Joined: 12 Oct 2006
|Posted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 10:45 pm Post subject: Specific cases
|The first case of alleged SRA occurred in Kern County, California in 1982. Initially, two couples were accused of having formed a sex ring to abuse their children; in the end some 60 children testified to the truth of various bizarre allegations. Long prison sentences resulted, all of them being overturned on appeal, largely because the children had been subjected to suggestive interrogation techniques, many had later recanted, and there was no physical evidence. The two couples spent 12 years in prison before being released; one defendant in a similar Kern County case waited 20 years for his release. Another defendant remains in a mental hospital for sex offenders because he had a prior conviction of child abuse. See Kern county child abuse cases for details.
One famous false case of SRA involved a large number of children at McMartin preschool in Manhattan Beach, California in 1983. Under interrogation techniques such as the Reid technique, which was originally designed to trick adults into confessing, small children told police they had been sexually abused, forced to murder infants, and drink blood (see blood libel). They also recalled being flushed down the toilet and abused in sewers, taken into an underground cavern beneath the school, flying through the air, and seeing giraffes and lions. The original accuser appears to have been an alcoholic schizophrenic whose claims derived from her mental illness. Eventually the case collapsed under its own weight, but several completely innocent people were ruined financially and socially by association with the case.
Beginning in 1983, a series of abuse claims were made in the small town of Jordan, Minnesota. Twenty-four adults were charged, but ultimately exonerated. The case was popularized in part by Big Black's song, "Jordan, Minnesota."
About forty similar incidents have occurred elsewhere, mainly in the United States, including the town of Edenton, NC, but also in Martensville, Saskatchewan. The remains of a small infant girl, first dubbed 'Baby X' and later 'Kristina Angelica James,' were discovered near Rupert, Idaho in the early 1990s, and the body was considered evidence of SRA activity. Yet no unambiguous evidence linking the girl's death to SRA was ever found.
Several "mass child abuse" scares took place in Germany (in Coesfeld, Worms and Nordhorn), where violent rituals and underground tunnel networks were sometimes alleged; all the accused were later acquitted. Two widely publicized cases of similar mass hysteria occurred in the north of Netherlands, one in Oude Pekela in which a clown was the alleged main perpetrator and another in Emmer-Erfscheidenveen in which the common theme of secret tunnels and basements featured prominently. No trace of evidence was ever found and all the accused were exonerated.
Three widely publicised cases in the United Kingdom were in Rochdale, Orkney, and Nottingham. In the Nottingham case, social services investigations into a Broxtowe Estate family with multigenerational child sexual abuse and neglect became sidetracked into a wild goose chase looking for Satanic cults, with wilder and wilder allegations being investigated. Nottingham council organised an inquiry into the events of this case, which cast so poor a light on the competence of the social services that the council unsuccessfully tried to block distribution of the final report. The authorities in the Orkney investigation were criticised for carrying out dawn raids to 'rescue' suspected victims from their families, without explanation, then taking them by helicopter or boat to the Scottish mainland, only to later have to return them after the accusations turned out to be groundless.
In 2004 the naked body of an apparently African male child was found in the River Thames, in London, and allegations have been made that the child was sacrificed in a ritual, either Satanic or animist in nature, and that many other Third World children had met like fates having been brought into the UK as child asylum-seekers, or displaced distant relatives of people who had recently immigrated. Subsequently reports have been made concerning children of African-immigrant families who have been abused because members believe them to be possessed by devils (strictly speaking, in these cases, the abuse is inspired by a version of Christianity, not Satanism, since the victims, not the perpetrators, are believed to be satanically influenced). (See Torso in the Thames)
The West Memphis Three is another case involving SRA accusations.
In 2004, the legal defense team of Scott Peterson, charged in the murder of his wife Laci Peterson, alleged that the real killers may have been members of a Satanic cult. They never produced any evidence to support these claims and Peterson was found guilty of the crime.
In 2005 after a string of child abuse cases were discovered in Finland, the media claimed the actions to be satanism -related, which was later debunked.