Heads up- This post has some graphic details.
In the mid-nineties three teenage friends and band mates, Joseph Fiorella, Jacob Delashmutt and Royce Casey murdered a local girl as a human sacrifice to the devil as part of a supposed “satanic ritual” in Nipomo Mesa, California.
They claimed to be inspired by the lyrics of the thrash band Slayer and said that they chose Elyse Pahler (the victim) due to her blonde hair, blue eyes and the fact that she was a virgin.
The ritual, they told the court, would give them the power to be skillful musicians and become a successful band. The three enticed Pahler to spend time with them one summer evening, offering her cannabis.
Delashmutt would later admit that they indulged in drugs on a daily basis, regularly using meth and acid. He went on to say that Fiorella was obsessed with the idea of murdering Elyse Pahler and had found some other meaning or message in the lyrics.
The evening ended in the teenage girl being choked with a belt, before being stabbed non-fatally multiple times and eventually bleeding to death from her wounds. Fiorella, Delashmutt and Casey were said to have partook in having sex with the girl’s corpse on more than one occasion, revisiting the body which they had concealed in a eucalyptus grove in Arroyo Grande. Casey was the first to admit to the crime more than half a year later.
Attempts made by Pahler’s parents to sue Slayer, their label and distributers- accusing their lyrics of inspiring the youths to commit the act, were unsuccessful. The court ruled that although the music was of a dark nature, that it was not the driving motive behind a premeditated murder that embodied all the characteristics of a sexually motivated crime.
The three were sentenced 25 to life.
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