Quick Notes: Wiccan Murderer Sentenced, Wiccan Teen Attacked, and Lighting Up Stonehenge

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  December 3, 2011 — 17 Comments

Just a few quick news notes for you on this Saturday.

Wiccan Murderer Sentenced: The sensationalism-drenched case of Angela Sanford, a Wiccan who killed Joel Levya in what some media described as a ritualistic sacrifice, has finally come to an end.  Sanford plead no contest to second-degree murder in August, and was today sentenced to 20 years in prison.

“Angela Sanford was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Friday for her connection to the death of Joel Leyva back in March 2010. Sanford, 31, said she was afraid Leyva, 52, would rape her so she convinced him to have sex with her and then she later stabbed him in the head, neck and stomach a total of 13 times.”

Sanford originally said the killing was in self-defense against an attempted rape, but that story soon unraveled as the details didn’t fit, and her cell phone listed Levya’s number under “sacrifice.” What really sparked Sanford to violently murder this man still remains unknown.

Wiccan Teen Attacked: A New Mexico teen made the local news when a fellow student attacked him with pine-cones after he stated his desire to become Wiccan.

“Officers were dispatched to the Aggie Express on Monday at 4:20 p.m., where the alleged victim, 14, said he had gotten off the school bus and was talking to another boy about a book he had, “Protecting Your Teen from Today’s Witchcraft: A Parent’s Guide to Confronting Wicca and the Occult.” The alleged victim said he “recently has chosen to change religions to Wicca and the book was given to his dad by a friend of his dad’s,” according to the police report. After the second boy looked at the book briefly, he allegedly threw the book, called it “satanic” “and then picked up pine cones and started to throw them” at the complainant, who reported being hit several times in the arms.”

So why was this seemingly random bullying event covered by the local news, it seems because a man was sentenced to 4 days of prison and a year of probation for throwing a pine cone at a police officer this past Summer. In any case, this is a perfect example of how anti-Pagan propaganda gets distributed, and how Pagan/Wiccan teens can face harassment for their choices.

Lighting Up Stonehenge: English Heritage and Druid leader King Arthur Pendragon (no, not that Arthur Pendragon) are often at odds over the proper way to preserve Stonehenge, but they agree on one thing, lighting up the prehistoric monument would be a bad idea.

Senior Druid, King Arthur Pendragon, said it would “detract from the very purpose of Stonehenge”. English Heritage, which manages the site, said it could be a distraction for nearby traffic. […]  “It’s not designed to be illuminated at night and in my opinion it smacks of theme park Stonehenge which is everything I stand against.”

Meanwhile, archaeologists now think the site could have been a place for “sun worship” well before the stones were erected. Oh, and the Olympic torch will pass by the site.

That’s all I have for the moment, have a great day!


Jason Pitzl-Waters


  • Mathews55

    Albuquerque’s daily newspaper, which is somewhere between center-right and down-the-line Republican in slant, had a front page story on this. Their slant was that she was mentally unstable, and they made a point of saying that Wiccans nationwide disavowed her and let people know we don’t do such things.

    Then, of course, it want off into the feelings of the victim’s family and what a nice person the victim was, and … the tone was such that if it had been on TV, everyone would have had that thick-voiced “I’ve been crying” sound TV’s victims always have. Their loss was great and they are quite angry at this woman, but I do detest the “sob sister” approach of the media. Leave them their dignity of grief and anger!

    But anyway – she’s not the first nutcase to kill of r crazy reasons and won’t be the last, is the feeling here.

    • Unfortunately some of the other newspapers and TV news shows played up the religious aspect. Glad that the other news story countered it.

  • Apparently the pine-cone-throwing kid lacks reading comprehension skills, or he’d have recognized that “Satanic” book as an anti-Wiccan text.

    • Charles Cosimano

      It makes no sense to me. I can’t remember anything in Leviticus about “thow shalt stone them to death with pinecones.” They just don’t make religious bullies like they used to.

  • Baruch Dreamstalker

    The photo in the Stonehenge illumination story looks more science fiction-y than Pagan.

  • Having worked with a lot of Pagan teens and young adults over the last six months, I understand how difficult it is for them. Not just from families, friends, and teachers, but also the Pagan community itself, with their anti-teen agenda. t is rough for them in ways most will not understand. It is why I am dedicating myself to do more work with creating better leadership roles for teens and young adults.

  • Anonymous

    Re the post below, Gingrich may have been right. We Pagans are, apparently, everywhere: The movie Happy Feet 2 (about dancing penguins) has “Very strong mixed pagan, politically correct worldview promoting homosexual same-sex partnerships and homosexual adoption and promoting radical environmentalism and global warming hysteria throughout. . . .”


    • Heh! That review was one of the funniest reviews I’ve read in years. I suppose the reviewer should get congrats for squeezing in more knee-jerk reactionary boogymen per sentence than I’ve ever seen before. Nice to see they are consistent though, as these are the same boogymen the Xtains set down in circa AD 400.

      • Well, going just by the preview (I refuse to see that gods-awful movie) It did look like it was going to have an environmentalist message (and those do tend to be over the top in kids movies), and let’s be honest, those penguins did look pretty gay, not to mention whenever you got Ben and Matt together there is that tension between them half the time. I don’t know about the gay adoption though….

        • “Pretty” gay penguins? How dare they! Earth-positive msg’s? Corruption of youth! Let’s ban Charlotte’s Web, it turned me into a VEGAN!!!! The horror…

          It’s a silly kids movie, for crying out loud. Anyone getting their panties in a twist over this stuff has their head firmly planted somewhere much darker than the South Pole.

    • Gay penguins are real. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/14/gay-penguin-reunion_n_1093298.html But do they dance and sing?

      • Crystal Kendrick

        Yep. There’s a children’s book about it. I remember seeing it a few years ago.

  • The article about the crazy woman who perpetrated murder is viral, and the words “Wicca” and “athame” and “ritual” are all over each article. Please counter such negative publicity by doing good works, and when you see others’ good works, repost them!

  • Harmonyfb

    er cell phone listed Levya’s number under “sacrifice.

    How on EARTH did this woman avoid a first-degree murder conviction? I mean, that’s clear premeditation!

    • Or just plain stupidity. Seriously, you labeled it in your phone? Not in a secret book tucked under your mattress or a false bottomed drawer. You’re phone. I’m going to go with she avoided it because whoever figured if she was that dumb, she couldn’t premeditate lunch. XP

  • Kilmrnock

    I want to comment on two of these subjects . first off lighting Stonehenge is a horrible idea , and would defeat it’s porpose . Hmm lets light up a soar temple , so it doesn’t work, great idea . And as far as this pagan leaning student ……….the other kid needs to be disciplined , so to be a detirent of such actions . We need to have a zero tolerance policy where it comes to bullying and religious based attacks .

  • Kilmrnock

    solar temple, sorry