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Sins of our Fathers
Written by Editor   
Thursday, 20 July 2006 11:59

While the United States was introduced to ritual murders via cult dabblers, and basically, rather psychotically sociopathic individuals, beginning in the 1960s, it was not until the early 1980s that allegations of ritual murder began to evolve, indicating that a far more sinister plot might be afoot. On August 11, 1983, 79 year-old Virginia McMartin, 59 year-old Peggy Buckey, and 28 year-old Ray Buckey were accused of sexually abusing and torturing children in Satanic rites at their Manhattan Beach daycare center. Although the McMartins were eventually acquitted, some parents still believe their children had been sexually abused during Satanic rituals.

The most compelling evidence for the parents contention involved purported venereal diseases that some of the children were alleged to have contracted along with Roland Summit's tunnel excavation report (now known as the Summit report) and his later journal publication, "The Dark Tunnels of McMartin." (Summit, 1994) That same year, on October 1, 1983, 27 year-old James Rud of Jordan Minnesota was arrested and plead guilty to 10 counts of abusing 4 children under the age of 10. Then Scott County prosecutor, Kathleen Morris, indicted an additional 24 adults on allegations that they belonged to a child sex ring that engaged in ritual murder and sexual orgies with children during Satanic rites. (Syracuse-Herald Journal, 1985)

By the mid-1980s, SRA allegations based upon recovered memories was also on the rise. The majority of these allegations involved claims of a worldwide network of intergenerational robe-clad shadowy figures who gathered in secret locations across the United States to worship the devil while sexually abusing, torturing, murdering, and cannibalizing scores of infants and small children. The female children who were allowed to live became breeders, Satanic High Priestesses, or both, and their stories were aired on talk-shows such as Sally Jesse Rafael and Geraldo Rivera.

The average age of those reporting the abuse during that period was mid-30s to mid-40s, and the average onset of said abuse was 2-to-3 years-old. Curiously, or perhaps not so, the SRA allegations appeared shortly after the inclusion of DID (formerly MPD) in the DSM-III in 1980 and increased in complexity with the phenomenal rise of DID diagnoses over the following decade. Since, per the DSM, the etiology is purported to be chronic childhood sexual abuse, for some, the SRA allegations explained the skyrocketing number of reported alters and increasingly bizarre behavior. (Hacking, 1998)

By the mid-1990s, some claimed the allegations were nothing more than fantasies concocted out of whole cloth and perpetuated by money-grubbing, wholly uniformed and unethical therapists, in the course of what came to be coined RMT. (FMSF, 1992) By then, "recanting" ritual abuse survivors began suing former therapists for medical malpractice, alleging "implanted memories," with the largest out of court settlement reaching a whopping 10.4 million dollars. (Burgus v Braun et al, 1998) In one instance, criminal charges of mail fraud were brought, though the case ended in a mistrial after it was learned that a juror had been approached by one of the witnesses for the prosecution. (US v Peterson et al, 1999)

By the turn of the century, recovered memories of SRA was considered by prominent psychology researchers, such as Elizabeth F. Loftus and Richard J. McNally, to be a "folie à deux" of overzealous and under-trained therapists who clung desperately to the late 19th century theories of Sigmund Freud. While some likened RMT to Bruno Bettelheim's refrigerator mother--a theory that resulted in the removal of scores of Autistic children from their homes in the 1960s--others likened it to archaic medical treatments such as leeching and the witch tests proscribed in the 15th-century Malleus Maleficarum (also known as the Witches Hammer), while calling for the implementation of stricter ethical codes and licensing procedures. (Barden, 1999) A few--optimistic, smug, perhaps even naive--individuals proclaimed that the "recovered memory beast had indeed been slain."

