Monday, June 28, 2010

John Katehis update

Back on March 31, 2009, I posted about the murder of George Weber by John Katehis.

I just now came across the news story Notorious Criminal Defendants Appear in Brooklyn Supreme Court by Samuel Newhouse, Brookly Eagle, June 25, 2010, which reports on several different criminal cases including that of John Katehis. This article says:
John Katehis, of Queens, who just turned 18 on Saturday and once referred to himself as the “prince of darkness,” has pleaded self-defense for stabbing to death WABC newsman George Weber, 47, of Henry Street in Carroll Gardens.

Katehis, a self-described Satanist, was 16 when he stabbed Weber to death in March 2009 after going to his apartment in response to a Craigslist ad placed by Weber soliciting sex for about $60.

It is believed that Weber and Katehis engaged in rough bondage sex and may have used drugs together before the murder.

Katehis faces 25 years to life if convicted. He is due back in court on Sept. 3.

This article also talks about the (apparently unrelated) case of a man who burned down his own apartment building, claiming that "demons" told him to. I can't help but suspect he's just out to get himself declared insane, rather than admit a more pedestrian motive like a desire to collect insurance.

About the Katehis case itself, I found only two other recent reports via Google News, both in gay news sources: Defense in Philly Murder Case Planning to Use Variation of ’Gay Panic?’ by Kilian Melloy, EDGE (Boston), Wednesday Jun 23, 2010 (mostly about another case, but refers to the Katehis case too), and Kids Who Kill, Gay Times (U.K.), July 10 - Issue 382. Both these source are covering the story as an anti-gay hate crime, which perhaps it is, but there's also the complicating factor that the adult victim was paying a 16-year-old for sex.

I guess it's good for all the affected minority groups (gay men, BDSM people, and Satanists) that this case is not receiving a lot of ongoing publicity, although it did get quite a flurry of publicity back when the crime was originally committed. As I remarked back then: Alas, when members of unpopular minority groups commit crimes, they are too often seen as reflecting on the group as a whole, whereas, when other people commit similar crimes, they're seen as just aberrations.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Celebrity dabbler in LaVey's Satanism

According to Belinda Carlisle's new memoir, Lips Unsealed, she once tried to cast a spell from LaVey's Satanic Bible when she was a pre-teen. See EXCERPT: 'Lips Unsealed' by Belinda Carlisle (CTV, Canada, June 7, 2010); Belinda Carlisle's New Book 'Lips Unsealed', ABC News, June 1, 2010; and Belinda Carlisle reveals 30-year cocaine addiction, says she once performed 'Satanic Bible' ritual by Corinne Heller, On The Red Carpet, June 2, 2010.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Amanda Knox and Italian Satanic Panic

At some point I should write a post about the trial of Amanda Knox, an American who (together with her Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito) was convicted, in Italy, of the murder of her English roommate, Meredith Kercher, allegedly as part of a "a premeditated ... sexual and sacrificial rite." The verdict is highly controversial, with many commentators saying there was no evidence.

Recently the prosecutor, Giuliano Mignini, was convicted of abuse of office. according to the Independent (U.K.) story Knox prosecutor tainted by 'satanism' case by Peter Popham, Sunday, June 6, 2010.

Another new development: Amanda Knox is innocent, jailed Italian mobster says his brother killed Meredith Kercher by Sean Alfano, New York Daily News, June 9, 2010, and Jailed mobster claims he can prove Amanda Knox is innocent by Hada Messia and Mallory Simon, CNN, June 11, 2010.

I'll dig up more of the background of this story sometime later.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sabbath Assembly -- Process Church

I just now came across the New York Press story Just Like A Prayer: Sabbath Assembly and the power of Satan by Chris Chafin, June 14, 2010, about a band called Sabbath Assembly which has revived the hymns of the Process Church of the Final Judgment -- a 1960s religious movement that revered Satan and Lucifer alongside Jesus and Jehovah, seeking the unification of opposites.

Most of today's Satanisms, including my own, are utterly different from the Process Church, but the Prodess Church is, nevertheless, an important part of the history of Satanism.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Jason Paul Indreland's religious freedom lawsuit in Montana (U.S.A.)

A possibly interesting legal case: a lawsuit filed by Jason Paul Indreland, an inmate at Montana State Prison, against Yellowstone County for alleged civil-rights violations. According to the news story Satanist inmate sues county, Billings Gazette, February 19, 2009:
Jason Paul Indreland claims in the U.S. District Court lawsuit that county jail staff took from him a religious medallion, denied him access to religious material and ridiculed and punished him for his religious beliefs.

The lawsuit also alleges that Indreland was denied medical care for his drug addiction, that he was placed in situations where violence was expected and that he suffered harassment and retaliation while incarcerated.

Indreland said he has been a practicing Satanist for the past decade and the confiscated medallion was a "protective symbol" in his religion. The lawsuit claims jail staff refused to return the medallion or allow Indreland access to a "Satanic Bible or Book of Satanic Rituals."

Indreland, 35, is incarcerated at Montana State Prison for a term of five years, with two years suspended, for felony drug possession. Indreland was convicted of the crime after Billings police found him with 15 grams of methamphetamine in March 2007.

According to a recent follow-up story, Satanist settles lawsuit against Yellowstone County for $50, Billings Gazette, Thursday, June 10, 2010:
Deputy County Attorney Kevin Gillen said the inmate, Jason Paul Indreland, has accepted the county’s offer that includes the cash amount and a commitment to review how jail inmate requests are processed at the Yellowstone County Detention Facility.


The final agreement has yet to be signed and returned by Indreland, who was recently transferred from the Crossroads Correctional Facility in Shelby to the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge.

Gillen said the county agreed to review jail inmate request procedures because the basis for denying Indreland’s request for satanic literature was not fully explained to him. Such literature is not allowed in prisons and jails across the country, Gillen said, because it promotes violence.

Hello? Satanic literature promotes violence? Depends on the particular form of Satanism, I guess. There are plenty of established Satanist groups, of various kinds, that do not promote violent crime.

There are those who promote violence in the name of other categories of religion too, including Christianity. But this obviously doesn't mean all literature of the entire religious category should be prohibited.

Unfortunately, LaVey's Satanic Bible (referred to in one of the news stories) does have sections that can be taken as promoting violence -- though only if taken out of the context of the Church of Satan's overall doctrine, which requires members to be law-abiding. LaVey did advocate vengeance, but only by legal means.

Another recent news story: Jailed Satanist's $10 million lawsuit against Billings jail settled for $50, Great Falls Tribune, June 10, 2010

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