While there is something sinister going on here, I seriously doubt that it has anything to do with “occult rituals and animal sacrifice”. As with most of these tantalizing features, we are not told a whole lot about the incidents – only that a number of dogs have disappeared and that some of them have now turned up dead. Additional details include the fact that some of the recovered canines had their jaws bound and teeth filed down (we are not told how they died) and that one of the animals, a German Shepherd, was found with its skull crushed, covered in a purple cloth.
I would like to focus on this last example since it seems to me that anyone intent on abusing or killing a dog would want to ensure that he or she did not get bitten in the process thus the duct taping of the jaws. The teeth filing could have been an additional safety measure or it might have been a form of torture, we are not given enough details to know. What we are told is that one of the animals recovered was “found draped in a purple cloth, it’s head crushed with a rock”.
The forms of spirit evocation are almost endless and, if this were a singular occurrence or one that happened on a particular time schedule, I might be more likely to buy into the occult ritual theory. It seems to me that there are a couple of aspects of this case that militate against that theory though.
First, the sheer number of animals that has gone missing in a short period of time. Any group or individual working ritual sacrifice (other than the known ACR’s that use animals in their rituals) is likely to be quite secretive since this sort of work falls well outside the cultural norm and involves the risk of involvement with law enforcement. The group (for the sake of argument) would not want to draw attention to themselves so making 40 dogs disappear in a short period of time would be counter productive to their purposes. One or two animals might disappear during a time period that these people saw as significant and I suspect that they would go to great lengths to keep their actions secret since that is part of the mystique and perceived power of involvement in such an organization. I doubt that these folks, if they existed, would take the chance of picking all their victims up in one location but would have a tendency to spread their pickings out over a wide area to escape notice.
Additionally, the one example we are given of an animal that might have been a ritual sacrifice is questionable. While the purple cloth draped over the canine is certainly ritualistic, the nature of the death might or might not be. If you look at the traditions that use animal sacrifice, from the descriptions of sacrifices made in the Bible to modern ritual slaying of animals in some forms of the ACR’s, there is a distinct commonality. Blood. In order for the sacrifice to be excepted by whatever spirit it is being offered to, one must release the animal’s life by releasing its blood. There are far more efficient ways of doing this than crushing an animal’s skull. Such an act, to me, wreaks of poorly restrained violent tendencies and not the discipline of mind required for real occult work (even occult work of a darker nature). I do not dismiss the possibility of the occult entirely but I feel that it is highly unlikely.
Some, if not most, serial killers are known for their ritualistic behavior; they tend to develop a method of slaying through practice and then seldom deviate from that method unless outside circumstances interrupt their ritual or unless they perceive a need to change the method in order to elude law enforcement. If that happens they are likely to be thrown off their stride and have to find another victim so that they can do the killing “right”. One of the commenters to this blog post noted that this sounded like a “serial killer in training” and I am inclined to agree. My suspicion would be that this is an individual who is seeking to perfect their method before they move on to human game. In my opinion, law enforcement should be focusing their efforts on finding this predator before he turns to human victims. Unfortunately, telling the public to be on the lookout for a potential serial killer is liable to produce panic and vigilante behavior; it is far easier to wave the red herring of occult sacrifice to keep the public on edge and observant.