messing around with dead bodies...|firstname.lastname@example.org|08/28/07 at 17:38:44|shearluck|xx|0|188.8.131.52|[quote]Pair arraigned in raccoon case
By Julie Manganis , Staff writer
SALEM - Richard Watson said he went back to his Bridge Street apartment on the night of May 26 to a disturbing scene: his roommate, Sharon Graham, dressed in black, surrounded by four young men, also all in black, standing around a jar.
Inside that jar was the eye of a raccoon, police say. And in two trash bags in Watson's refrigerator was the rest of the critter, which had been dismembered.
Soon afterward, Graham, 46, called out to Watson to go with her and the four others, Watson told police. Watson, 42, said he was intimidated by Graham - who calls herself a Wiccan high priestess - and went with the group.
Within hours, Graham's gruesome handiwork would be discovered in the doorways of two Salem businesses - the head and entrails of a raccoon carefully arranged outside one door, the body of the raccoon in front of the other, police said.
Yesterday, Graham and one of the four men Watson found in his apartment that night, Frederick Purtz, 22, were arraigned on charges of malicious destruction of property and littering. Graham is also charged with intimidating a witness, after allegedly demanding that Watson keep quiet, "or she would make him pay."
"What has been done here is not witchcraft," Watson, who describes himself as a witch, said outside Salem District Court, where he was seeking a restraining order against Graham yesterday afternoon. "In witchcraft, rule No. 1 is to harm none."
Instead, Watson told police, Graham hoped to frame Christian Day, a local Wiccan and businessman, after he let Graham go from his psychic telephone business last spring.
"She wanted Christian Day to take the fall," Watson told police.
Graham had also been in disagreement with the owners of the two shops over proposed new regulations about the licensing of psychics, Watson said.
Watson said she told him that she and one of the young men, Michael Migliozzi, found the dead raccoon at Salem Willows and brought it back to the 100 Bridge St. apartment where she was living with Watson at the time, according to police. Graham dismembered the critter, then the group, which included Purtz, a man named Glen Drew and another person named Brian, climbed into Migliozzi's Jeep and headed downtown, according to a police report.
A couple of the young men suggested they go to two other businesses, but Graham directed them to Angelica of the Angels on Central Street, where she sent Purtz out to place the raccoon pieces on the doorstep, police said. Then they allegedly went around the corner to the Goddess Treasure Chest on Essex Street and left more animal parts.
"I did Angelica's," Graham allegedly bragged to the others in the Jeep.
Watson kicked Graham out of his apartment soon after that, and she moved to another apartment in the same house with Purtz.
But it would be months before Watson, at the urging of Day, worked up the courage to go to police with information that could solve the creepy mystery.
Police got a search warrant for the apartment where Graham and Purtz were living and found items including a wolf pelt, owl wings, bird claws and a stuffed coyote on a totem pole. The Environmental Police are investigating.
Lawyers for Graham and Purtz said they don't believe the "sensationalized" charges against the pair will hold up in court, noting there was no permanent damage to either storefront, an element of malicious destruction.
As for the animal parts found in the apartment, Graham's defense lawyer, David Gavegnano, said his client told him those items are protected parts of the practice of Wicca.
Gavegnano said his client collects Social Security for a mental disability he did not specify.
Sean Wynne, who represents Purtz, said his client, who works at a local liquor store, was "taken aback" by the charges and went on to question the motives of Watson.
Watson said he didn't come forward right away because he didn't know what Graham might do.
"I'm petrified of her," Watson said yesterday.
Watson said he has known Graham for about 20 years; they met at a bookstore in Salem while learning about witchcraft. Graham would later own another bookstore, Black Cat Books.
Last January, Graham moved into Watson's apartment as a roommate.
Watson said Graham had a following of about five young men - "young, gullible kids," he said - all of them in their late teens and early 20s. She told Watson she was teaching them about witchcraft.
After he kicked Graham out of his apartment, he said, he found bloodstains in the bedroom and believes that's where the raccoon was dismembered.
Christian Day, leader of a community of witches in Salem, said he hopes this incident isn't used to target his religion.
"No witch would ever desecrate a corpse," Day said. "We understand the spirit world. This is our whole life. It is our life. She's not a witch."[/quote]
I bet she thinks shes a witch because she has seen nearly every episode of buffy ::)||