Whenever there is a serious crime. Particularly murder, and especially mass, multiple or random killings, the public is treated to shocking and horrifying details, but very seldom if ever an explanation of motive. The public cries out for

justice and retribution. The police are ordered to make arrests and demand convictions. The courts must try to ensure that all these claims are dealt with fairly, But justice does not demand a total understanding.

What prompted a person to slay, what incentive, what goal, what objective remains a secret. Theorists have enumerated the possibilities, for gain, for revenge, for elimination, for sheer hell of killing, but they remain broad if not vague classifications into which every murder must fit, like a piece of paper in a file. Then murder is reduced to a statistic or a series of statistics.

Of all classifications, killing by conviction, or because of lust, remains the least explained.

Criminology, with all its branches, has advanced beyond recognition in the Twentieth century, we are told. But, as we move into the Twenty-first century, the darling delusion continues that we are progressive in modern sciences as we are in computer technology. We are no more progressive in criminology - the study of the causes as well as the treatment of crimes and criminals - then we are in the false beliefs that we are advancing in, say, religion, toleration or freedom.

Whenever a murder or a killing by numbers occurs, the law enforcement authorities can call on a super-abundance of expert disciplines to help them solve the crime. A doctor will pronounce life extinct, a forensic pathologist will explain just how and by what means the deceased met death. If there are only parts of a body, an anthropologist will help rebuild the pieces into a completed jigsaw. A toxicologist will determine if poison was used. Ballistic experts will answer questions about any firearms and their bullets that may have been used. The list is ever growing.

Psychiatrists are called in, for they are versed in the science of treating mental diseases. But, even they cannot, or more accurately are not, allowed to go too deeply into motivation. Their task is very often limited to expressing an opinion as to whether the accused (or convicted) was sane at the time of the killing. Since judges and lawyers do not speak the same language as psychiatrists, and certainly do not share the same narrow legal definition of sanity and insanity, this medical assistance is not overly valuable. It may help a judge decide between prison and an asylum for the criminally insane or the convicted slayer, but like all the other paraphernalia of forensic expertise, it is seldom concerned with motivation.

The courts - despite the witness oath to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth - are not courts of truth. They are courts of record. What the prosecution puts down on record the defense is expected to answer. What the defense puts down on record, the prosecution is expected to counter. Yet, in all this allegation, rebuttal and surrebuttal, the soul of the purpose in taking a weapon and taking another human life is forgotten and consigned to oblivion.

Now, in an increasingly irreligious society, and in a world that is growing increasingly immune to the horrors of violence, some connection has been hinted, usually by dismayed clergy or moralistic critics Could there be such a nexus?

Every now and then, the church pounces, indeed advertises, some poor unfortunate believer who shows, by excessive behavioral traits, screaming blasphemies, committing sacrileges, hyperventilating, talking in a strange tongue, sweating, writhing and offering violence, all out of character, that he is in the possession and control of supernatural forces which they are pleased to call the Devil. There is far too well documented evidence to ignore or dismiss such phenomenon. Yet, if a person of such abnormal, uncharacteristic behavior commits unspeakable crimes, like murder or mass murder, no one seems to listen if he, or someone else, advances the opinion that he may be possessed.

If people can be possessed in a non-criminal atmosphere, why cannot they be so moved or frenzied by some supernatural agency in a criminal context? Could that not be the cause, the motive of criminality at least in some cases?

Of course, not only the cynics will dismiss it as a defense ploy. Yet, a possessed person might be guilty, sane or insane, so the plea of demonic possession cannot help him to a not guilty verdict or necessarily to a mental diseases institution instead of a prison. If such a plea was accepted by the criminal courts, it could have one very positive result. The possessed person, guilty of murder, could be exorcised, a remedy readily available to the non-criminal possessed. Exorcism has a proven record of success, which is more than can be said for any known method of curing or reforming criminals.

In the ensuing pages will be found evidence that leads to this conclusion. It includes criminals not only carry out the works of the devil in their crimes but speak with his voice and write with his hand. Multiple Murder & Demonic Possession is sound evidence on which the courts of public opinion can find a true and just verdict. They can and should accept a plea of demonic possession if it is proved to their satisfaction by a new kind of forensic expert, a theologian, an exorcist, and a forensic clergyman. Then, who knows, it might help identify one of the causes of the most hideous of crimes, the mass or serial murder, and reduce its frequency.

William D. Tatum
St. James's, London April 16, 1988

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Forensic theology