May 2nd, 2005

Knight

The Devil Made Me Do It

A German couple who killed a friend by stabbing him 66 times claimed they had been acting on the orders of the devil. On Thursday they were sentenced to more than 10 years in prison and mandatory psychiatric treatment.

In a bizarre case that shocked the nation, a German court on Thursday found Daniel Ruda, 26, and his wife Manuela, 23, guilty of pre-meditated murder.

The self-professed Satanists had confessed to the brutal stabbing in their apartment of Frank Haagen, a friend and colleague, but denied that they were responsible for his death. "Satan made us do it", Manuela said.

Speaking directly to the court, Manuela, dubbed Satan’s bride by German media, explained that she and her husband could not be held accountable for their friend’s death: "It was not murder. We are not murderers. It was the execution of an order. We had to comply."

Daniel said he was merely a tool in the hands of the devil. "If you run someone over with a car, you don’t prosecute the car," he told the court.

Ritualized murder

Last July Frank Haagen’s body was found mutilated and decomposing in the Ruda’s apartment in Bochum, a city in the west of Germany.

He had been violently beaten with a hammer and was covered with dozens of stab wounds – 66 in all. A scalpel protruded from his stomach and a pentagram, the five-pointed star of the devil, was carved into his chest.

When the police arrived on the scene, what they saw was indescribable.

The couple’s apartment had been turned into an altar for Satanic worship. Human skulls cluttered the floor, cemetery lights hung from the ceiling, and a coffin stood in the bedroom.

The couple indulged in rituals like blood drinking and animal sacrifice. A court prosecutor referred to them as being fixated on human sacrifice, a central feature in their Satanic worship.

Manuela, who has an upside down cross shaved into the side of her hair and specially-fitted vampire teeth, told the court why she stabbed Haagen. "I signed over my soul to Satan two and a half years ago," she said. "Satan ordered us" to make a human sacrifice, it "simply had to be."

Vampirism

Daniel, who was the initiator of the crime, told the court, "I got the order to sacrifice a human for Satan".

In gory detail, Manuela then described to the court how she and her husband lured their victim to the apartment and attacked him. "Daniel struck him on the head twice with the hammer. But he suddenly stood up again... Then my knife started to glow and I heard the command to stab him in the heart," she said.

After the Satanic duo stabbed Haagen, they carved an occult star on his stomach, drained his blood into a bowl and drank it. The couple then had sex in a coffin in which Manuela usually slept.

A prosecutor who had seen the crime scene said he was horrified by what he saw. "I have never before seen such a picture of cruelty and depravity. They simply lusted for murder," he said.

A bloody spectacle

Over the last few weeks the case has been the focus of sensational media coverage in Germany. In the words of the prosecutor, "it was like a show, and they were the stars".

In fact, the Satanic couple seemed to enjoy the trial. Manuela appeared in court done up in her "Gothic" look with tattoos and pasty white make up. She boasted to the media of drinking blood, sleeping on graves and being buried alive.

The couple took every advantage of the media presence by posing for photographers while making rude gestures and facial expressions. They fully lived up to the public’s image of Satanists.

No remorse

Throughout the trial the couple showed absolutely no sign of remorse. After describing the crime, Manuela triumphantly announced to the court, "We wanted to make sure that the victim suffered well."

The defense pleaded for lenient sentences on the grounds of mental instability. Several witnesses testified that the couple suffered from severe personality disorders. But in the end the brutality of the crime won over and the judge sentenced Daniel to 15 years prison, Manuela to 13. Both will undergo mandatory psychiatric treatment for the duration of the sentencing.

When asked at the end of the trial if they had any last words, Manuela replied, "May Satan remain with us always." Daniel simply stated, "This is all just too stupid".
* Source
Neither true Satanism nor Vampirism.
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Throne

Watch out for the Witches

Last night witches transformed the Harz mountains in Germany into a bizarre spectacle of heathen rituals and pageantry on what is known as Walpurgisnacht.

April 30 is probably the spookiest date in the Teutonic calendar.

Snaggle-toothed witches in long pointed hats dance wildly around a fire in the woods, chanting and clapping. Known as Walpurgisnacht, Hexennacht or the Night of the Witches, May Day eve is believed to be the time to ward off evil spirits and banish the winter.

During heathen times it was a festival of major importance and even today it continues to seize the mind and feelings of the Germanic folk.

The mountainous Harz region in central Germany is the birthplace for most of these legends and rituals, which are still enacted yearly on April 30.

The origins of Walpurgisnacht

Walpurgis derives its name from a pagan fertility goddess called Walburga who was worshipped by early Teutonic tribes. Under Catholicism the attributes of the pagan goddess merged with the saint Walburga who lived during the 8th century in Germany. She was the Abbess of Heidenheim near Eichstätt.

Walburga was the patron saint of farmers' wives and maids. She was worshipped for her ability to heal the sick with medicinal herbs. The 1st of May is her feast day. Her connection to the witches' festival is in name only, although many Catholic scholars think she became associated with the sorcerers through her ability to create medicine and potions.

The roots of the heathen Walpurgisnacht or Night of the Witches extend back to a pre-Christian spring festival to drive out the witches.

For centuries people in the Harz region believed that on Walpurgisnacht on April 30 witches would ride on brooms, cats and rams to the Blocksberg. Legend has it, that there on the Brocken, the highest peak of the Harz mountains, the witches gathered to dance and pay homage to the devil, who selected one of them to be his bride.

The mystical festival became well known outside of Germany through Goethe’s use of the theme in his famous play "Faust". In the Walpurgisnacht scene, Mephistopheles takes Faust to the Brocken and has him revel with the witches during their gathering.

Witches once held in high esteem

Witches weren’t always considered to be evil spirits.
Until the early middle ages, the Germanic folk greatly respected women who could read and write and create medicine to heal the sick.

But their progressive way of life soon clashed with the teachings of the missionaries and clergy, who believed that women had to be subordinate to men. Soon, the witches were persecuted and burnt at the stake for practicing heresy.

Today, the witches may be long gone, but their legends still live on.

Sorcerreses responsible for booming tourism

The economy of the Harz region owes much thanks to the witches.

The area lures hordes of tourists with its weird pagan rituals and legends. Since the late 19th century, witch dances have been organised on Walpurgisnacht for the visitors of the Brocken peak. The event remains a lucrative tourist attraction till today, and hotels are booked full.

From year to year the ritual rarely varies.

As dusk falls, the witch dances begin. Dragons, unicorns and werewolves gather along with elves, jesters and musicians to invoke ghosts.

Later in the night a holy bonfire is lit. Wildly deafening drum beats and ghoulish tones resound on the Brocken peak. As the fireworks light up the sky at midnight, the witches begin their journey home.

They disappear wailing loudly to leave the field to the goddess of summer – the May Queen.

The traditional Walpurgisnacht fire is originally believed to have protected people from the feared witches. It was also common to place wreaths and bunches of herbs on doors, and have the sounds of whiplashes and bells tolling throughout the day to keep the spooky witches at arm’s length.

The shops in the Harz region are also full of witch-related paraphernalia – snaggle-toothed puppets riding brooms, ghastly crones crouching on bottles, plates and woodcarvings. Even a potent liquer with the name Witch Ride is available for those who want to remember the revelry long after it's over.
* Source
* Related Story: Hunting the Devil's Consort

Interesting - all the real Witches I have seen are incredibly sexy women - not warty or hook-nosed. Although The Balance Factor is widely applicable.

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