It sounds like a match made in hell. Unfortunately, it is all too real.
Many criminal organizations and gangsters themselves profess allegiance to Satanism and other forms of demonic worship. Rather than LaVeyan Satanism, which does not believe in an actual deity named Lucifer, nor does it profess much outside of ego-driven individualism and "rational" selfishness, the criminals chronicled in this article believe in a personification of pure evil.
Such a belief drives many of these men and women to commit unspeakable acts. Murder, rape, dismemberment, and blood drinking are just part of the vile connection between illicit activity and black magic rituals. A large portion of these criminals and organizations come from Latin America, where religions like Palo Mayombe, Santeria, and the death cult of Santa Muerte blur the lines between superstition, criminality, and an ardent belief in black magic.
Sometimes criminals are driven by the precepts of their religion and the necessity of requiring certain objects for spells, incantations, or rituals. For instance, Palo Mayombe adherents have been known to rob graveyards and collect aborted fetuses.
Be forewarned: this list is not for the weak of stomach or heart. This is a look into the true depths of malevolence.
15 "The Beast Wanted A Soul"
MS-13, which stands for Mara Salvatrucha, got its start during the bloody civil war that consumed El Salvador between 1979 and 1992. Many of MS-13's earliest members were former child soldiers who fought on behalf of the communist guerrillas. Later, when MS became MS-13, the group aligned itself with the deadly Mexican Mafia (the thirteenth letter of the alphabet is "M," ergo Mexican Mafia added the -13).
Today, there are reportedly more than 70,000 MS-13 soldiers worldwide. In Houston, two of these soldiers engineered a grisly murder. Illegal immigrants Miguel Angel Alvarez-Flores and Diego Hernandez-Rivera, both of whom are leaders of the "Diabolico" set of MS-13 in Houston, kidnapped three girls. The three girls were kept in an apartment belonging to the gangsters. There, one of the girls named Genesis spoke ill of the Satanic shrine that the men kept in their house. After offering one of the shrine's totems a cigarette, Alvarez-Flores said: "The beast did not want a material offering, but wanted a soul."
On the morning of February 16th, Genesis was found shot to death in Houston's Chinatown area.
14 The Disciples Of Destruction
New Hampshire is both one of America's most rural and safest states. This sense of deep security was shattered during the early morning hours of October 4, 2009.
On that date, a band of motley teenagers, who called themselves the Disciples of Destruction, undertook a gang initiation ritual. All told, only two members - Steven Spader and Christopher Gribble - entered the isolated home of Kimberly Gates. There, Spader and Gribble found Kimberley and her daughter Jaimie asleep in their home.
Spader and Gribble first cut the power to the home, then broke in via a basement window. Using the light from Jaimie's iPod, Spader and Gribble located Jaimie's room and began attacking her with knives and machetes. 11-year-old Jaimie managed to survive eighteen blows, while Kimberley died after suffering at least thirty-two blows, some of which pierced her vital organs and skull.
During the multiple trials over the murder, prosecutors conclusively proved that the Disciples of Destruction wanted to "make scenes for the press" by brutally murdering the home's residents in a thrill kill orgy dedicated to other serial killers.
13 A Black Metal Butchery
Although people have mocked the idea as an intentional provocation, there is some evidence that an exclusive cabal of black metal musicians, known as the "Black Circle," did exist and did plan certain crimes. Most notably, the wave of church burnings that erupted in Norway in 1992 have been blamed on black metal musician, "Black Circle" member, and convicted murderer Varg Vikernes.
Whether or not this "Black Circle" commanded Bard "Faust" Eithun, the drummer for the black metal band Emperor, to kill is unknown. According to Eithun himself, the murder was done simply to "see what murder felt like."
On August 21, 1992, "Faust" murdered Magne Andreassen, a gay man whom Eithun claimed "propositioned" him in a park in Lillehammer, Norway. Whether or not this was an impulse killing, the murder of Andreassen served to make black metal in Norway all the more infamous.
12 The Keillers Park Murder
During the summer of 1997, the black metal music scene once again became the topic of discussion among criminologists. This time, instead of Norway, the case was moved to the Swedish city of Gothenburg. There, on July 23, 1997, the body of Josef ben Meddour, a 36-year-old homosexual man and a native of Algeria, was found dead in the city's Keillers Park.
