“DEMONIC CRIMES” and More Dark and True Stories! #WeirdDarkness

“DEMONIC CRIMES” and More Dark and True Stories! #WeirdDarkness

Listen to ““DEMONIC CRIMES” and More Dark and True Stories! #WeirdDarkness” on Spreaker.

IN THIS EPISODE: From serial killers to seemingly ordinary individuals, a chilling phenomenon emerges as criminals claim demonic possession drove them to commit unspeakable acts. These disturbing cases, spanning decades and continents, blur the lines between evil and the supernatural, leaving us questioning the true nature of their heinous crimes. From the infamous Son of Sam to a father who claimed demonic voices compelled him to murder his own child, we’ll explore some of these cases and let you decide if the devil made them do it. (Demonic Crimes) *** The Rose family lived comfortably in the picturesque Pleasant Valley in the late 1800s. However, oldest daughter Ceely’s unrequited love for a neighbor boy led to a series of chilling events. Her obsession turned deadly, leading not only to death, but to a ghostly presence as well. (Love, Poison, and Ghosts – The Case of Ceely Rose) *** In the wild era of the 1920s and 1930s, organized crime flourished in the United States, with hitmen like the mysterious “Buster from Chicago” making a name for themselves. Known for his ruthless efficiency and chilling calm, Buster was responsible for many high-profile mob hits during the violent Castellammarese War. But who was Buster? (The Enigmatic Hitman, Buster From Chicago) *** In July 1993, 26-year-old Kristin Ann set out for her morning jog, but her run ended in a horrifying, fatal attack. The shocking crime has left her grieving family and community outraged and seeking justice. (The Murder of Kristin Ann) *** Imagine falling asleep on your usual train ride home, only to wake up at a mysterious, strikingly-white colored station with no way to leave. You encounter a strange child-like figure who warns you that this place is “one step before death.” This is the eerie reality of Hitsuka Station, a ghostly train stop in Japan that traps unsuspecting passengers. (The Haunting of Hitsuka Station)

YOUTUBE TIME STAMPS…
00:00.00.000 = Introduction
00:01:53.101 = Show Open
00:05:26.872 = Demonic Crimes
00:32:59.366 = Love, Poison, and Ghosts – The Case of Ceely Rose
00:40:06.102 = The Enigmatic Hitman, Buster From Chicago
00:46:44.058 = The Haunting of Hitsuka Station
00:54:30.078 = The Murder of Kristin Ann
01:01:14.836 = Show Close

SOURCES AND REFERENCES FROM THE EPISODE…
“Love, Poison, and Ghosts – The Case of Ceely Rose” source: Anomalien.com, https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/2p9684ce
“The Enigmatic Hitman, Buster From Chicago” source: Bipin Dimri at HistoricMysteries.com,https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/2p8rfupk
“The Murder of Kristin Ann” source: Robert Waters at KidnappingMurderAndMayhem.blogspot.com,https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/2p9s5d5h
“The Haunting Of Hitsuka Station” source: TheGhostInMyMachine.com, https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/yckmcauh
“Demonic Crimes” source: Jacob Shelton at Ranker.com’s Graveyard Shift, https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/yc66dun2; Benjamin Welton at ListVerse.com, https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/44sy8rrw; Austin Harvey at AllThatsInteresting.com,https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/244y234v; KPIC News 4, https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/2p96nsb7
Weird Darkness theme by Alibi Music Library.
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“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” — John 12:46
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Originally aired: Mary 15, 2024

PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT:

DISCLAIMER: Ads heard during the podcast that are not in my voice are placed by third party agencies outside of my control and should not imply an endorsement by Weird Darkness or myself. *** Stories and content in Weird Darkness can be disturbing for some listeners and intended for mature audiences only. Parental discretion is strongly advised.

INTRODUCTION=====

From notorious serial killers to seemingly ordinary individuals, some criminals claim that demons drove them to commit their unspeakable acts. The cases are chilling whether you believe in the supernatural or not. David Berkowitz, known as the “Son of Sam,” shocked the world when he claimed a demon in his neighbor’s dog compelled him to kill. Arne Cheyenne Johnson stabbed a man to death, asserting that “the devil made him do it.” Michael Taylor brutally murdered his wife after an exorcism allegedly left three demons within him. Other disturbing cases include Luis Zambrano, who claimed demonic possession led him to stab his girlfriend over 80 times, and Uber driver Jason Brian Dalton, who blamed a demonic app for his shooting spree. In South Africa, Aljar Swartz beheaded a teenager, with Reverend Cecil Begbie believing he was possessed. These stories raise questions about the nature of evil, mental illness, and the supernatural. While some dismiss these claims as excuses, others argue that true demonic influence and even demonic possession cannot be ruled out. It’s hard to argue there is no demonic aspect though, when discussing crimes this blatantly evil.

I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness.

SHOW OPEN=====

Welcome, Weirdos – (I’m Darren Marlar and) this is Weird Darkness. Here you’ll find stories of the paranormal, supernatural, legends, lore, the strange and bizarre, crime, conspiracy, mysterious, macabre, unsolved and unexplained.

Coming up in this episode…

The Rose family lived comfortably in the picturesque Pleasant Valley in the late 1800s. However, oldest daughter Ceely’s unrequited love for a neighbor boy led to a series of chilling events. Her obsession turned deadly, leading not only to death, but to a ghostly presence as well. (Love, Poison, and Ghosts – The Case of Ceely Rose)

In the wild era of the 1920s and 1930s, organized crime flourished in the United States, with hitmen like the mysterious “Buster from Chicago” making a name for themselves. Known for his ruthless efficiency and chilling calm, Buster was responsible for many high-profile mob hits during the violent Castellammarese War. But who was Buster? (The Enigmatic Hitman, Buster From Chicago)

In July 1993, 26-year-old Kristin Ann set out for her morning jog, but her run ended in a horrifying, fatal attack. The shocking crime has left her grieving family and community outraged and seeking justice. (The Murder of Kristin Ann)

