There was a new story in my inbox this morning about a nutjob in Iowa who killed his two step-daughters. My first thought was “why was I sent this?” Then I realized that this bottom-feeder, Lawrence Douglas Harris Sr., told police that he had not, in fact, killed the girls, but instead described what happened as a spell that “had gone bad”. The “witchcraft” part was the reason my filters kicked out the story. Harris spoke extensively to the investigator about witchcraft, saying he was trying to cast a spell to help his 13-year-old stepson straighten out his life, that the spell must have reversed, killing the girls and causing a fire in the family’s basement.
Oh, yeah. That happens to me all the time. Why, the last time I tried to cast a prosperity spell in the hopes of improving my financial fortunes, six people died just in my neighborhod, and it took the fire department a week to get the blazes under control downtown.
Okay, so some people might be horrified that I’m making light of a situation in which two little girls were murdered. Hopefully no one is stupid enough to believe that their murders are the part I’m making light of.
The particulars of this case are horrifying. Firefighters found Alysha Suing, 8, and her sister, Kendra Suing, 10, dead in their second-floor bedroom while responding Jan. 6, 2008, to a report of fire in the basement of their home. Criminologist Kristan C. Evans said Alysha Suing’s DNA was found in several samples taken from Harris’ hands at the time of his arrest. Alysha Suing’s DNA also was found on the tip of an approximately 12-inch knife found on the top shelf of Harris’ bedroom closet. Another expert testified two of Harris’ fingerprints were found on the knife. Kendra Suing’s DNA was found on one of Harris’ shoes.
In his opening statement last week, Assistant County Attorney Mark Campbell told the jury Harris and his former wife, Marla Stroman, were having marital problems and implied Harris killed the girls to get back at Stroman for a suspected affair. In videotaped police interviews shown to the jury earlier this week, Harris said he was responsible for the girls’ deaths as “the spellcaster” but denied murdering them.
I assume this all means that demons leaped out of the ether or something. If they did they certainly used natural, not supernatural, means to kill the girls. Forensic pathologist Michelle Catallier, an associate state medical examiner, told the jury that Alysha Suing, who was found with a green cloth belt wrapped around her neck, had a broken neck and died of strangulation due to asphyxiation. The Irving Elementary third-grader had marks on her neck and a tear in her genital area, but investigators testified they did not find evidence of semen on either girl. Kendra Suing died of asphyxiation, Catallier testified, saying marks on the girl’s neck were consistent with the use of a woman’s slip found with the body. She also suffered two deep parallel cuts on one of her arms and a cut in her genital area.
So. This sick monster murdered two little girls. It’s a terrible thing. But why am I writing about it here? What does it have to do with PaganCentric, or the types of issues I like to talk about? Simple. It’s what else has been brought up in the trial that makes this of interest to people like me. Prosecutors brought several items into the courtroom Thursday, including a drawing of an inverted pentagram with a goat’s head inside the symbol, bells, a necklace with an inverted pentagram pendant, seven black candles and one white candle. Jurors also saw several books police say they found in the house, which included texts about casting spells, paganism, witchcraft, Marilyn Manson and the writings of occultist Aleister Crowley. Although it was referenced in court documents filed in the months leading up to the trial, police said they did not find a copy of “The Satanic Bible” in the home.
Wow. The prosectors really hit the gold-mine on this one, didn’t they? Witchcraft. Satanism. Aleister Crowley. A goat’s head. And Marilyn Manson, too! We all know what that means. Why, anyone who would read those kinds of books or listen to that kind of music is just the type of person who would murder two little girls.
Personally, as a Pagan, this offends me. Deeply. This maggot of man maintains that he cast a spell and it somehow resulted in a fire and the death of two little girls. What other evidence do you really need to determine that this guy is a mad dog that needs to be put down? Do you really need to fan the flames of hatred and intolerance by suggesting that one of the reasons he murdered those little girls was apparently because he had an interest in witchcraft? It’s not enough that the guy’s a sick fuck that could do something like that because his wife might’ve been cheating on him?
I doubt many Pagans would be surprised by this. It’s just sad that the horror of this case is been made worse by the demonization of an innocent group of people. Namely Pagans. It’s bad enough that this guy claimed he worked a spell the resulted in the death of these little girls. But by making his interest in witchcraft a centerpoint of their case against him, the prosecutors have put not only Lawrence Douglas Harris on trial, but every Pagan in this country. I think we’ve all had quite enough of that.