“THE KING JAMES BIBLE OF DEMONOLOGY” and More True Stories! #WeirdDarkness

“THE KING JAMES BIBLE OF DEMONOLOGY” and More True Stories! #WeirdDarkness

Listen to ““THE KING JAMES BIBLE OF DEMONOLOGY” and More True Stories! #WeirdDarkness” on Spreaker.

IN THIS EPISODE: Most everyone is familiar with the King James Bible, but did you know that King James also wrote a book on demonology during the witch hunts and trials? (The King James Book of Demonology) *** Her gravestone, decorated with a cross and flowers, reads “Jerrilynn S. Mullins — Beloved wife and best friend.” It could also be added, “a victim of a crime that will likely never be solved.” (The Unsolved Mystery of Jerrilyn Mullins) *** It was on November 15th 1966 that Point Pleasant, West Virginia had its first experience with what later became known as the Mothman. Many believe it was either the cause of a horrific bridge collapse, or perhaps a harbinger of the doom that was soon to come. The mystery remains to this day – as do some of the eerie happenings in the area. (Mothman Attacks) ** 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson was found dead in his high school’s gym – but the circumstances of his death have brought more questions than answers. Was Kendrick’s death a tragic accident – or cold-blooded murder? (The Mysterious Death of Kendrick Johnson)
“The Mysterious Death of Kendrick Johnson” from The Scare Chamber: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/dkuavkb3
“The King James Book of Demonology” by Jacob Shelton for Graveyard Shift: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/34vaad3z
“Mothman Attacks” by Troy Taylor: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/5ac64hhn
“The Unsolved Mystery of Jerrilyn Mullins” by Troy Taylor: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/224xc2w7
Weird Darkness theme by Alibi Music Library.
= = = = =
(Over time links seen above may become invalid, disappear, or have different content. I always make sure to give authors credit for the material I use whenever possible. If I somehow overlooked doing so for a story, or if a credit is incorrect, please let me know and I will rectify it in these show notes immediately. Some links included above may benefit me financially through qualifying purchases.)
= = = = =
“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” — John 12:46
= = = = =
WeirdDarkness® is a registered trademark. Copyright ©2024, Weird Darkness.
= = = = =
Originally aired: November 15, 2021


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.


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…

Her gravestone, decorated with a cross and flowers, reads “Jerrilynn S. Mullins — Beloved wife and best friend.”
It could also be added, “a victim of a crime that will likely never be solved.” (The Unsolved Mystery of Jerrilyn Mullins)

It was on November 15th 1966 that Point Pleasant, West Virginia had its first experience with what later became known as the Mothman. Many believe it was either the cause of a horrific bridge collapse, or perhaps a harbinger of the doom that was soon to come. The mystery remains to this day – as do some of the eerie happenings in the area. (Mothman Attacks)

Most everyone is familiar with the King James Bible, but did you know that King James also wrote a book on demonology during the witch hunts and trials? (The King James Book of Demonology)

17-year-old Kendrick Johnson was found dead in his high school’s gym – but the circumstances of his death have brought more questions than answers. Was Kendrick’s death a tragic accident – or cold-blooded murder? (The Mysterious Death of Kendrick Johnson)

If you’re new here, welcome to the show! And if you’re already a member of this Weirdo family, please take a moment and invite someone else to listen. Recommending Weird Darkness to others helps make it possible for me to keep doing the show! And while you’re listening, be sure to check out WeirdDarkness.com where you can find the show on Facebook and Twitter, and you can also join the Weird Darkness Weirdos Facebook group.

