Florida triple murder may have been ritualistic killing

By REUTERS
August 5, 2015 07:29
1 minute read.

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

A Florida woman and her two adult sons were killed in their Pensacola home in what investigators believe was a ritualistic murder linked to last week's "blue moon," police said on Tuesday.

The victims, identified as Voncile Smith, 77, John William Smith, 49, and Richard Thomas Smith, 47, were found dead on Friday, three days after police believe someone the family knew entered the home and killed them as part of a witchcraft ritual.

"The elements of this case are odd, at best," Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan told a news conference.

"We have a very reclusive family. Obviously we've canvassed the neighborhood, spoken to people who've lived there for years and years. Neighbors have related to us that they've never met members of this family," he said.

All three victims had their throats slit and were bludgeoned with what was believed to be a claw hammer, Morgan said, and Richard Thomas Smith, a Department of Homeland Security employee, was also shot in the head, perhaps to incapacitate him before the murders.

"Initial research has led us to believe it was a ritualistic killing," Morgan said. "The method of the murder ... and our person of interest has some ties to a faith or religion that is indicative of that." The crime appears to have been part of a witchcraft practice linked to the July 31 "blue moon," a reference to the second of two full moons that appear in a calendar month, Morgan said.

Police discovered the bodies after a colleague of Richard Thomas Smith at Homeland Security reported him missing from work.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Breaking news
November 21, 2018
Attorney General: "Investigate Bennett on suspicion of bribery"

By REVITAL AMIRAN