That was of course, not to be the case. By the early 21st century, there was a new, old culprit. Paedophile priests. Allegations of sexual abuse by priests within the Roman Catholic Church was a well-known and accepted fact within survivor circles. The earliest legal case in fact, coincided with the seeming pinnacle of the recovered memory movement--Lovelace v Keohane, Archdiocese Of Oklahoma City, and Diocese Of Tulsa. The case eventually made it to the supreme court of Oklahoma where the question was raised regarding the applicability of "legal disability" or the "discovery rule" to tolling the statute of limitations--"plaintiff's dominant "host" personality had no knowledge of the molestations until plaintiff underwent psychotherapy treatment on May 18, 1987" (1992 OK 24; 831 P.2d 624; 1992 Okla. LEXIS 22; 63 O.B.A.J. 458; 11 A.L.R.5th 1061)

Although the aforementioned, along with several other cases, wended their way through the court systems over the next decade, it was not until 2001 that the extent of priest abuse and cover-ups began promulgating the societal landscape. Of these cases that, for awhile, seemed to make daily MSM headlines, not one case involved allegations of recovered memories of SRA. That is, until the recent trial and conviction of Father Gerald Robinson for the murder Sister Margaret Ann Pahl in 1980.

Murder is, and should always be, shocking to the populace at large. If the victim was tortured and/or sexually abused, the outrage is understandably cacophonous. When the motive involves religious aspects--Satanic or otherwise--our core beliefs in humans may very well be challenged. What sets the following cases --that is, at least two of them--apart from other alleged ritual murder cases was both the location and the clearly ritualistic nature of the crimes.

On Monday, October 22, 1962, the partially clad body of 9 year-old Carol Ann Dougherty was found on the stair landing leading to the choir loft of St. Marks Roman Catholic Church. Reverend Monsignor E. Paul Baird and Reverend Michael Carrol were called, as were the police, and little Carol Ann was pronounced dead at the scene and given last rites. (The Valley Independent, 1962) She had been raped and then strangled with what investigator characterized as a "slim jim" belt. The scant clues left at the crime scene suggested the assailant was neither Black or Hispanic, and that he was either very old, very young, or impotent.

On Thursday, October 25, 1962, 60 year-old Frank Zuchero plead guilty to the slaying. Zuchero had been arrested numerous times for indecent exposure. He was later cleared. (Lima News, 1962) By Friday, November 19, 1962, law enforcement was seeking New Jersey parolee, Wayne Roach. Mr. Roach was also cleared of the slaying, as was an unnamed 37 year-old man who was picked up and questioned in Burlington, New Jersey. (Montgomery County, Daily Edition, 1962) Carol Ann Dougherty's murder remains unsolved.

On Sunday, October 13, 1974, 19 year-old Arlis Perry, a native of Bismark, North Dakota, was found in the Memorial Chapel by Stanford University campus security guard, Steven Crawford. Her husband, 20 year-old Bruce Perry, claimed that his wife had gone to the church to pray at 11:30 p.m. and when she had failed return by 3:00 a.m., he reported her missing to the campus police. (Bucks County Courier, 1974)

Crawford had last checked the chapel at 11:30 p.m. and saw no one. When he returned at 5:45 a.m. the next morning, he found the chapel doors unlocked and Perry, posed as it were, upon the chapel floor. Perry's jeans, underclothing, and candles were nearby and the coroner reported that she had been sexually brutalized and died of a stab wound to the base of her skull, behind her left ear. There was no sign of forced entry, nor were there any signs of a struggle. (Oakland Tribune, 1974) News accounts note that Perry was last seen in the company of two males. Arlis Perry's murder remains unsolved.

On Saturday, April 5, 1980, 71 year-old Sister Margaret Ann Pahl, a native of Edgerton, Ohio, was found in the Mercy Hospital chapel by "other members of the Sisters of Mercy." Sister Margaret Ann Pahl was last seen at 6:45 a.m. leaving the dining room and found in the chapel at 8:15 a.m. She had been strangled and stabbed 27 times. She had been posed. Lucas County coroner, Dr. Harry Mignerey stated, "From all appearances, she was sexually assaulted, and strangled before she was stabbed." (Syracuse-Herald, 1980) News accounts note that three anonymous calls were made to the media by a male caller who indicated Sister Pahl had also been raped. (Toledo Blade, 1980) There was no sign of forced entry. Sister Margaret Ann Pahl's murder remains unsolved.