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



On the night of November 15, 1966, two young married couples had a very strange encounter as they drove past an abandoned TNT plant near Point Pleasant, West Virginia. The couples spotted two large eyes that were attached to something that was “shaped like a man, but bigger, maybe six or seven feet tall. And it had big wings folded against its back.”
When the creature moved toward the plant door, the couples panicked and sped away. Moments later, they saw the same creature on a hillside near the road. It spread its wings and rose into the air, following along with their car, which by now was traveling at over 100 miles per hour. “That bird kept right up with us,” said one of the members of the group.
They told Deputy Sheriff Millard Halstead that it followed them down Highway 62 and right to the Point Pleasant city limits. And they would not be the only ones to report the creature that night. Another group of four witnesses claimed to see the “bird” three different times.
Another sighting had more bizarre results. At about 10:30 p.m. on that same evening, Newell Partridge, a local building contractor who lived in Salem (about 90 miles from Point Pleasant), was watching television when the screen suddenly went dark. He stated that a weird pattern filled the screen, and then he heard a loud, whining sound from outside. Partridge’s dog, Bandit, began to howl out on the front porch, and Newell went out to see what was going on.
When he walked outside, he saw Bandit facing the hay barn, about 150 yards from the house. Puzzled, Partridge turned a flashlight in that direction and spotted two red circles that looked like eyes or “bicycle reflectors.” Bandit, an experienced hunting dog and protective of his territory shot off across the yard in pursuit of the glowing eyes. Partridge called for him to stop, but the animal paid no attention. His owner turned and went back into the house for his gun, but then was too scared to go back outside again. He slept that night with his gun propped up next to the bed. The next morning, he realized that Bandit had disappeared. The dog had still not shown up two days later when Partridge read in the newspaper about the sightings in Point Pleasant that same night.
One statement that he read in the newspaper chilled him to the bone. Roger Scarberry, one member of the group who spotted the strange “bird” at the TNT plant, said that as they entered the city limits of Point Pleasant, they saw the body of a large dog lying on the side of the road. A few minutes later, on the way back out of town, the dog was gone. They even stopped to look for the body, knowing they had passed it just a few minutes before. Newell Partridge immediately thought of Bandit, who was never seen again.
On November 16, a press conference was held in the county courthouse, and the couples from the TNT plant sighting repeated their story. Deputy Halstead, who had known the couples all their lives, took them very seriously. “They’ve never been in any trouble,” he told investigators and had no reason to doubt their stories. Many of the reporters who were present for the weird recounting felt the same way.
The news of the strange sightings spread around the world. The press dubbed the odd flying creature “Mothman,” after a character from the popular Batman television series of the day.
The remote and abandoned TNT plant became the lair of the Mothman in the months ahead, and it could not have picked a better place to hide in. The area was made up of several hundred acres of woods and large concrete domes where high explosives were stored during World War II. A network of tunnels honeycombed the area and made it possible for the creature to apparently move about without being seen. In addition to the manmade labyrinth, the area was also comprised of the McClintic Wildlife Station, a heavily forested animal preserve filled with woods, artificial ponds, and steep ridges and hills. Much of the property was almost inaccessible, and without a doubt, Mothman could have hidden for weeks or months and remained totally unseen. The only people who ever wandered there were hunters and fishermen and the local teenagers, who used the rutted dirt roads of the preserve as “lover’s lanes.”
Very few homes could be found in the region, but one dwelling belonged to the Ralph Thomas family. On November 16, they spotted a “funny red light” in the sky that moved and hovered above the TNT plant. “It wasn’t an airplane,” Mrs. Marcella Bennett (a friend of the Thomas family) said, “but we couldn’t figure out what it was.” Mrs. Bennett drove to the Thomas house a few minutes later and got out of the car with her baby. Suddenly, a figure stirred near the automobile. “It seemed as though it had been lying down,” she later recalled. “It rose up slowly from the ground… a big gray thing… bigger than a man with terrible glowing eyes.”
Mrs. Bennett was so horrified that she dropped her little girl. She quickly recovered, picked up her child, and ran to the house. The family locked everyone inside, but hysteria gripped them as the creature shuffled onto the porch and peered into the windows. The police were summoned, but the Mothman had vanished by the time the authorities had arrived.
Mrs. Bennett would not recover from the incident for months and was, in fact, so distraught that she sought medical attention to deal with her anxieties. She was tormented by frightening dreams and later told investigators that she believed the creature had visited her own home too. She said that she often heard a keening sound — like a woman screaming– near her isolated home on the edge of Point Pleasant.
Many would come to believe that the sightings of Mothman, as well as UFO sightings and encounters with “men in black” in the area, which occurred over the course of the months that followed, were all related. For over a year, strange happenings continued in the area. Researchers, investigators, and “monster hunters” descended on the area, and it was said that at least 100 people personally witnessed the creature between November 1966 and November 1967.
According to their reports, the creature stood between five and seven feet tall, was wider than a man, and shuffled on human-like legs. Its eyes were set near the top of the shoulders and had bat-like wings that glided, rather than flapped when it flew. Strangely, though, it was able to ascend straight up “like a helicopter.” Witnesses also described its murky skin as being either gray or brown, and it emitted a humming sound when it flew. The Mothman was apparently incapable of speech and gave off a screeching sound. Mrs. Bennett stated that it sounded like a “woman screaming.”
The Mothman was probably last seen in late November 1967, but the story of weird happenings in Point Pleasant had not yet ended. At around 5:00 p.m. on December 15, 1967, the 700-foot Silver Bridge linking Point Pleasant to Ohio suddenly collapsed while filled with rush hour traffic. Dozens of vehicles plunged into the dark waters of the Ohio River, and 46 people were killed.
The collapse of the Silver Bridge made headlines all over the country. The local citizens were stunned with horror and disbelief, and for many, the tragedy is still being felt today. There were many people – perhaps most people in the area – who believed that the Mothman sightings, the bizarre events, and the reports of strange lights were somehow connected to the collapse of the bridge. Some saw the earlier events as a warning or premonition of the deadly accident to come. Others believed that the Mothman was directly responsible for the horror. A few even insist that the creature was seen near the bridge just minutes before the collapse occurred.
So, who – or what – was the Mothman, and what was behind the strange events in Point Pleasant?
Whatever the creature may have been, it seems clear that Mothman was no hoax. There were simply too many credible witnesses who saw “something.” But what he was – and why the region was and still is, plagued by strange anomalies – remains a mystery.



When Weird Darkness returns, 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson was found dead in his high school’s gym – but the circumstances of his death have brought more questions than answers. Was Kendrick’s death a tragic accident – or cold-blooded murder? That story is up next.



Imagine this. You’re 17 and in High School. As a 3-sport athlete, you have aspirations of playing professional football. One day, you decide to stay after school, watch the evening’s basketball game. Your parents know where you are; you told them you’d be home after the game. But you don’t go home. In fact, you’d never go home again. Instead, you’d spend your last days in the High School gym. That was the case for Kendrick Johnson on January 10, 2013.

