Legal Case study #4
A Successfully-Prosecuted Case --
The People of the State of California vs Clifford St. Joseph
3. "Careful documentation of every circumstance at both crime scenes." The officers who responded to the call at the residence carefully documented everything they witnessed and everything that the arrestees said. Because some of the statements made by Spela sounded suspiciously like the sacrificial case assumed in the John Doe #60 homicide, the officers sent all documentation over for Sanders to inspect. This led to Sanders' careful questioning of the sodomy victim and Spela, which eventually "made the case."
Why the case was successfully prosecuted - the prosecutor's perspective
During an interview with Dr. Olson-Raymer in San Francisco on May 10, 1989, Assistant District Attorney Paul Cummins, who tried the case, related several strategies that contributed to St. Joseph's successful prosecution.
1. "Use the evidence to corroborate the shocking stories provided by the witnesses." In his opening statement, Cummins warned the jury that they were "entering a voyage into another world which you don't want to know about."
This was a case of clear and careful cooperation between law enforcement and the district attorney. Both agree that the case was successful not only due to vertical prosecution, but because investigatory techniques led to the discovery of physical evidence that corroborated the stories of otherwise disreputable witnesses. In other words, this case was won because solid criminal investigative methods were used and because the investigators and prosecutors did not allow the prevalence of a Satanic belief system to become the object of legal pursuit. A murderer, not a perpetrator of a Satanic crime, was tried and convicted as such!
When asked what needs to be done to assure successful prosecution of other occult-related cases, Inspector Sanders and Assistant DA Cummins agreed that first and foremost, law enforcers and prosecutors should have some basic understanding of occult belief systems. Cummins felt an overview seminar for prosecutors would be enough and there was no need for in-depth special training, adding that "the rules of evidence are the same in any criminal trial." Sanders, however, recommended more detailed training for investigators who need to "recognize occult rituals; be aware of all the occult groups in your area, and know all your community's ethnic, racial and religious cultural groups and their belief systems." Secondly, both agreed that vertical prosecution should always be the rule in occult cases. For more information, contact:
Paul Cummins, Assistant District Attorney
Inspector Prentice E. Sanders