Of the alleged ritual murders that peppered our nations papers during the last half of the 20th century, the above three were the only murders which occurred in the sacristy. And of these, Perry and Pahl's undoubtedly involved ritualistic elements. While no less horrific, little Carol Ann Doughtery was very likely murdered to escape capture and forthcoming and well-deserved punishment for the brutal rape. The ritualistic and sexually sadistic nature of Arlis Perry and Sister Margaret Ann Pahl's murders however, in conjunction with the lack of convincing resolution became rich breeding grounds from which various conspiracy rumors of the satanic kind sprouted. And sprout, they did.

In November 1979, David Richard Berkowitz (AKA The Son of Sam) allegedly wrote to Lee Chase and was said to have provided "indisputable information" regarding the Process Church's involvement in the Perry murder. (Terry, 1987, p 418-436) Other allegations arose as well, including the theory that Perry was murdered by someone from "a California-based Satanic cult ( Four Pi)" that was allegedly founded in 1967 in the San Francisco Bay Area. Their purpose? To meet and engage in ritual sacrifice, including the eating of human hearts and the drinking human blood. Although Bruce Perry's parents told Santa Clara law enforcement that "Arlis was a devout Christian who was attempting to convert members of a Satanic cult" neither of these claims have been corroborated.

On Monday, April 22, 1985, an individual claiming to have been an insider of a Satanic cult was interviewed by the Lucas County Sheriffs Department. Blood rites and the ritual murder of 60-to-75 adults, children and infants were among the allegations. On June 21, 1985, then Deputy Sheriff, James Telb, led the excavation of three sites in the Spencer Township, just west of Toledo Ohio. Then, cult cop and Tiffin County Sheriff Department's Captain, Dale Griffis was also called to the scene. (Chronicle-Telegram, 1985)

Recall, Dale Griffis is the individual who later testified as an expert witness for the prosecution in the trial of what has come to be known as the West Memphis Three. The Lucas County search was called off on June 22, 1985, though not without Telb proclaiming, "We know there's a cult here. There's no question there's a cult operating in Lucas County. We found enough evidence here to substantiate that." Also noting, "informants indicated there would be another cult sacrifice to coincide with the Summer solstice on Friday." (Chronicle-Telegram, 1985)

And just what was Telb's evidence? The local media reported, "artifacts included two large knives, a doll with its feet nailed to a board and a pentagram medal tied to its wrist, wooden crosses, and red twine wound through bushes and grass around the three excavation sites." (Chronicle-Telegram, 1985) Another reporter noted, "Hanging from a tree branch next to a rural Lucas County road was what for all the world appeared to be a piece of red string, perhaps six inches long. It wasn't knotted or arranged in any way. It just hung there about eye level, waiting for the wind to carry it to the ground or for an expert on Satanism to call it a tool of devil worship and possible evidence of ritual murders." (Columbus Evening Dispatch, 1985)

And who were their informants? One was purportedly a woman in an East Coast mental hospital, another was a woman undergoing therapy in Southern California, and the third was the individual interviewed on April 22, 1985. The excavation became known as the "Lucas County Incident." (Kahaner, 1988, pp 167-179) As such media sensations usually do, the Lucas County Incident quickly faded into Toledo's collective memory, only to be revived nearly two-decades later.

On June 11, 2003, a 40 year-old woman testified before the Toledo Diocesan Review Board, alleging she had recovered detailed memories of "Satanic ceremonies" by priests. Father Gerald Robinson was among those named in her written statement. Father Robinson's presence as a possible suspect in the murder of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl resulted in the reopening of the 24 year-old murder case. (Associated Press, 2004) The news broke on April 04, 2004. Father Gerald Robinson was being charged with the murder of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl.

By February 20, 2004, four alleged victims had come forward and law enforcement expanded their investigation to include searching for evidence corroborating Satanic ritual abuse spanning back to the 1960s. Of the discoveries unearthed during the investigation, the perhaps strangest was that of Gerald Mazuchowski "who founded the group known as Sisters of Assumed Mary" wherein the group would dress as nuns and gave each other "nun names."