Kendrick Johnson was born on October 10, 1995 in Valdosta, Georgia. He was described as an incredibly loving son. His father described him as being the son everyone wished they could have. He was well mannered and very respectable, and well loved by all.

After winter break, Kendrick returned to school, like all the other kids. On that second day back, January 10, 2013, he told his parents he was going to attend a basketball game at the school. He was a good kid, always kept in touch with his parents, never made them worry about where he was or what he was doing, so when he didn’t return home that night, his parents knew something was wrong.

At around 10pm, his mother, Jackie, drove down to the school, to see if he was still there. After searching for her son for approximately 2.5 hours, she knew it was time to go to the police. She filed a missing persons report at around 12:30am on the 11th, but her son was not immediately located. In fact, he wouldn’t be found until later that day.

The school, Lowndes High School in Valdosta, Georgia, had two gyms. In the old gym, a group of students were preparing for class. In the corner of the gym was a set of wrestling mats, rolled up, standing vertical, like they always were. Kids being kids, began to play and screw around, climbing up on the top. Then something caught the eye of one of the students. They saw what appeared to be a pair of legs, sticking straight up and out of the center of the mat.

The student called the coach over, and he saw the legs too. The mats were tall though, (measuring six feet tall by three feet wide) and he wouldn’t be able to pull the person out, so he laid the mat down, and carefully unrolled it. Inside was the deceased body of Kendrick Johnson.

The authorities were called immediately as the coach ushered all the students out of the gym. The school was locked down, and coincidentally, Kendrick’s mother, Jackie just so happened to be there. She was printing missing persons flyers.

Kendrick’s face was swollen and unrecognizable. His face appeared as though it had been smashed in. His arms were held stiff, straight to his sides. He was wearing a t-shirt and blue jeans, but not shoes. He was, however, found with 2 pairs of shoes. The first pair was split, with one shoe was under his head, and the other was outside the mat. The other pair was tucked underneath his legs.

Trying to understand what had happened, and why he was in the mat, face down, three students had an idea. They told investigators that it was common for students to store their shoes either behind or under the rolled up mats. Another student told police that he shared a pair of Adidas shoes with Kendrick, and that after gym class Kendrick would always “go to the mats, jump up and toss the shoes inside the middle of the hole.” So it made sense that that was what happened. After all – Kendrick wasn’t wearing any shoes when he was found.

Based on that information, authorities hypothesized that Kendrick had fallen into the mat while looking for a shoe, and was unable to get out. His official cause of death was from positional asphyxia, and the case was ruled an accidental death by the Lowndes County investigators.

Lt. Stryde Jones, who headed up the investigation, stated: “We never had credible information that indicated this was anything other than an accident.”

Kendricks family did not agree, especially when you ask why? Why was he face down in the mat? If he was trying to reach in to grab a shoe, wouldn’t his arms have been outstretched instead of plastered to his sides? How did a second pair of shoes get tucked in under his legs?

What’s more, Kendrick’s shoulder width measured 19 inches. The opening in the mats, when rolled up, all measured 14 inches. How could he have “fallen” into a hole that he couldn’t even fit into. It didn’t add up. To illustrate this, Kendrick’s father tried it himself. He laid a mat horizontal on the ground, rolled up with that 14 inch opening. He couldn’t get in any further than his head.

The facts didn’t line up with the authorities conclusion. The only logical explanation was that Kendrick had been killed, then rolled up inside the mat before it was pushed into that upright position.

Adding to the mystery, the school had security cameras in the gym that could solve the mystery. CNN gained access to the security footage taken the day Kendrick died, but that only served to create more questions.

There were 4 cameras in the gym. The cameras facing the mats were unfocused, and skipped around. All that could be seen in the footage was Kendrick walking into the gym at approximately 1:09pm. Another student entered the gym around the same time he did, but it did not appear that they were together. 3 minutes later a group of students walked through the gym, showing no indication that anything strange was going on.

The footage never showed Kendrick leaving, and he never turned up for his following classes.

That seems innocent enough, until you consider that an entire hour of video footage was outright missing. CNN hired a professional video surveillance team. They noticed that the files they had been given were not the original files, and they had been altered in numerous ways. Some of the video files couldn’t even be viewed. All 4 cameras had the same chunk of time missing.

So what happened? Footage after the missing hour never showed Kendrick again, so the most vital information, the video that would answer the question, “What happened,” just happened to be missing. Was that a coincidence?

His family didn’t think so. Even though their son had already been laid to rest, they hired an independent autopsy. Kendrick’s body was exhumed and on June 15, 2013, William R. Anderson with Forensic Dimensions in Heathrow, Florida, conducted his autopsy.

The first thing he discovered is that all of Kendrick’s organs had been removed, and his body was stuffed with newspaper. This was not all that unusual, if for some reason the organs couldn’t be returned, or had been donated. Except that wasn’t the case. His parents had no idea their son’s organs had not been returned to his body.

They contacted the funeral home to find out why their son’s organs were missing, and were informed that the funeral home had received him that way. According to the coroner, the organs were “destroyed through natural process” and “discarded by the prosecutor before the body was sent back to Valdosta.”

