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Thread: MA - CARL DREW and the Freetown State Forest Cult Activity, 1970's

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    MA - CARL DREW and the Freetown State Forest Cult Activity, 1970's

    I really wasn't sure where to post this, so if I'm doing so in the wrong area, please feel free to move it to a more appropriate sub-forum.

    I'm from Boston. About 20 or so minutes south to be exact. I've lived here all my life and until recently knew very little about the Freetown State Forest or the cults that were prevalent within the Forest during the 70's and 80's. I was recently talking to someone about the random creepiness in Mass state history when they asked me if I had ever heard of the Satanic cults once active in the southeastern part of the region. I hadn't. They told me to look up Carl Drew and Robin Murphy, so I did. What I found was both interesting and disturbing.

    To make a long story short Carl Drew was a pimp from a town called Fall River, MA in the late 70's who used his own rendition of Satanism to keep his stable of girls in line. He threatened extreme violence if they didn't do as they were told. Eventually by 1982 three women (Barbara Raposa, Donna Levesque, and Karen Marsden) were dead and two people were sentenced to life in prison. Drew being one and a young woman named Robin Murphy being the other. Murphy was actually paroled a few years back but violated the terms of her parole and is back in prison as of now. Drew claims to this day while he was in fact a pimp who did practice Satanism, he wasn't responsible for the three murders that Murphy pinned on him in exchange for a lighter sentence. He claims Murphy manipulated him and that she herself was responsible for the death of the three local prostitutes.

    There's far too much to go into and way too many small details that deserve a closer look. But that's the fast version of what went down. Many people, including some in law enforcement, have come forward claiming they stand behind Drew as not being the ringleader of the cult or killer he was portrayed as during his trial. Murphy has since contradicted her initial testimony made during the trial in which she fingered Drew as the one responsible. Drew is trying to appeal his conviction and wants a new trial. It has yet to happen, and many say it won't despite Murphy's most recent statements contradicting her original testimony.

    There was a book written about the murders and trial called "Mortal Remains" by Henry Scammell. I have yet to read it personally, and have heard it's facts are flawed. I have however read another decent book that covered the case to a much lesser extent, as well as other happenings within the Freetown State Forest, called "Dark Woods: Cults, Crime, and Paranormal in the Freetown State Forest" by Christopher Balzano. Another name that bears mentioning is James Kater. He abducted a girl from Raynham, MA and took her to a secluded area in the Freetown State Forest where he killed her, all while on parole after serving time for another crime that was eerily similar. The crimes committed by Drew and/or Murphy weren't committed in the forest themselves, but Drew's makeshift "cult" congregated there frequently for ritualistic meetings.

    Anyone familiar with this case or the forest itself have anything interesting to add?

    www.murderpedia.org/male.D/d/drew-carl.htm

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    You are talking about Mary Lou Arruda, correct? I lived for a time in Raynham, the case is familiar to me.

    I have been through Freetown state forest many times, most frequently as a teen in the late 80s/early 90s. I have never believed in any satanic cult activity there, it seems the rumors were really just a part of the whole 1980s satanic panic. If Freetown State forest was anything in those days, it was as a party spot. It probably still is - last time I went by profile rock was probably in the late 90s early 00s, and it was littered with beer cans and alcohol bottles.

    That Mary Lou Arruda's body was found there seems to me to be more a function of the fact that it offers a secluded place to dump a body than of a "satsnic" spot.

    I'm very familiar with the whole Raynham/Taunton/Dighton/Berkley/Freetown/FR and surrounding areas, though, so if I can answer any questions Id be glad to. . Though being from 20 mins south of town as you said you are probably familiar as well.

    Might want to see if we can get the thread moved though - this is an archived forum. Maybe to Cold Cases? I will alert a mod on my post and see if it can be moved, and maybe get some more traffic for you.

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    Also meant to add - Id never heard of the Drew case or the book, I will have to add that to my reading list, thanks!

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    Another thought - more paranormal than Satanic though - there has long been rumors of hauntings/UFO activity in that whole area. It's been referred to as the Bridgewater triangle lol. If you google it, some interesting stuff comes up. Nearby Hockomock swamp is said to be haunted, and then there's the weirdness around nearby Dighton rock. And also the route 44 ghost hitchhiker in Dighton/Rehoboth.

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    The sad thing about the Satanic Panic is that now nobody will take seriously those few nutjobs who actually DO employ Satanism (rather than the far more popular bible, racial conspiracies, end times crapola, ufos or w/e else) as the propaganda by which they keep their victims un-thinking, and in line.

    Like all cults, it's never really about the beliefs. It's about the leader, and everyone doing what benefits that guy, all the time.

