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Tereza Šnajdrová
May 2, 2022, 7:05am
Reading time: 5:52

The Murder Of Jeannette DePalma Is Still Shrouded In Mystery. She Was Allegedly Sacrificed In A Satanic Ritual

Jeannette DePalma went to her friend's house just days after the 16th birthday party. However, she never arrived there and her body in decay, was found by a dog, who brought part of the girl's hand to his owner. Was the dead girl sacrificed to Satan?

Tereza Šnajdrová
May 2, 2022, 7:05am
Reading time: 5:52
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16-year-old Jeannette DePalmy grew up in an orderly Christian family. One day she decided to visit her friend, but she never returned from the trip. A few days later, her body was found dead in a quarry nicknamed the Devil's Teeth. The investigators released several dubious reports which attributed the death of a young girl to a satanic ritual. Dead animals, coffins, and pentagrams were found near her body. But what really happened?


Jeannette grew up in a Christian family. Four days after her 16th birthday, she vanished from the face of the earth


Jeannette DePalma was born on August 3, 1956 and lived  in the New Jersey suburbs of Springfield Township with her family. The girl was born to an upper middle class family, lived in a beautiful house, from which you could see all the way to Manhattan, but at the same time it was far from the centre in which the law was often broken. Springfield Township was a safe place where crime was almost non-existent, and the DePalmas lived happily until 1972. They led their children to Christianity, they did not have any problems, but that soon changed.


On August 3, 1972, Jeannette celebrated her 16th birthday. Four days later, Jeannette wanted to visit her friend, about which she informed her mother, who gave her permission, so there was nothing to prevent the girl from going to the train station, where she was to get on the train and leave.


However, Jeannette allegedly never reached her friend, and when she did not call her mother for hours, the family reported her missing. There was no sign of the daughter, and DePalmas began to fear the worst.


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Horrible discovery: Dog fetched a massacred hand. There were several unusual objects around the body

The entire town was looking for the missing Jeannette, and their worst fears came true on September 19, 1972, when a dog of one of the locals returned from a nearby park with a human hand in his mouth. The owner of the four-legged finder immediately alerted the police. "He led me to the back door of his apartment and handed me a bluish bag containing a woman's hand. Left lower arm. She had whitish nail polish on her nails," described Detective J. Schwerdt.


A body was found in part of the Houdaille quarry, which was also nicknamed the Devil's Teeth. It was said to lie face down and supposedly surrounded by wooden crosses, logs placed in the shape of a coffin, and in one of the makeshift coffins there was even a pentagram and other occult objects. The murdered body was fully clothed, but already fully decomposed and it would be difficult to find out who the victim was.


The investigators therefore removed the teeth from the body and sent them to the laboratory, where the terrible assumptions were officially confirmed. The body belonged to 16-year-old Jeannette DePalma, who disappeared on September 7, 1972. The finding was immediately seized by the media, and the formerly quiet town began to be crowded with mystery lovers and amateur detectives, fascinated by the place where the young girl was found. This later led to much speculation, the most famous of which is that Jeannette fell victim to a satanic group.


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The young girl fell victim to a satanic ritual, the public and the media feared

The public was shocked by the horrific murder. The so-called satanic panic did not come until the 1980s, 10 years earlier, when the publication of Anton Szandor LaVey's Satanic Bible, the horror film Rosemary's Baby or the serial killer Charles Manson, who ran his own sect had fascinated many. Therefore, the locals feared that Satanism was permeating American culture, and they were not the only ones.


Jeannette's family, closely tied to their faith, but also the police officers who investigated the case, believed that Jeannette had fallen victim to a satanic ritual. Investigators even called in a witch to solve the case, who was to help them find a connection between the murder and the ungodly ones from the nearby Watchung reservation. However, not even the help of the witch brought any results, and there was more and more speculation in society about who really killed Jeannette.


Media headlines across the United States have in the meantime reported that "a beautiful young girl has fallen victim to Satanism," or that "local authorities refuse to comment on the mysterious death, but informed sources confirm that teenage Satanist worshipers are involved in young Jeannette's death.", saying that all books on the occult should be locked up to prevent the emergence of other satanic sects.


The article published by the New York Dialy News correspondent contributed to the panic. They interviewed Reverend James Tate, who stressed several times that "poor Jeannette was killed by the Devil's disciples because she tried to spread the good word about Jesus Christ." She also spoke to the Gentiles about the power of Christ. "Their bigotry arose and they killed her," James Tate said in an interview.


Everyone wanted to make a dime from the mysterious murder, so various "true" stories began to circulate the town. "My uncle worked as a police officer. On the day the body of the deceased was found, my uncle came to my mother and warned her not to go to the quarry again. It is said that arrows were engraved on the trees around the body, which led the detectives to the crime scene. All around her body were dead animals tied to the trees with string and some in jars. Shortly afterwards, there were reports of mutilation and hanging of animals in the same way in the Watchung Reserve, which is also very close to the crime scene," said one of Jeannett's classmates.

Jeannette DePalma? We will probably never know the truth


We will probably never know what really happened to the young girl. One theory, for example, was that Jeannette DePalma was a recovering drug addict who had accidentally overdosed when she was out with her friends. They were frightened by her death and threw her body in the old quarry, hoping that it would never be found again.


According to another theory, Jeannette was killed by the same man who also murdered Mary Ann Pryor and Lorraine Kelly. The bodies of these two girls were found in 1974 in densely wooded areas, as was the body of Jeannette DePalma. However, the connection between the murders was never proven.


The most widespread and at the same time most believable story is that Jeannette was killed during a satanic ritual. In addition, the investigating detective was said to cover up the entire murder, as he himself was to be a member of the murder sect. However, the public has not come to terms with this theory either, and it is still searching for the young girl's killer.

2021 did not bring a solution to the horrific murder

Searching is now even harder than ever. Most of the evidence was reportedly destroyed during Hurricane Floyd, but that didn't stop writer Jesse Pollack and his editor Mark Moron from searching for the young girl's killer today. The two gentlemen have been dealing with the case since the 1990s, and they have also devoted the book Death on the Devil's Teeth to the murder of Jeannette DePalma.


It was Pollack who finally got a copy of the case around 2021 and even teamed up with Jeannett's nephew Ray to set out to find the truth. From the photographs, which the authorities have long denied, it is clear that there were no occult objects, coffins or pentagrams around the deceased's body. They also lack any animal sacrifices, darts on the trees or a satanic altar, and amateur work of investigators were immediately clear. The police were clueless, they didn't know where to go with the investigation, so the public believed the nonsensical satanism story, to which everyone added their piece.

But what the police never told the media was that about eight feet from Jeannette's body lay the contents of her purse, including a pack of paper handkerchiefs, nose drops, a compact mirror, lipstick, and eye shadow. However, her wallet, documents and the purse itself were never found. The killer also stole the necklace that the family gave her, so the question is, why didn't the police ever speak publicly about the theft? Why did they blame the murder on the satanic cult when there was no sign of anything like that?


These are questions that cannot be answered, but amateur detectives do not give up and hope that one day they will bring peace to the family of the deceased.


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