In lieu of his organs, the funeral home had to stuff him with the newspaper.

Kendrick’s family filed a complaint with the regulatory body against the funeral home operator. An investigation ensued, and the Georgia Secretary of State’s office found that the funeral home did not follow “best practice” and that other material was “more acceptable than newspaper.” Nevertheless the investigation cleared the funeral home of any wrongdoing.

Kendrick’s family filed a civil suit against the funeral home, seeking monetary damages.

Anderson went forward with the autopsy, and what he discovered was traces of blunt force trauma to Kendrick’s right neck and soft tissues. Based on his findings, he suggested the death was not accidental.

On October 13, 2013, the US Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia announced that his office would open a formal review into Kendrick Johnson’s death.

The family moved forward and filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Lowndes High School, the Board of Education, the Superintendent, and the school Principal. The suit alleged that Kendrick “was violently assaulted, severely injured, suffered great physical pain and mental anguish, and subjected to insult and loss of life.”

The lawsuit alleged that the defendants were negligent and violated Kendrick’s constitutional right to equal protection based on race. It alleged that the defendants ignored reports that Kendrick had been repeatedly attacked and harassed by a white student. It alleged that Johnson was attacked on a bus trip 14 months prior to his death.

The lawsuit further alleged that another student “had a history of provoking and attacking” Kendrick at school, stating that the provocations took place “in the presence of the coaching staff and employees” after his mother complained about previous attacks. The suit also alleged that school officials failed to “properly monitor the activities of students throughout all areas” of the campus and to “maintain a properly functioning video surveillance system.”

The students were Brandon Bell, and his younger brother, Brian Bell. Adding to the intrigue – their father, Randy Bell, was an FBI agent.

The boys claimed, and have maintained their innocence. They have claimed that they were friends with Kendrick, that they genuinely liked him. Other rumors were circulating that Kendrick and Brandon were feuding over a similar love interest.

In November 2015, the Department of Justice filed a motion in the civil case to intervene and stay the case. The US Attorney said allowing evidence discovery in the civil suit to continue would have a “chilling effect” on the federal investigation, which had expanded into investigating possible obstruction and grand jury witness tampering.

After the Justice Department’s motion was denied, Kendrick’s parents dismissed the wrongful death lawsuit, saying that they hoped to refile it after the conclusion of the federal investigation. They were subsequently sued for more than $850,000 in attorney fees, and $1,000,000 in defamation damages.

In August 2014, a $5 million lawsuit was filed against Ebony magazine, after the magazine published a series of articles naming Brandon and Brian Bell as possible suspects in Kendrick’s death. The magazine used pseudonyms but was otherwise accurate in their descriptions of the boys, including the fact that their father was an FBI agent. The article used as a source an anonymous email to the sheriff’s office.

In their lawsuit, the Bell’s assert that their sons were not involved in the death, are not considered suspects, and have been harassed as a result of the publication.

In January, 2015, Kendrick’s family filed a $100 million lawsuit against Randy Bell. In the lawsuit they claimed that Randy had instructed his boys to murder Kendrick. This lawsuit was later dropped and Georgia Judge Richard Porter ordered the family, and their attorney, to pay more than $292,000 in legal fees to the defendants, accusing them of fabricating evidence to support their claims.

Kendrick’s family filed a legal action to open a coroner’s inquest into his death. When the judge in that case delayed a decision, pending the outcome of the U.S. Attorney’s review, the family demanded that the governor of Georgia immediately authorize the inquiry instead. The family, together with the NAACP and other civil rights activists, then held a rally at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta. The governor’s office released a statement indicating that they would await the report of the US Attorney.

On June 20, 2016, The office of the US Attorney announced that no criminal charges would be filed. “After extensive investigation into this tragic event, federal investigators determined that there is insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that someone or some group of people willfully violated Kendrick Johnson’s civil rights or committed any other prosecutable federal crime.”

On June 22, 2018, Kendrick Johnson’s family requested his body be exhumed for a second time, for a third autopsy. This one corroborated the findings in the second autopsy in addition to adding additional findings. One of these findings indicates there was blunt force trauma found on his right chest.

The blunt force trauma to the chest is the information the family was looking for. A few months prior to the exhumation and third autopsy, on February 9, 2018, a witness gave testimony stating that an acquaintance confessed that another person killed Kendrick.

An excerpt from the affidavit states, “The person struck Kendrick Johnson in the neck with a 45lb. Weight or dumbbell.” It adds that an agent, in some way, “facilitated the editing of the high school’s surveillance video by corrupting or deleting some one hour and twenty-five minutes of the original recording.”

In March, Kendrick’s family was contacted by someone claiming to have a recorded confession. The transcript of the recording reads as follows:

“They are going to catch me anyway, I should’ve never done this. I was young and stupid. Kendrick didn’t deserve this man. They’re going to catch me anyways.”

The perpetrator claimed to be a second-cousin of the boy who “confessed,” and told Kendrick’s family he was at a birthday party with family members when one of the boys confessed to having played a part in what led to Kendrick’s death. The confessor was purported to be Brian Bell.

The person who created the tape contacted Kendrick’s mother, and the Johnson family paid $1,000 for the recording. They handed it over to the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office to authenticate.

