Moises Meraz-Espinoza walked into the Huntington Park Police Department two years ago to report a crime: He had killed his mother.
Officers went to the Maywood apartment that the then-18-year-old factory worker shared with his mother, Amelia Espinoza, 42, and found a gruesome scene.
Prosecutors say that Meraz-Espinoza strangled his mother and then skinned, filleted and dismembered her body as part of a satanic ritual. A Norwalk jury convicted him of first-degree murder in June.
The judge said it was the most “the most disgusting, hideous and vulgar” cases he has seen during his 50 years in the legal profession. The question of the defense centered around the claims of Satanism. It was alleged this was a sacrifice for his devotion to the practice noting that Meraz-Espinoza has numerous tattoos of satanic imagery, had a satanic bible near the crime scene and the murder occurred on Feb. 2, 2011, a day in the satanic calendar that calls for a sacrifice. The defense played this down. But it is not clear from the article what the actual defense was.
According to The Satanic Bible: the only time a [LaVeyan] Satanist would perform a human sacrifice would be to accomplish two goals: to “release the magician’s wrath” as he or she performed a curse, and to kill someone who deserved to die.
It’s not clear if this applies to this case because I don’t know the specifics (nor does it sound like it would be a pleasant read), but we often seen “Satanism” used as an excuse for horrible events. It may be correlated but not the CAUSE of the event. That is, people who are otherwise disturbed may gravitate towards extreme practices. These practices may not coincide with the official practices of the actual Satanic church. But these nuances are lost. This young man is seen as “evil” and will never experience freedom again. The real cause of this horrific crime is complicated but it grew from the mind of the individual, not from some supernatural force. We can only prevent such crimes if society understands that we are dealing with human problems not evil entities.