MIRANDA BARBOUR, HENRY LEE LUCAS, SATANIC CULTS AND FALSE CONFESSIONS

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Although Miranda Barbour (19) confessed to killing more than 22 people during her life-span- many when she was supposedly traveling in the circles of a satanic cult, authorities are yet to substantiate her bizarre claims. The veracity of her admissions are made further questionable by her vague description of the location and details of the alleged murder sights; she has recently offered Big Lake, Alaska, Mexico Beach (near Panama City Florida) and Raleigh, North Carolina as dumping grounds (for body parts) for the murders she has participated in. The areas are vast, and without additional and specific information, thorough investigations are next to impossible. Barbour remains in custody for the alleged murder of Troy LaFerrara (42) along with her husband, Elyhe Barbour (22) which occurred on November 11th, 2013. Police claim the two lured the man into their vehicle after responding to an ad placed on a website and then stabbed and strangled him. The death penalty is possible if she is convicted.

FALSE CONFESSIONS

Many people believe Barbour, like Henry Lee Lucas, have confessed to murders they did not commit. Lucas, although convicted of 11 killings, claimed he had slayed between 300 to 3,000 people. At one point, police claimed to have “cleared” 213 unsolved murders based upon his confessions. It is now fairly clear that almost all of the confessions were fabricated. In one case, according to some, where he received the death penalty, dubbed the “Orange Socks” murder, it was established that Lucas wasn’t even in Texas at the time when the murder occurred. Governor George W. Bush later pardoned him for that murder in 1998, and he was spared the death penalty.  He died in 2001 while in prison. Both Barbour and Lucas laid claim to their association with Satanic Cults; Lucas says he was running with the “Hand of Death” out of Florida- an unusual and fictitious band of psychopathic killers dwelling in or near the everglade swamps of Florida. Barbour similarly claims she regularly killed while having a peripheral attachment with cults throughout the states.

WHY FALSELY CONFESS?

For unknown reasons people falsely confess to crimes- often with little to gain from unusual fabrications- many are just delusional. Around two hundred people confessed to Kidnapping the Lindberg baby; John Mark Karr falsely confessed to killing JonBenet Ramsey– there are hundreds of recorded false confessions in criminal homicide cases across the nation. Some are forced others are induced by the perceived need or desire to be compliant. Some believe Lucas was attempting to garner favor from correctional personnel when he provided false confessions; most states prohibit defendants from pleading guilty to crimes they didn’t commit and closely gauge the voluntariness of such pleas. However, confessions to “other” crimes often do not undergo the scrutiny of the courts. A more devious reason for falsely confessing to murder, once already charged with a different crime, is to lay the ground-work for psychiatric defenses. The same could be said for claiming association with satanic cults. Either could be used to mitigate the “singleness” of the acts and diminish capacity.

COMMENT: Miranda Barbour may well be telling the truth. Either way, it is clear that she is a young and disturbed girl. It may be that she had an abusive and seriously problematic upbringing- and early reports signal this to be the case. But at the end of the day, we cannot forget the damage she has allegedly caused to others and herself; but her youth and background (and psychiatric status) must be earnestly factored into any potential disposition if she is convicted.

UPDATE:

“A newlywed couple whose Craigslist ad lured a stranger to his death were sentenced Thursday to life in prison without parole by a judge who said their “permanent removal” from society is appropriate.

Neither 19-year-old Miranda Barbour nor her 22-year-old husband, Elytte, displayed emotion as they sat with their lawyers in the Northumberland County courtroom while some of the victims’ relatives described their grief and pain since the Nov. 11 murder. Elytte Barbour read a written apology, but said he could not explain his actions”, the New York Post reported.

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