Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A "Wiccan Ritual Killing." Seriously?

The person of interest in the case is absolutely not Christopher Lee.

Did we somehow fall into the 1980's or 1990's when I wasn't looking? Because this story is the sort of nonsense that I thought went out of fashion something like twenty years ago. A Florida woman and her two sons were found murdered last Friday, which is tragic and sad. The nonsense I'm talking about, though, was spouted by police spokesman Andrew Hobbes, who claimed that the murder might be a "Wiccan ritual killing" related to the "blue moon" - which, by the way, has no special significance in Wiccan religious practice.

"It appears that this might be connected to some type of Wiccan ritual killing and possibly tied to the blue moon," Hobbes told NBC News. A "blue" moon is what it's called when there are two full moons in the same calendar month.

Voncile Smith, 77, and her two sons, Richard, 49, and John, 47, were discovered when one of the son's employers realized he hadn't shown up for work. Voncile and John both died of blunt force trauma and had their throats cut, police said. Richard was shot in the ear, "as he came into the house," and had his throat cut, Hobbes said. Police believe a claw hammer was used to commit the murders, Hobbes said.

No evidence of a forcible entry was found and, while police have spoken with a person of interest in the case, no arrests have been made, Hobbes said. When asked how the evidence suggests these are ritualistic or Wiccan killings Sgt. Hobbes said, "The injuries to the victims, the positions of the bodies and also the person of interest right now is also a practitioner."

First off, the Wiccan religion has no practices that could ever be described as "ritual killing." Many Wiccans are even squeamish about animal sacrifices in religions like Santeria. So the whole idea is fundamentally flawed, and appears to stem from somebody's wild imagination. Did Hobbes get his idea of "Wicca" from old Hammer films? When a ritualistic serial killer goes after victims nobody describes the murders they commit as "Christian ritual killings," even though the vast majority of people in the United States and therefore also most criminals are Christian.

The positions of the bodies and injuries described here don't indicate anything but a pretty straightforward home invasion murder. And that last statement pretty much seals the deal that I will never move to Florida under any circumstances. Apparently, if I were ever even suspected of involvement in a murder in Florida, it would become a "Thelemic ritual killing" just because I'm a practitioner - and then the police likely wouldn't look at anyone else, because I'd be the only Thelemite on their suspect list. Frankly that's quite scary, in addition to sounding like a massive civil rights violation waiting to happen.

Now I'm not necessarily saying that this "person of interest" is innocent. Wiccans certainly can commit crimes, just like Christians or Muslims or members of other religions. But the police statements sure sound to me like innocent or not, this individual is being targeted at least in part because of their religious beliefs - or, more to the point, the messed up idea of what those beliefs are according to law enforcement. Situations like these are exactly why minority religions should share the public square with majority beliefs - so that people in authority have some idea about what those beliefs actually are.

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1 comment:

Nerd said...

Those Wiccans love to party!