The Black Magic Murders of Ahmad Suradji

Picture of Ahmad Suradji. (Image source/credit here.)

Picture of Ahmad Suradji. (Image source/credit here.)

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.

Ahmad Suradji on trial. (Image source/credit here.)

Ahmad Suradji on trial. (Image source/credit here.)

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.

Picture of Ahmad Suradji. (Image source/credit here.)

Picture of Ahmad Suradji. (Image source/credit here.)

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. 

The Frog Boys

frog2

On March 26, 1991, a group of five boys between the ages of 9 and 13 left their homes in Daegu, South Korea and walked to near-by Mount Waryong to look for frogs. U Cheol-won, Jo Ho-yeon, Kim Yeong-gyu, Park Chan-in, and Kim Jong-sik were all students at Seongseo Elementary School. The boys knew the area well and lived only a few miles away from the mountain.

The “Frog Boys”, as they would come to be known in the media, never came back. Their parents reported them missing, and while both townspeople and local police searched the area, not a single trace of the boys was found. As media attention escalated and the whole country became engrossed in the case, President Roh Tae-woo ordered 300,000 policemen to join in the search.

Over 8 million flyers were distributed all over the country, and a reward of 42 million won ($35,000) was promised to anybody who could locate the boys. Some of the Frog Boys’ parents became so determined to find their sons that they quit their jobs so they could devote all of their time to searching.

A picture from 1991 of the Frog Boys' parents and other supporters passing out flyers.

A picture from 1991 of the Frog Boys’ parents and other supporters passing out flyers.

Despite all the extra help, investigating the case proved to be difficult. Authorities received over 550 false leads, and at one point, a man called the police and lied that he abducted the Frog Boys. “I have kidnapped the boys for an exchange of ransom, and they’re dying of malnutrition,” he said in one of the calls.

The case went nowhere until September 26, 2002, when a man looking for acorns in Mount Waryong found scattered pieces of children’s shoes and clothing. He called the police, and after they searched the mountainside, found all five bodies of the Frog Boys in a shallow pit. At first, the police suspected that the boys had froze to death. It was cold and rainy the day they went missing, and the boys might have gotten lost. The fact that their bodies were so close together might have been because they tried huddling for warmth.

frog3

Their parents, however, were skeptical. Their sons were found only 2 miles away from their village, so how could they have gotten lost? And why would they have taken off some of their clothes when the weather was so bad? Lastly, perhaps the most damaging point, Mount Waryong and the surrounding area had been searched and examined over 500 times the past decade. How could the bodies have possibly gone unnoticed for such a long period of time?

After the boys’ bodies were exhumed, police admitted that their hypothermia theory was incorrect. Three of the boys’ skulls had marks on them, suggesting they were beaten to death by a blunt object. Additionally, two of the skulls had traces of blood on them, and another had two bullet holes inside of it, possibly from a shotgun. The police were no longer dealing with a case of missing persons; the Frog Boys were murder victims.

The Frog Boys' parents at the burial for their sons.

The Frog Boys’ parents at the burial for their sons.

No further developments have taken place since the boys’ autopsy back in 2002. They were eventually buried on March 25, 2004, and their skulls were donated to Gyeongbuk University for medical research. In 2006, the case reached South Korea’s 15 year statute of limitations on murder, meaning the investigation was stopped and the murderer can’t be prosecuted for the crime anymore. Fortunately, South Korea removed the statute in July 2015, so perhaps there still is hope that the Frog Boys and their families will finally receive justice.

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Omar Killed Me

Ghislaine Marchal

Ghislaine Marchal

On June 24, 1991, a Monday, 65-year-old affluent widow Ghislaine Marchal was found dead in her home in Mougin, France. Marchal suffered a broken skull, a slit throat, a sliced finger, and multiple stab wounds. Her body had been discovered in her basement, the door of which had to be knocked down because somebody had barricaded it from the inside with an iron bar and bed. Across the door, scribbled in blood, was“Omar m’a tuer”, a grammatically incorrect phrase that meant “Omar killed me”. There was a similar message near-by, although incomplete, and police also found a bloody handprint.

The bloody accusation found on the basement door.

The bloody accusation found on the basement door.

Despite that all this blood was later confirmed to be Marchal’s, her body was found on the other side of the room. The authorities were baffled; how did she get from the door all to way to the spot where she had died without dripping a trail of blood behind her? The floor was completely clean. Almost nearly as strange, how did an educated woman like Marchal make such an elementary grammatical mistake in writing her message?

The autopsy determined that Marchal had been killed the day before, after talking to a friend around noon. Her gardener, an illiterate Moroccan named Omar Raddad, was usually at her house on Sundays, but had earlier changed his schedule. He claimed to have been eating lunch at home during the time of the murder, but only family members could confirm his alibi. His case caused an uproar in France, with his supporters arguing that he was an innocent man being accused simply because he was an immigrant. The authorities pinned him with a first-degree murder charge, and he went to trial in January 1994.

Omar Raddad.

Omar Raddad.

The prosecution argued that Raddad stabbed Marchal to death after getting into an argument with her over his pay. They had no solid evidence, however, and nobody reported seeing Raddad even near Marchal’s home the day of the murder. Raddad, furthermore, had no criminal record, and was a hard-working, honest man by all accounts. As for the message, graphologists were certain that it was Marchal’s handwriting. Still, despite the weakness of the prosecution, Raddad was convicted and sentenced to 18 years in prison.

After pressure from the Moroccan King, the French president eventually pardoned Raddad in 1998, but the murder conviction was still left on his legal record. Raddad has spent the past 17 years fighting to clear his name, even applying for a new trial after his release. Forensic tests conducted in 2001 found a male’s DNA on the basement door and a block of wood suspected of being used to hit Marchal. These strains didn’t match Raddad at all, and almost certainly had to belong to Marchal’s real killer.

Sources:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/who-really-killed-ghislaine-marchal-2041696.html

http://www.crimemagazine.com/written-blood