Woman stabbed to death in apparent exorcism attempt

Actor Morgan Freeman mourns the violent, tragic death of his 33 year-old step-granddaughter E’Dena Hines. She was stabbed to death by her boyfriend, Lamar Davenport, in what appears to be a religious-related attack to rid her of demons.

New York police found Hines, 33, early Sunday morning lying in the street outside her apartment in Manhattan’s Washington Heights with some 16 stab wounds to her chest, police said. A man, described by police as her boyfriend, an aspiring rapper, was standing over her body shouting Bible verses and exorcism incantations. He was taken into custody and transported by ambulance to Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center for a psychological evaluation.

Source: Morgan Freeman mourns granddaughter found stabbed to death; boyfriend charged – The Washington Post

A witness who called emergency services claimed that Davenport screamed “Get out, devils! I cast you out, devils! In the name of Jesus Christ, I cast you out!” as he attacked Hines.

The Fox News report says Davenport had a history of drugs and alcohol abuse with several prior arrests. Drug use is suspected in this incident.

We too often post on cases of violence in the name of “exorcisms”.  Last week we posted about the death of a 93 year old woman who was suffocated by a rosary when her daughter apparently assaulted her in a so-called exorcism. This current tragedy also reminds us of the horrific knife attack in Maryland in January 2014. Do we fault this religious teaching? Or is it just the outlet mentally disturbed or impaired people take? Obviously, many religious officials would say this is a warped version of the process and condemn it. Regardless, the concept of removing evil spirits from someone is almost never a positive and should always be condemned.

  6 comments for “Woman stabbed to death in apparent exorcism attempt

  1. August 17, 2015 at 2:05 PM

    Sometimes psychotic people present with what’s known as “hyper-religious ideation and behavior”, and in this culture it’s mostly Christian beliefs (I have not worked in other countries in psychiatric hospitals, so I cannot comment on other cultures). It’s more than a belief in demons and Jesus and what-have-you, it’s the person actually seeing/hearing/feeling demons, hearing Jesus (or in some cases believing he/she is Jesus or some other religious figure), or believing that they are on a special mission from a deity.

    It seems to me that people in the throes of a psychotic break tend to have symptoms that exaggerate what beliefs and ideas about the world they already have. Sometimes, the lines can get blurred and it might be hard for a religious community or family to see the person’s psychosis, it is so closely linked to what is generally believed. And if people lack critical thinking skills, mass hysterias like the “Satanic panic” not too many years ago can result in deaths, injuries, and other tragedies.

    As for the diagnosis of psychosis in a hyper-religious patient? As one of my nurse pals put it, “I know it when I see it.” Most professional people who’ve worked with psychiatric patients would say the same, I think (though I have some chilling stories about psychiatric healthcare workers and religion that would curl your hair).

  2. One Eyed Jack
    August 17, 2015 at 2:12 PM

    Why don’t these deaths by exorcism create the same public outcry as a death by gun violence? Is this more acceptable to the public because exorcisms are “religious” and we tend to give religion a pass on almost everything in the US?

  3. August 17, 2015 at 3:34 PM

    Sadly One-Eye, I suspect that you’re right. These things don’t get reported because they’re harmful to the Christian brand.

  4. Omxqru
    August 17, 2015 at 6:40 PM

    I think I agree more with Victoria on this one. This was mental illness expressed in the cultural trappings of this man’s life. I’m not saying exorcisms are not happening and harmful, just that this is more of a mental (lack of) health issue.

  5. Erik1986
    August 18, 2015 at 12:48 PM

    Ignoring this individual’s mental health, I’m always puzzled by these fundie “exorcisms.” I guess there is this disconnect by the various Protestant sects that Catholics are “not Christians” that allows the idea that anyone can conduct an exorcism. While I am atheist/agnostic now (and have been so since my early teens), I went to parochial grammar and high school (13 years!!!!aaargh), and, setting aside the issues of “demons” and “possession” and any relation to reality, I was always taught that only specifically trained and authorized priests could conduct exorcisms (’cause the devil is tricky guy and you need to be trained to deal with him!), and even they had to be authorized to do so by some higher level of the Catholic clergy.

  6. kiljoy616
    August 20, 2015 at 1:57 AM

    It does not fit the agenda of Christianity been all love and butterflies.

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