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Pattaya Daily News

11 July 2008 :: 16:07:50 pm 10966

Indonesian Svengali Kills 42 To Gain Magical Powers

An Indonesian man convinced the ritual killing of women and children would confer increased magical powers upon him was executed in Western Indonesia, on July 11, 2008, after being convicted of killing 42 women and girls over 11 years in black magic rituals.
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In a series of encounters which could so easily have been happened in superstition-ridden Isarn, Ahmad Suradji, 57, a traditional sorcerer, with the assistance of his wife, entertained a series of women who were drawn to him because of his strong reputation for having supernatural powers and the ability to help them find a husband, become more attractive, make their partners faithful or become rich. According to police, the sorcerer had a dream nine years ago in which the ghost of his father told him to kill 70 women and drink their saliva.

It is thought his ghoulish activities escaped detection because the women were too embarrassed to tell friends and family where they were going.

Belief in animism, sorcery, ghosts and the supernatural is still avid throughout Indonesia, as it is in Isarn. These beliefs are most prevalent in the backward impoverished, rural areas where education sparse and superstition reigns. But, the cities are not exempt, there are even sorcerers offering their services in Jakarta’s modern shopping centres. It seems extreme gullibility is also rampant as these unfortunate women became mesmerized by the Svengali–like powers of Suradji and willingly went along with his proposals.

He apparently enticed them into a field by his house and buried then waist-deep in the ground, telling them it was a necessary part of the ritual. After making sure they were well and truly embedded and totally incapacitated, he then strangled them and buried their bodies with the heads oriented in the direction of his house.

Over an 11-year period, it would appear forty-two victims met a similar fate as their corpses were discovered near his house in Lubukpakan village in North Sumatra province. Suradji was arrested in May 1997 after the first of the bodies was discovered in his field. He told police he believed litany of ritual-killings would enhance his magical powers.

It has taken until now for him to be executed for his crime, despite an appeal by Amnesty International, which opposes capital punishment. He was shot by firing squad, yesterday, July 10.

Tumini, Suradji’s wife, also initially received the death penalty for her part in her husband’s killing spree, but her sentence was later commuted to life in prison.

It appears, vengeance is also a strong part of the Indonesian makeup, again like Isarn, as when the authorities attempted bury Suradji’s body in a public cemetery, their plans were thwarted by nearly 100 relatives of his victims intent on disrupt the funeral; all of whom had apparently witnessed his trail. Instead of a public burial, his body is being kept in a local hospital morgue.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Crime News

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