Now, when Sheriff Ashley Paulk got ahold of the recording, it didn’t take long for her to identify the confessor. She had heard the voice before – the voice of a person who had been in jail multiple times for giving false confessions.

“This is a terrible hoax. This woman lost a child,” sheriff Paulk said, “I can’t believe somebody would even do this for any amount of money.” Further disproving their claims, their office found no evidence that the Bell kids even had a second-cousin.

While creating and sharing the fake audio recording could fall under the heading of “cyberstalking,” by causing emotional distress to a person using a cellular device, the perpetrator is currently only facing misdemeanor charges.

“There’s the $1,000 and under Georgia law it’s a misdemeanor, but there are federal statutes we’re looking at,” Paulk said.

The family continues to believe that their son’s death was homicide. An attorney has said they believe the investigation was closed under suspicious circumstances fueled by pressure of retired FBI agents. Furthermore, Kendrick’s parents were persuaded to meet with two U.S. Attorney offices and the Department of Justice without legal representation, the attorney said.

In May 2019, Kendrick’s family refiled a lawsuit, contending that their son’s clothes and organs, including his brain, were disposed of to interfere with the investigation into the teen’s death.

According to their attorney, after the first autopsy that took place in the GBI lab, the organs were placed in a bag and placed back into Johnson’s body when it left the lab. He said more people finding their loved ones dead with their organs missing is a human rights issue.

In the wake of the George Floyd and Breonna Taylor killings, Marcus Coleman, a community activist who served as the Johnson’s spokesperson for the past 8 years, pushed for the case to be reopened.

“As I engaged in community activities myself here and across the country, it just never sat well with me the way that Kendrick Johnson’s case was closed,” Coleman said. “And the uprising — as I like to call it — this summer just gave me the energy to pursue reopening this case.”

Initially, Coleman sought the release of the 2015 grand jury proceedings, after Kentucky’s attorney general did so in Breonna Taylor’s case. That led him first to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia, which he learned had recused itself from the case, then to that of the Northern District of Ohio, where it had been transferred.

In November, 2020, he and Kendrick’s parents met with the then-U.S. attorney in Cleveland and asked to have the case reopened. He said the process appeared to be underway, albeit slowed by the holiday season and the pandemic.

But they did get their wish, On March 10, 2021. The case of Kendrick Johnson was officially reopened

The sheriff’s office received what Paulk described as 17 “filing cabinet boxes” of evidence including documents and hard drives. Coleman said he and Kendrick’s family felt the number of boxes was symbolic, as it matched the years of Johnson’s short life.

“When the news came down, I can say that, in one breath, they’re grateful, they’re thankful for the reopening,” Coleman said. “But in that same breath, ‘cautiously optimistic’ probably would be the most accurate label. And I mean it’s just rightfully so considering all of the letdowns that they’ve had over the years.”

Sheriff Paulk does not consider the case to be a homicide. He also said that the Bell boys, Brian and Brandon, are not suspects. “I’m not accusing anybody of anything, but I want to start fresh with it and look at it all the way through,” Paulk told Atlanta NBC affiliate WXIA. ” I think the community deserves it.”

Sheriff Ashley Paulk will be personally leading the reopened investigation along with some officials who had worked on the case the first time, as well as some new faces. They will be re-interviewing people, and talking to new people. As for the 17 boxes of documents – his office already had access to the materials from the state’s earlier investigation.

Paulk noted that he was born and raised in Valdosta, and has known the Johnson family for decades, but emphasized that his office is “not starting out with it’s a murder it’s an accident. We’re starting out with this is a case we have to look at.”

The investigation will take at least six months. “This will be the first time anybody’s had everybody’s evidence in one place, so I’m planning to go through every bit of it,” Paulk said. “If we find a contradiction we’re going to resolve any contradiction, or try to.”


When Weird Darkness returns… her gravestone, decorated with a cross and flowers, reads “Jerrilynn S. Mullins — Beloved wife and best friend.” It could also be added, “a victim of a crime that will likely never be solved.” That story is up next.