Months later, in December, Jon Nodtveidt, the guitarist and lead singer for the metal band Dissection, was arrested alongside his friend Vlad, an Iranian immigrant to Sweden. Police investigators uncovered the fact that Nodtveidt and Vlad belonged to a group they called the Temple of the Black Light and frequently discussed the possibility of committing a human sacrifice.
After approaching both Nodtveidt and Vlad about his interest in Satanism, Meddour was invited back to Nodtveidt's apartment. Once Nodtvedit and Vlad realized that Meddour was gay, they decided to punish him for his false intentions. Vlad ultimately used a taser and Nodtvedit's pistol to kill the man.
Years later, on August 16, 2006, Nodtveidt was found dead in his apartment, the victim of a ritual suicide with obvious connections to Satanism.
11 England's Satanic Gangs
The life of a professional gangster is short and troubled. Therefore, it is not surprising that many gangsters turn to black magic in order to protect themselves from their enemies.
In England, many gangsters of West Indian (specifically Jamaican) origin often turn to black magic rituals in order to protect themselves from bullets. Another benefit of black magic is the ability to curse rival gangsters.
According to English police in London and Birmingham, many teenage gangsters find out about black magic through the lyrics and imagery of artists like Kanye West and Jay-Z. Others have pointed out that the rich tradition of Obeah, or Jamaican voodoo, has long been a part of "Yardie" culture. Some London criminals, who are known for breaking into cemeteries at night in order to pray to Satan, chalk up their ability to survive gun battles and court cases to expensive voodoo witches.
10 The Confessions Of "El Cholo"
In late December 2008, America's National Public Radio interviewed a 20-year-old gangster who called himself "El Cholo" ("cholo" is a common nickname for Hispanic gangsters). According to "El Cholo," his past experiences with gangs, including the infamous MS-13, proves that many Latin American organizations are deeply involved in the occult.
"El Cholo" was born to a Costa Rican mother and an American father, and claims that he was born in the U.S. However, at a young age, "El Cholo" and his family moved to Guatemala. "El Cholo" was adopted at age six after his drug-addicted parents abandoned him.
"El Cholo," who claimed at the time that he had already killed ten people, told NPR that he got into gang life via an adolescent bike gang that listened to Satanic music, practiced Satanic rituals, and played with a Ouija Board. Prior to becoming a professional gang hitman, "El Cholo" gave his soul to Satan in order become rich and powerful.
9 The Murder Of Mark Kilroy
In March 1989, Texas college student Mark Kilroy did something so normal that nobody thought it was dangerous at the time - he spent spring break in Mexico. The 21-year-old pre-med student at the University of Texas soon found himself as the victim of a drug-dealing cartel obsessed with Aztec ritual sacrifices, Santeria, and the African practice of Palo Mayombe.
Along with three other friends, Kilroy crossed the border from the Texas city of Brownsville and decamped at the popular destination of Matamoros, Mexico. After a few days of drinking beer and playing on the beach, the American foursome decided to head back across the border.
Somehow Kilroy got separated from his group and was kidnapped by a cartel member named Serafin Hernandez. After getting caught trying to bust through a drug checkpoint, Hernandez took police officers to an isolated ranch where detectives found Kilroy's body in a shallow grave. The gangsters had killed Kilroy and removed his heart as part of a voodoo ritual for protection.
8 The Beasts Of Satan
Heavy metal is known for its interest in the occult and black magic. Ever since Black Sabbath released the first ever heavy metal record back in 1970, metal bands across the world have tried to outdo one another in terms of sounding evil.
Italy's Beasts of Satan tried to outdo each other in terms of committing evil. The Beasts of Satan were actually a metal band from the Italian city of Milan that enjoyed heavy drinking and partying most nights. However, the band's leader, Andrea Volpe, was a dedicated Satanist who turned the band into an occult gang.
Their first victims, 16-year-old former lead singer Fabio Tollis and his 19-year-old girlfriend Chiara Marino, were murdered by band members underneath a full moon in January 1998. Tollis and Marino was repeatedly stabbed with knives and shovels, then were buried in makeshift graves that had been dug the night before in preparation for the murder. Following the killing, band members Volpe, Nicola Sapone and Mario Maccione desecrated the graves by urinating on them and joking about how Tollis and Marino were now "zombies."