Imagine falling asleep on your usual train ride home, only to wake up at a mysterious, strikingly-white colored station with no way to leave. You encounter a strange child-like figure who warns you that this place is “one step before death.” This is the eerie reality of Hitsuka Station, a ghostly train stop in Japan that traps unsuspecting passengers. (The Haunting of Hitsuka Station)

From serial killers to seemingly ordinary individuals, a chilling phenomenon emerges as criminals claim demonic possession drove them to commit unspeakable acts. These disturbing cases, spanning decades and continents, blur the lines between evil and the supernatural, leaving us questioning the true nature of their heinous crimes. From the infamous Son of Sam to a father who claimed demonic voices compelled him to murder his own child, we’ll explore some of these cases and let you decide if the devil made them do it. (Demonic Crimes)

If you’re new here, welcome to the show! While you’re listening, be sure to check out WeirdDarkness.com for merchandise, to visit sponsors you hear about during the show, sign up for my newsletter, enter contests, connect with me on social media, hear my other podcasts including “Church of the Undead” and a sci-fi podcast called “Auditory Anthology,” listen to FREE audiobooks I’ve narrated, plus, you can visit the Hope in the Darkness page if you’re struggling with depression, dark thoughts, or addiction. You can find all of that and more at WeirdDarkness.com.

Now.. bolt your doors, lock your windows, turn off your lights, and come with me into the Weird Darkness!

STORY: DEMONIC CRIMES=====

Criminals blaming their crimes on demons. This has been happening for as long as people have been committing terrible acts like murdering their spouses, attacking young people, or randomly shooting strangers. Some criminals use “demonic possession” as an excuse, while others, often struggling with mental illness or drug addiction, genuinely believe demons controlled them during their crimes. One of the most notorious cases involves David Berkowitz, also known as the Son of Sam. He claimed a demon in his neighbor’s dog told him to roam New York City for a year, shooting people in parked cars at night. If you’re curious about demonic possession and the horrifying crimes supposedly committed by the “possessed,” get ready to hear about some of the most shocking cases.

We’ll begin with the case I just mentioned. New York City during the summer of 1976 was filled with anger, frustration, and fear, and David Berkowitz, also known as “the Son of Sam,” made things even worse by killing six people and wounding seven others in just one year. After his arrest, Berkowitz told the police that a demon named “Harvey,” who lived in his neighbor’s dog, had controlled him and made him kill people. During a three-month break from his killing spree, Berkowitz wrote a letter to the New York Post saying, “I am still here like a spirit roaming the night. Thirsty, hungry, seldom stopping to rest.” Berkowitz was sentenced to 365 years in prison. While in prison, he became a born-again Christian, but he still believes that the devil and God are fighting for control of his soul.

On September 2, 2016, 13-year-old Lauren Landavazo and her friend, 13-year-old Makayla Smith, were walking home from school on a suburban path. They were approached by 20-year-old Kody Lott in a car. Lott later gave two reasons for what he did: he was jealous because he thought Landavazo had a boyfriend, and he claimed the devil told him to do it. Lott opened fire on both girls with a .22 rifle. Smith survived and told the police that Lott made eye contact with her before pulling the trigger. Witnesses said Lott shot Landavazo first and then shot her again after wounding Smith. During his 2018 trial, Lott repeated that the devil had helped him plan the shooting. The prosecution argued that Lott was mentally unstable and angry about his inability to find a girlfriend. In a strange twist, Lott’s mother and stepfather sued Wichita Falls, Texas, to retrieve the murder weapon, claiming it had been stolen from their apartment. Initially, Lott was found mentally unfit to stand trial and was sent to a maximum-security mental hospital. However, in September 2018, a Fort Worth jury found Lott guilty of murdering Lauren Landavazo and aggravated assault for shooting Makayla Smith. Lott, who claimed to have talked with the devil, was sentenced to life in prison.

In 1981, 19-year-old Arne Cheyenne Johnson stabbed 40-year-old Alan Bono to death after an argument over Johnson’s girlfriend. When the police arrested him, Johnson famously claimed, “The devil made me do it.” This claim attracted the attention of paranormal investigators, including Ed and Lorraine Warren, who had previously investigated the Amityville case. The Warrens believed that Johnson became possessed when he challenged one of the 43 demons inhabiting his 11-year-old brother. Johnson’s trial sparked a lot of debate. Some supported the Warrens, while others, like skeptic The Amazing Kreskin, argued that the Warrens were exploiting public superstitions to increase their lecture revenues. The judge ultimately rejected the demonic possession defense, leaving Johnson’s legal team with few options. Johnson was convicted of manslaughter and received a sentence of 10 to 20 years. However, he was released for good behavior after serving just over four years at the Connecticut Correctional Institute in Somers.

Believe it or not, exorcisms are becoming more common, even in today’s world. Last year, the Roman Catholic Church in the United States reported a rise in exorcism requests, with the Archdiocese of Indianapolis alone receiving 1,700 requests in 2018. Back in 1974, a year after the release of the classic film “The Exorcist,” an exorcism took place in the quiet town of Ossett, West Yorkshire, England. The possessed person was Michael Taylor, a 31-year-old married father of five. People who knew Taylor described him as cheerful, though he sometimes had bouts of depression due to a back injury that made it hard for him to keep a job. Things changed for the Taylor family when they joined the Christian Fellowship Group, a local church. Michael, who wasn’t very religious before, started attending church services regularly. A big reason for this change was 21-year-old Marie Robinson, the group’s preacher. Robinson convinced the congregation that “the power of God” could drive out demons. Some people in Ossett began to think that Robinson and Taylor were having an affair. As Taylor got more involved with Robinson, he became easily irritated and bad-tempered. The situation got worse when Taylor and Robinson were found naked together. Taylor blamed an evil presence inside him, so a local Anglican vicar was called in to perform an exorcism. During an all-night ceremony in October 1974, the vicar and other ministers supposedly drove out forty demons, including those of bestiality, incest, lewdness, and blasphemy. However, they were exhausted and went home, even though they believed three demons—murder, violence, and insanity—were still in Taylor. A few hours later, Taylor was found covered in blood, which he claimed was Satan’s. The blood actually belonged to his wife, Christine, whose mutilated body was found in their home. Taylor was found not guilty by reason of insanity.

