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10 Contemporary Cases Of Human Sacrifice

by Joan Anderssen
fact checked by Jamie Frater

Human sacrifice is usually viewed as a sadistic and inhumane practice of superstitious ancient cultures. Most of us are sure that it was eradicated over the centuries and is now completely extinct. Sadly, that’s not exactly true. Cases of human sacrifice occasionally pop up even today. Although not en masse, many people are still being butchered to appease spiritual entities and extract favors from the supernatural. Let’s have a look at some cases of modern human sacrifice.

Warning: Not for the faint of heart.

10Amelia Espinoza


If we were to rank the cults and religions associated with most modern human sacrifices, Satanism would certainly be at the top of the list. Satanists are somewhat prone to getting lured by ritual killings. One such case is the murder of a 42-year-old California woman, Amelia Espinoza.

The killer was her own son, 18-year-old factory worker Moises Meraz-Espinoza. It was speculated that Moises was distraught over his girlfriend’s death in a car accident, and that it may have led him to the gruesome murder. Others report that the teenager had a strained relationship with his mother, who did not approve of his dark musical tastes, among other things. The prosecutor, however, stated that the murder was motivated by sheer evil and by Moises’s firm satanic beliefs.

Regardless of the motives, we know how everything ended. Meraz-Espinoza strangled Amelia and then mutilated her lifeless body. Moises skinned his dead mother, removed her organs, and cut the body into pieces with a circular saw. Slices of skin and flesh were later found stacked in a freezer. Amelia’s head, which was found in a backpack, received some special treatment. All of her teeth were plucked out, her eyes were removed, and two upside-down crosses were carved into the bone. The investigators found a satanic bible with a chapter about human sacrifice. Moreover, the date of Amelia’s horrid death matched a day of human or animal sacrifice in the satanic calendar.

After the murder, Moises went to his cousin and asked her to help him get rid of the body, but she persuaded the teenager to confess to the police. Eventually, Meraz-Espinoza was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to 25 years in prison. “I don’t know what I can say to turn your life around, but you’ll have a lot of time to think about it,” the judge said to the young practitioner of human sacrifice.

9Lalita Tati


Photo credit: The Sunday Times

On October 21, 2011, seven-year-old Lalita was happily watching TV in her neighbor’s home in a remote village of Jailwara. These may have been the last happy minutes of her short life. Soon after, she was abducted. A week later, Lalita’s mutilated body was found by her distraught parents.

At first, the police thought that the poor girl had been raped and killed. Her father reported that he was arrested, and the police attempted to torture him into confessing that he murdered his own daughter. However, some time later, two poor, illiterate local farmers were arrested for the crime.

It turned out that the little girl was sacrificed to ensure better harvest. Her throat was sliced, and her liver was cut out and offered to a goddess. According to the police, some cash was found near the body, indicating that it was a sacrifice. The arrested men eventually admitted to murdering Lalita and may be sentenced to die.



On an ordinary September day in London, something was spotted floating in the Thames. It was a mutilated torso of a little boy clad in a pair of orange shorts. The body lacked a head, legs, and arms. His blood was completely drained out. Despite the tremendous effort that the authorities put into solving the case, attempts to find his killers were fruitless. Even identifying the victim himself proved to be a difficult task, so the boy was simply referred to as “Adam.” However, the investigation soon revealed a few terrifying details about the boy’s murder.

Examination of the body helped determine that Adam came from West Africa, probably Nigeria, and only resided in the United Kingdom for a few days before his death. He was five years old. During the last day of his life, Adam had received no food. He was, however, given (among other drugs) calabar beans, which are sometimes used for human sacrifice. The different substances sedated and paralyzed Adam.

Then Adam’s throat was slit. It is believed that his killers later drank his blood from a vessel made of Adam’s skull. The motive? Well, the investigators think the murderers—possibly a gang of human traffickers—believed that the sacrifice would bring them good luck. Over the years, police managed to put many pieces of this puzzle together and even found a woman associated with Adam. His killers, however, still remain unpunished.