On November 15, 1978, Jerrilyn Mullins, a 28-year-old Oakdale, Minnesota, woman disappeared after having dinner with her husband and three business associates at a Chi Chi’s Mexican restaurant in nearby Richfield. Her body wasn’t found until more than seven months later, abandoned in a swamp.
What happened to Jerrilyn that night, and who killed her? Those mysteries remain unsolved more than four decades later.
On the night she vanished, Jerrilyn was meeting her husband, Ron, at Chi Chi’s with some of his friends from work. The couple had just got married on September 1 and had moved to Oakdale just a few weeks before. They had met several years earlier when both worked for Continental Telephone Company in Sycamore, Illinois, their hometown. Each had been married once before, and Ron had two children from his previous marriage.
Jerrilyn had found only temporary work since the wedding. She was a secretary at Family Service of Greater St. Paul and worked downtown. She had been there for about a month and hoped to stay on longer. Her employers had only good things to say about her.
She left work at 5:00 PM and drove to the Howard Johnson’s Restaurant and Motor Lodge in Woodbury. Ron, who was a division plant manager for Continental Telephone, worked nearby, and the couple joined his colleagues at the hotel bar for drinks. Around 7:30, they decided to go over to Chi Chi’s with three others – Patrick Melbourne, Maureen Murphy, and Reuben Bland. Ron drove his company car over the restaurant, and so Jerrilyn left her locked car – a 1975 yellow Chevrolet Monte Carlo with Illinois plates – in the parking lot at Howard Johnson’s.
After arriving at Chi Chi’s, they found they’d have to wait for a table, so they went onto the bar and ordered margaritas. After a short wait, the five of them were directed to a table in the restaurant.
At some point after eating, around 9:00 PM, Jerrilyn left the table, leaving her purse and her pantsuit jacket behind – she didn’t come back. After about 15 minutes, Ron asked Maureen Murphy to go and check on her. She quickly came back to the table to tell him that Jerrilyn was not in the bathroom.
And that’s where things get weird. According to Patrick Melbourne, he didn’t know anyone was looking for Jerrilyn. He saw her outside. He had gone to the bathroom and then went out to check the weather. He said he saw Jerrilyn and tried to talk her into coming back inside the restaurant “because it was cold … and getting awfully windy,” he told police. “She stated that the air was fresh outside, and she wanted to remain outside.”
Melbourne said that he suggested she wait in her husband’s car until the others came out. They walked across the parking lot, but Ron’s car was locked. He suggested that she sit in his car instead.
Ron told investigators that when he came out of the restaurant, he found his wife “in Melbourne’s arms” in the front seat of the car. Ron went to get his car and drove to the front entrance of Chi Chi’s to pick up Rueben and Maureen, who got into the back seat.
Ron said that Melbourne and Jerrilynn approached his car but that he drove off before she could get into the front passenger seat. “I didn’t want a confrontation there,” Ron Mullins told police. “I guess I was just upset by what had happened, what happened. … I acted impulsively.”
Maureen, who had been given Jerrilyn’s purse and jacket by a server, told detectives that she was concerned about the incident and started to say something, but Rueben cut her off. He didn’t think they should get involved in their boss’s personal business.
Melbourne said that he drove Jerrilyn back to the Howard Johnson’s – 22 miles away – and left her there. He said that he offered her assistance, but she declined. A police report put it more succinctly: “Said he didn’t know what direction she took off, he just dropped her off and took off.”
Jerrilyn never came home.
Ron said later that he was dumbfounded – “She had no purse, no money.” He called several people, trying to find her, and then fell asleep waiting, assuming that she would eventually come home.
She didn’t. After he called the police to report her missing, her car was found in the Howard Johnson’s parking lot. It had not been moved.
After the young woman’s disappearance, her story filled newspapers in the region. Fliers with her photo on them detailed her appearance — hazel eyes, 5-foot-3, 120 pounds, auburn hair — and a $2,500 reward was offered.
Detectives received dozens of tips. One man claimed that he had dropped off a hitchhiker matching Jerilynn’s description at a truck stop in Valdosta, Georgia. A woman from Montana said she’d seen her dancing in a bar in Anchorage, Alaska. Another called said she was living in a trailer court and working in a restaurant in Prairie Grove, Arkansas.
Investigators ran down every lead, no matter how far-fetched. They checked with authorities in Las Vegas, Florida, Colorado, California – everywhere she was reported. Every lead turned out to be a bust.
Jerrilyn’s decomposed body was finally found on June 30, 1979, when owners who lived in the 7500 block of 10th Street North in Lake Elmo noticed a strong odor coming from a nearby swampy area. Her body – once at the bottom of a small lake – had surfaced about 20 feet from shore.
The body was in such terrible condition that she had to be identified through dental records and the jewelry she wore. The keys to her Monte Carlo were still in the pocket of her coat.
Even after two autopsies, no cause of death could be determined. Results did show that her left pinkie finger was broken and that she had eaten within two hours of her death. In other words, she had been killed within an hour of leaving the restaurant that night.
The police did have a suspect in the disappearance that had turned into a probable murder – Patrick Melbourne. It turned out that he had a fairly extensive criminal history, which included allegations of sexual assault against women.
In 1969, he had been a suspect in a rape case in Tampa, but he was never charged because his victim could not positively identify him. In 1970, he was convicted of breaking into an 18-year-old woman’s house in Mansfield, Ohio, and beating her with a heavy, blunt object. He had been tried and acquitted on charges of aggravated battery and unlawful restraint in Illinois in 1977. In 1976, he was arrested after hitting a waitress in the back of the head with a ketchup bottle at a Longhorn Steakhouse in Darien, Illinois.
His crimes continued after Jerrilyn’s body was found. In 1980, he was convicted of child abuse and sentenced to 90 days in jail, with 60 days suspended. He was sentenced in 1983 to a year in the Dakota County Jail and 10 years’ probation for second-degree criminal sexual assault. That incident involved a 10-year-old girl.
But there was no proof that he had done anything to Jerrilyn. The police couldn’t file charges against him – they had no evidence, only suspicions – but Ron Mullins did file a wrongful-death civil suit against him in 1989. The $100,000 suit alleged that Melbourne caused Jerrilynn’s death by “an intentional act constituting murder.” After a four-day trial, the jury concluded that she had been murdered but ruled that Ron had failed to provide sufficient evidence to find Melbourne civilly liable for her death.
According to private investigator John Sperry, who investigated Melbourne: “Melbourne had a torrid reputation — none of which we knew. We had a number of women who came forward after she disappeared and talked to us about difficult situations that they had had with him.” He added that Jerrilyn’s body was found at a location where Melbourne had allegedly taken other women after picking them up in bars.
Mullins said that when he learned that Melbourne had died in 2015, his first thought was: “God finally got him.”
But Melbourne’s death has not closed the case. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office still works the files periodically with its cold-case unit. According to Sgt. Mike Benson, “As long as we have living relatives of hers who are interested in seeing closure, we’re of course going to keep looking. But a case this old, we’re going to need to rely on someone from the public to come forward and give us that next tip.”
The biggest problem, investigators believe, is that they were never able to determine the cause of Jerrilyn’s death. If they’d had one, they might have been able to take the case to a grand jury and charged him. But without that, and with the body being missing so long and being so decomposed, there was just no way to pursue it. That was also the reason why the civil case failed.
However, Ron Mullins, John Sperry, and the investigators from the sheriff’s department always believed Melbourne was guilty – no matter what Melbourne himself claimed. In a 1989 interview, he had maintained his innocence and said only his family’s religious convictions had kept them together through the decade-long ordeal of accusations. “If it wasn’t for our faith, we would have been in an insane asylum long ago.”
Jerrilynn Mullins is buried in Elmwood Cemetery in her hometown of Sycamore, Illinois. Her gravestone, decorated with a cross and flowers, reads “Jerrilynn S. Mullins — Beloved wife and best friend.”


