April 26, 2006

Satanic Sex Abuse Claims Reopen Old Murder Case

Court TV

By Seamus McGraw

April 26, 2006

TOLEDO, Ohio (Crime Libarary) It was cold that morning in April, 1980, but it always is on Holy Saturday, that twilight in the Roman Catholic calendar between the most solemn of days, Good Friday, and Easter, the most joyous, the time when Catholics, according to their creed, believe to Jesus descended into Hell before rising. As was her practice, Sister Madelyn Mary Gordon, the organist for the chapel at Mercy Hospital arrived early at the sacristy to prepare for Mass.

Instead, she was met by an image that was so horrifying and macabre that at first as she would later say, she believed it had to have been some sick prank played with one of the mannequins the hospital used to help train its workers. It was no prank.

There on the marble floor, laid out with almost ritualistic precision was the body of another nun, Sister Margaret Ann Pahl. Authorities would later determine that she had been strangled, her killer exerting enough pressure to break tiny bones in her neck. Her panties were dragged down to her ankles, but her killer had apparently taken great care to pose her body. Her arms and legs were laid straight; her head was in perfect alignment, and near her body was a blood-stained altar cloth. Through that makeshift shroud, authorities would later conclude, her killer had stabbed her 31 times. But most chilling of all was the fact that nine of those wounds, surrounding her heart, had formed a kind of cross.

Posted by kshaw at April 26, 2006 04:13 PM