    Anyway, that forest sounds really creepy. Thanks for posting this info on the cases, too.
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    Very true; it's always about the "leader" of said cult. And their true intentions.
    Dont Be A Sheep

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    The whole Satanic aspect of Freetown State Forest is definitely true, and not just panic or speculation. Detective Alan Alves of the Freetown Police Department, who would later become locally known as the "Cult Cop", worked many cases in and around the forest that were cult related starting in the mid to late 70's. Law Enforcement at first just assumed the cults were leftover hippies from the 60's who were partying, but Alves soon discovered there was more than meets the eye at work within the forest.

    He began to discover animal bones and other graffiti that would indicate the occult. Alves was also the first on scene when a dirt biker had discovered the Mary Lou Arruda body and called it in. There were many baby calves found completely drained of blood, a cranberry bog worker that both saw and photographed occult activity, as well as the infamous "bunker" located near the Dartmouth side of the forest. Inside the bunker were dolls presumed to be used in rituals, children's furniture, and clothing. Just really odd, creepy stuff.

    The infamous "Ice Shack" is also located within the forest not too far from the reservoir. It's here that occult meetings have, and reportedly, continue to take place with regularity. The floor of the shack is said to be stained with animals blood due to sacrifices that have taken place there. This has all been confirmed by local law enforcement and those that have investigated happenings within the forest. These aren't rumors or hearsay, but solid fact.

    Below are a few photos of the infamous bunker, the Ice Shack, and the pentagram that was photographed by the cranberry bog worker after witnessing a daytime ritual within the forest.

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1390889394.952019.jpg

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1390889405.452741.jpg

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1390889414.497922.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gardenlady View Post
    You are talking about Mary Lou Arruda, correct? I lived for a time in Raynham, the case is familiar to me.

    I have been through Freetown state forest many times, most frequently as a teen in the late 80s/early 90s. I have never believed in any satanic cult activity there, it seems the rumors were really just a part of the whole 1980s satanic panic. If Freetown State forest was anything in those days, it was as a party spot. It probably still is - last time I went by profile rock was probably in the late 90s early 00s, and it was littered with beer cans and alcohol bottles.

    That Mary Lou Arruda's body was found there seems to me to be more a function of the fact that it offers a secluded place to dump a body than of a "satsnic" spot.

    I'm very familiar with the whole Raynham/Taunton/Dighton/Berkley/Freetown/FR and surrounding areas, though, so if I can answer any questions Id be glad to. . Though being from 20 mins south of town as you said you are probably familiar as well.

    Might want to see if we can get the thread moved though - this is an archived forum. Maybe to Cold Cases? I will alert a mod on my post and see if it can be moved, and maybe get some more traffic for you.

    Yup, I was referring to Mary Lou Arruda. The question is, after James Kater abducted her why did he drive all the way to FSF to commit his crime? Occult activity was present in other parts of Massachusetts when Kater was living there, too. It seemed to kind of follow him according to someone privy to the subject. But you could definitely be right. It could have been nothing more than chance he drove all the way to Freetown. Though I'm not convinced that's the case just yet.
    "The mind is it's own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven." - John Milton, Paradise Lost

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    It's honestly not that far a trip from Raynham to Freetown though. He would just hop on 24 right there in Raynham and get off at one or two exits up (Padelford St in Berkley to 79 or one of the next two will take you fairly close). 15 or 20 mins maybe? I try to think of where else he might go to dump a body (sorry) in the area, and come up empty. There's Massasoit state park in east taunton, but that often has someone at the gate/booth thingy, and lots of walkers. In the 70s it also used to be pretty popular for families to swim/picnic/walk around at. Freetown, on the other hand, is more secluded, and still nearby.

    I've never known what to think about the case against Kater, fwiw. If I remember correctly, there was testimony obtained under hypnosis, which makes me skeptical. Not that Kater was a great guy, don't get me wrong. It's been a long time since I read anything about the case though. If I recall either his trial or one of his appeals was happening in the early 90s when I was in high school or college, and I remember reading about it then. I will have to go back and refresh myself. And to add to my reading list - which book is it that details the finds in the state forest? I'd like to read specifically about that. As like I said, I'd been all over those woods back inthe late 80s early 90s and the worst I saw were burn outs and folks doing acid lol. I tend to be skeptical of satanism claims, Ill admit - it puts me in mind of Christian zealots back in the 70s and 80s trying to blame rock music, Dungeons & Dragons, sex and satanism for rebellious teen behavior lol. . But I will keep an open mind and will look into the sources!