Coming up… most everyone is familiar with the King James Bible, but did you know that King James also wrote a book on demonology during the witch hunts and trials? That story is up next when Weird Darkness returns.



After a tumultuous trip to Denmark to retrieve his bride following a proxy marriage in 1589, King James the VI and I allegedly became obsessed with demons, witches, and the Devil. At the time, witch-hunting was common in Scandinavia, and James reportedly attributed many of the problems he faced on his trip to demons. In order to further explore the horrors of the underworld, he retreated to Scotland, where he wrote what he believed to be a discourse on the “science” of demons. The book, Daemonologie, debuted in 1597. On top of being the only book of its kind published by a member of the monarchy, it spurred the witch hunts that impacted Europe and the American colonies in the 17th century.

In Daemonologie, King James breaks down exactly how to spot a demon and explains how they possess someone. However, his book doesn’t simply deal with demons. He also dives into the existence of fairies, witches, and werewolves – all with the same mannered, scientific prose. James’s writings are at times far-fetched, and while most of his thoughts on the supernatural are now considered archaic, much of what he put to paper in his dissertation formed the basis for modern conceptions of demons.

James’s text sometimes describes demons in ways that seem straight out of movies like The Exorcist. According to Daemonologie, demons will often take over bodies and force their way into houses. As creepy as that sounds, his text is even more terrifying. James writes: “For if they have assumed a deade body, whereinto they lodge themselves, they can easely inough open without dinne anie Doore or Window, and enter in thereat.”

Furthermore, he claims a demon can take over a form that once belonged to an upstanding member of the community and, in doing so, instill anxiety in the populace.

According to the king, one of the major tell-tale signs of possession is when someone is incredibly strong: “I account the one of them to be the incredible strength of the possessed creature, which will farre exceede the strength of six of the wightest and wodest of any other men that are not so troubled.”

James describes possessed individuals as having impenetrable skin as well: “And such an ironie hardnes of his sinnowes so stiffelie bended out, that it were not possible to prick out as it were the skinne of anie other person so far.”

In Daemonologie, James describes the way demons use the bodies of a person’s perished loved ones to prey on them. James specifically posits that demons are able to take over the bodies of the genuinely pious because the soul is clean and the body is dirty. He writes that demons inhabit the forms of friends, family members, or famous people in order to speak to people and trick them into doing the bidding of the Devil.

Scholars assert James’s reasoning for this is a way to explain why people claimed to see friends and family members they knew to have passed.

Modern Christians are divided on whether or not speaking in tongues constitutes demonic possession, but James was less concerned with languages from the beyond and more with people speaking a language other than English. According to the king, one of the main ways to tell if someone is a demon is the “speaking of sundrie languages” that the possessed never could have learned on their own.

This belief likely comes from the fact that people in the 16th century were typically isolated and often illiterate even in their native language; a person had to be incredibly well-educated to speak a second language.

While creatures like fairies were considered mere illusions by James, he acknowledged the existence of werewolves. In his text, he writes about lycanthropes as being spirits or people undergoing bouts of mania rather than being the cursed creatures that we think of in a modern context. James notes the ancient Greeks believed in the creatures, but rather than discussing their theories, he gives a personal explanation of their existence.

James writes that the Greeks considered these creatures to be “men-woolfes,” but he concludes, “If anie such thing hath bene, I take it to have proceeded but of a naturall super-abundance of Melancholie, which as wee reade, that it hath made some thinke themselves Pitchers, and some horses, and some one kinde of beast or other.”

Although James believed in the existence of demons and witches, when it came to fantastic creatures like fairies, he was much more skeptical. Throughout the text of Daemonologie, James dismisses the ideas of supernatural beings – including fairies – as local myths.

