New Jersey student Jeanette DePalma Murder is linked to witches, demon worship, and serial killers.

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A series of shocking events lead to the discovery of Jeanette DePalma’s body in the woods where it “rotted”, but the case of the girl’s alleged murder remains shrouded in ’50 mystery to this day.

On September 19, 1972, the dog returned from a game in the woods with a foreign object in its mouth and began to “play with it” on the lawn of a nearby building in Springfield. , New Jersey.

Moments later, the pet’s owner went to inspect what turned out to be a “large bone” and screamed when he realized it was a “human hand,” according to a police report obtained by The Daily Beast. . The Springfield Police Department was called to the scene, and the officers involved later described what they saw upon arriving at the woman’s home prior to the gruesome discovery.

“She took me to the back door of her apartment and gave me a woman’s hand in a blue bag,” officer J. Schwerdt’s report says.

“Lower left hand. On the nails a layer of white varnish. “

Jeanette DePalma, media coverage and publications about her alleged murder.

Illustrated by Louis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Getty

Search parties then combed the Houdaille quarry behind the residence. They soon came across the “arm bone” and the remains of a corpse, lying face down and fully clothed, in a small clearing at the top of a steep hill.

“There were logs around the body on the head on the right side and small branches under both legs,” Schwerdt’s report says.

The chief medical examiner, Bernard Ehrenberg, was also called to the scene and pronounced the death of the girl, who was not identified at the time.

Dental records later confirmed that the body belonged to Jeannette DePalma, a 16-year-old local high school student who had gone missing at the request of her mother six weeks earlier.

“She was found … lying face down with a block of ice around her body,” Ehrenberg wrote in the medical examiner’s report.

He determined that an autopsy could not be performed due to “a noticeable state of decomposition”. For the same reason, an undetermined cause of death should be classified as “suspicious” rather than homicide.

According to the report, examination of the skeleton and x-rays revealed no bullet holes, broken bones, or trauma.

The case remained unsolved half a century later.

But the theory that dominated early media persisted for decades after rumors circulated that DePalma’s body was found surrounded by sticks in the shape of a saint. rack and coffin.

Headlines about the investigation into DePalma’s death screamed “Murder investigation sheds light on witchcraft cult” and “Jersey murder investigation sheds light on witchcraft.”

The Associated Press reported at the time that “authorities say Jeannette’s death may be linked to an ‘organization’ or witchcraft association believed to exist in the area.”

Springfield Sheriff George Parcell was later quoted in the article: “I heard that some people in the department had brought a witch there (to help with the investigation), but I had no idea what it was. there,” he said.

There have also been reports of demon worship, with locals also telling stories of children striking postures, praying to Satan, and sacrificing chickens, pigeons and occasionally goats in the park around the nearby Wochung Wildlife Sanctuary. And then there’s the name of the cliff where DePalma’s body was found: Devil’s Teeth.

Pastor James Tate, the pastor of the church DePalma attended, told reporters that he believes the girl was captured and killed by Satanists because of her faith.

“She was very religious, so she often talked about God to her friends and acquaintances,” he said at the time.

He claims that she tried to preach to demon worshipers about Christ and that “their fanaticism came out and they killed her”, but acknowledged that his theory was not based solely on personal beliefs. However, this is one that has been shared by many others.

The death of Jeanette DePalma is linked to allegations of witchcraft and Satanism.

Illustrated by Louis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Getty

Edward Salzano, now 59, grew up in the Springfield area and also believes that “Jannet was killed by an evil group of satellites.”

According to freedom of information documents obtained by The Daily Beast, Salzano was a close friend of DePalma’s nephew John Blancy, who was living with his aunt at the time of his death.

He said the couple tried to solve the case on their own when it turned out that the police had hit a dead end. Blancy tragically passed away about four years ago, but according to Salzano, this only increased his determination to find out the truth about what really happened to DePalma, despite the fact that he had never met her.

In an interview with The Daily Beast, Salzano said he has spoken to numerous friends, family members and associates of DePalma as part of an independent investigation into his death over the past eight years. . And, he said, there was a common theme: “They were all scared to death,” he said.