This double murder was not uncovered until 2004, when Volpe confessed to murdering his ex-girlfriend Mariangela Pezzotta because he believed that she knew too much about the earlier murders.
7 The Murder Of Pearl Bryan
According to many, Bobby Mackey's Music World in Wilder, Kentucky is haunted by the ghost of a woman murdered by a pair of Satanists. This theory has many adherents among the employees of the famous venue, who claim that a well in the bar's basement is a sort of "gateway to hell."
In 1896, Pearl Bryan was just an ordinary farm girl from the small town of Greencastle, Indiana. At the time, Bryan was smitten with a handsome young dental student named Scott Jackson. Eventually the pair began dating. Not long afterwards, Bryan became pregnant with Jackson's child.
In those days, having a child out of wedlock was seen as a mortal sin. So, therefore, Bryan suggested that she and Jackson get married. Jackson wanted nothing to do with marriage, so he tricked Bryan into going to Cincinnati under the pretense that they would get married in the big city.
Days later, the headless body of 22-year-old Bryan was found behind a YMCA in Fort Thomas, Kentucky. Word quickly spread that Jackson and his friend Alonzo Walling, who belonged to a small-time criminal conspiracy that practiced Satanism, had murdered Bryan as part of a blood sacrifice in an abandoned slaughterhouse.
While some dispute this characterization of events (the other big claim is that the murder came as the result of a botched abortion), Jackson and Walling were both publicly hanged. On the scaffold, they promised to come back and haunt the assembled crowd.
6 Cannibal Holocaust
This is one heavy metal listening party that got WAY out of hand! On the night of November 21, 1998, a 23-year-old Finnish Satanist named Jarno Elg convinced his small clique, which consisted of his 17-year-old girlfriend and two male friends, to commit the ultimate sin.
After getting into an argument with Christians at a local teahouse, the five metalhead youths returned to Elg's apartment in the slum of Hyvinkaa. There, while listening to The Cainian Chronicle, an album released by the Norwegian black metal band Ancient, Elg, his girlfriend Terhi Tervashonka, and the two other males began torturing the fifth member of their party.
After killing the young man by stabbing him to death, Elg's gang started desecrating the corpse. District Attorney Erkki Koivusilta said during the trial that the four killers "mutilated the corpse with scissors, dug out the inner organs, especially the heart..., cut off the genitals, as well as practiced cannibalism, necrophilia, and the disgracing of the victim's sawn-off head by drilling the eyes, and other acts included in Satan worship."
5 The Vampire Clan
By age 15, Rod Ferrell came to believe that he was actually a 500-year-old vampire. The disturbed teenager from Murray, Kentucky gathered around him an assortment of other weirdos who also liked to live the vampire lifestyle. For the most part, Ferrell's "coven" watched horror movies, listened to dark music, played Vampire: The Masquerade, and read such books as Anton LaVey's Satanic Bible and the Necronomicon.
However, this vampire gang soon moved into drinking actual blood. Next, at the request of Ferrell's friend Heather Wendorf, who called her home life "hell," Ferrell drove his gang from Kentucky all the way to Eustis, Florida. Inside of the Wendorf home, Ferrell and his vampire brood brutally murdered Naomi Ruth Queen and Richard Wendorf with a crowbar. The gang left behind their calling card -- the letter "V" for vampire -- on Richard's partially burnt body.
Following the murders, Ferrell's gang tried to escape to New Orleans, but were eventually caught in Baton Rogue. Although he was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, Ferrell could soon go free.
4 The Kroth
Too many Americans believe that the scourge of school shootings began in 1999 with the massacre at Columbine. In fact, way back in 1979, Brenda Spencer opened fire on San Diego's Cleveland Elementary School simply because she didn't like Mondays.
Just a few years prior to Columbine, several middle and high schools in the American South witnessed a rash of school shootings. One of them, which occurred at Mississippi's Pearl High School on October 1, 1997, involved small cadre of self-styled Satanists.
According to investigators, Luke Woodham, who on October 1st first bludgeoned his mother to death before taking a .30-30 rifle to his high school, was a member of The Kroth, a tight-knit group of Satanists at the high school. Investigator Greg Eklund told The New York Times that Woodham, Grant Boyette, Donald Brooks, Wesley Brownell, David Thompson, and Justin Sledge had conspired to carry out the shooting while being members of The Kroth.