Luton, England, is known for its high crime rates, including burglaries and being home to some of the UK’s most dangerous jihadists. In July 2019, a man and a woman were arrested in Luton for possessing documents related to a potential terror attack. However, a different kind of horror occurred in Luton on May 26, 2015. That night, 32-year-old Jason Nelson, originally from Grenada, went to buy weed from 20-year-old drug dealer Jordan Maguire. Instead of buying anything, Nelson stabbed Maguire multiple times and fled. Maguire died in the street shortly after. Nelson was arrested in Trinidad and Tobago and extradited back to the UK. Besides murdering Maguire, Nelson also sexually assaulted two women, aged 25 and 60, who lived near Maguire’s home at the Marsh Farm estate in Luton. Nelson claimed that a demon had possessed him that night, making him commit these crimes. He later tried to say he killed Maguire in self-defense. However, in October 2015, the Luton Crown Court sentenced Nelson to life in prison with the possibility of parole after twenty-seven years.

This case is a bit unclear due to a lack of verifiable facts. In 2015, while Reverend Connery Dagadu was trying to perform a multi-day cleansing ceremony on Roland Zinneh in Darby, Pennsylvania, Zinneh strangled the reverend to death. Zinneh then ran outside and started hitting a minivan with a shovel. When first responders arrived, they saw Zinneh dancing. After tackling him and putting him in handcuffs, he started shouting, “I kill demons!” This was confusing because he was the one believed to be possessed by demons.

It’s not easy to shock the Russian public, but that’s exactly what happened in August 2008. In a forest outside the city of Yaroslavl, four mutilated bodies were found. These victims, all teenage boys, had been brutally desecrated and robbed either before or after their deaths. Investigators quickly realized that robbery wasn’t the main motive due to the sheer brutality of the crimes. The truth was far more disturbing. Six self-proclaimed Satanists, led by a young man named Nikolai Ogolobyak, were responsible. Before these murders, the gang had sacrificed animals, but they believed that killing humans was necessary to please Lucifer. As part of an initiation ritual, Ogolobyak and his group killed and dismembered the four teenagers and reportedly ate parts of their victims’ bodies. In June 2010, following a closed trial due to the gruesome nature of the crime, 21-year-old Ogolobyak was sentenced to twenty years in prison for robbery, murder, and corpse desecration. The other five members of his group, four boys and one girl, received sentences ranging from eight to ten years. The case of the Yaroslavl Satanists caused a major uproar in Russia, especially since all gang members were part of the country’s goth subculture. This crime occurred shortly before the January 2009 drowning murder of a 16-year-old girl in St. Petersburg by self-proclaimed goths. One of the Yaroslavl killers even claimed he committed the murders to provide Satan with victims. These events led the Russian State Duma to propose legal amendments to regulate “emo websites” and prevent goth-affiliated teenagers from entering government buildings or schools.

In 2012, Deborah and Adolfo Gomez were convinced their house was possessed by demons and believed the world was ending. They admitted to restraining their children, ages 7 and 5, with duct tape inside an SUV parked at Walmart, claiming the kids were “demon-possessed.” The couple was arrested in Lawrence, Kansas. Investigators found out that not only did the couple think they were under demonic possession, but Adolfo hadn’t slept for the last nine days. So, that might have played a role in their bizarre behavior.

On September 10, 2015, a body was found inside an abandoned car in Whitestone, Queens, New York. The body was identified as 28-year-old Angie Escobar, who had been stabbed around eighty times. The medical examiner determined she had been killed four days before her body was discovered. The New York Police Department quickly focused on a suspect—31-year-old Luis Zambrano from Flushing, Queens. Zambrano was arrested on September 18th after fleeing to Virginia. He confessed to the police that he had stabbed Escobar with a pair of scissors after she told him she wanted to break up. Zambrano claimed he was possessed by a demon at the time of the murder and also blamed “trust issues” for his actions. In April 2016, Zambrano was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to twenty years in prison. Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown also secured an additional three-year sentence for an unrelated burglary charge, bringing Zambrano’s total sentence to twenty-three years.

After Uber driver Jason Brian Dalton went on a shooting spree, killing six people on February 21, 2016, everyone wondered what could have driven him to commit such horrible murders. Money? Revenge? The real reason turned out to be something much stranger. Dalton told detectives that the Uber app on his iPhone had taken over his mind and forced him to commit murder. He explained that when he opened the Uber app, he saw a symbol he recognized as the Eastern Star, and then a devil’s head popped up on his screen. When he pressed the button, that’s when his problems started. But it wasn’t just that the app-demon forced him to kill—it also helped him get around quickly: “Dalton explained how you can drive over 100 mph and go through stop signs and you can just get places.” Dalton said he wished he had never spoken about the symbol when he saw it on his phone. He described the devil figure as a horned cow head or something similar and said it would give him assignments and take over his whole body.

