Human bones associated with religious rituals found in Los Angeles backyard

Human skull, bones found on altar in backyard of LA woman’s home – U.S. News.

Los Angeles County Coroner’s officials on Sunday were examining a human skull and bones found at a burned makeshift backyard altar at the home of a woman who police said practices Santería.

The discovery was made Sunday before 1 p.m. when the Pasadena Police Department responded to a report of a possible trespasser in the 800 block of North Oakland Avenue, police said.

“Having human bones is a little disconcerting,” said Pasadena Lt. Ed Calatayud. “We respect everyone’s religious right to practice. Our focus is on the bones.”

The case was uncovered when police found what appeared to be a makeshift altar, adorned with burned artifacts, animal bones, incense and candles, police said.

The spokesperson for the police noted that having the bones may not be illegal, citing having bones for scientific study. This does not, however, appear to be the case here. If they are recent bones, there is a valid question of how they were obtained.

Grave robbing for ritual uses is known to occur in Africa. Also, recall this story of a corpse stolen in New Jersey last July. What do they do with the body?

From that earlier story where it was suggested that Santeria followers where involved, I was given a link to this story. Grave robbing was attributed to followers of Palo which is a derivative of a West African religion brought to Cuba in the 19th century. It has since moved into the United States According to those who study the rituals, practitioners use skulls and other human bones in ceremonies.

I can’t quite comprehend the exact connection between Santeria and Palo. It’s said on one site (but not referenced) that Santeria uses the forces of light while followers of Palo Mayombe use forces of darkness to achieve their goals and cast spells. Palo is associated with black magic and many members of Santeria will avoid the association with Palo. It appears to have it’s own set of rules that are particular and changeable depending on the leader.

  3 comments for “Human bones associated with religious rituals found in Los Angeles backyard

  1. Chris Howard
    February 18, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    My bones will be available at, either, the San Marcos body farm, or the Nashville body farm… use them as you will. ;-)

  2. RDW
    February 18, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    Creepy. There was a very poorly maintained graveyard not far from here where human bones had been exposed. I wondered whether some bizarre people had collected some or even done the exposing themselves. I’ve known of some rather unusual people in my lifetime.

  3. February 18, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    The police and media generalize Santeria and it’s a bit complex to explain and break down all the confusion for someone who never grew up in the environment.

    Not everyone is “evil” and not everyone who is mashed into Santeria has bones of the dead. My parents, by police definition definition in the video, would be considered practicing Santeria.

    I’m looking at the video footage and it looks like they’re followers of Santa Muerte and Jesus Malverde followers; Usually (not always) people who have bad purposes. Usually you see good people when they also follow Juan Soldado and other smaller saints or interpretations of other saints.

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