Even in our increasingly secular world, the battle between good and evil still seems to rage on. In one corner, there is organised religion who worship their own Gods in a quest to move into the light. On the other however, there is Satan himself who many believe sends armies of demon onto Earth to possess people and carry out his terrible will. This phenomena of demonic possession is nothing new and many people who have committed heinous crimes have blamed it on this reason. Their explanations hold that it was the evil demon inside of them who forced them to commit horrible crimes and not themselves.
Whether you believe this or not, it is something that we still hear of in major cases where some pretty awful things have happened. Here are the ten most shocking cases of (apparent) demonic possession where people have claimed the Devil made them do it.
10 – Murder of Peter Churm
Peter Churm was a beloved grandfather who live in the city of Wolverhampton in the UK. One day he saw 17-year-old Tommy Smith trying to steal his car and stepped in. This proved a bad move though as Smith produced an 8-inch blade and stabbed him multiple times. When arrested, Smith claimed that he was not responsible for what had happened as he had been possessed by a demon on the day in question. During the court case, it also transpired that Smith was also a paranoid schizophrenic which strengthened his case somewhat of not being in full control of his actions. Whether the court believed his demonic possession story or not, he was sent to a secure mental health unit rather than prison.
09 – Shooting of Lauren Landavadzo
The nest apparent case of demonic possession we will look at happened in Texas during 2016. This saw two schoolgirls followed by man in a car and eventually shot at. One called Makayla Smith survived but her friend Lauren Landavadzo did not. The perpetrator of the crime was 20-year old Kody Lott who claimed to talk to the Devil and have been made to do it by demons when arrested. Interestingly, the .22 rifle he used seemed to have been stolen from Landavadzo’s parents house before the shooting! Initially, the authorities believed his tale of demonic possession and sent him to a mental hospital in Texas. Later though, this was reversed and he ended up getting life in prison in a normal prison.
08 – Michael Taylor Murder
Moving back to the UK, there is the very strange tale of Michael Taylor. He lived in Osset, Yorkshire and was apparently a cheerful, happy chap. This all changed when he began regularly visiting a new religious group in the area called the ‘Christian Fellowship Group’. This was led by a young preacher called Marie Robinson who Taylor quickly became infatuated with.
Before long, the cheerful man everyone knew previously had been replaced by an angry, moody buffoon. Many believe he and Robinson were having an affair also which was not helped when they were discovered naked together one night. Taylor claimed evil demons inside of him were responsible for his changed behavior. This led to local Anglican vicars performing an exorcism on him at his home. Initially, it worked and the vicars claimed to have expelled many demons from him which were responsible for lustful and degenerate behavior.
Believing the worst was over, they left for the night with the intention of returning the next morning to finish off the exorcism properly. This was a bad move – when they did come back, they found Taylor covered in blood and the body of his mutilated wife in the house with him. Taylor claimed the demons which had not been expelled the previous night had made him do it.
07 – Elizbieta Plackowska Episode
This next case of someone claiming demons made them do it is particularly distressing as young children were the victims. It saw Elizbieta Plackowska from Illinois kill her son Justin and a friend he had invited to sleep over for the night. But what happened to provoke this terrible crime? Plackowska claimed when arrested that she had started to hear voices which told her the children were possessed by the Devil and needed to die. She eventually gave into these voices and then also claimed to have been physically possessed by a demon she called the ‘Black Shadow’. This ultimately saw her stab both children to death and also her family dog. At trial, Plackowska’s story was not believed and she got life in a standard prison.
06 – Slaying of Angie Escobar
This is another shocking tale which took place in New York. The body of 28-year old Angie Escobar was found inside a car boot with around 80 stab wounds in it. After making extensive investigations, New York detectives decided Luis Zambrano was their man. After fleeing to nearby Virginia, Zambrano was caught and brought to book for his crimes. Upon questioning, he claimed that demons took control of his body on the day in question and made him kill Escobar for breaking off their relationship. The courts did not believe him though and he got 20 years inside on a manslaughter charge.
05 – Arne Johnson ‘Beast Man’ Murder
On the face of it what happened in Brookline, Connecticut in 1981 was both shocking and obvious. This sleepy town had not seen a murder in almost 200 years before Arne Johnson killed his landlord after arguing. It was clear Johnson had done it but the real interest in this story comes when Johnson began to claim a demon had made him do it. At trial, Johnson’s defense team explained that it all began years earlier when the young brother of Debbie Glatzell began having horrible nightmares about a Devil-like figure. When he began to wake up with scratches and bruises on his body, the Glatzell’s looked to others for help. One was Arne Johnson who was Debbie’s fiancée at the time. Eventually, an exorcism was performed at which it is said the demon went from David Glatzell’s body to Arne Johnson’s. Since then it had been inside him and had been the driving force behind the subsequent murder!
04 – Jason Nelson Murder in Luton
Luton is a town found in the South of England and one with a reputation for crime. This was certainly the case in 2015 when 32-year old Jason Nelson murdered 20-year old Jordan Maguire. Nelson had originally gone to Maguire’s home with the intention of buying drugs but for reasons unknown instead brutally murdered him. Not content with this, Nelson then went onto sexually assault two women in the same area of Luton on the same night! When arrested by UK police, he said that he had been possessed by demons on the night in question who made him do it. The court chose not to believe him though and instead give him life in prison.
03 – Uber App Murders
One of the most perplexing demonic possession murder cases involved Uber driver Jason Dalton. Working and living in Kalamazoo. Michigan, he embarked on a murderous killing spree for which the true motive for has never been decided. Dalton himself blamed his Uber mobile app and said that a demon inside of it had took over his mind before the killings. The Uber fiend eventually killed many people in a brutal mass shooting which used his work as a driver to perpetrate. He simply drove around Kalamazoo, opening fire on anyone he wanted too! Dalton remained silent on trial but had told Police in interviews that the Uber app was what had made him do it.
02 – Russian Goth Cannibal Killers
August 2008 saw a case involving the Devil and demons come to light in Russia. Authorities in the town of Yaroslavi were horrified to discover the mutilate bodies of 4 teenagers there one day in forest land close to the town. Before long, they had apprehended a group of self-confessed Satanists who admitted they had carried out the attack as part of a Satanic ritual one night. The group (all young adults themselves) claimed to be possessed by demons during the ritual and desperate to kill the 4 teenagers to please Satan himself. The Russian legal system sentenced the group leader to 20 years in prison due to the horrific nature of what had occurred and others in the Satanic group got long sentences too.
01 – Sean Sellers Atrocities
The case of Sean Sellers being influenced by Satan and demons to kill is perhaps the most famous around. Shockingly, he claimed to have begun getting interested in Satanism at age 7 and being a fully-fledged Satanist by 16! In truth, Sellers had an unsettled and violent homelife which many believe was the true motivation behind his future crimes. It was when 16 that Sellers crept into his parents bedroom one night and shot them in the face – this was after he was said to have performed an occult ritual beforehand. Interestingly, as well as claiming that the Devil made him do it, Sellers also pointed out the popular role-playing game ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ as being behind his initial interest in Satanism. Although he converted to Christianity in later life while in prison, he was eventually put to death for the murders.
The case of demonic possession is an interesting one – after all, how can it be proved for sure one way or another? Only the person behind the crimes in question truly knows if they are using it as an excuse or were really possessed by the Devil himself at the time. As the above shows, there are lots of cases where demonic possession has been the reason given and there is no way of knowing yet that this is not true.