South Africa and Mexico have had their fair share of news attention regarding Satanic ritual activity spreading across their country, and now Britain is in the spotlight. Prosecutors believe that a British man who was stabbed more than 20 times (and hit in the head with a hammer) was the victim of a Satanic ritualistic killing. The crime has been called a ‘brutal and efficient execution,’ and telling details of the suspect’s activity before the murder was committed points to a fascination with violence, demons, and Satan.
The Watford Observer, a weekly newspaper that serves the southwest Hertforshire region and its surrounding areas, reports that a 23-year-old man moonlighting as an escort is on trial for the murder of a 54-year-old man. After the two men connected online, they decided to meet up in Chelmsford on May 3. However, their encounter would take a turn for the worst, and ultimately end in the loss of life.
Hospital worker Michael Brennan is accused of stabbing Paul Simmons more than 20 times in the chest, heart, and back. In addition to hitting Simmons in the back of the head with a hammer, he is also blamed for using a saw blade to create ‘ritualistic’ markings that were found on the body of his alleged victim.
During the week, court testimony revealed that the score marks found on Simmons’ body started at the buttocks and continued up to the nape of his neck. Forensic pathologist Dr. Nathanial Carey added that the marks were ‘drawn across the skin quite slowly and steadily to limit penetration by the blade.’ The defense counsel asked during cross-examination if the marks were created for a reason other than to incapacitate the victim, and Carey answered yes. When asked if the markings resembled something ‘ritualistic,’ Carey implied that there could have been a possibility.
The prosecution feel that the murder was a premeditated crime due to the number of knives and hammers found in Brennen’s possession. Notes detailing his intentions were also uncovered on a pad and his computer. Authorities also found disturbing comments and hieroglyphic writing decorating the walls of the crime scene. For example, the words, ‘call 999, don’t enter’ were left on the bedroom door. On one of the walls, ‘If someone needs to be killed, you kill them, that’s the way, right?’ had been written.
The prosecution will also use notebooks and other documents found at Brennan’s mother’s house to prove their case – some of which contained writings and diagrams created before the killing. Some of the content made references to Satan, demon, and casting spells. Brennan’s activity before the murder will also be used against him. It is reported that the night before he allegedly killed Simmons, he had watched the ultra-violent movies, The House of 1,000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects, several times. A review of his computer history also reveals that he searched ‘horror stories based on true stories’ in Google.
Although Brennan dismisses the charges of that he murdered Simmons, he has pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. Brennan’s past and childhood will also play a role in his trial, as he claims to have been a victim of sexual abuse that supposedly started when he was six years old. At that age, it was reported that he had been called ‘mentally disturbed’ ‘self harming’ and ‘suicidal.’ As a pre-teen, he was bullied after revealing his sexual orientation. A month before the murder took place, Brennan visited a physician to seek help for depression and anxiety issues.