7Elyse Pahler


In 1996, eight months after her disappearance, the corpse of 15-year-old Elyse Pahler was found in a eucalyptus grove not far away from her home. She was half naked and placed under a pentagram. The officers were brought there by 16-year-old Royce Casey, one of Elyse’s murderers. He first confessed the murder to a priest and then to the police.

Casey and his two accomplices, 14-year-old Joseph Fiorella and 16-year-old Jacob Delashmutt, had planned to kill Pahler for months. The trio idolized Slayer, a popular band known for misogynistic lyrics with mention of satanic practices and human sacrifice. (Delashmutt would later deny that Slayer’s music had any real influence on their actions.) The boys believed that they needed to sacrifice a virgin to Satan. The trio even thought that this would bring them glory.

One day, the teenagers crossed the boundary between wicked plans and sadistic actions. They took Elyse to the remote grove. The girl thought that they were going to have a sweet smoke of marijuana. This was a lie used by the killers to lure the girl into their trap. Casey, Fiorella, and Delashmutt choked Elyse with a belt, slashed and stabbed her with a hunting knife, and finally trampled her neck with their feet. That, however, was not enough for the trio. Afterward, the young murderers raped the dead body of Elyse.

Eventually, the teenage apprentices of Satan were tried and received lengthy prison sentences.

6Theresa Simmons

Hard Times

One morning in 1988, a police patrol in Louisiana spotted a suspicious van. The car was stopped. Inside were three teenagers: Terry Belcher, Robert McIntyre, and Malisa Earnest. Belcher, who was driving, told the officers that they were on vacation, but the police did not believe them. The patrolmen checked the records and discovered that the van was reported stolen. The trio was jailed.

A few hours later, a girl charged with loitering was being released from that same jail. She took the jailer aside and told him a horrid story. Earnest was her cellmate and had shared details of a murder during their time behind bars. According to Malisa, she and another teenage girl were hitchhiking when they were picked up by Belcher and McIntyre. Then they headed to a remote farmhouse, where they smoked marijuana and listened to heavy metal. Soon, however, the events took an ugly turn that eventually led to Malisa’s companion being sacrificed to Satan.

The police took this tale seriously. It was soon discovered that Malisa, 17-year-old Theresa Simmons, and two other girls recently escaped from a home for troubled juveniles. The other two girls soon returned. Earnest and Simmons, however, didn’t. At some point, Theresa called a friend and told her that she did not trust Belcher and McIntyre, and that she planned to return in a few days. That did not happen.

The investigation revealed that Malisa’s story was not far from the truth. The four did indeed spend the evening sharing drugs and listening to heavy metal. Then they began praying to Satan and eventually decided to sacrifice Theresa. The three proceeded to take turns strangling Simmons with a shoelace. They then buried the body.

Moreover, it turned out that Belcher was a zealous worshiper of Satan. He confessed to sacrificing animals to Satan, drinking their blood, and devouring their eyes and innards. Subsequently, he and McIntyre were sentenced to life in prison, while Earnest, as an accomplice, received only three years behind bars.

5Aakash Singh


Sumitra Bushan, a middle-aged woman from the remote Indian village of Barha, was a seemingly ordinary but unlucky lady. Sumitra’s husband had left her a long time ago. She was heavily indebted and her two grown-up sons—who were regarded as lazy sluggards—did nothing to ease their mother’s life.

Things did not get better. In fact, they got worse. The entire family began having nightmares and horrifying visions of goddess Kali. The cause of this was obvious to Sumitra: a curse. She consulted a tantric—a traveling priest that came to the village from time to time to give the locals advice and medicine. He told Sumitra to slaughter a chicken at the entrance of her home and offer the corpse and the blood to the goddess. The woman complied.

Apparently, that was not enough for Kali. The nightmares continued and soon got worse. Sumitra visited the tantric again. This time, he came up with a more radical suggestion. He said another sacrifice was necessary. This one had to be a boy from Sumitra’s village. Again, the lady did not question the proposed solution. One night, she and her sons sneaked into their neighbors’ home and abducted three-year-old Aakash Singh. They brought the child to their home, where the sacrifice ceremony was conducted. Sumitra and her sons recited a mantra, waved incense, and smeared various scented oils over the body of frightened Aakash. Then the men pulled out a knife, sliced the child’s nose, ears, and hands, and laid him bleeding in front of the image of Kali.