At just 16 years old, Sean Sellers was a practicing Satanist who regularly drank his own blood. His journey into darkness started around age seven, but his rough childhood set the stage for his troubled life. Sean was born in California to a 16-year-old mother and an alcoholic father who abandoned the family when Sean was three. Sean’s mother, Vonda, married a truck driver named Paul Bellofatto to bring stability, but by the time Sean was 16, the family had moved thirty times. Sean faced more than just constant moving. He suffered physical abuse from his mother and grandfather, and one of his uncles humiliated him by forcing him to wear soiled diapers on his head. Sean also wet the bed until he was thirteen, adding to his humiliation. On March 5, 1986, all of Sean’s rage exploded. Wearing only black underwear, Sean crept into his parents’ bedroom and shot them both in the face. He later said he was angry at his mother for disapproving of his girlfriend and for dropping out of high school. Before the murders, Sean had performed an occult ritual. Sean had planned the murders carefully. He wore underwear to avoid getting blood on his clothes and tried to make it look like an intruder was responsible. This showed he had some experience with killing. A year earlier, he had shot and killed a Circle K convenience store clerk named Robert Paul Bower after the clerk refused to sell him beer. Sean never hid the fact that he was responsible for all three murders. He was convicted and sentenced to death, becoming the youngest criminal sentenced to death in America since 1976. While in prison, Sean became a born-again Christian and spoke out against the occult. He claimed he had turned to Satanism after becoming addicted to the fantasy role-playing game “Dungeons & Dragons” and said he had been possessed by a demon. He appeared on TV shows like Geraldo Rivera and Oprah Winfrey, speaking as an “expert” on Satanism and the occult. On February 3, 1999, Oklahoma carried out Sean’s death sentence. Two days before his death, Sean wrote in his diary, upset that people kept bringing up the murders: “I’m amazed at the self-righteousness I still encounter from people who don’t even know me,” he wrote. “People…for one moment, get your eyes off my own sins and look at your own. You want to harp on something that happened 13 years ago. Thirteen years!” Sean ended his diary by saying he had repented for his sins and had been serving God ever since.

On April 29, 2016, two police officers responded to a call about a man screaming and yelling in the street. When they arrived, the man started talking to one officer as if he knew him from high school, then bit the other officer on the hand. Pamela Fornett, the man’s wife, told WTKR, “I apologize to those police officers about what happened, but I begged them, ‘Please, don’t shoot my husband.'” The officers didn’t shoot him and were able to take him into custody. They believe he is mentally ill. Fornett later claimed her husband was possessed by a demon, saying, “I caught it on camera. A demon—it really was, so I figured that’s what got in him.”

According to his grieving family, 65-year-old Peter Churm was a beloved father and grandfather. However, on February 24, 2015, 17-year-old Tommy Smith didn’t care about any of that. All he wanted was the keys to Churm’s Range Rover. When Churm tried to stop Smith from stealing his car, Smith, who had already been convicted of 57 offenses, pulled out a knife and stabbed Churm in the head, back, neck, chest, and arms. The attack was so frenzied that the eight-inch knife actually broke in two. Smith went on trial for attempted murder in March 2016. He told the Wolverhampton Crown Court that he wasn’t responsible for his actions because he had been possessed by a demon that day. The court didn’t believe the possession story, but they did consider that Smith had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Because of this, he was cleared of attempted murder but convicted of grievous bodily harm and burglary. Peter Churm, despite being blind in one eye and having survived a serious stroke from the attack, was in the courtroom for Smith’s sentencing. Instead of a jail cell, Smith was sent to a secure mental hospital for an indefinite period of time.

Noor Walile, a 38-year-old imam from England, sexually assaulted a boy in the bathroom of the church where he was teaching. When the mosque elders found out, Walile claimed that the devil made him do it. The elders gave him a choice: face the police in England or go back to his native India forever. Walile fled to avoid the police but secretly returned to Leicester. He was promptly arrested and charged with rape.

Pazuzu Algarad was arrested in 2014 for killing a person and burying the body in his backyard in July 2009, and for helping his girlfriend bury someone she killed later that year. He changed his name to “Pazuzu,” after a demon from The Exorcist, and had a forked tongue and sharpened teeth. An anonymous man who lived in the house told police that he believed Pazuzu was possessed: “It was very serpentine. His eyes would get glazy, like he wasn’t there. You could tell when his demons took over… About once a month, usually on a full moon, he sacrificed a rabbit, ate its heart, and burned its flesh.” Investigators later declared the home, where many animal sacrifices took place, unsafe for human life.

Reverend Cecil Begbie believes that South African Aljar Swartz was possessed by demons when he strangled and beheaded a teenager in Ravensmead, leaving the body in an abandoned school in October 2013. Swartz claimed he was under a vague “Satanic attack” but didn’t provide more details. After the murder, he allegedly planned to sell the victim’s head to a traditional healer, known as a sangoma. Reverend Begbie tried to help Swartz by asking church groups across Africa to pray for him on Good Friday after Swartz’s arrest. Swartz later said that during the collective prayer, he felt like he was standing under a waterfall of pure, clean water flowing through his body, and claimed he was no longer possessed by demons. Despite his claims of recovery, the courts decided not to reduce his sentence.

Elizbieta Plackowska of Naperville, Illinois, began hearing voices sometime before October 30, 2012. These voices told her that her son and his friend were possessed and needed to die to find salvation. Sadly, Elizbieta listened to these voices and, on October 30th, killed 7-year-old Justin Plackowska and 5-year-old Olivia Dworakowski. Justin was Elizbieta’s son, and Olivia was spending the night at their home. Elizbieta believed that both children were possessed by demons and that she was possessed by something she called the “black shadow.” When she went to trial, her defense team used this possession story to claim she was insane. Dr. Phillip Resnick testified that Elizbieta had suffered a psychotic episode before committing the crime. During the trial, jurors learned that Elizbieta had stabbed her son 100 times and Olivia 50 times. She initially told the police that an unknown intruder had broken into their home and committed the murders. More than five years later, Elizbieta Plackowska was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. She was convicted of two counts of murder and one count of animal cruelty, as she had also killed the family dog and Olivia’s dog on that terrible night.

On the day his family was murdered, Ronald DeFeo Jr. spent most of the afternoon with his friends. He kept calling his parents and siblings, telling his friends he couldn’t get in touch with them. Eventually, he went back to his family’s home in Amityville, New York, to check on everyone. No one expected what would happen next. Later that day, on November 13, 1974, 23-year-old Ronald ran to a local bar in hysterics, screaming that his father, mother, two brothers, and two sisters had been murdered. A group of his friends went back to his house with him, where they found a gruesome sight: every member of the DeFeo family had been fatally shot while sleeping in their beds. When the police arrived, they found Ronald DeFeo Jr. in shock. He told them he thought his family had been targeted by the mob and even named a potential mob hitman. But the police soon discovered that the alleged hitman was out of town, and Ronald’s story wasn’t adding up. The next day, Ronald confessed to the truth: he had killed his family. His lawyer later claimed that “demonic voices” in his head made him do it. This case became known as the Amityville Murders. The home where the DeFeos were killed, 112 Ocean Avenue, was rumored to be haunted and inspired the 1979 film The Amityville Horror. Whether or not the house was cursed doesn’t change what happened there in 1974 or the fact that Ronald DeFeo Jr. committed one of the most infamous crimes in Long Island history.

