A bizarre murder case in Wichita Kansas shares a troubling commonality with other similar cases in that the suspect tells investigators that God told him (or her) to commit the crime. More on those other cases later in this piece.
On April 28th KWCH of Wichita reported that new details in the murder of 63-year-old Micki Davis had been released; in the article that you can read here we find;
Davis was found decapitated in the home of her son’s ex-girlfriend, Rachael Hilyard, on April 9. Court documents say Davis’ nine-year-old grandson, identified as JG, called 911 that day and said he and his grandmother were at Rachael’s house and she was hurting his grandmother. He also said Rachael had hit his grandma really hard. The affidavit says while JG was on the phone with 911 he ran to his grandmother’s car and locked himself inside.
Other reports on this case such as the one by Kansas.com (click here) note that;
Wichita police have said that Hilyard is the ex-girlfriend of one of Davis’ sons. The day of the killing, Hilyard contacted Davis and said she was putting her son’s property by the curb if it wasn’t retrieved, police said in an affidavit filed with the court
KWCH provides–at the web site first noted above–the full Affidavit filed by the Police;
Police saw a white Ford Ranger pickup in the driveway of 1427 W. Rit. An officer went and tugged on the garage door. It was unlocked, so he opened it. The officer found what he thought was a mannequin. He then confirmed it was a body. When the officer went to check for a pulse, he found the head missing. A large amount of blood and a black handle kitchen knife was found near the body. The body appeared to be that of a woman wearing a black blouse and shorts. Police went into the home and found 35-year-old Rachael Hilyard inside the bathroom and arrested hear. They said blood was on the sleeves of her jacket, in her hair and on her shoes. The officer also said he could smell a strong odor of marijuana. As police were clearing out the residence, one officer walked into the kitchen and saw a “human head with curly brown hair” in the kitchen sink. JG told police that Hilyard called his grandmother and asked her to come over to get her son’s belongings or she was going to put them on the curb. Davis’ call log confirmed this. When detectives interviewed Hilyard, she told them, “it seemed like she (Davis) was coming at me with a picture frame and this has happened before like deja vu.” According to the affidavit, Hilyard went on to say, “God was telling me to do it.”
So at this point what we could have here is simply a grisly murder which perhaps can be attributed to mental issues or even drugs. In fact in the Affidavit we also find;
Detectives said when asked if she had taken any alcohol or drugs, Hilyard said she didn’t want to talk about it.
But just when you thought this was simply another murder case we read Kansas.com reports here the following in a piece by Oliver Morrison;
Rachael Hilyard had asked a friend: Where could she get an exorcism? Her friend told her Pastor Terry Fox. A few days after Fox visited Hilyard’s home and blessed it, police say Hilyard decapitated 63-year-old Micki Davis in her garage.
Morrison goes on to write;
“We were in the process of trying to evaluate her situation to see if it was mental or demonic,” Fox said. The first step in paranormal investigations, (Fox) said, is to assess whether there’s really a demon involved. Some people are just looking for attention. Others just have psychological issues. Sometimes, he said, the demons can lead to psychological problems. He tries to ascertain whether they’ve had dramatic changes in their personality or if their voices have changed. Frequently, he said, they will talk about being sexually violated by the demon – not a person, Fox clarified. Sometimes they will have scratches on the body, afterward. He’ll look for cuts on their body or demonic tattoos. Fox asks the people who ask for help if they have been practicing the occult and tries to figure out if they show abnormal displays of physical strength.
Another Kansas.com reporter, Tim Potter writes;
Hilyard said the exorcism was done because of “evil spirits” at her south Wichita house. Hilyard, 35, said that God, not she, was responsible for the death. “I feel horrible about this,” she said without elaborating. Her comments came during a 20-minute interview on Tuesday with an Eagle reporter through a video connection in the visitation area at the Sedgwick County Jail. The Eagle wasn’t allowed to use a notebook or recording device. At moments during the interview, Hilyard’s eyes appeared to tear up. She often looked away as she spoke or went silent. She wouldn’t answer follow-up questions to clarify what she did say.
Here we have the case in which a young woman is being evaluated in order to determine if she needs an Exorcism or to be referred to psychiatric care; unfortunately–if she is to be taken seriously–something told her to kill her ex boyfriend’s Mother. Obviously it was not God that told her to decapitate the poor woman, but what in fact was it? Mental issues, drugs, or perhaps something else? Consider a case that happened near my home.
