“The Devil made me do it!” It’s a universally familiar phrase, employed since time immemorial whenever humans attempt to pin misdeeds great, small, and grotesque on an otherworldly evil entity — and, in particular, one that sports horns, a pitchfork, and a pointed tail.
In the following six cases, though, the diabolical perpetrators believed they were committing crimes for Satan — murdering, raping, and mutilating in hope that their evil efforts would so please the Prince of Darkness that he’d bestow upon them some unholy supernatural powers.
Alas, all these devious disciples did was cause pain, suffering, and misery among victims and their loved ones via transgressions that ended with the guilty parties in jail and/or dead. So perhaps they were doing the Devil’s work after all….
1. RICHARD RAMIREZ: CALIFORNIA’S NOTORIOUS “NIGHT STALKER”
Throughout 1984 and ’85, Richard Ramirez terrorized California with a series of sick, sadistic ritual slaughters that he said were his offerings up to Satan — sometimes, according to the rare survivors, in the midst of committing his atrocities.
After he left behind a baseball cap brandishing the logo of heavy metal rockers AC/DC, Ramirez came to be known as the “Night Stalker,” likely after the band’s song “Night Prowler.”
Ramirez’s reign of horror, during which he butchered entire families, lasted until he was spotted in public and held by a crowd for police. Once on trial, Ramirez appeared in court with a pentagram carved into his palm, which he’d frequently flash while bellowing, “Hail Satan!” [CrimeFeed]
2. RICKY KASSO: LONG ISLAND’S “SAY YOU LOVE SATAN” KILLER
In June 1984, what seemed to have started as a revenge killing over robbery reportedly turned into an occult sacrifice among 17-year-olds out in the woods of Long Island.
LSD peddler Ricky Kasso had accused his local youth Gary Lauwers of stealing drugs and money from him. Then, around a campfire with a heavy metal cassette blaring and other teenage burnouts looking on, Kasso announced he would kill Lauwers in a “Satanic ritual.”
From there, Kasso savaged beat, burned, stabbed, and gouged the eyes out of Lauwers. Just before delivering the death blow, Kasso told his victim, “Say you love Satan!” Lauwers replied, “I love my mom!” — and then died.
Shortly thereafter, authorities arrested Kasso, and the killer teen looked like nothing less than the Devil himself. He sported flaming red hair, monstrously wild eyes, and an AC/DC T-shirt emblazoned with the face of a demon. By the next day, Kasso had hanged himself in his jail cell. [Murderpedia]
3. THE CHICAGO RIPPER CREW: CANNIBAL GANG THAT RAPED, TORTURED & KILLED IN MAKESHIFT SATANIC TEMPLE
Beginning in 1981, at least 20 women fell prey to the “Chicago Ripper Crew,” a ragtag gaggle of Windy City manual laborers who fancied themselves a Satanic cult that hunted the streets looking for single female human sacrifices.
Led by electrician Robin Gecht, the Rippers traveled in a red panel van and snatched women off the street, occasionally even in busy areas during daylight hours.
Once inside the van, the gang raped and tortured their victims en route to “the Satanic Chapel,” a temple Gecht had constructed in a spare bedroom of his home. Upon arrival, the Rippers beat, burned, and stabbed each woman while Gecht read aloud from The Satanic Bible.
The rituals climaxed with the Rippers cutting off a victim’s breasts with a wire garrotte. Each gang member then ejaculated into the severed breasts. Gecht would then cut the breast into pieces and feed it to the Rippers in a psychotic cannibal version of communion.
Incredibly, in December 1982, Beverly Washington, a teenage victim abducted, decimated, and left for dead by the Rippers, survived after being dumped near railroad tracks. A passerby saw her and got help.
Once in custody, the Rippers confessed and/or turned on one another — except for Robin Gecht, who maintained his innocence. He’s up for parole in 2042. He’ll be 89. [CrimeFeed]
4. MARK KILROY: SACRIFICED ON SPRING BREAK BY A DEVIL-WORSHIPPING DRUG CULT
Mark Kilroy, a 21-year-old premed student at the University of Texas, celebrated Spring Break 1989 as so many college kids do, by hitting South Padre Island on the Texas-Mexico border with a handful of buddies.
