Saturday, January 24, 2009

Horrible Consequences When Superstition Meets Societal Dysfunction

Police in the west African country of Sierra Leone have arrested 14 people, including tribal chiefs, in connection with the gruesome murder and mutilation of a young woman. Her body was discovered in the Moyamba District, in the southern part of the country. According to News 24, "(t)he corpse was missing its heart, tongue, breasts and sexual organs."

The police believe that this was a "ritual murder."

A what, you say?

Observers say ritual murders and cannibalism are rampant in the west African country and usually occur before key elections. Those who carry out the gruesome acts believe that killing their victims, particularly virgins and children, will give them mystical powers.

Between 1991 and 2002, Sierra Leone endured a grinding and brutal civil war that saw about 120,000 people killed and several thousand victims mutilated, and their corpses desecrated.

"Since the 1960s, several people have been sentenced and executed for ritual murder and cannibalism."

Only several?

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