Based on his knowledge of more than 200 ritual abuse cases, Lanning noted possible problems in the way many of these cases were investigated. The problems may include improper or poorly executed interviews; the fact that many of the victims may have been drugged; and a failure to recognize the influence that certain toys and horror movies have on youngsters.
He also wondered how much widespread publicity factors into the consistency of the stories being told by alleged child victims and adult survivors. He pointed out that once the McMartin case made national headlines, dozens of similar cases popped up throughout the country and ''adult survivors began coming out of the woodwork.''
Still, he said: ''We know there are some individuals in this country who believe in and practice some form of Satanism or the occult, and we know that some of those individuals commit crimes of varying natures.''
These individuals include teen-agers, many of whom begin by dabbling.
''A lot of these kids initially get involved because their friends are doing it and they want to belong,'' said Sue Overbey, a counselor at the CareUnit Hospital in south St. Louis. ''But once they get into it a little more, it has some real powerful aspects. A lot of things in their life seem out of control and this satanic stuff makes them feel in control. But sometimes they get in over their heads and feel locked in.''
Keith, for example, recalled attending dozens of weekend rituals with as many as 250 peers. He said they would gather in the tunnels underneath the now-abandoned Koch Hospital in south St. Louis County or at an abandoned water-treatment plant near Weldon Spring. He said that animals, most of them dogs and cats, often would be killed and that drugs - including heroin, crack, cocaine and occasionally morphine - freely dispensed.
''The kids came from all over - Parkway, House Springs, High Ridge, St. Charles,'' said Keith, who had carved an inverted cross on one of his arms to pledge allegiance to the devil. ''They talked about going after one guy who the group felt threatened by since he had left the cult. The idea of killing someone really scared me, though.''
Yet Keith said he had been attracted to Satanism partly because of the violence that went along with worshiping the devil. ''Between all the drugs I was taking and the violence, I was out of control,'' he said.
Only after he was admitted to an adolescent treatment center for his chemical dependency did Keith begin to separate from Satan.
John Remster, 18, a former student at Belleville West High School, said he had felt a lot of pressure from his friends to get involved in Satanism. He said he knew several teen-agers from the Metro East area who had been involved ''big time'' in occult-related activities.
Remster said he had dabbled in Satanism but had stopped short of committing any crimes. He said he and a friend once had watched as a satanic cult in Cahokia mutilated a lamb.
''I was over at a friend's house and he said there was something going on in this cornfield every Friday night so we decided to check it out,'' he said. ''We just sat there and watched because we saw these naked girls. There were guys standing around them in robes.
''Then all of a sudden this one guy took out a dagger and sliced the lamb. Then everyone started spreading the insides all over them.''
Remster eventually was admitted to the CareUnit Hospital in south St. Louis to recover from psychological stress.
Program coordinators at adolescent drug- and alcohol-treatment centers throughout the St. Louis area said that in addition to addiction problems, they are consistently treating teen-agers involved in Satanism.
Dr. Ahmad B. Ardekani, a psychiatrist, said he has treated more than 30 St. Louis-area teen-agers in recent years. He said that some had just dabbled in the occult, while others had attempted suicide because of their involvement. Because cult members believe that human blood is the life force that transfers power, some try to kill themselves as the ultimate sacrifice.
Ardekani also treats many of these teen-agers for chemical dependency, which he says often goes hand-in-hand with satanic activity. ''These kids tend to suffer from depression and low self-esteem and turn to cults as a way of belonging,'' he said.
Counselors at treatment centers are joining police officers and educators in learning all they can about Satanism. Special seminars with national experts are being held throughout the area.
Faculty members from school districts including Rockwood, Pattonville, Mehlville, Parkway, Fox, Northwest, Ferguson-Florissant, Lindbergh, Oakville, Hancock Place and the Special School District were among participants at a recent breakfast meeting on the subject.
One counselor said her district planned to have a special meeting for faculty members on satanic cults. But she declined to allow her name to be used for fear her district would be stigmatized.
''There is no way of knowing how much of this actually is going on,'' said Don Story, chief of police in the northeastern Illinois town of Matteson. He is an authority on occult-related crime. ''All I can say is that from what we know, it is definitely spreading. The best thing everyone can do is learn about it so that they can deal with it effectively.''
Former members of satanic cults say it is better to speak out publicly about their experiences than to remain silent.
Lauren Stratford, a former cult member and author of ''Satan's Underground,'' said she once feared that cult members would kill her if she told of the satanic rituals that she had witnessed as a child. She said her mother and several male friends had sexually abused her and had used her in child pornographic movies.
''The satanists say you're only safe if you keep quiet, and that couldn't be further from the truth,'' said Stratford. ''The more public you are, the better, because true satanists don't want publicity.
''I tell adult survivors that the more people they tell, the more visible they are, the safer they will be.''
See copies of the newspaper down below!
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