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Blue Moon Killings: Florida Sheriff Says 3 Deaths 'Ritualistic'

Image: Blue Moon Killings: Florida Sheriff Says 3 Deaths 'Ritualistic'
Police tape restricts entry to scene of "ritualistic killing" in Florida. (YouTube)

By    |   Thursday, 06 Aug 2015 07:39 AM

Last week's blue moon may have triggered a "ritualistic killing" that left three dead in Florida, the Escambia County sheriff believes.

Voncile Smith, 77, and her sons John William Smith, 49, and Richard Thomas Smith, 47, were all found dead in their home last Friday during a welfare check, according to the Pensacola News Journal.

Authorities told the News Journal the three had been murdered with a hammer and their throats had been slit. Richard Thomas Smith, an employee with the Department of Homeland Security, was also shot in the head.

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan told reporters that authorities believe the three were killed sometime after 7 p.m. on July 28. Morgan said police had interviewed a person of interest who was known to the family. Relatives said a third son was questioned.

"Initial research has led us to believe it was a ritualistic killing," Morgan said, according to the News Journal. "The method of the murder — blunt force trauma, slit throats, positioning of bodies — and our person of interest has some ties to a faith or religion that is indicative of that. The time of the death on Tuesday also coincides with what's referred to as a blue moon, which occurs every three years."

Authorities told WKRG-TV that the suspect did not take anything, despite the Smith family having $7,000 in a safe at the residence. Deputies said the family had lived in the home for 27 years, but talked to neighbors sparingly.

Morgan said the person of interest was involved in "witchcraft" and cited the method of death as leading to his theory of the deaths being ritualistic, noted the News Journal.

"It's witchcraft. I'll say that right now," Morgan said at a news conference. "There are different factions of that. While it doesn't bother me to release their being, most assuredly, you do not want to want to defame or demean any particular practices."

WKRG-TV reported on Wednesday that family members dismissed the idea that the murders had anything to do with witchcraft.

The television station said two member of the Smith family, who were not identified, said the sheriff's witchcraft connection wasn't true. The relatives said a third Smith son was being interviewed by authorities.

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Last week's blue moon may have triggered a "ritualistic killing" that left three dead in Florida, the Escambia County sheriff believes.
blue, moon, killings, florida, ritualistic
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2015-39-06
Thursday, 06 Aug 2015 07:39 AM
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