3 Teen Satanists Murder Classmate to Earn the Devil's Favor

Malinda Fusco


Elyse Pahler; Source

Three self-proclaimed teen Satanists believed the devil would make their band “go professional” if they sacrificed a virgin. The brutal murder of Elyse Pahler illustrates that some people will do nearly anything in hopes of getting what they want.

Who was Elyse Pahler?

Elyse Pahler was a 15-year-old aspiring actress. She was described as “happy-go-lucky” and led a life of activity between her sports, theatre ambitions, and church group.

However, Elyse experimented with alcohol and drugs, such as marijuana. Her parents were quick to enroll her in a recovery program at Mariposa Community Recovery Center.

It was during her recovery that Elyse met Jacob Delashmutt, one of her soon to be murderers.

Who were the murderers?

The three teens that killed Elyse Pahler were Jacob Delashmutt, Royce Casey, and Joseph Fiorella.

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=2YOVYc_0XwBe14N00Joseph Fiorella, Jacob Delashmutt, Royce Casey; Source

Jacob Delashmutt was 15 years old when the crime was committed. His parents were practicing Mormons and Jacob was sent to the Mariposa Community Recovery Center when they discovered he had a drug problem, specifically marijuana and amphetamines.

During his recovery at the center, Jacob met Elyse Pahler.

Royce Casey was 16 years old at the time of the murder and Joseph Fiorella was 14 years old. Joseph Fiorella was the one to introduce his two friends to Satanism, having collected several books on the subject. They quickly converted and didn’t keep it a secret either.

It was well known in their school and community that the three boys were interested in the occult. Their classmates came forward during the trial and claimed to know of their activities. One of Jacob’s neighbors, Kara Herrick, said that she was aware of their religious practices and called them “strange boys.”

Play Harder, Play Faster

It was during their garage practice sessions for their death metal band “Hatred” that the teens discussed murder.

The teens were convinced that if they sacrificed a virgin to the devil, they would be able to “play harder, play faster,” as Royce told investigators after the crime. The teens talked among themselves about how Elyse was the perfect sacrifice because she had blue eyes, blond hair, and was a virgin. If they sacrificed her to Satan, they thought they would be gifted with stardom.

The First Near-Murder

Unknowingly, Elyse dodged death once before her actual murder.

A few months before her murder, Elyse was lured to a remote area outside her home in Arroyo Grande, California. When she met up with the other teens, one held a knife (which would be the same knife to become her murder weapon on a different day) and the others chanted “Do it, do it, do it,” according to Royce.

Royce admitted that they all had thought Elyse believed them to be joking, which is why she didn’t go to the police.

Strangled, Stabbed, and Raped

On July 22, 1995, Royce, Jacob, and Joseph invited Elyse to a nearby eucalyptus grove. They lured her to the grove with the promise of drugs.

Once Elyse arrived, the four teens smoked marijuana together, and then Jacob took the belt off his pants and strangled her.

Joseph was the first of the three boys to stab her in the throat with the same knife they had threatened her with just months before. The boys all took turns stabbing her in the neck. She was stabbed 12 times, none of which were fatal. It was later concluded by forensic scientists that her cause of death had been the slow blood loss from the wounds.

Royce admitted that during the gruesome murder and painful death, Elyse had been “praying to God and calling for her mom.”

Eight Months Missing

Elyse was missing for eight months before her body was found. During those eight months, the boys had left her body in the grove. They admitted to returning on multiple occasions to engage in necrophilia and rape her corpse.

During that time, the three boys told their friends about the crime, however, their friends had dismissed the claims as lies.

One Comes Forward

In March of 1996, Royce Casey came forward to authorities and confessed to the murder of Elyse Pahler. Royce led the police to Elyse’s body in the grove.

There were two reasons that Royce had come forward:

  1. He converted from Satanism to Christianity and started to distance himself from his friends and band.
  2. He believed Jacob and Joseph would murder him next.

Why would Royce believe that? Supposedly, Jacob and Josephs told Royce that Elyse was not their last kill and that they planned to kill others. As he distanced himself from the two other teens, they had quoted one of their idol’s (the band Slayer) song lyrics to Royce:

“If you’re not with us, you may no longer exist.”

Royce took this as a warning that they may kill him next and went to the authorities.

The Trial and Verdict

The trial was short overall.

The main reason it picked up so much publicity was that Elyse’s parents tried to sue the band Slayer for influencing children negatively, which they believed resulted in their daughter’s death.

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3FpjQ1_0XwBe14N00Slayer; Source

During original questioning by the police, Joseph Fiorella admitted to their band finding Slayer’s music inspirational. Slayer’s lyrics include aspects of Elyse’s murder such as devil sacrifices and sacrificing virgins specifically.

The lawsuit against Slayer was ongoing when the teens were sentenced. They pled no contest to the murder.

In 1997, all three of them were convicted of first-degree murder and were sentenced to 25-years to life in separate facilities.

The Aftermath

In 2001, the lawsuit against Slayer had a verdict.

A Judge Burke ruled against the lawsuit, stating that although the lyrics were offensive, they didn’t cause the three teens to murder Elyse Pahler.

‘Slayer lyrics are repulsive and profane,’ Judge E. Jeffrey Burke wrote. ‘But they do not direct or instruct listeners to commit the acts that resulted in the vicious torture-murder of Elyse Pahler.’

Elyse’s murder site was transformed from a grove or horror to a small memorial shrine. Family and friends placed photos of her among the trees, along with prayers, flowers, and a small wooden cross.

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