On March 14, though, Kilroy got separated from his group and disappeared. No one saw him alive again and, a month later, when searchers discovered Kilroy’s body, it was scattered in pieces around the compound of a drug-dealing cult going by the self-explanatory moniker of “Los Narcos-Satanicos.”
The gang practiced “Payo Mayombe,” an occult faith that demanded blood sacrifices. Such was Mark Kilroy’s fate. The Satanicos cut off the top of his head, ate his brain matter right from the skull, tore out his heart, and were in the process of fashioning his spinal column into a necklace when authorities arrived.
To learn more about this case, watch the “South of the Border Sins” episode of Investigation Discovery’s Passport to Murder on ID GO now!
When asked why they did it, gang member Little Serafin said, “It was our religion, our voodoo. We did it for success. We did it for protection.” The Satanicos believed it would make them impervious to bullets.
An international manhunt ensued for Los Narcos-Satanicos high priest and priestess, Adolfo de Jesus Costanzo, known as El Padrino (“The Godfather”), 26; and Sara Aldrete, known as La Bruja (“The Witch”), 24.
During a police gun battle, Costanzo ordered a subordinate to kill him, which he did. Aldrete is presently serving 30 years. [CrimeFeed]
5. BEASTS OF SATAN: ITALIAN HEAVY METAL BAND THAT CRANKED UP THEIR CRIMES TO HOMICIDE
Heavy metal music and Devil worship murders met again in Italy, when musicians in the Milan-area death metal band Beasts of Satan committed a trio of murders in what they later claimed were occult rituals.
Group members Andrea Volpe, Nicola Sapone, and Mario Maccione first killed in 1998, assaulting and stabbing Chiara Marino, 19, and her boyfriend Fabio Tollis, locals they knew from the deeply Satanic-minded Milan metal scene.
Afterward, the Beasts buried the teens in the woods and danced on their makeshift graves, reportedly yelling, “Now you’re zombies! Try to get out of this hole if you dare!”
In 2004, Volpe shot Mariangela Pezzotta, his 27-year-old ex, in the mouth. When she didn’t die right away, Volpe and Sapone hit her with a shovel and buried her alive. That killed her. Police arrested the pair as they attempted to ditch Pezzotta’s car in a river.
Throughout 2005, Volpe and six other members went to jail for their participation in the murders and the ensuing cover-ups.
The Beasts case set off a bit of a “Satanic Panic” in Italy, prompting Vatican priest Don Aldo Buonaito to suggest of heavy metal, “If music makes itself an instrument of nefarious deeds and death, it should be stopped.” So far, though, heads remain legally free to bang in Milan. [Blabbermouth]
6. SERIAL KILLER CHRISTOPHER HALLIWELL DEDICATES MURDERS TO HIS DARK LORD
Ever since British taxi driver Christopher Halliwell got busted in 2011, he has spooked society with his disturbing criminal personality. Officially convicted for two murders, Halliwell is the prime suspect in dozens of other rapes and homicides. Earlier this year, he said was dedicating all those diabolical deeds to his new master — the Devil.
Reportedly, Halliwell told guards at Long Lartin prison that his slayings should be considered “sacrifices” because, he said, “I believe in the Devil, Lucifer, the Anti-God, the Dark-Lord.”
To learn more about this case, watch the “Watch Me Disappear” episode of Investigation Discovery’s See No Evil on ID GO now!
An unnamed source reportedly told The Daily Star newspaper:
“[Halliwell] boasts he is a Devil worshiper … and that he is looking forward to death so that he can come face to face with Satan, who he calls the ‘ultimate master.’ He is a very unnerving individual, and some of the other inmates are pretty scared of him. Others think he has simply watched The Omen too many times.” [CrimeFeed]
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Main photo: Richard Ramirez [LAPD]