Female Cult Leaders Who Kill | Psychology Today

Female Cult Leaders Who Kill | Psychology Today

Most serial killers, male and female, work alone. However, there are those who religious beliefs and murderous proclivities are intertwined, resulting in a systematic system for serial murder. Let's take a look at two female serial killer cult leaders, despite having lived 100 years apart, share some remarkable similarities.

In 1912, 18-year-old Clementine Barnabet shocked Lafayette, Louisiana when she confessed to personally axing 17 people to death as part of her devotion as high priestess to the Church of the Sacrifice. Seven entire families, 40 people in all, were killed by members of this religious group, which apparently believed that riches and immortality could be gained through human sacrifice.  Revenge also seemed to be a factor in a few of the murders, as Ms. Barnabet stated that at least two of the families had refused to obey "messages from God."

Ms. Clementine stated that the murders mostly occurred on Sunday nights while the victims were sleeping. (However, even if the children woke up, this did nothing to dissuade the high priestess from continuing her slaughter until all family members lay in bits and pieces about the floor.) Few of the homes were robbed and many of the victims were strangers to the cult followers who killed them. The Church of the Sacrifice was apparently an equal opportunity cult; there were an equal number of male and female members and both genders equally participated in the murders.

All of the victims were horribly mutilated, with limbs and heads being cut off and strewn over the house. Dismemberment would be followed by a sacrificial ceremony, with chants and rituals. Not only did the ritual sacrifice apparently satisfy the teachings of the Church, it also served to eliminate virtually any clue as to who killed the victims and why. Nothing was left behind by which the murderers could be identified; there never was a clew to indicate why the murder had been committed.

Fast forward 100 years. On March 29, 2012, eight alleged serial killers, members of the Meraz family who allegedly practiced human sacrifice in Mexico, were arrested for murdering three victims—two 10-year-old children and a 55-year-old adult. Their bodies—with throats and wrists cut with knives and axes—were found at the altar of the cult's ritual murder site

According to cult members, Silvia Meraz Moreno and her son, Ramón Omar Palacios Meraz, are the alleged cult leaders of the violent cult, which worships The Female Saint of Death, La Santa Muerte. The motive? Money. According to their cult leader, their blood sacrifice would be rewarded by Santa Muerte's revelation of riches and protection from harm.

Serial Killer Cults:  A Common Thread?

Unfortunately, we don't know much about the personal history that led up to Clementine's acts. We do know she lived at a time when life was very hard for African Americans, as illustrated by the El Paso newspaper's cruel comment that "in the rice belt, the life of a negro is held rather cheap." Undoubtedly, there was a pervasive sense of injustice, hopelessness, and lack of control. Unquestionably, she was poor.

Rather than strike out at her oppressors, though, Clementine chose to victimize her peers, clinging to the belief that human sacrifice would bring to her what was otherwise out of reach—wealth, immortality, and revenge.

So did Silvia Meraz. She, too, came from a background filled with prejudice and poverty, a family of garbage pickers who spent much of their daily existence struggling for ways to survive. And, like the Church of the Sacrifice followers in the early 20th century, Meraz's desperately poor dovotees likely felt much more comfortable relating to an outcast saint who can offer earthly rewards—and were willing to pay the costs.


Shawna Forde - Arizona

 I was researching cases one day last month and came across something in a trades paper for Arizona corrections officers about the Minutemen, Shawna Forde's very own vigilante anti-immigration group.

I had checked out Shawna earlier this year but her case didn't interest me. She just seemed like a crazy little white lady with ethnicity issues. Nothing interesting here folks... move along...

Seeing that the man was still reporting about her antics in their own private scandal sheets, I decided to check in on her again and looked her up in the Arizona Department of Corrections website.

If you scroll down to the bottom of the page you'll find a list of her most recent infractions and disciplinary actions. The most recent being in November of 2013. She's definitely a fighter.

Disciplinary Infractions 4 record(s) [info]

Violation DateInfractionVerdict DateVerdict
I sent her a letter about this blog and she responded with a very nice letter where she said I was sent from heaven. She has been in solitary confinement for over two years and is constantly in arm and leg shackles.

She does claim innocence and, much like Debra Milke, she has some proof. One of the main witnesses of the prosecution, the mother of the victim, said she could not positively identify Shawna and could not pick her out of a photo lineup. There is no DNA link between Shawna and the scene of the crime. She maintains that she was never at the crime scene.

What got her arrested was the talk going around town that the Minuet Men were going to rob drug dealers to fund their operations. The Flores family were known in the area for being drug dealers. The murders weren't considered a hate crime despite the link to the militia because it was meant as a robbery of a dealer, no matter his color. 

Shawna says that despite her affiliations with the group, she had nothing to do with the crime and would not have condoned murder, much less that of a child, no matter the nationality.

These types of cases are always so convoluted and corrupt. Shawna had problems and issues and run in's with the law her entire life. That doesn't make her wrong. Small towns are notorious for sluggish lawmen and snaky D.A.'s. 

Shawna has expressed an interest in writing some things for the website. I hope she will write us one of her op-ed pieces but Ill settle for whatever she feels like sending.


Brenda Stokes Wilson- Nevada

I have been scouring the Internet for information on what happened to Brenda. I have to agree with those of the mind that she is insane. There was no reason for her to do what she did. No evidence pointed out a clear path for her to take, even if she had simply been a love-sick, jealous, psychopath.

She imagined it all.

Let me remind you about Brenda.
She thought her boyfriend was cheating on her with another blackjack dealer at the Bellagio Casio, in Las Vegas. She was so angry about this she took the little girl, her boyfriends daughter, into the desert on the ruse of Christmas shopping and stabbed her to death.

Soon after she stabbed young Jade she returned to the casino and slashed the face of her perceived love rival, Joyce Rhone. 

They charged her with murder but I cant find any recent articles, anyone know?