Tag Archives: possession

Mother charged with using crucifix to kill daughter

A 49-year-old Oklahoma woman has been charged with first-degree murder on suspicion of killing her daughter whom she thought was possessed by the devil by jamming a crucifix down her throat and beating her, court records released this week showed.

Juanita Gomez was booked last week in the death of Geneva Gomez, whose body was found in an Oklahoma City home with a large cross on her chest, a probable cause affidavit said.

Local media said the daughter was 33 years old.

No lawyer was listed for Gomez in online jail records.

Police said Gomez confessed to the crime, telling officers she forced a crucifix and religious medallion down her daughter’s throat until blood came out.

“Juanita saw her daughter die and then placed her body in the shape of a cross,” the affidavit said.

Gomez was being held without bond at the Oklahoma County jail.

California woman says she was kidnapped for exorcism

A California woman says her husband and son kidnapped her to perform an exorcism, made her drink oil and told her she had devils inside her.

Forty-one-year-old Blanca Farias told News10 in Sacramento that she was held down in the backseat of a pickup truck on Nov. 9 after being picked up in Stockton.

“They were saying I had three devils inside of me,” Blanca Farias said.

She said her husband, Jose Magana-Farias, 42, and son, Victor Farias, 20, convinced her to meet them at a Walmart in north Stockton. She has been separated from Magana-Farias since January.

She told News10 that they told her they wanted to talk about the failing marriage at a nearby coffee shop, but coaxed her into the back of a pickup truck and held her down in the back seat while a pastor — whom she knew — drove.

An hour and half later, she said, they arrived at a church in Bay Point, where she was forced inside and bathed in oil.

“They made me swallow some of that oil,” Blanca Farias said. “I started throwing up and this pastor was just saying, `You’ve got the devil. Get off of her, get off of her, get off of her,’ until I fainted.”

She said she believes that the incident was motivated in part by her choice to see another man since the separation.

“They thought I was crazy,” she said, referring to her son and husband. “That, really, because I’m not with you, I have the devil?”

She said she was able to text her current boyfriend, and authorities were waiting when she returned home. Magana-Farias and his son were immediately arrested.

“That’s what hurts me the most,” Blanca Farias told News10. “Because it was my husband, who I haven’t been with since January, and then my son, following the steps of the dad.”

The father and son initially were accused of kidnapping, false imprisonment and conspiracy to commit a crime but on Nov. 13 officials said no charges would be filed unless there is more evidence found.

Exorcism of 1949 continues to fascinate St. Louis

Saint Louis University junior Zach Grummer-Strawn has never seen “The Exorcist,” the 1973 horror film considered one of the finest examples of unadulterated cinematic terror. He’s only vaguely familiar with the monthlong 1949 demon-purging ritual at his school on which the film and William Peter Blatty’s 1971 novel were based.

But just in time for Halloween, Jesuit scholars have joined a whole new generation of horror buffs in St. Louis to recount the supernatural incident. The university hosted a panel discussion this week on the exorcism, which involved the treatment of an unidentified suburban Washington, D.C., boy. About 500 people crammed into Pius XII Library, with some spilling into the library aisles, leaning against pillars or sitting on desks.

“I’d like to believe it’s the real thing,” said Grummer-Strawn, a theology and sociology student from Atlanta. “But you just can’t know. That’s part of why we’re here. It’s the pursuit of truth. And it’s such a great story.”

The university scholars and guest speaker Thomas Allen, author of a 1993 account of the events at the school’s former Alexian Brothers Hospital, emphasized that definitive proof that the boy known only as “Robbie” was possessed by malevolent spirits is unattainable. Maybe he instead suffered from mental illness or sexual abuse – or fabricated the entire experience.

Like most of religion’s basic tenets, it ultimately comes down to faith.

“If the devil can convince us he does not exist, then half the battle is won,” said the Rev. Paul Stark, vice president for mission and ministry at the 195-year-old Catholic school. He opened the discussion with a prayer from the church’s exorcism handbook, imploring God to “fill your servants with courage to fight that reprobate dragon.”

Some of the non-students in the audience spoke of personal connections to an episode that has enthralled generations of St. Louis residents.

One man described living near the suburban St. Louis home where the 13-year-old boy arrived in the winter of 1949 (his Lutheran mother was a St. Louis native who married a Catholic). Another said she was a distant cousin of Father William Bowdern, who led the exorcism ritual after consulting with the archbishop of St. Louis but remained publicly silent about his experiences – though he did tell Allen it was “the real thing.”

Bowdern died in 1983.

Bowdern was assisted by the Rev. Walter Halloran, who unlike his colleague spoke openly with Allen and expressed his skepticism about potential paranormal events before his death a decade ago.

“He talked more about the boy, and how much he suffered, and less about the rite,” Allen said. “Here was a scared, confused boy caught up in something he didn’t understand.

“He told me, ‘I simply don’t know,’ and that is where I leave it,” the author added. “I just don’t know.”

Allen zealously protects the anonymity of “Robbie,” despite others’ efforts to track him down to this day.

Gary Mackey, a 59-year-old accountant who left work early to attend the campus event, said he also is unsure whether “The Exorcist” was a work of fiction or instead a riveting real-life account of barely comprehensible forces.

He does know this: He cannot forget the movie that he saw with a buddy four decades ago. They drove 100 miles (160 kilometers) from their home in Louisville, Kentucky, to the nearest theater showing it across the state line in Cincinnati.

“I saw the movie when I was 19 years old and it scared me to death,” Mackey said. “I think it’s the scariest movie ever made.”

Drug bust mars ‘world’s largest gay cruise’

A California man was arrested in the U.S. Virgin Islands on suspicion of selling drugs to fellow passengers on a Caribbean cruise billed as the “world’s largest gay cruise.”

Steven Barry Krumholz, 51, of West Hollywood, was arrested on board the Allure of the Seas in St. Thomas, said Jeffrey Quinones, a spokesman in Puerto Rico for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The ship had just come from the Bahamas.

Customs and Border Protection agents boarded the ship Feb. 9 and found drugs on another passenger, who said he had placed an order with Krumholz before the trip and picked them up while on board, according to an affidavit submitted by one of the investigating agents.

Agents searched Krumholz’s cabin and allegedly found more than 142 ecstasy pills, nearly 3 grams of methamphetamine, a small quantity of ketamine and about $51,000 in cash, the agent said. While officials waited for the suspect to return to his cabin, two more passengers came to buy drugs, according to the affidavit.

Krumholz was detained on charges of possession with intent to sell.

Defense attorney Gabriel Villegas declined comment, saying he had not yet reviewed all the case files.

The Allure of the Seas, which shares the claim of world’s largest cruise ship with a sister vessel, departed Port Everglades, Fla., on Feb. 6 with some 5,400 passengers in a trip chartered by Atlantis Events Inc., of West Hollywood. The company did not respond to a request for comment.

Ship owner Royal Caribbean International said it has a zero-tolerance policy on illegal drugs at sea and it cooperated fully with authorities.