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    It seems to me "occult" would be a better word to describe the actual activities of those in the 80s who were using pentagrams and whatnot.

    My understanding of Satanism is that its followers don't actually believe Satan exists, and they're mostly using the name to get under the skin of fundamentalist Christians.

    There was a scattered spate of occult killings in the 80s, but the panic that followed it was largely the money-making scare tactics of televangelists like Bob Larson.

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    I tend to think a lot of what people consider to be evidence of "satanic" or "occult" activity is just young people doing stuff to shock. Like leaving graffiti, signs, etc. they know "satanism" gets under the skin of a certain segment of the population, so they play that up. I don't think there is or has been any true satanic or occult gangs/groups etc going out and committing crimes under some satanic/occult banner. Years ago there was that report from the FBI ocfficial who was in charge of cult crimes or something, and he wrote a long report saying there was no evidence whatsoever of any kind of organized cult/satanic crime wave or even crime activity, despite what local LE in many places believed.

    A worst, maybe there are handfuls of isolated criminals committing crimes under what they think is some occult or satanic belief system, but beyond that I don't buy it.

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    And let's not forget how LE interrogation techniques made the idea of 'satanic ritual abuse' seem like a reality:

    [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thurston_County_ritual_abuse_case"]Thurston County ritual abuse case - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]
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    Freetown State Forest Cult Activity

    Quote Originally Posted by Leif Wright View Post
    My understanding of Satanism is that its followers don't actually believe Satan exists, and they're mostly using the name to get under the skin of fundamentalist Christians.

    Those are LaVeyan Satanists. There's more than one kind of Satanist, however.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gardenlady View Post
    At worst, maybe there are handfuls of isolated criminals committing crimes under what they think is some occult or satanic belief system, but beyond that I don't buy it.

    What exactly are you not buying? The documented incidents that took place within FSF or the idea of violent Satanists in general?
    "The mind is it's own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven." - John Milton, Paradise Lost

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    I had a chance to see "The Bridgewater Triangle" documentary last night and I would recommend it to anyone who is from Massachusetts or otherwise. It delved into the Freetown State Forest occult happenings a bit. I had a chance to chat with the director a bit after the film and he told me that the last really "hardcore" sightings of occultists spotted within the forest, that he knows of, were spotted in the late 90's.

    I believe the highly organized groups that were once using the forest as a cover for their nefarious deeds may have vacated, but the stragglers are definitely still around. Who really knows. They also revealed that due to belief by local law enforcement that cultists had committed murders in the forest, a K-9 unit was set to explore many hotspots in the forest in search of human remains, but at the last minute the powers that be cancelled the operation.

    http://www.thebridgewatertriangledocumentary.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montjoy View Post
    And let's not forget how LE interrogation techniques made the idea of 'satanic ritual abuse' seem like a reality:

    Thurston County ritual abuse case - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    You're basing that entire theory on one case? Satanic Ritual Abuse is very real. Do a quick Google. Lots of times the acts are committed by smaller groups, but nonetheless, it exists and has happened.
    "The mind is it's own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven." - John Milton, Paradise Lost

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    It's not just one case. I'm sure you've heard of the Fells Acres case here in Mass. The McMartin case etc. there are loads. Satanic Ritual Abuse has been thoroughly debunked for a long time now. Let me see if I can find a link to that FBI report.


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    Quickest link I could find before class - not sure what website his is but it appears to be the full report:

    http://www.ivantic.net/Dejvid%20Ajk%...ing%201992.htm


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    Quote Originally Posted by genericwhitemale View Post
    What exactly are you not buying? The documented incidents that took place within FSF or the idea of violent Satanists in general?
    I don't buy into any kind of organized group of satanists/occult organizing and carrying out crimes, whether abuse or murder or what have you. Might there be a criminal somewhere who believes himself to be a satanist and commits a crime believing he is doing satanist things? Sure, probably. But organized groups? That I do not buy.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Gardenlady View Post
    I don't buy into any kind of organized group of satanists/occult organizing and carrying out crimes, whether abuse or murder or what have you. Might there be a criminal somewhere who believes himself to be a satanist and commits a crime believing he is doing satanist things? Sure, probably. But organized groups? That I do not buy.


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    Fair enough. However there was Adolfo Constanzo. He didn't work alone, either.

    [ame="http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolfo_Constanzo"]301 Moved Permanently[/ame]
    "The mind is it's own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven." - John Milton, Paradise Lost

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gardenlady View Post
    Quickest link I could find before class - not sure what website his is but it appears to be the full report:

    http://www.ivantic.net/Dejvid%20Ajk%...ing%201992.htm
    Thanks -- I haven't seen this in years, but it should be required reading for anyone who entertains or seeks to perpetuate the notion of satanic ritual abuse. Satanic ritual abuse is not only unsubstantiated, but it is a distraction from real problems and their causes.
    All JMO.