The next morning, Sumitra lied to the villagers, saying that she found the mutilated body of Aakash near her house. The villagers, however, did not buy it. The mob attacked and beat her sons. One of them confessed, screaming that he only killed the toddler for the good of his mother. The death of Aakash did not bring an end to Sumitra’s troubles. She and her sons were jailed. The tantric who suggested they kill the child was not found.

4Unknown Bangladeshi Man


What do you do if your business is not going well? Obviously, you search for ways to fix it. That’s what four bricklayers in Bangladesh did. Their solution, however, was very unorthodox and horrifying.

In northern Bangladesh, unidentified owners of a brickfield were displeased. They wanted red bricks, which are valued in rural areas of Bangladesh. The red color was seen as a sign that the bricks were baked properly. However, despite the heating, their bricks weren’t red.

A fortune teller was brought in. He advised to sacrifice a human to ensure the desired color. The owners of the brickfield passed the instructions to their workers. As a result, a 26-year-old bricklayer was beheaded and his head was burned in a kiln. Subsequently, the four murderers were arrested. According to the most recent news report, the police are still searching for the brickfield owners and the fortune teller.

3Melissa Ann Meyer


A fateful morning in 1988 was to be the last one for 19-year-old Melissa Ann Meyer. Days later, her body would be discovered in a transient campsite. No purse, wallet, or jewelry were found near her.

The murderers were 21-year-old Jason Wayne Rose and 17-year-old John Ray Jones. We don’t know for sure how Melissa met her killers. However, for some reason she went with the two to a wooded campsite where they were staying. When the investigators searched the trailer home of Jason and John, they retrieved several occult items, including a spell book with instructions on how to communicate with the dead.

During the investigation, it was revealed that Rose and Jones dabbled in the occult. Melissa Ann was most probably robbed of her life in a human sacrifice ritual. First, the girl received a blow to the head with a machete, and then she was choked to death. Melissa’s murderers also robbed her lifeless body of every valuable possession that she had. It did little good for Jones and Rose. The police soon found them, and they were convicted of murder and robbery.

2Praveen From Chhattisgarh


As we have already seen in this list, tantrics involved in human sacrifice are often not found. Dilip Rathia, however, is an exception.

Dilip was a tantric who wanted to get divine powers or, according to other sources, become lucky. A deity appeared to him in a dream and offered a deal: Dilip had to behead a boy if he waned his wish to be granted. The tantric complied. In 2012, he killed 11-year-old Praveen, who lived in the same Indian village of Barpali. Dilip beheaded the boy and offered his head to the deity.

Apparently, the supernatural creature did not keep its part of the bargain. Police found the skeleton of Praveen. Soon after that, the pieces of the puzzle were put together. The officers raided Rathia’s home and retrieved the head of the unfortunate child. The tantric had no choice but to confess. He was later sentenced to die.

1Monu Kumar


Madan and Murti Simaru could have become lucky parents of a baby girl. However, they lived in India, a predominantly male-centered society where a son is much more valued than a daughter. Therefore, the Simarus wanted to have a boy. They were desperate. Nature failed them. The two decided to consult a tantric—a common way to solve problems among the illiterate and poor of India.

The priest provided Madan and Murti with a blood-chilling solution—a human sacrifice. Murti asked her brother Popin to snatch away six-year-old Monu Kumar, a son of her neighbors, and bring him to her. Then the woman and her husband brought the child to the bank of an irrigation canal. Here, they mutilated and killed Monu in a fertility ritual. The sacrifice ended when the couple washed themselves in the blood of their victim.

The Simarus were later arrested, along with two of their relatives and the tantric who advised them to sacrifice Monu. Although we don’t know how they were punished, it is a safe guess that Madan and Murti did not have the chance to test the effectiveness of the sacrifice and conceive a son.

Besides being a freelance writer and a blogger, Joan Anderssen is also a proud crazy cat lady with varied interests and a penchant for lipsticks.

fact checked by Jamie Frater