A Florida woman and her two adult sons were killed in their Pensacola home in what investigators believe was a ritualistic murder linked to last week's "blue moon," police said on Tuesday.
The victims, identified as Voncile Smith, 77, John William Smith, 49, and Richard Thomas Smith, 47, were found dead on Friday, three days after police believe someone the family knew entered the home and killed them as part of a witchcraft ritual.
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“Initial research has led us to believe it was a ritualistic killing,” Morgan said. “The method of the murder — blunt force trauma, slit throats, positioning of bodies — and our person of interest has some ties to a faith or religion that is indicative of that. The time of the death on Tuesday also coincides with what’s referred to as a blue moon, which occurs every three years.”
I wonder how the bodies were positioned to give this impression. Was it Coffin Rock?
It's only 3 bodies though...
The suspect was a Department of Homeland Security employee who worked at a local Naval base, with “ties to witchcraft,” whatever that means to the authorities.
The victims — Voncile Smith, 77, John William Smith, 49, and Richard Thomas Smith, 47 — were found in their home Friday during a welfare check. They are said to have been killed with a hammer and their throats slit. Richard Thomas Smith, aDepartment of Homeland Security employee, was also shot in the head.
The mother, officials said, was also found with a gunshot wound to her head or neck area.
Those gruesome details have neighbors like Ken Lester, who recently moved to the neighborhood, on edge.
“It’s frightening to think about. Especially when you have small children," said Lester, "to find out that it was this weird, satanic cult, witchcraft whatever, is just really unsettling.”
It will be interesting to see how this all adds up and how the media reports the findings. I am sure there will be those that will use this against Pagans/Wiccans and those who practice witchcraft.
Now on the crime itself, I would be interested in what was the "ritual" and how the police came to this conclusion?
All reports say their "initial investigation" revealed, it was a ritual arrangement of the bodies.
Richard Smith was employed by the Department of Homeland Security and worked at Naval Air Station Pensacola, but officials with the Naval Criminal Investigative Services “have determined there are no issues involving ... national security elements,” Morgan said.
That information could not be confirmed immediately with NCIS officials.
So far, any attempt to get clarity on this conclusion based on the evidence at the scene has gone ignored.
"our person of interest has some ties to a faith or religion that is indicative of that"
Looks like some group of people is being stereotyped. I mean really, how many present day "faiths or religions" practice human sacrifice or ritual killing. Even if it is a ritual killing by some wacko, a whole group should not be stereotyped.
It's more likely to be drug related. One of the victims practiced an alternative religion, so there's the tie-in. If it was a drug-deal gone bad, and between buddies that worked together, this arrangement of the bodies may have been to create ambiguity about motive and tantalize the imagination.
‘Wicca ritual killing’ tied to blue moon'
A Florida mom and her two adult sons were beat to death and had their throats slit in a “Wicca ritual killing” tied to Friday’s blue moon, deputies said.
Deputies discovered he three victims — 77-year-old Voncile Smith, and her sons 49-year-old Richard and 47-yaer-old John — dead inside their Pensacola home Friday morning, according to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators said the three died on Tuesday in a “Wiccan ritual killing,” a few days before July’s blue moon on Friday, officials told NBC News. A blue moon occurs when there are two full moons in a single month.
“It’s witchcraft, I’ll say that right now,” Sheriff David Morgan told the Pensacola News Journal. “You know, there are different factions of that. While it doesn’t bother me to release that particular thing, we most assuredly do not want to defame or demean any particular practice, if you will.”
Detectives have questioned — but not named — a person of interest who practices a religion related to witchcraft.
Indeed, it may have just been one of the victim's coworkers that happens to practice an alternative religion.
Richard Thomas Smith, a Department of Homeland Security employee, had also been shot in the head in what authorities believe was an effort to incapacitate him.
It also says the time of death was Tuesday but the bodies weren't found until Friday.
All possible. There will be much false information until they actually complete the investigation.
My question is what "ritual" done a few days before a blue moon would they be attempting and why?
“There are different factions of (witchcraft). While it doesn’t bother me to release that particular thing, I most assuredly do not want to defame or demean any particular practice,” Morgan said.
I was at least glad this was said.