Bag of animal heads found in East Greenwich appears ‘ritualistic’

A bag containing several animal heads and other materials was recently found in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, as a major investigation continues in the state into the alleged ritual slaughter of animals.

It was just the latest in a series of incidents that officials say date back more than a year.

Wayne M. Kezirian, president and general officer of the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said the organization “is, unfortunately, experienced with this type of animal cruelty and has sponsored a reward of up to ‘to $5,000 for information leading to arrest and conviction’.

The RISPCA was notified by East Greenwich Police on February 25 that a plastic rubbish bag containing the animal heads had been found near Water Street. RISPCA said he was near a boat launch and may have floated to the area, but that is not certain.

Inside the bag were a calf’s head, several rooster’s heads, a lamb’s head and the head of a kid. Two designs were also found inside the bag, one depicting what appears to be a letter “D” with an evil arrow through it, and a smiling figure which appears to be a rendering of the “comical” mask often associated with a “tragedy” mask to represent the dramatic arts.

Kezirian said that in addition to animal remains, there were also “corn kernels and bits of what appears to be cloth or tape, which is consistent with other sites we’ve seen where animal remains were found in an apparent ritual setting”.

“Other locations of earlier cases were in the woods and, in more than one case, in cemeteries,” he said.

Last month, the RISPCA began investigating an incident in which several chickens were found brutally murdered in various locations, including the area around Warwick Town Hall, killed in a “brutal and not compatible with human killings that would respect religious exemptions,” the organization said, as reported by WPRI 12.

Some religions require animal sacrifice as part of their beliefs, usually chickens, but practitioners are required to follow strict humane and sanitary procedures. These birds, however, were said to have been “deliberately tormented and killed.”

Alan Alves is a retired Freetown Police detective who has become nationally known as the “cult cop” investigating cult practices in the Freetown State Forest.

“Obviously he’s someone who doesn’t know what he’s doing,” Alves said of the bag of animal heads discovered in East Greenwich. “They’re mixing Satanism and Spanish-type voodoo.”

Alves said the use of the goat is linked to Satanism and the roosters are more like voodoo spells.

“Although usually with chickens they use the legs and to cast a spell they attach certain artifacts to them,” he said.

Alves said that in his years of investigating cults and spiritual beliefs he had encountered animal heads before, but never a mixture of animals like this.

“I’ve never seen anything that combines the two,” he said. “The mixture is what is strange. They’re probably just dabbling, I guess, and nothing serious.

It may not matter in terms of religious beliefs, but cruelty to animals is something the RISPCA takes very seriously.

Anyone with information is asked to call RISPCA Special Agent Earl Newman at (401) 438-8150 ext 3.

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