And a very recent entry. In Seattle, Washington, a tragic and shocking crime occurred on May 8, 2024. Dion Montgomery, a 35-year-old man, was charged with murder for fatally shooting his 9-month-old baby while the child was sleeping. A week later, he was charged with first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree assault, and unlawful possession of a firearm. According to court documents, Montgomery randomly shot at two people without any reason before ultimately shooting his sleeping baby in the eye. The court stated that Montgomery poses a significant risk to both the community and his own family. The documents described his crimes as extremely brutal, justifying the high bail set for him. On the evening of May 8, 2024, around 6:30 p.m., officers responded to reports of a shooting. They found a woman who told them her child had been shot in the head and killed. Initially, Seattle police detained two people, but only Montgomery was arrested. Prosecutors believe the child’s murder was planned, but Montgomery’s defense attorney claimed that Montgomery thought there were demons and that his gun was filled with blanks. Court documents revealed that Montgomery was not responding to simple questions during his arrest and was talking about demons with a fixed, wide-eyed gaze. He also told the police that he had used PCP that day and blamed his actions on demons.

BREAK=====

When Weird Darkness returns… In the wild era of the 1920s and 1930s, organized crime flourished in the United States, with hitmen like the mysterious “Buster from Chicago” making a name for themselves. Known for his ruthless efficiency and chilling calm, Buster was responsible for many high-profile mob hits during the violent Castellammarese War. But who was Buster?

Plus… Imagine falling asleep on your usual train ride home, only to wake up at a mysterious, strikingly-white colored station with no way to leave. You encounter a strange child-like figure who warns you that this place is “one step before death.” This is the eerie reality of Hitsuka Station, a ghostly train stop in Japan that traps unsuspecting passengers.

But first… The Rose family lived comfortably in the picturesque Pleasant Valley in the late 1800s. However, oldest daughter Ceely’s unrequited love for a neighbor boy led to a series of chilling events. Her obsession turned deadly, leading not only to death, but to a ghostly presence as well. That story is up next.

<COMMERCIAL BREAK>

STORY: LOVE, POISON, AND GHOSTS – THE CASE OF CEELY ROSE=====

Meet the Rose family: father David, mother Rebecca, brother Walter, and daughter Ceely. During the late 1800s, Papa Rose ran a successful gristmill business that provided a comfortable home for his family in a picturesque area outside of Mansfield known as Pleasant Valley.

However, naming a peaceful place “Pleasant Valley” is just asking for trouble. Guess what? This story proves that point perfectly.

The darkness that would descend upon the Rose family arrived in the form of an unassuming bundle of joy named Ceely on March 13, 1873. By this time, the Rose parents were in their 40s—way past the usual birthing age of the time.

As their daughter grew, it became clear that her body was outpacing her mind, and they undoubtedly blamed her disabilities on the late birth.

At school, Ceely’s developmental problems kept her several years behind other children in her age group. Despite being much younger, her classmates would berate her by shouting, “Dumbbell Ceely! Ugly old Ceely!” Thankfully, Ceely’s life wasn’t always as grim as the schoolroom.

Though she was constantly harassed by the community, her family loved and supported her. She had the friendship of two neighbor girls, Cora and Tracey Davis, and a neighbor boy, Guy Berry.

As Ceely Rose grew older, her friendship with Guy Berry transformed into a powerful infatuation. Unable to keep her eyes off the strapping young man, Ceely would spend hours in her room watching as Guy worked the surrounding fields.

She would constantly interrupt his work with obsessive visits and began to profess that she and Guy were getting married, and she didn’t care who knew it! For a while, it was all “Guy this and Guy that” around the Rose home. I don’t know how they stood it.

Eventually, in the summer of 1896, good-hearted Guy had enough of Ceely’s fantasies and, in hopes of letting her down easy, told her that neither of their parents approved of her marriage plans and it could, therefore, never be. Boy, oh boy, did that ruffle Ceely’s feathers!

The next morning, Ceely marched to the springhouse, grabbed a box of “Rough on Rats!” brand rat poison, and mixed two heaping spoonfuls into the morning’s breakfast of cottage cheese and coffee.

Her father was dead by nightfall, her brother lasted for several days, and her mother slowly began to recover as she had a light breakfast that morning.

After a few days, Mrs. Rose realized that her daughter was responsible for the poisoning and, in an act of Christian forgiveness rarely seen, began to plot to save her child from justice.

Obviously not too bright herself, Mrs. Rose concocted an ill-conceived plan for her and her daughter to go on the lam—far away from the boy that Ceely had killed her own father and brother to be near.

Ceely mulled this idea over for a while, then went out to the springhouse, mixed another giant helping of “Rough on Rats!” into a bowl of milk and bread, and fed it to her nearly recovered mother.

Chillingly, Ceely later confessed to being amazed at how well the poison worked and how she laughed uncontrollably as her mother “vomited up the green stuff.”

Now that her family was finally out of the way, Ceely baked a cherry pie with arsenic sauce for Guy’s family. She instructed Guy to give his parents the pie but warned him not to have any himself.

When Ceely left, Guy made the wise decision to throw the pie into the yard. Within a few hours, all the chickens were dead.

Even though her plan to kill Guy’s parents failed, Ceely was on a roll and hated to see good arsenic go to waste, so she invited a local minister to dinner with plans to serve him one of the poisoned chickens.

The minister arrived for a chicken dinner but cheated death by carrying on his way when Ceely didn’t promptly answer the door.

At this point, it was obvious to most that Ceely was behind the murder of her entire family and a sizeable flock of chickens, but 1896 was an off year for the forensics team of Pleasant Valley, and there was no way for the authorities to pin a rap on “dumbbell Ceely.”

