Satanic Ritual Blamed for Death of Italian Teens

Freakish things and people are plentiful--all over the world.

Satanic Ritual Blamed for Death of Italian Teens
By Rachel Sanderson

ROME (Reuters) - An Italian magistrate warned against the growing lure of Antichrist cults in Catholic Italy Monday after the discovery of the bodies of two teenagers killed in a satanic sacrifice.

Police announced at the weekend they had uncovered the bodies of 19-year-old Chiara Marino and 16-year-old Fabio Tollis, last seen in January 1998 leaving a pizzeria with other members of their heavy metal rock band "Beasts of Satan."

As forensic experts searched the two meter (six foot six inches) deep grave in a wood in northern Italy, police said they had arrested four of the band members for murdering the pair for a human sacrifice.

"It is a crime with a level of cruelty and savagery, with an intent to cause extreme pain through ritual activity, that I have never seen before in my career," chief investigating magistrate Antonio Pizzi told Reuters.

"There was a very specific ritual with very specific rites and at the end of that Chiara and Fabio were killed."

Italian media said witness statements showed Marino and Tollis died during a cocaine-fueled ritual where Marino, a petite brunette, was killed under a full moon by knife plunged into her heart.

Tollis, the lead singer of the band, was killed with a hammer blow to the head when he realized the other band members were going ahead with Marino's murder and tried to stop it.


The deaths have horrified Catholic Italy, home of Vatican City, with pages of newspapers given over to descriptions of the black candles and goats' skulls decorating Marino's bedroom and witness statements of sexual violence.

What has fueled the fear are suggestions the double sacrifice near the town of Busto Arsizio may not be isolated.

"Four people have been arrested for the murder of the two teenagers, but the investigations are ongoing. We are looking at other levels of involvement," Pizzi said.

One of those arrested in the double murder is already in prison for the murder of a former girlfriend.

As many as 5,000 people are thought to be members of satanic cults in Italy with 17- to 25-year-olds making up three quarters of them, officials say.

"The phenomenon always existed in Catholic countries where the figure of Satan is prominent in teachings as the alter-ego of Christ," La Sapienza University professor Maria Matioti said.

"What has changed is the age of those involved, who are younger," she said.

She said satanic cults tended to be found in northern Italy, where traditional family communities had been split up due to migration to find work, leaving some people demoralized and isolated. "In the south, people are more open," she said.

Pizzi said investigators were looking into the possibility the "Beasts of Satan" band members were instructed by Satanists in their late 20s or early 30s. He said police were also reviewing two suspicious suicides in the area.

"I am convinced there are others involved in this," Michele Tollis, father of Fabio told RAI state television.


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