Indonesian executed for killing 42 women

Indonesian executed for killing 42 women

Suradji was arrested in May 1997 following the discovery of a body in a field close to this house in Lubukpakan, a village in North Sumatra province. Forty-one other corpses were later found nearby.

Police have said the victims came to Suradji because they believed he had supernatural powers. The victims were believed to have been seeking his help in making their husbands or boyfriends faithful, find a partner or get rich. He lured them to the field and buried them up to the waist, telling them it was part of the ritual. He then strangled them and buried their bodies with the heads pointing toward his house.

He has told police he believed the 11-year killing spree would boost his magical powers. Suradji’s wife, Tumini, was also sentenced to death for assisting with the murders, but her sentence was later reduced to life in prison. Belief in sorcery and the supernatural is common across Indonesia, especially in poor, rural areas where education levels are low.

Hard to know what to say here. The victims came to the man believing he had supernatural powers, and the man killed them because he thought it would increase his magic powers. Hmm, you say. "They’re all crazy."

But get a grip. How is this different from believing in the talking snake in Genesis or pretending a cracker is the actual body of Jesus like Bill Donohue does? Now a man who walked out of church with a "eucharist" is getting death threats. As this makes crystal clear, superstition is superstition, and when people take it seriously, others often die as a result.

Take special note of the last sentence: "Belief in sorcery and the supernatural is common across Indonesia, especially in poor, rural areas where education levels are low."

Sounds not so different from what we are dealing with in red-state America.

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Comments (10 comments)

Leana Yukari / July 11th, 2008, 11:04 pm / #1

You had me nodding my head with every word until you came to the “red-state” comment. Coming from a “red-state”, I completely understand what you mean. However, I do not think that it is fair for you to suggest that all of the crazy/superstitious/uneducated people in America live in predominantly Republican states. It makes me feel as though I am being classified as a religious conservative just because of where I was born.

Sorry to be so sensitive and critical, but I would like for the rest of the world to know that just because you are born in/live in a red-state, it does not mean that you are condemned to a life of prejudice and closed-mindedness.

BlackSun / July 11th, 2008, 11:20 pm / #2


I apologize. I meant that red-states are “dealing with” the problem of superstition disproportionately. Like all stereotypes, it doesn’t fit nearly everyone. I live in a blue state, and there are plenty of superstitious people here. We have “red counties” outside the cities that are just as bad as the red states. I know not all Republicans are religious fanatics, but I’m afraid it’s more true than not.

I’m sure red states have their blue counties as well. And I know religion cuts across party lines. (See Obama’s faith initiative as a nauseating example).

Leana Yukari / July 12th, 2008, 12:09 am / #3

Like I said, I hate to be so nit-picky but thats something that has always irked me.

I imagine that there are people in Indonesia who feel the same way; especially those living in the area of the murders who are now assumed to be poor and uneducated by the masses. Every society has its own can of worms, I suppose.

Thank you for being so understanding in regards to my complaint [for lack of a better word].

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