Update: French Cannibal Murder may be occult (symbolic) in nature

Wess Haubrich

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Taranscon Le ChateauWikimedia Commons

You may have read here yesterday about French police shooting a 32-year-old man who had the remnants of a teenager with him.

While shaking the proverbial journalistic research tree, your intrepid author has found reports of unspecified occult paraphernalia in the same space as where this sick, violent psychopath held the dead body of a 13-year-old boy.

It is in reading descriptions like that in the press, dear reader, that you are best served to be more skeptical about the report. Your antennae should go up if indeed the report is suggesting any real effort at organized, violent occult behavior – ask yourself, is this report saying that the violence we are witnessing is part of a larger trend by a unified group or the work of some lone nut who thinks he worships the Devil?

We have seen what insidious, life-destroying rabbit holes false accusations of satanism, and “ritual abuse” can cost people. Just look at the later history of the McMartin Preschool Trial as an example – respected business owners ran out of their own town on a rail because investigators used leading techniques to paint the abuse idea inside victims’ heads.

This is not to say that we should disbelieve people who have been abused. Merely that we should have a degree of skepticism about what we are being told if the abuse involves “satanic”, occult behavior. There is a very interesting FBI report that can be read free here on how the agency has found ZERO credible instances of organized satanic abuse.

This is the pivot point where a distinction needs to be made from sole occult activity, which functions as a vehicle for the individual’s symbolic beliefs and fantasies, versus “group” violent occult behavior, which again, there is no real evidence of.

It can be argued quite compellingly that many violent crimes that become serial through a compulsion to repeat them, are the way they are because of something akin to a powerful emotional state, like what you see at “old-time religion” type tent revivals. There is something – usually a ritual or fantasy – that the offender is serving through his crimes. Look at the crimes of the Nightstalker Richard Ramirez or even Jeffrey Dahmer with the twisted altar he wanted to build with the corpses of his victims.

Dahmer's Altar

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Dahmer's Altar, from Netflix's"Dark Tourist"Netflix

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Zoomed in view of the sketch of his altar.Netflix

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Zoomed in view No. 2 of the sketch of his altar.Netflix

Something that must be externalized in the killing of the victim or the ritual that leads up to the victim. Like an itch that just won’t stop, the offender is afraid it won’t stop unless he satisfies it, that it will consume him too if he leaves it alone. Of course, the paradox or flaw in his thinking here is that it won’t consume him when it already has.

Back to Tarascon

This brings us to the allegedly occult murder in France. The 13-year-old boy victim in question had run away from his boarding school in Marseille, about 1.5 hours southeast of Tarascon where he lived.

There was a possibly unconnected (they didn’t quite think it was connected until police arrived) event where a neighbor saw a 32-year-old they lived next to carrying a large black bag with what appeared to be the outline of a body inside. The neighbor reported his finding to investigators.

When officers knocked on the 32-year-old’s door, he fled out a window and up a roof. While one officer gave chase, another began the search of the apartment. Something horrid was staring at him from the kitchen: a decapitated body, slightly dismembered.

The right arm would not be found, but the head was – in a bucket in the bathroom. There was evidence of cannibalism.

The 32-year-old perpetrator would not be spotted again until 3:00 AM that night. He ran again and tried scaling a fence in a dead-end street where he was fatally shot by the pursuing officer. A separate investigation into the shooting has been launched.

The perpetrator had a history of violence leading up to this. We’ll let you know what else we hear about this case as we hear it.

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Former editor, now dogged-maverick journalist and researcher covering the crime beat. I examine the weird, absurd, and downright infamous in American crime both here and at Real Monsters podcast. Contact: wess@realmonsters.live

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