Against Satanic Panics > Recent cases
Recent criminal cases and accusations
Commentary and links to other sites
by Diane Vera
Copyright © 2006 by Diane Vera. All rights reserved.
The "Satanic Ritual Abuse" (SRA) scare of the 1980's and early 1990's, complete with "recovered memories" and childcare center pedophilia witchhunts, is not likely to return in full force, at least here in the U.S.A. In any future anti-Satanist witchhunts involving accusations against innocent people, the accused will more likely be adherents of unpopular religions or subcultures, whereas most of the accused in the 1980-1995 SRA scare were ordinary mainstream folks. But some 1980's-style SRA cases are occurring these days, too.
On this page I'll list not only cases in which I think the accused may be innocent, but also cases in which the accused may well be guilty, but in which the media are playing up a "Satanism" angle (or an "occult" angle, or a "dark" subculture angle, e.g. Goth) in a manner that could likely trigger a witchhunt.
Below are links to pages of information on particular cases. I've listed them in chronological order, most recent cases last.
- Father Gerald Robinson in Toledo, Ohio (murder case, with accompanying SRA allegations made to Diocese of Toledo on June 11, 2003)
- The island of Lewis in Scotland, in 2003 and again in 2005 (at least 13 arrests on October 13, 2005; SRA allegations involving two Pagans; still unresolved)
- The case of Richard Hamlin, Susan Siemer Hamlin, and Sydney Siemer (SRA allegations made to police on February 26, 2004)
- The "Beasts of Satan" murders in Italy (bodies found May 28, 2004) - the case which triggered Italy's current Satanic Panic
- Rodrigo Orias Gallardo and the murder of Father Faustino Gazziero D’Estefani in Chile (murdered Saturday, July 25, 2004)
- The Hosanna Church in Ponchatoula, Louisiana (first arrest Monday, May 16, 2005) - a current full-blown alleged MVMO SRA case, yet to go to trial
- Scott Dyleski and the murder of Pamela Vitale (murdered Saturday, October 15, 2005; Dyleski arrested Wednesday, October 19, 2005)
- Accusations against the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) (anti-UCKG riot on Saturday, November 26, 2005)
- "Satanism" scares at girls' schools in Malawi (Africa) (earliest story March 26, 2006)
- More later.
For some general commentary on those cases involving actual crimes by people who identify as Satanists, see Tabloid prophecy fulfillers: Satanism's real-life criminal fringe - How should law-abiding Satanists respond?
If you are a scholar or journalist, please see also To scholars and journalists: Topics of timely interest.
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