In spite of the paranoid fantasies of religious people, there doesn’t seem to be much of an organized satanic religion in the United States. There’s no underground network of evil priests and cultists worshipping Satan in depraved midnight rituals held in desecrated churches. (Believe me, I’ve looked.) Beyond political groups using “Satan” as a provocation, Satanism doesn’t seem to exist at all in any active, organized form.
However… Satanism’s disorganized form is apparently thriving.
Disaffected teenagers trying to shock people by proclaiming allegiance to the Devil have been a staple in America since at least the 1970s… and you can still find them today, at your local suburban mall. After a few years or months of skull earrings and Slayer albums, though, most teen “Satanists” grow out of it, or move on to some other pose. Still, some take their improvised religion to its logical conclusion: Senseless murder.
The five self-proclaimed “Satanists” listed below weren’t part of any organized religion… but their crimes are no less brutal and terrifying for it.
I Dismember Mama
When Moises Meraz-Espinoza turned himself into to police in Huntington Park, California, officers had no idea the tatted-out eighteen year-old was about to lead them to one of the most revolting crime scenes any of them had ever seen. Inside the apartment Meraz-Espinoza had shared with his mother, Amelia Espinoza, investigators followed a trail of blood to a gore-spattered bathroom where plastic covered the walls and floor. There they found a circular saw coated in blood, with skin and bone jamming the blade… Meraz-Espinoza had cut his mother apart after murdering her.
The freezer held some of the forty-two-year-old victim — her cut-up body parts were stored in plastic bags. Police found her skull in her son’s backpack, the eyes plucked out, the teeth removed, and upside-crosses carved in her cheekbones. Her organs were never located.
The coroner determined that Meraz-Espinoza had strangled his mother, and then cut her apart as a sacrifice to the Devil. They found a “Satanic Bible” in the apartment, and that plus the suspect’s “666” tattoos was enough to convince them Satanism was the motive. Defense attorneys countered that Meraz-Espinoza killed his mother because he was depressed over a relationship gone wrong; either way, he was sentenced to life in prison.
Gothic Weirdo, Minion, Mom Slay Two
Pazuzu Algarad was infamous in his Raleigh, North Carolina neighborhood. “Paz,” as people called him, sported a face full of tattoos, filed his teeth down to points, and bragged about his devil-worship rituals and drug dealing. He’d taken his name from the demon in THE EXORCIST and posted spooky memes to his Facebook page. Pazuzu was no ordinary small-town misfit, though — an avowed Satanist, Paz regularly sacrificed small animals, and later graduated to murdering people.
According to Police, Algarad and his girlfriend Amber Burch murdered Joshua Fredrick Wetzler and Tommy Dean Welch in 2009, ate parts of them, and buried their bodies in the backyard of Algarad’s dilapidated house. According to court testimony from Burch, the couple picked Welch up from a local gas station and took him back to their house, where they hung out and drank alcohol before Burch shot Welch in the back of the head.
Pazuzu murdered Wetzler himself. According to the killer’s mother, on the day Wetzler was killed, she heard gunshots while she was in the bedroom getting ready for work. She walked out into the living room and saw her son standing over Wetzler with a .22-caliber rifle. The Satanist’s mother then went back into the bedroom… and finished getting ready for work. Both bodies were discovered buried in a shallow grave on the property.
Pazuzu killed himself in jail in 2015, and Burch pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Texas Teens Sell Souls To Satan, Slay Classmate
In 2014, Houston, Texas was rocked with the details of a bizarre satanic sex crime: Victor Alas and Jose Reyes were only 16 and 17 when they murdered their friend Corriann Cervante, 15. The three teenagers were drinking and smoking weed in a vacant Houston apartment when things turned very dark.
Alas and Reyes attacked Cervante; she begged for mercy as they gouged out an eye, stabbed her face with a screwdriver, and bashed her head with the lid of toilet tank hard enough to embed porcelain shards in her face. The pair finished her off by strangling her with a belt, raping her corpse, and carving an upside-down cross in her abdomen.
According to prosecutors, Alas and Reyes were trying to sell their souls to Satan. “I was sick-minded stabbing that ***** 60 times,” Reyes wrote in a letter from jail. “It’s what the devil asked for.” Both are in jail for life.
Satanic Cop Murders Homeless To Create Zombie Army
According to Russian media reports, Satanist Arsen Bayrambekov murdered six homeless men… in an attempt to turn them into zombies.
By day, Bayrambekov was a policeman, but at night, he lured vagrants to a makeshift altar and bonfire in the woods at “Ganya’s Pit,” where the Bolsheviks threw the bodies of Tsar Nicholas ll and his family in 1918. Once they arrived, the terrified homeless men were murdered instead of being given the booze they were promised.
Bayrambekov buried his victims in shallow graves, and then later dug them up in an attempt to bring them back to life. Media reports are maddeningly vague about exactly how Bayrambekov intended to create his undead army… but police confirmed it didn’t work; the homeless people stayed very dead.
Interestingly, Bayrambekov was caught when other Satanists snitched. Reportedly, the Satanic cop was bragging online about his crimes and a concerned online Satanist turned him into police. He received 13 years for his crime… which seems a little light, considering all the people he killed.
Midwestern Teens Murder Friend
Amanda Bennett was only 17 when she helped kill a classmate as part of a satanic sacrifice. Bennett testified in court that her dalliance with Satanism began when she and her friend Sebastian Dowell, 18, made plans to murder two people a year as tribute to The Dark One.
To find victims, Bennett said she “got on Facebook and messaged a couple of depressed people.” Her classmate, Kaitlyn Root, responded. Bad move.
Root agreed to meet the couple in a local park, and the trio went hiking. When they’d walked far enough to not be seen, Bennett says she hit Root with a stick, and then both she and Dowell struck and choked her. According to Bennett, Dowell injected something into Root’s neck, and the girl passed out. Dowell then told Bennett that, in order for the murder to be a “pure sacrifice,” she had to stab the victim to death. Bennett balked, so Dowell stabbed Root, then later slit her throat, undressed her, and left her body by the trail to be discovered the next morning.
Bennett pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, and Dowell has yet to enter a plea in the ongoing case.