Finally, her neighbor friend, Tracey Davis, talked Ceely into confessing her crimes while the sheriff hid and listened in an adjacent room. The mad poisoner was taken to jail.

Ceely’s trial was quick. She was found mentally unsound and locked up in the Toledo Insane Asylum that autumn, where she remained until being transferred to the Lima Asylum in 1915. At age 58, Ceely died and was buried on the hospital grounds.

Today, both the Rose and Berry farmhouses are part of Malabar Farm State Park, along with the home of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Louis Bromfield. (Bromfield’s house also has a ghost or two.)

As determined as she was in life, Ceely is said to continue to fixate on Guy from beyond the grave. She is seen peering from her bedroom window out onto the fields where Guy once toiled, wandering the grounds surrounding the houses, and haunting the cemetery where her murdered family and beloved Guy are buried.

While the Rose house is only open to the public during the park’s monthly ghost tours, several park rangers have reported run-ins with phantom footsteps, unexplained chills, and the wisps of a female figure while visiting the home.

Guests at the Berry house (which is now a hostel) have reported a variety of experiences like full-bodied apparitions, voices, objects being tossed from shelves, and, most intriguingly, having their feet tickled at night.

If only Ceely’s situation were set in modern times. The tootsie tickler could have forgotten all about Guy and started a booming website catering to a specific subset of the population.

Another area of Malabar graced by Ceely’s presence is the main barn at the Bromfield house. In 2002, a local playwright, Mark Jordan, received permission to perform a play about the Rose murders here, just a spitting distance from where they occurred.

In the beginning, the production was plagued with odd electrical and mechanical malfunctions. During particular scenes that recreated the murders, lights would pulse and flash violently, audio equipment would fail to work, and unexplained drafts would accompany unchoreographed prop activations.

After a while, Mark, a skeptic, began asking for Ceely’s blessing at the beginning of each performance. Since adopting this practice, the annual productions went off without a hitch.

STORY: THE ENIGMATIC HITMAN, BUSTER FROM CHICAGO=====

The 1920s and 1930s in the United States were a golden era for organized crime. The prohibition of alcohol created immense opportunities for crime families to grow rich and powerful through the illegal sale of alcohol, stolen goods, bribing politicians and cops, and committing murders. These families operated outside the law, often taking matters into their own hands. It was a dangerous environment, but one where money could be made if you had the stomach for it. One such tough guy who made a name for himself as a freelance hitman was known as Buster from Chicago.

Buster was a feared killer for hire, responsible for many mob-authorized hits. His targets ranged from low-level street men to high-profile figures like Giuseppe Morello, the first boss of the Morello crime family. Buster carried out several high-profile murders in the 1930s during the Castellammarese War, a violent mob war in the streets of New York. Despite his infamous reputation, nobody really knows who Buster was.

Based on his alias, we can gather some information about Buster from Chicago. Many people claim that Buster was actually Sebastiano Domingo. Bill Bonanno, the son of Joseph Bonanno (the Bonanno crime family leader), identified Buster as Domingo in his book “The Last Testament of Bill Bonanno,” published in 2011. Bonanno Sr. had witnessed Buster’s capabilities during the New York gang war.

The name Domingo fits well with the nickname Buster. Domingo was often called “Bastiano,” which could easily be corrupted to “Buster.” He was from Chicago, with his family having settled there in 1913. However, some argue that Buster from Chicago was a fictional character created by Joe Valachi, a member of the Genovese family, to escape responsibility for various killings. Valachi was the first person to publicly admit his involvement in organized crime and was suspected of several murders.

What is certain is that those who knew Buster from Chicago had little idea about his background. There is not much to go on except for scraps of information, such as Valachi describing him as a “college boy” in terms of appearance. When working with the assassin, Valachi noticed that Buster had exceptional skills with various weapons, including machine guns, pistols, and shotguns. Valachi also claimed that Buster used to carry a Tommy gun in a large violin case, adding to his mystique.

However, Buster was more known for using a 12-gauge sawed-off pump shotgun, sometimes kept in a guitar case. Buster’s first murder assignment was to kill Giuseppe Morello, given to him by another mobster, Salvatore Maranzano. On August 15, 1930, Joseph Perrano and Morello were shot dead in Morello’s East Harlem office. While some accounts claim Frank Scalise and Albert Anastasia were the shooters, Valachi believed Buster from Chicago was responsible.

Buster was also believed to have killed Masseria lieutenants Steve Ferringo and Alfred Mineo. On November 5, 1930, he gunned them down while they were walking through the Bronx apartment complex’s courtyard. Buster escaped by disguising himself as a frightened bystander and directing an investigating patrolman away from the scene.

On February 3, 1931, Buster was positioned in a basement apartment on Belmont Avenue, waiting for another mobster, Giuseppe Catania, also known as Joe the Baker. When Joe left a store with his wife, Buster opened fire, mortally wounding him. Despite the chaos, Buster calmly escaped, proud that the wide blast pattern did not harm Joe’s wife.

Buster from Chicago was known for his ability to kill targets with minimal collateral damage and for his cool demeanor, allowing him to walk away from crime scenes without being caught. His reputation made him an ideal hitman for an underworld boss during a mob war. However, much of what is known about Buster comes from Valachi, whose stories have been proven exaggerated or inaccurate. Valachi may have been covering for himself or embellishing the exploits he was aware of in the 1930s.

One questionable detail is Valachi’s claim that Buster was hired by Maranzano to kill Masseria underboss Peter Morello. However, it was later discovered that Morello’s own organization members plotted his assassination.

Whether Buster from Chicago was real or a fictional creation, he is said to have survived the Castellammarese War but disappeared soon after. According to Valachi, Buster targeted Lucky Luciano, an Italian-born gangster, leading to his downfall. Luciano, fearing his rivals had hired Buster, ordered his killing. In September 1931, Buster was reportedly killed in a New York gambling den, and his body was quietly disposed of.

