“The devil made me do it.” This has been the reason given by many criminals who have been caught. Some of them seemed to use this as a calculated excuse, but others truly believe they were under demonic control when they did the crime. In some cases, criminals claimed that they were possessed by Satan himself. The following are those people who claimed to have been coaxed by the devil.
|Photo Credit: Wikipedia|
Smith, a 17-year-old boy, claimed to be possessed by demons when he attempted to rob Peter Churm, a 66-year-old man, of the keys to his son's Range Rover. Smith stabbed the elderly man 10 times in the face, neck, and ears after Churm refused to hand the keys over. Surprisingly, Churm managed to fight the teen back, bashing him in the head with a claw hammer. According to Ranker, a digital media company that features polls on entertainment, brands, sports, and culture, Smith had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. He stated that he saw a demon float out of the elderly man’s wounds when he attacked him.
|Michael Taylor / Photo Credit: Amino|
Exorcisms happen in real life, not just in the movies. One of the most infamous cases involved Taylor, a 31-year-old married father of five. A local Anglican vicar performed an exorcism on him after he blamed an evil presence drove him to cheat on his wife. The vicar and other ministers claimed that they drove out 40 demons from Taylor, including the demons of bestiality, incest, lewdness, and blasphemy. They decided to rest although they believed that Taylor was still being possessed by three other demons: murder, violence, and insanity. Taylor escaped and a few hours later, he was found covered in blood that belonged to his wife. Her mutilated body was later discovered in their home. Taylor claimed that Satan made him do it.
|Aljar Swartz / Photo Credit: IOL|
In October 2013, South African Swartz strangled a Ravensmead teenager to death before beheading him. He then left the body in an abandoned building. It was reported that he intended to sell the victim’s head to a “sangoma,” a traditional healer. Swartz justified his crime by claiming that he was possessed by demons during the time of the attack. Later on, he said that he was no longer possessed after a collective prayer was done for him, during which he felt like he stood under a waterfall with pure, clean water flowing through his body.
|Elizbieta Plackowska / Photo Credit: New York Post|
In 2012, Plackowska from Naperville, Illinois started hearing voices that said that her child and one of his friends were possessed and that they needed to die to find salvation. She killed her son, 7-year-old Justin, and his friend, 5-year-old Olivia Dworakowski. She stabbed her son 100 times and Dworakowski 50 times. According to List Verse, an online site that publishes lists that intrigue and educate, specializing in the bizarre or lesser-known trivia, Plackowska’s case involved multiple possessions. She believed that the victims were possessed by demons while she was possessed by an entity that she called the “black shadow.”
|Arne Cheyenne Johnson / Photo Credit: Alchetron|
Arne Cheyenne Johnson
In 1981, 19-year-old Johnson murdered 40-year-old Alan Bono after arguing over Johnson's girlfriend. Just like the others, he claimed that he was possessed after he threatened to fight one of a collection of 43 demons who were living inside his 11-year-old brother. Many paranormal investigators agreed that he was truly possessed. However, Johnson was convicted of manslaughter after a judge denied the demonic possession angle of the defense.
|Jason Brian Dalton / Photo Credit: ABC News|
Jason Brian Dalton
On February 26, 2016, Uber driver Dalton went on a shooting spree that killed six people. In between these drive-by shooting, he picked up passengers and safely dropped them off at their destinations. When he was caught, Dalton claimed that he saw “the symbol of the Eastern Star” inside of the Uber app. He also said that a horned “devil head” regularly appeared on his phone’s screen whenever he logged on for work. Dalton believed that his killing spree was caused by a demon hiding in the Uber app.
|Sean Sellers / Photo Credit: Sword and Scale|
At the age of 16, Sellers became the youngest criminal ever sentenced to death in America since 1976. This after he murdered his parents and three people on two separate occasions. He was a practicing Satanist before he was convicted, and he regularly drank his own blood. Sellers claimed that he had embraced Satanism after becoming addicted to the fantasy role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons. He also said that he was possessed by a demonic entity.