Recent Events Related and Unrelated Happening to Animals in the Sunshine State
As Halloween ( or Samhain ) approaches, Florida has been witnessing a series of disturbing incidents, a mystery involving decapitated animals. This week the events have caught the eyes of national attention, but looking back the trend starts several months back or further. There have been numerous decapitated animals in the state of Florida since the summertime mystery began. None are directly related, but do point to a disturbing trend in the Sunshine State as a whole. It should be made clear that none of the following incidents have been said to be related to one another. In fact the decapitated animals throughout Florida in recent months have happened across the state in various locations, this perhaps is the biggest mystery. Also many of the incidents seem to hover closely to dates either important to certain pagan holy days, and/or near the turn of the lunar cycles each month. This is purely an observation made in speculation, and should not be mistaken for anything made public by police or law enforcement investigators in Florida.
These incidents however unrelated have made for concern for persons of pagan religious affiliations, animal cruelty organizations, and for those involved in the investigation of these activities.
Please note, that most of these have yet to be proved to be intentional animal sacrifice or the like as of yet, and therefore are not officially criminal activity until deemed as such.
Here is a chronology of incidents in the Florida area for the last few months.
October 21, 2010
Residents awoke to find a trail of decapitated animals found on nearly two blocks between 16th Terrace and 15th Terrace on 34th Avenue in Miami. A dozen goats, cats and different types of birds were dumped dead and headless down the street. There was also a very large animal that has yet to be identified.
NBC Miami reported that judging from the smell the animals had been dead for sometime before they were scattered on the street.
"Nothing had a head," said local resident Marioly Perez, "I have never seen anything like this. It's scary."
In this case, Miami Police have said this may have been part of a religious ritual similar to Santeria, but also stated that Santerian rituals usually don't involve cats. Santeria is a religion commonly practiced in Southern Floria, and animal sacrifice is equally common and, if done correctly, legal. Usually animal sacrifice is done more humanely, also animals are eaten afterward not discarded.
September 20, 2010
NBC news Channel 8 reporter Natalie Shepherd explained this incident, " This weekend's coastal cleanup turned up something interesting volunteers picking up trash along the Courtney Campbell Causeway. Found several decapitated animals and what's being described as a voodoo stick. Experts say the items could be left over from a religious ritual."
She also reported the finding of, "...Decapitated goats, two decapitated chickens this machete." The chickens and the machete brought up immediate speculations of Voodoo ( or Voudou ) practices at this site. Again all the animals discovered were decapitated.
Ellen Mitchell from religious studies department at the University of South Florida, was put on camera as an expert. She quickly pointed out that this was not a true Voodoo ritual in her opinion. " And no event the people who practice these religions legitimately if."
Any association with Voodoo she claims is outrageous, going on to say, "...animal sacrifices are part of Afro Caribbean religions such as -- but the animals are cooked after wards. They have been in the festival's celebration of all the people is a -- of -- the community together and fortunately this is not something that we see very often."
NBC news also reported these unconfirmed details.
"It did coincide with the coastal clean up it could've been there for awhile we just don't know. The animals were found near where snorkelers found a skull in a cauldron over a year ago. " Natalie Shepard also reported.
In that 2009 discovery, it is being called an unexplained death but not a homicide, despite the human skull allegedly found.
Investigators are unclear whether crime has been committed in this case either.
September 19, 2010
After receiving an anonymous call, a Hernando County Deputy found the decapitated head of a cat on Salome Street near Brooksville, Florida. It had been severed by something sharp. Stray cats are a problem in the county. The local Humane Society, a no kill shelter, is often full.
The cat is allegedly a black cat.
Stray cats are a problem in the county. The Humane Society, a no kill shelter, is often full. Director Joanne Schoch says, "They're victims of traffic; they're victims of horrible people who do horrible things to animals."
Mike Loscalzo local land owner, and former parole officer in the area stated, "If they don't have any compassion for living things, they can easily move up to something else," referring to whomever may have decapitated the cat.
August 10, 2010
Palm Beach County has been experiencing a rash in violence against animals over the last few months, making public headlines was the decapitation of Chichi. This was a Chihuahua belonging to a family in West Boca, was discovered in their backyard that Saturday morning.
The person entered the backyard, reached into the animal's doghouse and pulled the boy dog out, then used a knife or similar type sharp instrument to slice the animals throat. Although reports claim the Chihuahua was decapitated.
Captain David Walesky of the Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control was clear that, "It doesn't appear to be an animal attack."
Walesky did also state,"It's bizarre to have three major cases in one weekend, but we've seen a significant spike in violence against animals over the last few months...Maybe people are stressed out over the economy or their relationships and they are taking it out on their animals."
"I've been here 14 years and this is the most significant case load I've seen."
There were also two additional animal abuse incidents over the weekend, including one that left a cat dead. All three of these incidents are apparently, as yet reported to be unrelated.
Interesting to note, is the quoted passage from the same article.
Over the last three months, he has responded to a multitude of cases involving violence against animals including:
A man picking up a dog belonging to his girlfriend's mother and rolling it down the hallway like a bowling ball.
A 12-year-old boy picking up his family's Chihuahua and slamming it against the wall in a fit of rage.
A man repeatedly bashing his pit bull with a pipe to the point where it suffered brain trauma.
Palm Beach deputies made arrests in the three above cases.
Also during this same time period, a series of cat mutilations in Miami led to the arrest of a teenager accused of using surgical tools to kill and torture the cats.