More years ago than I care to remember, I was a volunteer with local fire and rescue agencies and occasionally assisted a private ambulance company which was owned by a friend. Keep in mind that in those days—in this state—all that was required to obtain a license to be an attendant on an ambulance was a certificate of completion of an advanced first aid course as given by the American Red Cross. To my knowledge there were no Paramedics or Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) as we have today anywhere near this region, at least not actively employed in this field. Today the general practice is to stabilize the patient before transport with the EMT delivering lifesaving procedures under the supervision of a Doctor via radio communications; however in those days the general rule of thumb was literally to scoop up the patient and transport to the nearest Emergency Room with the vehicle’s accelerator pedal pushed clear to the floor. This latter procedure was the one we employed on the night in question.
One of the law enforcement agencies called my friend’s ambulance service that night and asked that he respond a crew to the scene of an accident north of town, I was allowed to ride along to assist. Upon arrival we found that a young man had somehow stepped in front of a tractor trailer unit and had received multiple compound fractures on both his legs—from the thighs to the ankles—the width of the wounds being about the same as the width of the dual tires commonly found on these trucks. We applied dressings necessary to address the bleeding and splinted the legs to prevent further injury from movement—as was common practice at the time—and we ran like (excuse the expression) hell for the hospital.
During transport, the other attendant and I noted how the patient apparently felt little or no pain and was seemingly coherent, at least enough to carry on a basic conversation. We both felt that the probability was very great that this patient was under the effect of illicit drugs. This opinion was also shared by the staff at the hospital. In fact the attending nurse had the following conversation with this unfortunate soul;
Nurse: “What made you want to walk out in front of a diesel truck?”
Patient: “Why, the Lord told me to walk out in front of that big diesel truck!”
Nurse: “No, honey, I don’t think it was the Lord, I think it was those drugs you’re on.”
Patient: “What!” he replied, “You mean I done all this for nothing!!!
I heard this verbal exchange first hand, you see in those days few medical technicians used disposable rubber gloves as they do today and I was standing at the sink washing the man’s blood from my hands. I heard a few days later that after coming down off of the effects of the drugs he had been taking, he nearly died.
So what is the root of this phenomena, that of people committing horrible acts and then claiming that they were instructed to do so by God? Is it simply the effects of drug induced delusion, or mental illness? In some cases I am fairly confident that drugs or mental illness or a combination of both might be the basis of these voices heard by the perpetrator, however in some cases I wonder if there might be other influences.
Far too many times we read transcripts of interviews conducted by law enforcement investigators with the perpetrators of these crimes and in the words of the suspect we find, “I don’t know what came over me…” Or, “I Don’t know why I did that..” Or in some rare cases they claim to have no knowledge or memories of the event. Why is that? One possible explanation in these rare cases in which the suspect honestly has no knowledge of why he/she committed the act, or heard a voice instructing them—when drugs or mental defect are not prevalent—is spiritual oppression if not outright possession, even if that spiritual influence is only temporary.
I suspect it was the urban legend of the Black Eyed Kids (BEKs) that influenced the writers of the CW series SUPERNATURAL, to use a theatrical special effect in which the eyes of a person who has been possessed by a demon to have totally black eyes, no white areas or even pupils, just black voids. This dramatic effect is very useful to the producers of the fictional television series to illustrate demonic possession of the characters. In the series, an otherwise unsuspecting innocent person is assaulted by an ominous black cloud that enters the victim through the mouth and takes possession of the body in a malevolent manner. The demon having obtained a corporeal form by possessing a human is then able to wreak havoc upon the heroes of the series, the Winchester brothers. Again this is just dramatic fictional entertainment, the concept of a demon entering a human for an evil purpose; or is it so fictional?
I am yet to read a report that a suspect in a crime was witnessed having black eyes during the event or a black cloud entering or leaving his/her mouth, the black eyes or black cloud being just Hollywood dramatic effects, but there is evidence of people who later received an Exorcism, taking part–while possessed–in questionable practices.
Those of us old enough to remember the 1970s, no doubt remember the comedy series, The Flip Wilson Show where in Mr. Wilson in his character “Geraldine” made the line, :”The Devil made me do it,” a household catchphrase. As I recall, Geraldine tended to use demonic possession as an excuse for “her” actions, such as buying a new dress “she” could not afford. Of course this was very funny comedy at the time, enough that NBC ran the show for four seasons. But in real life the possibility of the Devil influencing us is not at all funny.
Being something that will probably never stand up in a court of law as a line of defense, simply because we have no way of proving a legitimate case of possession or of discerning when a person was/is possessed or is simply using possession as an excuse for his/her crime like the fictional Geraldine, we may never have an answer to this question of the possibility that demons take hold of us–if only for a moment–and wreak havoc.
Those of us who are people of faith, will always know in our hearts that it was not God that told Rachel Hilyard of Kansas to kill Micki Davis nor was it God that instructed the young Black man to walk out in front of that big diesel truck forty some years ago. Nor will we always suspect drugs or mental defect in these strange cases, but we will always entertain the possibility that Satan does cause otherwise good people to do bad things.