In the Name of Satan: A True Story of Human Sacrifice, Devil Worship, and Murder by Wensley Clarkson (February 1998)

True Crime or Textbook?
Review by Kim Cantrell

From the Macmillan website:

“I love you and I’m going to bed,” were the last words Elyse Pahler ever said to her parents. But she would never dream again, for the pretty blond 15-year-old was about to begin a walking nightmare that would end in her grisly stabbing murder…Later that night Elyse slipped out of her parent’s house for a bit of forbidden fun. She never suspected that three local boys – two of whom rode the school bus with her – were outside in the dark waiting…waiting to perform a human sacrifice – in the name of Satan…The DA claims that teenagers Royce Casey, Jacob Delashmutt, and Joe Fiorella – all in a band called Hatred – believed they had found the ultimate offering to make to the Prince of Darkness. They would sacrifice an innocent young girl, a virgin. Prosecutors say the three boys dragged a terrified Elyse to a deserted area they believed was the devil’s altar, where, after being drugged, and attacked, she died of multiple stab wounds…For eight months Elyse’s body lay hidden in a eucalyptus grove until an unexpected tip to police revealed the ghastly crime. In The Name of Satan is an unthinkable American tragedy, a horrifying voyage into deepest evil imaginable.

While reading In The Name of Satan by Britian-based true crime author Wensley Clark, I couldn’t decide if I was reading about an actual crime or being given a textbook lesson on satanism and how teens become involved in the occult.

Information about the crime itself was interesting, but provided little detail about what actually occured.

Readers were given a summarized account of what occured on the night of Elyse Pahler’s murder.

The rest of the book was devoted to the deceased’s friends and their thoughts; the teenager murderers legal wranglings; and in depth information about the occult.

I found the latter two accounts to be extremely repeatitive and boring.

Lastly, why was this book written before Royce Casey’s sentenced was issued? And he was the one defendant who stood to be punished the harshest despite that he solved an otherwise unsolvable crime for police?

Guess I’ll have to search Google for that information.

Want to read it? Here’s where you can get it:
Amazon    Barnes and Noble    Half.com    Alibris    Abebooks

Updates from this book:

Royce Elliott Casey, now 32 (as of October 2010), is currently incarcerated at the Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga, California. He is inmate number K78120.

Jacob William Delashmutt is serving his time at Corcoran State Prison as inmate number K89394.

Joseph Leo Fiorella spends his day incarcerated at High Desert State Prison in Susanville, California, as inmate number K45229.

RANT FOLLOWS and, as such, should be considered a SPOILER ALERT!

Following her death, Elyse Pahler’s parents sued the metal band Slayer; stating that her accused killers were instructed by the band’s lyrics to do what they did.

When, oh when, oh when-

When will we realize that PEOPLE are responsible for their OWN actions.  Yes, there are influences but ultimately, we, as HUMAN BEINGS with a THOUGHT PROCESS and FREE WILL, make our choices.

No, I”m not a metal fan.  Truth be told, I’m a country fan.

But that doesn’t mean I’m out riding in my pick up truck every night, getting soused in the honky tonks, and loving all the wrong rednecks.

While I sympathize with the victims parents, I’m once again appalled that anyone tries to hold someone else responsible for another’s actions.

Fortunately, a Federal judge agreed and Slayer was not held responsible for the bottomfeeding teens’ actions.

And one last bit as food for thought -

I am a parent.  I am responsible for monitoring my children’s music, books, internet, cell phones, etc.

And I’m not afraid to do it.  It is my JOB.

I only wish more parents would realize this as well.

Maybe then we wouldn’t have so many of these rogue teenagers.