Woodham would later admit that Boyette invited him to join the cult and promised that he could use black magic to win back his ex-girlfriend. Originally, The Kroth planned to put the school under siege, set off homemade napalm bombs, kill a targeted list of students, then escape to either Cuba or Mexico.
The 16-year-old Woodham pre-empted this plan by hiding the hunting rifle in a trench coat, walking into the school's commons area, and killing at random.
3 The Godfather Of Matamoros
The discovery of Mark Kilroy's murdered body is what finally brought down Adolfo Constanzo, aka the "Godfather of Matamoros." Born the son of Cuban immigrants in Miami, Constanzo was baptized in Palo Mayombe, a dark offshoot of Santeria that was brought to the Caribbean by African slaves from the Congo. After Constanzo's mother remarried and relocated to San Juan, Puerto Rico, Constanzo was baptized as a Roman Catholic.
Despite this, Constanzo continued to believe in Palo and the power of black magic. Constanzo's mother, Delia Gonzalez, continued to support her son's interests in secret by often taking him to voodoo, Palo, and Santeria ceremonies in Cuba and Haiti.
By 1972, Constanzo had moved back to Miami, where his mother married a local drug dealer who was also a leader in the occult. While still a teenager, Constanzo began a life of petty crime in order to procure items for his voodoo teacher. At some point, Constanzo believed that he had developed psychic powers. After pledging himself to Kadiempembe, the black magic version of Palo, Constanzo relocated to Mexico City.
There, for almost a decade, Constanzo was an indeed a cult leader who used human sacrifice to provide his gangster clients with supernatural protection. It was Constanzo's farm outside of Matamoros that police raided when they discovered Kilroy's body. The American was just one among many others who were hastily buried in the Mexican desert.
Constanzo ordered one of his followers to shoot him during a standoff with police in May 1989.
2 The Zebra Murders
Despite all of the hippies, San Francisco was not drowning in love during the late 1960s and early 1970s. As the bastion of far-left radicalism in the United States, San Francisco was ground zero for the terrorism epidemic of the 1970s. On top of the bombing campaigns carried out by well-heeled radicals like the Weathermen, San Francisco and the Bay Area were plagued by several serial killers, most notably the Zodiac Killer.
A slightly lesser known gang of murderers targeted the city's white population. The Zebra Murders, which took place between October 1973 and April 1974, involved a gang of African American radicals who shot and killed fourteen white victims, most of whom were slain along San Francisco's Divisadero Street Corridor. One of the group's victims was former mayor Art Agnos, who managed to survive being shot at point blank range.
The Zebra killers, Manuel Moore, Larry Green, Jessie Lee Cooks, and J.C.X. Simon, actually called themselves "Death Angels" and were members of a radical Muslim sect that preached that the killing of whites could grant blacks supernatural powers. In order to become a "Death Angel," members had to abduct and kill a white person. Often times, "Death Angels" would abduct homeless whites, torture them for days on end, and subject them to ritual abuse.
Since the "Death Angels" saw all whites as evil, Satanic entities, they practiced their own Satanic brand of retribution in order to purge San Francisco of whites.
1 The Ripper Crew
The monsters of the Ripper Crew may have learned their trade from John Wayne Gacy, the clown killer of Chicagoland. Unlike Gacy, however, the Ripper Crew attacked women, many of whom were prostitutes.
Led by Robin Gecht, who once worked for Gacy, the Ripper Crew terrorized Chicago between 1981 and 1982. The cult/gang was dedicated to raping and murdering women in order to cultivate physical offerings for Satan. The gang's MO was to abduct women at random using their van. Inside of the van, Ripper members Gecht, Edward Spreitzer, and the Kokoraleis brothers would torture their victims with drills, hammers, and other pieces of hardware. The team's favorite bit of torture was to either bite nipples off of their victims or remove their breasts entirely.
Many of these detached body parts wound up in Gecht's "Satanic Chapel." After a killing or after Gecht's wife left the house, the Ripper Crew would meet up in Gecht's attic, where a Satanic altar with upside down crosses was located. Often, the gang members would eat the removed breasts as part of a Satanic ritual.
Although the Ripper Crew believed that their rituals gave them supernatural powers, they proved vulnerable to the eyewitness testimony of Beverly Washington, who managed to alert the police after escaping from the Ripper Crew's van.