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Occult Criminal Investigation

NCJ Number
Date Published
44 pages
This training manual aims to provide police officers with the information needed to become familiar with the terminology, artifacts, and symbols relative to persons involved in crimes of occult origin.
Police officers must be aware that the Constitution's First Amendment gives people the freedom to worship God, plants, Satan, or any other symbol. Witchcraft, the Occult, and Satanism are sometimes considered to be synonymous. Individuals interested in deviant pagan and satanic practices are usually male, intelligent, creative, alienated from the family religion, and middle-class or upper-middle- class. They usually have a difficult time relating to peers, have low self-esteem, and may be underachievers. Early phases of involvement with deviant or satanic practices include stress with accompanying anxiety and fear and feelings of inadequacy or loss of control. Signs of active involvement include obsession with fantasy role-playing games, books on magic or witchcraft, the use of objects for spells or rituals, symbolic jewelry, drug abuse, unexplained paranoia or fear of the world, and extreme secrecy. Crime scenes may offer clues to involvement in the occult: mockery of Christian symbols; the use of stolen or vandalized Christian artifacts; unusual drawings; animal mutilations; skulls with or without candles; and rooms draped in black, white, or red. Glossary, drawings and explanations of symbols, list of ritualistic items that should be listed on a search warrant, and suggestions for investigating a ritualistic crime scene.