The only time James seems to seriously consider the existence of fairies is when he suggests that sighting of these folkloric creatures are illusions created by the Devil. James writes, “the deuil illuded the senses of sundry simple creatures, in making them beleeue that they saw and harde such thinges as were nothing so indeed.”

Why are witches in Christian lore predominantly female? According to James, it’s because women are more malleable than men, and therefore more easily tricked by the Devil. Daemonologie puts the ratio of female to male witches at 20 to 1, and this figure went on to form the basis for the witch hunts that took place in the 16th and 17th centuries.

James explains why there’s an abundance of female witches in the second book of his text: “That sexe is frailer then man is, so is it easier to be intrapped in these grosse snares of the Deuill, as was ouer well proued to be true, by the Serpents deceiuing of Eua at the beginning, which makes him the homelier with that sexe sensine.”

Rather than refer to someone as being possessed, or as a body inhabited by a demon, James takes on a clinical view and refers to them as “patients.”

It’s likely James stated this in Daemonologie because he was trying to reclaim power from the new Reformed church. At the time, the church said that they were the only people who could dispel demons and take care of a possessed person, so by making a demonic intrusion seem more medical, James was essentially removing the church from the equation.

In Daemonologie, James is quick to state that while he definitely believes in demons, he doesn’t think they’re hiding in every shadow, waiting to snatch the first godless person they find. In fact, he believes this very idea is a trick being perpetrated by the Devil and upheld by the Catholic church. James writes: “All Devils must be lyars; but so they abuse the simplicitie of these wretches, that becomes their schollers, that they make them beleeue, that at the fall of Lucifer, some Spirites fell in the aire, some in the fire, some in the water, some in the lande: In which Elementes they still remaine. Whereupon they build, that such as fell in the fire, or in the aire, are truer then they, who fell in the water or in the land, which is al but meare trattles, and forged by the author of al deceit.”

In other words, James claims the Devil wants to mislead you into thinking a multitude of demons fell from heaven with him, when in fact, it was a simple few.

According to James, there’s no visit from an exorcist that can help you. The pope can’t come to your rescue, and you’ll never be able to fight off your demons physically. The only thing that can save you from possession by a demon is to pray and fast.

More to the point, James wants to make sure people know they can’t just perform some kind of mystical rite to fend off a similarly mystical creature. James impresses upon his readers that anyone – specifically the Catholic church – who claims to offer respite from the Devil via sacrament or custom is merely selling you a bill of goods. The king specifies that God is the only thing that can save you.

It’s not out of line to wonder where James got his information about demons. After all, it’s not as if there were tons of manuscripts about demonology. In fact, the only major book preceding James’s publication was the Malleus Maleficarum, which spread across Europe thanks to the newly invented printing press.

Scholars believe James did most of his research using the Bible. It’s believed that because the post-Reformation church in Scotland was mostly Calvinist – holding the belief that only the Bible contained the truth about God – the king wouldn’t have been using anything but that book for a reference.

Daemonologie didn’t just influence the witch hunts of the time. It also likely played an important role in shaping one of the Western world’s most important pieces of literature – Macbeth. In the Scottish play, William Shakespeare creates a trio of “weird sisters,” a group of witches who use their knowledge of the future to propel Macbeth down a path of ruin.

Scholars debate whether Shakespeare used James’s text to create the characters as a nod toward the king’s work (to please the most powerful man in England) or as satirical commentary. In Daemonologie, James writes that witches can “rayse stormes and tempestes in the aire, either vpon Sea or land” – and Shakespeare directly acknowledges this in the witches’ dialogue.

Early in the play, after a sailor’s wife refuses to hand over some chestnuts, the first witch states: “And the very ports they blow, All the quarters that they know, I’ the shipman’s card, I will drain him dry as hay”

James notes that most demons can be found in Scandinavia, specifically incubi and succubi. James writes that demons live in Finland and Norway (“Fin-Land” and “Lap-land” in his text) because that’s “where the Deuill findes greatest ignorance and barbaritie, there assayles he grosseliest.”

At the time of James’s reign in England, Scandinavia was seen as a haven for witches – the region was undertaking its own witch hunts. While the grim investigations and trials have been over for centuries, witchcraft has proved resilient in Scandinavia; it’s currently believed hundreds of Danes are practicing witches still today.


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 anytime with your questions or comments at darren@weirddarkness.com – and you can find the show on Facebook and Twitter, including the show’s Weirdos Facebook Group on the CONTACT/SOCIAL page at WeirdDarkness.com. Also on the website, if you have a true paranormal or creepy tale to tell, click on TELL YOUR STORY.

All stories in Weird Darkness are purported to be true (unless stated otherwise) and you can find source links or links to the authors in the show notes.

“The Mysterious Death of Kendrick Johnson” from The Scare Chamber
“The King James Book of Demonology” by Jacob Shelton for Graveyard Shift
“Mothman Attacks” by Troy Taylor
“The Unsolved Mystery of Jerrilyn Mullins” by Troy Taylor


Again, you can find link to all of these stories in the show notes.

WeirdDarkness™ – is a production and trademark of Marlar House Productions.

Now that we’re coming out of the dark, I’ll leave you with a little light… “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” — Romans 12:12

And a final thought… “If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.” – H. G. Wells

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



Views: 18