Love Thy Neighbour: August 2004 Archives

August 27, 2004

'Psychic' arrested on fraud charges

United States: A woman described as a Gypsy has been arrested by California police. She is alleged to have scammed an Illinois woman out of $80,000. She has previous convictions for theft, and was on the run from prison.

Demetro is accused of befriending a mother and daughter in McHenry, Ill., who used her services because they were down on their luck and overweight, Gaylor said.

Police say she convinced the older woman that her luck would change if she cleansed her life savings of $80,000. The woman withdrew the money, all in $100 bills, and gave it to Demetro, police said.

During a seance involving vegetables and live lizards, the cash was wrapped into a white handkerchief, Gaylor said. The women were asked to stare at a candle, police said.

They were given back the handkerchief and told to place it under a bed for several days, police said. When they open up the (handkerchief), they find cut-up newspaper, Gaylor said.

Police also wish to talk to her in connection with another incident:

Demetro also is wanted in another Illinois case. She is accused of telling a client that his wife had been unfaithful and he was not the father of their unborn child, police said.

The man paid her with his wedding ring and ended up killing his wife, stabbing her 80 times, police said.

Gypsy arrested on Illinois theft warrant - The San Diego Union-Tribune, 27th August 2004.

August 26, 2004

Bible discussion leads to assault

United States: An Oklahoma woman has stabbed her boyfriend, leaving a 11 cm hole in his stomach and damaging his liver, after they had an argument over the Bible. He is now out of hospital and says he still loves her.

Woman stabs boyfriend in fight over religion - News 9 (via Religion News Blog), 26th August 2004.

August 18, 2004

Fundie Loon Jailed For Exorcism Murder

United States: In a follow up to the story of a fundie loon who killed an eight-year-old autistic boy during an attempted exorcism, the man in question has been sentenced to 2½ years in jail.

Prosecutors say Ray Hemphill lay on Terrance Cottrell Jr.'s chest for at least an hour while trying to release demons from him, before the boy died August 22, 2003.

It was your unreasonable and reckless conduct that caused this child to die, Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Jean DiMotto told Hemphill.

August 17, 2004

'Christian' animal sacrifice

United States: A parrot belonging to a Wiccan woman who launched a legal challenge to her town's unconstitutional prayers has been slaughtered in a highly ritualistic manner. Darla Wynne, of Great Falls, South Carolina, came home one night last week to find her parrot, Little One, beheaded with his heart cut out. A note warned her she would be next. It is just the latest in a long series of incidents.

Many of the town's 2,200 residents regard Wynne as a witch and disapprove of her pagan faith, she said. The vandalism has ranged from destruction of her cars to several of her animals being poisoned, Wynne said.
No one will say anything, Wynne said. They think they're protecting their own....
...Wynne said she has endured numerous verbal and written threats. She received by mail a booklet, Thou Shalt not Suffer a Witch to Live, and said a man yelled at her, Witch, you're going down.
Twice last week before her bird was killed, Wynne said she received threats in the mail.

Parrot's death latest threat to woman in prayer case - The Herald (Rock Hill), 17th August 2004.

August 5, 2004

The effect of religion on human evolution

Nigeria: The remains of 50 people have been found by police in 20 locations in the forests around Okija in the eastern state of Anambra. Press reports abound with tales of a secretive cult and traditional ritual killings, but the reality seems to be much more darwinian than that, with the 'victims' all willing participants in a strange form of conflict resolution:

The group is believed to practice a ritual in which parties involved in a personal dispute - often over business deals - are made to drink a potion they are told will kill only the guilty one...
[Police representative Kolapo] Shofoluwe said the basic ritual of swallowing poisons to test guilt is believed to have been practiced for more than a century.
Mr. A goes to the shrine to report to the chief priests that Mr. B has done wrong to him by way of cheating him in a joint business, said Shofoluwe, adding the priests then typically call both parties together to resolve the dispute.

Nigeria Discovers 50 Possible Cult Victims - The Guardian, 5th August 2004.

Christian 'witch' killers' sentence upheld

Zambia: Two Liberian men have lost their appeal against a 20-year sentence imposed on them for killing a woman accused of witchcraft. The pair had pleaded guilty to manslaughter, which was accepted by the court. The killing happened during a prayer meeting after it became apparent that God was not rushing to act - the judge, Chief Justice Ernest Sakala , told them they should have waited for God to answer their prayers rather than killing the woman.

Facts before the court were that on December 18, 2000 at Makaka hill along Kabwe road, Emmanuel and Kolle were part of a group of the Power of Christ church when Phiri was brought to them by people who suspected her of being a witch.
The court heard that the group prayed for her so that the Devil could come out of her and asked her to confess to being a witch but she refused.
Emmanuel and Kolle later took up sticks and started beating her so that the Devil could come out of her, she later died from internal injuries.
In mitigation, the duo pleaded for the court's leniency.
They said the circumstances of the matter did not amount to a 20-year sentence because they wanted to remove the devil from the woman.

Justice Sakala told the court that thinking someone was a witch was no reason to take their life and that the court had the duty to minimise or eliminate the belief in witchcraft.

Supreme Court upholds refugees' 20-yr sentence - The Times of Zambia, 5th August 2004.

August 4, 2004

My God is bigger than yours

United States: Doug Daniels of The Raw Story went to the Democratic National Convention and spotted some evangelical protestors:

Most noticeable were the Christian radicals and anti- abortion activists who would bark biblical verse through their megaphones at the delegates, demanding that they repent for their sins, and denounce John Kerry as the son of the devil. At one point, hostilities began to escalate between two such protesters, one commanding the crowd to love God, the other warning us to fear him. After a few minutes of this heated, evangelical squabble, the police intervened and told the two lunatics to steer clear of each other.

August 3, 2004

More African 'witch' murders

Tanzania: Seven people have been murdered and another seven injured in a series of brutal attacks towards the end of last month. The victims were all accused of witchcraft.

According to police investigations, a few days before the killings, some villagers conducted a secret ballot to unearth suspects thought to be involved in witchcraft.

The RPC said on July 20 at night, more than ten youths armed with spears, sharp pieces of metal, pangas, and other crude weapons like bows and arrows, invaded Ndapo Village, killing one person and wounding another.

On July 25, the marauding youths attacked Nungu Village at around 10.00 pm and killed three people and wounded four others.

Three people were killed and two others wounded in a similar attack conducted between July 27 and 28 at Kinyika Village, he added.

Villagers also threatened those they think are witches, and several people have had to move as a result. Twenty-two people have been arrested and murder charges are expected to follow.

Outrageous witchcraft murders in MaketeThe Guardian (Tanzania), 3rd August 2004.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Love Thy Neighbour category from August 2004.

Love Thy Neighbour: July 2004 is the previous archive.

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