August 6, 2010
Dead, decapitated goats were found throughout the town of Ft. Walton Beach, Florida.
Most of the animals have been discovered with their heads nearby, stuffed with twigs and leaves.
Speculations were made, that if the killings are related to some sort of religious practice, they still did not appear to be like that of any normal ritual.
At least nine mutilated and decapitated goats were found, there may still be more than have been found as of that date.
November 21, 2009
This the only reported incident of a decapitated animal incident for some time prior to the last three months. It is just under a years time back as this article is just being written.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers responded to a report that Friday afternoon. They found the body of a Florida panther found decapitated along the Florida Turnpike in Osceola County. The panther was on the southbound side of the road near Yeehaw Junction, in Southeastern Osceola. State wildlife officials are still seeking information about the incident.
( As a speculative side note, this would be close to the time period that the human skull and cauldron was found a year ago prior, as reported in the in the Courtney Campbell Causeway incident - per the NBC article on September 20, 2010. )
The question that has many disturbed in the pagan community as a whole, is Santeria or Voodoo, or some other kind of pagan religion involved in any of these activities. Others might also be quick to look at Wicca or Satanism for a quick scapegoat.
The lack of understanding and ignorance has always brought fear to people. In many cases this ignorance has brought extinction to entire races of people and cultures. It also has often made legitimate investigations quickly turn into witch hunts.
As stated well by several experts above, these incidents bear little or no resemblance to anything that would be the practice of legitimate pagans, or Satanists for that matter. In fact, if this is not the work of some localized Floridian cult or sect ( which is unlikely due to the statewide rise in activities ), and if it is not coincidental that there has been a rise in animal deaths by humans of late...the most likely suspect is what would be known to state law enforcement as Palo Mayombe or Quimbanda.
This association is due to the large cult of death pseudo-religion practiced by many drug cartel members over the last three decades in the Americas. It is again, a bastardization of the original religious practices and principles of Palo Mayombe, but is an unfortunately large cargo cult of sorts. It is practiced by those drug runners and cartels that wish to use black magic to protect themselves from Federal and International Agencies that would arrest them, stop the flow of drug trafficking, and end the profits made from such for Central and South American drug cartels. It involves petitioning of Arch-angelic powers, and a combination of beliefs from Africa, the Carri bean, and the Americas.
Rather than do injustice to the Palo Mayombe religion, the best thing is to quote from the website dedicated to the instruction and pure teachings of this religion.
"Palo Mayombe originated from the African Congo and is said to be the world's most powerful and feared form of black magic. In Santeria religion there exists a dark side called Palo mayombe. Individuals who practice this dark aspect are called Palero. Palo Mayombe has a very long and historical history. This magic was transported to the Caribbean during Spanish slave trade to Cuba and Puerto Rico in the 1500."
"The influence of Palo Mayombe can be found in Central America. Brazil and Mexico. Palo Mayombe in Brazil is Quimbanda. Quimbanda is a mixture of traditional Congo, indigenous in India and Latin American spiritualism."
"The differences between Palo Mayombe and Santeria is the religion of Santeria uses the forces of light and the members of Palo Mayombe use the forces of darkness to achieve their goals and magic spells. Palero practice extremely strong and powerful black magic. Many members of Santeria avoid being associated with Palo Mayombe."
This site also gives a reasonable pause, as to what the human skull and cauldron found near the Courtney Campbell Causeway incident might be relative to in a ritual sense. This being instructions as to how to conduct basic ritual once a request has been made of the dead or the Muertos of Palo Mayombe religious practices.
"If the spirits respond favorably to your request, the next step is to receive a spiritual cauldron-spiritual pot. After the invocation ceremony, the spiritual cauldron contains the secrets of powerful spirits. In Central America, Cuba and the Carribeans, this cauldron is called a Nganga-Prenda because the culture of modern day and the influence of Latin American's spiritualism in Palo Mayombe. It is not uncommon to find paleros whose spirits are the living dead. Muertos are kept inside of a large clay pot instead of traditional large iron cauldron."
The main point to be made here, is that pagans in America as a whole have nothing less than reverence for the Earth, for nature, for life, and for animals. Animal sacrifice is not a practice taken lightly, nor practiced without thoughtful humane measures included and practiced. Modern Satanism also does not practice barbaric rituals as is often rumored, nor does Wicca or any other pre-Christian religions. Santeria nor Voodoo are equally unlikely culprits in any of these situations reported recently in Florida.
It is unfortunate that the actions of insane individuals or cultish sects, who represent nothing religious but worship of their selfish agendas...it is unfortunate indeed, that these fringe groups have often marred the good name of the ancient pagan beliefs practiced worldwide. But as always the backlash is seen live on the television every year about this time in the good old United States of America. Halloween, the beloved New Year at Samhain on October 31st usually takes the biggest assault from these slanders historically.
The mystery of these recent Florida mutilations and decapitated animals, is likely to spread fear and prejudice to the Halloween pagan holiday. There is probably more than meets the eye to these situations. That is to be sure. Let us hope that religious, animal rescuers, good people, and law enforcers are able to bring their skills together and find some justice to be brought on those committing these acts, whatever the reasons.
For the victims here have no voice if we do not give it to them. Gods and Goddesses bless your silent children of the Earth. All of whom did nothing to deserve such horrible treatment, their fates rest in human hands to find them justice.
For the victims here are the animals.