If Valachi’s story is to be believed, and if Buster was indeed a real person, could he have been Sebastiano Domingo, “Bastiano” from Chicago? Sebastiano was born in 1910 in Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily, Italy, and his family immigrated to the United States in 1913, settling in Little Italy, Chicago. This dangerous part of town witnessed numerous extortion-based murders by the local Black Hand organization.

Many of Sebastiano Domingo’s family members were killed during the violence following Prohibition. Sebastiano gradually worked his way up the ranks of Chicago’s crime families, becoming a known hitman. Salvatore Maranzano did hire Bastiano as a hitman in Chicago.

Bastiano’s death also fits the narrative to some extent. On May 30, 1933, Sebastiano Domingo was seen playing cards at the Castle Café on the Lower East Side, Manhattan. Suddenly, four gunmen barged in and opened fire. Domingo was found dead on the sidewalk outside the café, and five other men were wounded. Over 200 relatives and friends attended his funeral at St. John’s Cemetery on June 3, 1933.

Was this Buster? Was Buster ever a real person? While we may never know for sure, we can be certain that in the wild times of mob violence in the 1930s, such a hitman would have found plenty of work.

STORY: THE HAUNTING OF HISUKA STATION=====

Japan has its share of spooky stories, and one of the most unsettling is the legend of Hitsuka Station. This mysterious train station has fascinated and frightened many since it was first mentioned online in 2012.

Hitsuka Station first appeared in a post on the Japanese message board 2ch in early 2012. The post was part of a thread called “Mysterious Experience, Mysterious Story enigma Part 77.” According to the post, Hitsuka Station is supposedly located somewhere along the Seibu Shinjuku rail line, which connects Seibu Shinjuku Station in Tokyo with Hon-Kawagoe Station in Saitama Prefecture. However, its precise location remains unknown, adding to its mystique.

What sets Hitsuka Station apart from typical train stations is its appearance. The entire station is described as being completely white, almost as if it’s colorless. This stark white setting includes the platform, the benches, and even the walls. The only exception is the station sign, which reads “ひつか 駅” (Hitsuka Station) in black. The station is also notable for its lack of attendants or railway employees, and it has no stairs or ticket gates.

The legend of Hitsuka Station details a specific and terrifying pattern of events:

  1. The Lure: The station ensnares targets by luring them onto a train they believe to be their usual route home. Once on board, they fall asleep.
  2. The Awakening: When they wake up, they find themselves alone on the train, which is now stopped at Hitsuka Station. The train is empty, and the station is unrecognizable.
  3. The Departure: If the target steps off the train, it departs after three minutes, leaving them stranded at Hitsuka Station.
  4. The Encounter: At this point, a small child-like figure, known as Subject 1A, appears. This being, dressed in a kimono and sporting a bobbed haircut, informs the target that they have arrived at a place where living humans are forbidden.
  5. The Warning: Subject 1A warns the target that there is another station beyond Hitsuka Station, which represents death. They describe Hitsuka Station as “one step before death.”
  6. The Return: If Subject 1A is feeling charitable, they may return the target to their original world. The target will suddenly find themselves back on the train, a few stations past their intended stop, with a missing item or piece of clothing.
  7. The Consequence: Subject 1A tells the target that they can only be returned once. If they ever find themselves at Hitsuka Station again, it will be their final journey.

One chilling account at the station took place on January 9, 2012, when an anonymous 2ch user shared their experience with Hitsuka Station. They had taken their usual train home after attending a kendo ceremony and fell asleep. When they woke up, they were at Hitsuka Station. The events that followed matched the legend perfectly, right down to the missing knit hat they had been wearing.

This user (who went by the ID RaLFMpPb0) had previous knowledge of another ghostly station, Kisaragi Station, but was still deeply unnerved by their encounter with Hitsuka Station. They concluded their post by asking if anyone could confirm that what they experienced had actually happened.

Then there is the mysterious Subject 1A, the child-like figure at Hitsuka Station, adds another layer of mystery. Despite their appearance, they are not a small child. It is unclear what they truly are, but they are definitely not human. Their role in the legend is both a guide and a gatekeeper, providing crucial information and sometimes offering a way back to the real world.

A recurring detail in these stories is the missing item or piece of clothing. After their encounter, targets often find that something they had with them is gone. Whether this item is a price for their return or a necessary element for Subject 1A to perform the return is unclear. The original 2012 account suggests that the item is taken without the target’s consent, adding to the eeriness of the experience.

The legend of Hitsuka Station remains shrouded in mystery. Its precise location is unknown, and there are only a few accounts of encounters with this eerie place. Some have tried to link it to real stations along the Seibu Shinjuku line, but no concrete evidence has surfaced.

The Seibu Railway itself has a long history, dating back to 1945 in its current form, with parts of it going back to 1894. The railway has multiple lines, but none definitively connect to Hitsuka Station. This lack of concrete information only fuels the legend further.

Hitsuka Station is a chilling tale that combines elements of ghost stories and urban legends. Its unsettling details and the terrifying experiences of those who claim to have encountered it make it a fascinating topic. Whether you believe in the legend or not, one thing is clear: Hitsuka Station is not a place you would want to find yourself, especially not alone in the middle of the night.

So, next time you’re on a late-night train in Japan, make sure to stay awake. You never know if you might just find yourself at Hitsuka Station, facing a journey you might not return from.

BREAK=====

Up next on Weird Darkness… In July 1993, 26-year-old Kristin Ann Lodge-Miller set out for her morning jog in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, never to return home. Tragically, her run ended in a horrifying attack by 18-year-old Anthony Georg Simpson, who fatally shot her after she fought back against his assault. Simpson’s shocking crime and his troubled past left the community outraged and seeking justice, forever impacting the town of Chapel Hill.

<COMMERCIAL BREAK>

STORY: THE MURDER OF KRISTIN ANN=====

On the morning of July 15, 1993, Kristin Ann Lodge-Miller, a 26-year-old speech therapist, set out for her usual jog in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She had no idea it would be her last run. Kristin put on an old T-shirt, orange and pink jogging shorts, grabbed her keychain with a small can of mace, and headed out the door. The tree-lined running trail on Estes Drive near her home seemed especially peaceful that morning. After a three-mile run, she planned to drive to her job, where she worked with children and elderly stroke victims.