In the mean time, as various paedophile priest allegations came to light, and Diocese after Diocese fell under Grand Jury scrutiny for their complicity in decades-long cover-ups, the name of another priest and a murder of the past would be revived. This time, regarding the case of Carol Ann Dougherty. Among the many individuals interviewed and then released in 1962, one individual not only seemed to fit the profile--he had claimed to a friend that he was sterile--but failed the lie detector test as well. (Canavan, Bucks County Courier Times, 1977)

That individual was Reverend Joseph F. Sabadish, who was transferred from the parish shortly after the child's murder. J.D. Mullane covers the Grand Jury inquiry into the Philadelphia Archdiocese child sexual abuse complaints as well as making a compelling argument with regard to Father Sabadish as being the most likely suspect for the murder of Carol Ann Dougherty. Reverend Sabadish passed away in 1999. (Philly Burbs, 2005)

By April 20, 2005, a "Jane Doe" and her husband filed a civil suit against "Gerald Robinson, Gerald Mazuchowski, the Diocese of Toledo, St. Adalbert Parish and School, Oblates of St Francis De Sales, Inc., 15 John and Jane Does, and 5 Catholic Entity Does," alleging that she recovered memories of ritual abuse from as early as the 1950s after seeing the news coverage of Father Robinson on April 23, 2004, and alleging having recovered even more memories of ritual abuse after reading the Toledo Blade article referencing Mazuchowski's "Sisters of Assumed Mary."[1]

Father Gerald Robinson's murder trial commenced amidst a media flurry, on Monday, April 17, 2006. Opening statements were made by the prosecution on Friday, April 21, 2006, who promised to "show that a letter opener belonging to Robinson and eyewitness testimony would link the 68-year-old priest"[2] to the murder. On Thursday, April 27, 2006, renowned forensic scientist, Henry Lee testified, "I cannot come here to tell you this pattern is produced exactly like this,"[3] referring to letter opener. Jurors were also told of foreign DNA and that, "Robinson was cleared as a source of the DNA by the state crime lab."[4] Closing arguments were made on Wednesday, May 10, 2006 and Court TV reporter, Harriet Ryan noted, "Mandros appeared to back off assertions that Sr. Margaret Ann was offered as a human sacrifice to a diabolical power."[5] The jury returned a guilty verdict on Thursday, May 11, 2006.

In considering the fertile soil from which allegations of ritual murder sprouted, the tumultuous 1960s--a culture of sex, drugs, and rock & roll, along with the seemingly overwhelming influx of various new age cults who engaged in incestuous practices and murderous killing rampages--it is unsurprising that Father Gerald Robinson came again under suspicion based purely upon the recovered memories of an anonymous Jane Doe. Even after having been ruled out as a suspect by DNA. After all, look who led the 9-month investigation. Lucas County Sheriff James Telb, whose office--during a two-day excavation that cost taxpayers several thousand dollars two decades ago--unearthed nothing more than a headless doll, red string, and a kitchen knife to support claims that a Satanic cult was operating in the area.

Nor is it surprising that memories of the Satanic kind would become interwoven into troubled individuals world-view and personal narratives. For it was out of the hotbed 1960s that the concept of Satanism and the Satanic Black Mass--beginning with the 1967 cult classic, Rosemary's Baby--emerged and congealed. That is, the modern-day concept of Satanism, of which, at least two practitioners, Lt. Col. Michael Aquino and L Ron Hubbard, set off to found their own churches--the Temple of Set (an offshoot of Anton LaVey's Church of Satan) and the Church of Scientology (an offshoot of Ordo Templi Orientis), respectively.

Add to the above, that people have historically engaged in egregiously beyond the pale behavior in the name of this or that religion--for example, the murder of a 3 year-old child who had been identified as an "anathema" by a new age sect. (The Valley Independent, 1978) And then throw in the fact that lay priests were running around in "nun drag"--as described by Mazuchowski and his "Sisters of Assumed Mary"--in conjunction with the decades-long cover-ups of paedophile priests within the Roman Catholic Church, the rather distinct cluster of drownings along corridor 94, and society's seemingly morbid fascination with all things evil. And well?

Whatever the case, while some understandably believe Father Gerald Robinson is innocent, he may very well be paying for the sins of our fathers. If such is the case, and he is wholly innocent, it has indeed become a very sad day.

Documents:
Robinson case files

 

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