Unleash the Hounds! (Link Roundup)

There are lots of articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans out there, sometimes more than I can write about in-depth in any given week. So The Wild Hunt must unleash the hounds in order to round them all up. I’d like to start by saying that my thoughts and prayers go out to those injured, and the families of those killed, in a senseless theater murder-spree that occurred in Aurora, Colorado on July 20th at a Midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises. I’d like to appeal to the divine within us all, that we avoid conspiracy theories, or using this tragedy to win an argument, and instead focus, at least for now, on those who are existing in a world of pain, fear, doubt, and uncertainty. As someone who believes in magick, I believe in the power of symbols, and Batman is a powerful symbol of overcoming great personal tragedy to become a force for peace and justice.

Should Fatal Encounters Fill in the Blanks on Witchcraft Slaying?

Through 2010, and into the beginning of 2011, I covered the case of Angela Sanford, a Wiccan who killed Joel Leyva in what some media described as a ritualistic sacrifice. While Sanford initially said the killing was in self-defense after Leyva tried to rape her, that story started to unravel when evidence surfaced that the violent encounter may have been premeditated. Ultimately, Sanford plead no contest to second-degree murder, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Now, the story is being dramatized for the show Fatal Encounters on the Investigation Discovery (ID) cable network, and local press are worried that ID may be stretching the truth to make good TV. “A mysterious Albuquerque murder that may have been a sacrifice is about to be featured on a national TV show.

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

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.

Unleash the Hounds! (Link Roundup)

There are lots of articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans out there, sometimes more than I can write about in-depth in any given week. So The Wild Hunt must unleash the hounds in order to round them all up. First off, I hope all my readers, friends, and supporters out on the East Coast, and in the path of Hurricane Irene, are safe and have taken proper precautions. Though the storm is less intense than first expected, there’s still plenty of damage a storm of that size can do.  COG First Officer Peter Dybing offers a prayer for safety, as does ADF Archdruid Kirk Thomas.

Premeditated Wiccan Sacrifice?

A new development in the Angela Sanford case, a Wiccan who claims to have killed  Joel Leyva in self-defense during a Spring ritual gone awry, seems to point to the murder being premeditated. “A self-described Wiccan had a man’s phone number programmed in her cell phone under the word “sacrifice” before she stabbed him to death, then claimed he had tried to rape her, authorities said Thursday. Angela Sanford, 30, is accused of killing 52-year-old Joel Leyba last month with a dagger after inviting him to join her in a Wiccan celebration of spring near a popular hiking trail east of Albuquerque. “It makes us absolutely confident there was something more here than her claims of self-defense,” said Patrick Davis, a spokesman for the Bernalillo County district attorney’s office.” This is a pretty damning revelation, and one that would erase any claims of self-defense or even a temporary trauma-related psychotic break.