On January 17, 2003,
the Westfalenpost reported
from Dortmund/Essen that

Occult motives for alleged ritual murders were unproven

There was a dpa photograph of a Satanist couple from Bochum who had killed a 33-year-old person during a ritual with blows from a knife, a machete and an hammer.

The Trier state attorney's office had been investigating a case for months in which a Satanic sect allegedly participated. Supposedly there are groups in Germany that have Black Masses at which people are devoured, or at least that is what some people say who fled these groups. There have been very detailed descriptions, according to chief district attorney Georg Jüngling, who is pursuing the matter, but the lawman does not rule out the possibility of overactive imagination coming into play.

His statements are based on testimony from a 34-year-old witness whose parents were in a Satanic sect, along with the recent broadcast of a story by Rainer Fromm, which told of ritual murder and cannibalism. The author spent two years doing his research and says he did so in a thoroughly professional manner. He said he investigated almost 20 cases of ritual crime, including rape, murder and cannibalism. The incidents were said to have taken place over the past 15 years in Germany and Belgium. Fromm was convinced of the credibility of his witnesses, but he also said that the occult was often used as a front by criminals in connection with the pornography business.

Gregor Mueller of the "Sekteninformationsdienst" in Essen said that he could not confirm the assumption that there was any cult of cannibals in Germany, new or otherwise. He conceded that the matter had taken on a new light after the one confirmed case of cannibalism in Hessen, referred to in the above photograph. He said the buzz used to be about excessive violence and today it's more about cannibalism, but emphasized that no hard evidence has yet been presented.

Dr. Ruediger Hauth, clergyman and sect commissioner in Dortmund warned people to keep from becoming hysterical about the whole thing. The 60-year-old man said he's been observing cults for 30 years and that waves of this sort of allegation occur on a regular basis. He said if names have surfaced it would be possible to track down incidents and victims, but this has happened only in the above-mentioned case in the couple from Bochum. The German FBI is highly skeptical about allegations of this being a wide-spread phenomenon in Germany.

Naturally there are murderers who have butchered their victims and chopped them up and put them into freezers. There is a difference between that and Satanic cults that rape, murder and eat their victims. There are indications from testimony and from the TV show that this sort of thing has happened, but so far there is no hard evidence.

Andreas Fincke of the Evangelical headquarters for issues of weltanschauung in Berlin sees where people who habitually drank blood during animal sacrifices might want to try for something bigger, but indicates these are the exceptions, not the rule. Besides which, he pointed out, Satanism regularly uses smoke and mirror techniques, but that this could also lead to the danger that real cases go unreported.

Ruediger Hauth explained that Satanism isn't really about Satan being the supreme authority of all things, but about man himself being supreme, and that some people are more susceptible to this than others.

The story was written by Diana Hittmeyer.

Comment from Joe Cisar

One of the things journalists like to do is make the audience feel like they are personally involved by the topic covered. A topic like this probably deserves effort in the other direction, because overreaction could cause hysteria.

One thing to keep in mind is that people lie in varying degrees. This is a by-product of not being perfect.