Suspected ‘Blue Moon Killer’ murdered own Florida family in ‘witchcraft …

28 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Arrest Made in ‘Ritualistic’ Triple Murder in Pensacola.

PENSACOLA, Florida (AP) — Florida authorities say a man killed his mother and two half-brothers in an attack that the local sheriff had previously linked to ritualistic practices and the blue moon. PENSACOLA, Fl. (WKRG) – Authorities have made an arrest in the ritualistic ‘witchcraft’ murders that left a family of three dead in Pensacola this summer. The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office says 58-year Donald Hartung Sr. was arrested Tuesday and will be charged with three counts of first-degree murder. Authorities said a plethora of DNA evidence required a long time to process, which is why the arrest comes approximately three months after the bodies were discovered. Earlier this summer, 77-year-old Voncile Smith and her two sons, 49-year-old Richard Thomas “R.T.” Smith and 47-year-old John William Smith, were found dead by deputies conducting a welfare check at their home.

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan says complicated DNA and other forensic testing caused the three-month lag in arresting Hartung, who was interviewed in the days after the deaths. The time of the death on Tuesday also coincides with what’s referred to as a blue moon, which occurs every three years.” The family was killed sometime during a blue moon on July 28. That along with the manner of the murder prompting investigators to speculate that the murder may have involved witchcraft or was part of a ritualistic killing. Prosecutors would not release an exact motive, but said that they were not ruling that out and were also looking into possibility that financial gain was behind it. Officials during a press conference on Tuesday said the arrest took a while because of the sheer amount of evidence, in particular DNA evidence experts had to shift through to secure an arrest. “The initial crime scene because of the number of victims involved and other factors was one of the most complicated I have seen in my career,” Florida State Attorney Bill Eddins.

Family members tell News 5 that Hartung “loosely” practiced some form of witchcraft or Wiccan religion, and kept at least one Wiccan book in his office. Authorities said in August they had gathered evidence that led them to believe witchcraft was somehow involved in their deaths, saying it was a “ritualistic” act. The Smith family had a safe containing $7,000 in their home, but the suspect didn’t take anything of value in the aftermath of the crime, they said.

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