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    I hadn't read it in years either! It's a very good read, especially since he initially started out as maybe not a full, true blue believer, but not so skeptical of the claims. He then very clearly and logically follows the actual evidence and facts and makes his conclusion.

    The whole satanic panic was so strange. It wasn't just focused around abuse claims, either. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I remember as a kid in the 80s there were certain adults who were worrying over heavy metal, Dungeons and Dragons, etc, all being "satanic". My parents were not this way, but I had a friend whose mom was a "born-again" Christian (as was my friend), and when she was over my house she was shocked by my brother's Iron Maiden posters, and shocked that my parents allowed him to have these "satanic" posters and record albums in the house lol. Oh, and the old legend of ZElda video game for the first Nintendo system was supposed to have occult themes too. She repeated a lot of stuff her mom had told her about satanism, about how there were so many secret satanists in America, etc. and I remember it was a common topic on talk shows at the time too (Geraldo, Donahue, etc), so it wasn't just this one girl. Very strange time in America.

    Now, that doesn't mean I don't enjoy a good supernatural/occult-tinged/urban legend type story! Which is why I enjoy the bridgewater triangle stories. I grew up hearing a lot about them, including the UFO sightings (what can I say? I'm a total skeptic, but like Mulder, I WANT to believe lol!). My favorite being the creepy route 44 ghost hitchhiker, whom one of my friends swears she drove "through" one night! So, I hope no ones offended, I do enjoy the out-there stories, but I definitely put no stock in organized bands of satanists.

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    I lived on Long Island in the early 80's back when Ricky Kasso murdered a fellow teen in a 'satanic ritual' deep in the woods, the cops did not hear about the murder until weeks later when numerous students had been brought to see the decomposing body.
    Between the music of bands like Black Sabbath, the Son of Sam murders, the Amitville Horror book, rumors were flying, parents were convinced death cults were infiltrating Long Island schools and all the kids were at risk.

    My friends and I even cruised into Northport one night to see the site of the killing. Having no clue where it was, we went into the woods with flashlights terrified of what we would see. On a big rock in a clearing were spray painted the words "SATIN RULES" it was at this point I realised that if the kids of Northport could not spell Satan, then there was good chance these rumors of baby sacrificing, cat killing devil worshippers were all complete bullsh1t.

    It ended up Kasso was a drop out drugged out loser who killed his buddy over $50 worth of PCP.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carolann0308 View Post
    I lived on Long Island in the early 80's back when Ricky Kasso murdered a fellow teen in a 'satanic ritual' deep in the woods, the cops did not hear about the murder until weeks later when numerous students had been brought to see the decomposing body.
    Between the music of bands like Black Sabbath, the Son of Sam murders, the Amitville Horror book, rumors were flying, parents were convinced death cults were infiltrating Long Island schools and all the kids were at risk.

    My friends and I even cruised into Northport one night to see the site of the killing. Having no clue where it was, we went into the woods with flashlights terrified of what we would see. On a big rock in a clearing were spray painted the words "SATIN RULES" it was at this point I realised that if the kids of Northport could not spell Satan, then there was good chance these rumors of baby sacrificing, cat killing devil worshippers were all complete bullsh1t.

    It ended up Kasso was a drop out drugged out loser who killed his buddy over $50 worth of PCP.
    Lol! This puts me in mind of a funny, recent story. Obviously much less serious than the murder you posted about...

    An ex-boyfriend of my daughter's ("boyfriend" i guess - they never went on a date, just sort of walked around the neighborhood together! ) I guess a few years back (they're both about 16 now) he apparently liked to shock his family with talk of occult and satanism. Well over the summer he gave one of my younger sons his old Wizard 101 account that he doesnt use anymore (its an online, cartoony kids game where you play as a wizard and do quests). When we went to log in with the username he gave us, we saw his password was "Satin666" my husband and I had a good laugh about evil fabrics, and how "hardcore" this kid was...

    Yes, "satanists" would be much more scary if they could, you know, actually spell Satan, lol...

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    Freetown State Forest Cult Activity

    I found this documentary on YouTube to be quite good. It's rather short, less than a half hour, but still informative. It's from the documentary series 'American Occult'.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9v1Pp_4Wfs"]Serial Killers - Robin Murphy & Carl Drew: The Fall River Cult Killers - Documentary - YouTube[/ame]
    "The mind is it's own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven." - John Milton, Paradise Lost

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