In response to a local rash of what is very likely animal sacrifice, Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) hosted a training class on ritualistic animal sacrifice and the occult at the Suffolk County Police Academy on Thursday, August 13.
Representatives from various law enforcement agencies from Suffolk and Nassau Counties, including the DEC, Suffolk County Probation and the Nassau County District Attorney’s office, attended the training session with presenter Marcos Quinones, author of The Goddess of Death: La Santa Muerte and Satan: An Intelligence Report, and a recognized cult expert with the FBI.
“I thought I’d seen it all,” Suffolk SPCA Chief Roy Gross said, noting that Quinones had the entire room riveted during his two-hour talk, which looked at cults and horrific occult practices, such as the torture and sacrifice of both animals and humans, including children, for ritualistic purposes.
“Everyone was glued, sitting there with their mouths open,” Gross said, explaining that Quinones contacted his organization after reading the growing number of reports about alleged local animal sacrifice and ritualistic killings in Suffolk County this year, including multiple incidents this summer.
First, three beheaded roosters were found in a garbage bag in Centereach on January 13. Then, on June 24, three beheaded goats were discovered along with various fresh fruits and vegetables on Line Road in Riverhead’s Otis Pike Preserve. Around the same time, in 2014, a mutilated rooster was found hanging from a tree by its feet, with its eyes plucked out and a candle nearby, in Islip by Spur Drive South and Freeman Avenue. About two weeks later, on July 9, Suffolk SPCA reported three beheaded and partially plucked chickens had been discovered in plastic bags on the railroad tracks near Hubbard Avenue in Riverhead.
The grisly body count continued to mount when a badly decomposed tongue from a large animal, likely a cow, bound in a black shirt with black yarn was found screwed to a tree on Wilson Boulevard in Central Islip on July 12. Yet another large probable cow tongue turned up split with candle wax filling the cut, along with a red ribbon and peppers, screwed to a tree across from Bayard Cutting Arboretum near Montauk Highway and Union Boulevard in the East Islip/Great River area on July 19.
Quinones, who trains law enforcement agencies throughout the world on the darker side of cults and the occult, told Gross and others at the presentation that all of these incidents bear an alarming resemblance to ritual killings.
“Everything he said was right on target,” Gross said, explaining that the state and positioning of the mutilated animals, as well as finding things like fresh fruit, ribbons and candles, points directly toward occult practices. “The evidence that we found, it was quite compelling,” he added, noting, for example, that fruit and beheaded goats are an offering to the god Changó (or Shangó) in the Santeria religion, while nailing a tongue to a tree is a symbolic warning or threat telling someone to keep quiet or else.
Because the beheaded chickens were found on railroad tracks, they were likely an offering to Oggun, a powerful warrior spirit connected to metalwork in the Santeria faith, Gross said, repeating what Quinones told him.
“We’re not targeting religion,” Gross said, but added that it’s illegal to kill animals unless it is done humanely and for consumption, even if it’s done for religious purposes.
The Suffolk SPCA Chief said torturing and mutilating animals is never ok, and some of what Quinones revealed during his presentation on Thursday was deeply disturbing. “It’s absolutely horrific to say the least,” he said.
Quinones described how animals are killed slowly and brutally with a dull knife for ritualistic purposes, Gross said. He showed evidence photos of a dog impaled with steel rebar and explained that, with certain cults, human torture and sacrifice can follow.
Gross left the presentation deeply troubled and haunted by the final case Quinones shared, which involved the extensive torture and eventual murder of a one-day-old newborn by Satanists. The baby was stabbed multiple times, drawing blood for cultists to drink, before it was finally killed and dumped in a river. “I didn’t even sleep last night thinking about it,” Gross said, describing a photograph of the slain child. “The image will be in my mind for the rest of my life,” he said, while still recognizing the importance of truly understanding what could be at stake.
“I’m sorry I saw it, but you need to know it,” he said. “It’s so barbaric.”
A $1,000 reward is being offered by the Suffolk County SPCA for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for ritualistic animal slaughter. The New York State Humane Association is also offering a $1,000 reward.
Gross said that anyone with information can call the Suffolk County SPCA at 631-382-7722 and that all calls will be kept confidential.
For more info about the Suffolk County SPCA or to donate, visit suffolkcountyspca.org.