Ahmad Suradji, also known as Nasib Kelewang, was a self-proclaimed black magic master who ritualistically killed 42 women and girls over an 11 year period.
A cattle breeder by trade, he lived in Medan, in West Java, Indonesia, where many women would make the journey to his house seeking guidance and assistance in matters of health, love and finance.
Suradji would generally charge between $200-$300 for his services, with most of his female clients longing to be wealthy or attractive and some asking him to perform black magic rituals to keep their significant others from cheating. As a Dukun, or Shaman, they believed, just as the vast majority of the Indonesian population does, that black magic could help them.
A revered position, many Dukuns make a living with this occupation, and although primarily healers, they are used for a variety of reasons; some are exorcists, some perform blessings on new businesses, and farm lands and on individuals, and some can see the future through spirits. Some Dukuns even offer a darker service of casting curses and hexes and spells for revenge.
Suradji was something of a sorcerer, and between the years of 1986 – 1997 he murdered 42 of his clients in ritual slayings that he believed would ultimately make him more powerful.
Inspired by a dream he had in 1988, in which his deceased father visited him, Suradji would lead the woman and girls out to a sugar cane plant on the outskirts of Medan, and bury them up to their waists in earth before strangling them with a cord. Once dead, he would strip the bodies of the women naked and bury them facing in the direction of his house.As instructed by his father in the dream, he would also consume the victim’s saliva.
His objective was to kill 70 victims in this way, but he was caught at just over half way through his mission at confirmed victim number 42, after the discovery of a body, later identified as Sri Kemala Dewi, by a local man at the sugar cane plantation.
Investigators found clothing linked to over 20 women who had been reported as missing in and around the local area. All of the victims were between the ages of 11-39 years old. If Suradji was running low on clientele, it was said that he would also kill local sex workers to get closer to his goal.
Despite the official recorded body count of 42 victims, it is possible that the actual number could be almost double that.
Suradji was convicted, along with one of his three wives (all sisters) who had helped him hide the bodies.
Despite protests by Amnesty International, he was executed by firing squad in 2008.
This article originally appeared on Real Life is Horror, a blog about the unexplained, the creepy, and the unsolved. It has been reposted with the author’s permission.