Kristin was a beautiful Midwestern girl with an undergraduate and master’s degree in speech-language pathology. She and her husband, Erik, had moved to Chapel Hill when he was accepted into the graduate business school at the University of North Carolina. As the sun rose, the college town began to wake up, with people walking and jogging along Estes Boulevard. Kristin must have felt safe with so many people around. Who would attack someone in such a public place?

Unfortunately, danger lurked nearby. From a stand of trees beside the walkway, an 18-year-old boy named Anthony Georg Simpson jumped Kristin. He tried to drag her into the bushes, but Kristin fought back. She sprayed her attacker with mace and managed to break away, but Simpson was enraged by her resistance. He chased her, pulled out a .32-caliber handgun, and fired six shots. Three bullets pierced her back, and she staggered and fell to the ground. Simpson then ran up to her, placed the gun to the back of her head, and pulled the trigger.

Police found four spent shell casings near Kristin’s body and two more further away, indicating that Simpson fired while chasing her and then shot her at close range as she fell. They also found Kristin’s mace canister near her body, half-empty with sticky residue still on it.

The crime happened so fast that onlookers couldn’t help. Numerous horrified witnesses called 911, and within minutes, police and paramedics arrived. EMTs rushed Kristin to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Witnesses provided a detailed description of the shooter, and within an hour, police arrested Anthony Georg Simpson. He was riding his bicycle through the heart of the city, seemingly without a care in the world.

In November 1992, Simpson had moved to Chapel Hill with his mother, Karen, into a new condominium. His uncle, Ethan Horton, a former football star at the University of North Carolina and player for the Los Angeles Raiders, owned the high-end property. Despite the upscale living arrangement, Simpson had a troubled past. In Virginia, he had been suspended from school 23 times for insubordination, fistfights, and disrespect. He appeared in juvenile court three times and was labeled “beyond parental control.”

Simpson had served time in two Virginia facilities. At age 14, he spent about three months in the Norfolk Detention Home for hitting a classmate on the head with a shovel. In early 1992, he served nine months in the Beaumont Learning Center for shooting into a moving car during a drug deal. In Chapel Hill, his crimes continued. Less than a month before murdering Kristin, police arrested him for stealing a Honda. Instead of jail time, a judge released Simpson and ordered him to perform a few hours of community service.

Back on the streets, Simpson dropped out of summer school and made few friends. Those who knew him described him as a loner and wannabe gangster. He bragged about raping women and being a hitman, though police later determined these claims were false. Violent fantasies had become ingrained in Simpson’s mind, and Kristin’s murder was just a step up his ladder of rage.

Once caught, Simpson quickly confessed. Police were surprised to learn that he didn’t come from a poor background; his mother was an officer in the United States Air Force. However, his father was long gone, and Simpson spent much time alone due to his mother’s job.

Four witnesses identified Simpson as the shooter. Simpson led police to an abandoned shed off Estes Road, where he had tossed the gun. Police matched Simpson’s fingerprints to those on the ammunition clip found in the weapon used to kill Kristin.

The trial ended with a verdict of second-degree murder, which outraged the citizens of Chapel Hill. They were furious to learn that Simpson could be eligible for parole after only ten years. Prosecutors had asked the jury to find him guilty of first-degree murder, which would have required him to serve twenty years before being considered for parole.

The public was vocal in their disapproval. Newspapers received a deluge of letters to the editors complaining about the verdict. Women’s groups, rape crisis organizations, and even high school students held vigils lamenting the decision. The outcry continued for weeks, with letters from ordinary citizens denouncing the verdict.

One juror spoke anonymously to the press, stating that three jurors refused to vote for first-degree murder, causing the group to go with the lesser charge. They were not convinced that Simpson intended to rape Kristin and considered that she had pepper-sprayed her attacker, which enraged him. This, some jurors believed, mitigated his crime.

Citizens need not have worried about Simpson cheating the system and being released early. He seemed unable to comply with prison rules, racking up 47 infractions, including sexual crimes, drug infractions, fighting, possession of a weapon, disobeying orders, assault on an officer, and assaulting staff with a weapon. Because of this, Simpson has not been seriously considered for release.

After the verdict, Erik Miller wrote a letter to the people of Chapel Hill, stating, “Our loss has been total and final. We know we cannot have Kristin back, and neither can this society. Kristin Ann Lodge-Miller was one of the few people who I can truly say positively affected society. She certainly had a positive effect on myself and my family. Her beauty was far beyond the physical and it is, indeed, a severe blow to all now that she is gone.”

Random crimes always frighten people. They shatter the perceived order in the universe and generate more publicity than most other crimes. Kristin’s murder was a prime example, striking a chord with the community and leaving a lasting impact on Chapel Hill.

SHOW CLOSE=====

Thanks for listening! If you like the show, please share it with someone you know who loves the paranormal or strange stories, true crime, monsters, or unsolved mysteries like you do! You can email me and follow me on social media through the Weird Darkness website. WeirdDarkness.com is also where you can find information on sponsors you heard during the show, listen to FREE audiobooks I’ve narrated, get the email newsletter, find my other podcasts including “Church of the Undead” and a sci-fi podcast “Auditory Anthology”. Also on the site you can visit the store for Weird Darkness tee-shirts, mugs, and other merchandise… plus, it’s where you can find the Hope in the Darkness page if you or someone you know is struggling with depression, addiction, or thoughts of harming yourself or others. And if you have a true paranormal or creepy tale to tell of your own, you can click on TELL YOUR STORY. You can find all of that and more at WeirdDarkness.com.

All stories on Weird Darkness are purported to be true unless stated otherwise, and you can find links to the stories, authors, and sources I used in the episode notes.

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Now that we’re coming out of the dark, I’ll leave you with a little light… John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

And a final thought… “Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.” – George Washington

I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me in the Weird Darkness.

 

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