Which he says he doesn’t know, but Salzano insists there was a “huge cover-up” and almost everyone he talked to either knew about the affair or DePalma shared his beliefs. that “a satanic cult targeted Jeannette and killed her.” He said DePalma is a “devout Christian” who “will preach to others to renounce paganism and witchcraft.” He believes this made her a target, and he even has an unverified theory about when DePalma died.

“The legend exists,” he said.

“They wanted to kill someone – a child – on Halloween, and they did.”

Salzano also claims that he developed a relationship with the last person who saw DePalma alive (one of his girlfriends died), who he says was connected to the cult. and possibly the death of his friend.

“She called me in the middle of the night,” he said.

“One thing she keeps talking about is satanic worship.

“(Jeannette) was framed.”

For years, rumors have circulated around Springfield of other possible suspects: a passenger working nearby; guardian; and a guy driving a red Ford, by the way. But the police did not find anything that would connect these people with the crime.

There is even speculation that his death was the work of a serial killer.

An NJ State Police investigation report obtained by The Daily Beast revealed that officials uncovered the possibility that DePalma was the victim of a would-be serial killer by comparing his case to four other murders in the area, but ultimately found that DePalma had they have “nothing in common”. .

Investigators also looked into the possibility of accidental drug overdose or suicide, but found no evidence to support either hypothesis.

The evidence in the DePalma case eventually dried up and the case was frozen until a letter was sent to the editors of the DePalma case. Weird New Jerseya magazine dedicated to local folklore and lore generated interest in DePalma’s death in 1997.

Then, in 2015, authors Jesse P. Pollack and Mark Moran published a book about the case. Dead in the Devil’s Teeth: The Bizarre Murder That Shocked New Jersey’s Suburbs and offered theories but gave no specific answers about what happened to DePalma.

In 2019, the writers received a file of body photos, casting doubt on this iconic theory. An expert on satanic imagery says stones, sticks, and logs are naturally arranged and not the work of devil worshipers.

Springfield Police Chief John Cook told The Daily Beast that no new evidence had come forward in the case.

“What I can say about this case at this time is that it is still an active Suspicious Death case as there is no evidence yet to formally make this decision…murder,” he said.

Salzano, who unsuccessfully sued the Union County District Attorney’s office in hopes of getting the agency to examine DePalma’s clothes and nails for DNA, believes there is no single way to find DePalma’s killer.

“We need to determine the cause of death by making X-rays public… and we need to do (extended) DNA testing,” he told The Daily Beast.

“We heard everything (about how she died) from how she was strangled, shot and stabbed in the head.

“An agency other than the county office should resolve this issue.”

Today, the Facebook page, Justice for Jeannette DePalma, run by Salzano and her partner, is dedicated to preserving her memory and finding answers.

“The main reason why his murder cannot be investigated and solved is because the cause of death has not been determined, so his case is still being treated as a ‘suspicious death’,” Salzano said.

“This horrific murder will never be solved until the first step is taken.

“Jeannette just turned 16 and was a sweet, loving woman who believed in God, but was brutally murdered and left in a rotting forest…and we want Jeannette DePalma to get justice before it’s too late.”

Springfield Deputy Mayor Chris Weber, also a former Newark detective and police chief, said he spoke with Springfield Sheriff Cook about a retrial of DePalma’s case. According to Weber, Cooke was receptive and “wants to resolve this issue as well”.

He told the Daily Beast: “A fresh eye and a fresh eye always helps to confirm or dispute the facts of a case.

“I don’t think it’s the perfect crime. Somewhere, something, a connection is waiting to be found, and this will be the turning point of the deal.

Weber said locals are still interested in finding answers to what happened to DePalma.

“During the few years that I was a city official, several people asked me about this case,” Weber said. “They’re still interested in it or remember the time it happened and some of the stories they’ve heard over the years.”

“I believe that every law enforcement officer has the same desire to be able to secure the final resolution of a case as important as this. That’s why we became the police.

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This article is automatically translated from the original language into your language. Feel free to let us know if it contains translation errors so we can fix them as soon as possible.

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