Wicked Woods by Luann JolyWicked Woods by Luann Joly
One of the most intimidating cases Whaling City Ghosts has had to handle was the Cult Murder case that took place in the Freetown/Fall River State Forest in the late 70's to early 80's. The details of this case are so horrifying that I will only tell you the basics. During the 70's New Bedford and Fall River, Ma were rampant with drug use and prostitution. There was also an undercurrent of something much darker going on, under the leadership of certain pimps. A satanic cult had formed in the drug addicted realms of the prostitution rings and during midnight rituals chants rang through the quiet woods of the forest in Freetown. Over time, three mutilated and sexually assaulted corpses of local prostitutes were found at different locations. And so began the nightmare of the Cult Murders.
Three people were arrested and later incarcerated for these crimes. One died in prison, another was recently released on parole, and the last, the supposed ring leader, remains in prison to this day. It seems apparent to me that at least one of the murder victims remains in the forest, along with what I believe to be one of the murderers. But when Rene' Carr and I entered the forest on our first investigation of Profile Rock, we never knew that the darker side of the peaceful forest would wend its way into our lives. For Profile Rock itself has a different history, a much more benign history than the Cult Murders, and it is why we were initially sent here by our local haunted radio show to participate in the yearly special on the Bridgewater Triangle.
In the days before our modern world, when the Wampanoag were first discovering that living with the white man might be an impossibility, this rock had a special place for Metacomet, the Sachem, or chief of the Wampanoag people. Also known as "King Philip" young Metacomet would visit the rock, which is said to have a strong resemblance to his father, Massasoit. It is known that Metacomet would visit Profile Rock to meditate and commune with his dead father. It was a spiritual place, and if you've ever been lucky enough to climb to the top of Profile Rock, you know what I mean. Once atop the rock, you can see the countryside for miles around. The rolling hills and proud trees rise up in New England splendor. Church steeples rise up from the greenery, and in the distance on a clear day, you can see the towers and bridges of Fall River. You could never imagine that somewhere under the green tops of the trees that three young women were mutilated and killed in a ritual to serve Satan.
When our friends, The Spooky Crew sent us to Profile Rock, they hoped we could make contact with the Wampanoag spirits that might still linger near the profile of the great chief Massasoit. Rene' and I walked into the forest on June 26, 2010 with high hopes of doing just that. As long as I've been an investigator, I have never met such kind and forgiving spirits as the Wampanoag, and I looked forward to meeting up with them again. I'd even refreshed my working Wampanoag words and tried to learn more. It didn't take us long to realize that night brought on not only the absence of light, but some sinister spirits.
Shortly after setting up my recorders and preparing for the night in the misty, dew covered woods, I watched as a gray figure flitted behind a tree. Rene' was directly across a short expanse of grass taking photographs and did not see this apparition. I decided it could have been a cloud of mist I'd seen but told myself I would keep an eye out for a repeat performance. With my recorders running I kept up with our false hopes of making contact with the Wampanoag. But even as I thought and phrased my questions in a way that I hoped would bring our friends closer, I could not help but feel the atmosphere that was slowly insinuating its way into my very being. As I felt the sharp pang of something darker, I noticed how silent, how very still the woods were. Using the Hack Shack, a device which is little more than an AM/FM radio with the "seek" pin removed so that it ceaselessly runs through the channels, I began to pick up some choice words that had to do with prostitution.
As Rene' and I change our subject of questioning and search our brains for information relating to the Cult Murders, a hauntingly sweet female voice calls out, "You will serve Satan." She sounds almost childlike in the recording with her sing song voice. Hearing this and other recordings that Whaling City Ghosts has recovered over two investigations at Profile Rock I have come to believe that these spirits of those ritualistically killed so many years ago think that crossing over to the other side would put them in the grasp of Satan. And so, they remain behind, haunting the dark woods of the Freetown State Forest, and at times, make contact with us, the living.
Truly believing that we were dealing with the Cult Murder victims all of our questioning related to the murders. Stretching our memories back to this case, we came up with two of the murder victims' names. Doreen Levesque was the first body found, and Karen Marsden was the last. After coming home to review the case, we found Barbara Raposa to be the middle victim. Rene' remembered many of the details of the case and framed her questioning around what she could remember. Not only did the audio recover the name "Doreen," one of the victims, we also recovered the name of the one person who remains in jail for these crimes.
Two things happened shortly after these recordings were unknowingly imprinted on our recorders. The first happened when Rene' walked away from my perch on one of the many rocks that litters the foot of Profile Rock. I heard a thump then Rene' turned to me, and seeing I hadn't moved from my spot, asked if I'd thrown a stick at her. We did find a stick on the ground at her feet. But we could not figure how it had ended up bouncing off her leg like that. In our audio recording you hear Rene' ask if someone threw a stick at her and an answer, "I did!" After a short time in which we tried to figure if there was a reasonable explanation for the stick hitting her leg, if it was possible she'd stepped on it, causing it to pop up and hit her in such a way, Rene' walked away from the base of the rock to take more photographs. As she turned back toward me, she also saw a human shaped misty apparition slip behind a tree. It happened very close to the area I'd seen it. I can not say for sure that it was not good old New England humidity at its best, for the humidity reading for the night was close to 100%. I can say that I find it very interesting, and very spooky! For if it was an apparition, was it that of a victim, or of a murderer?
Though I cannot answer that question for you, I do know this. On a return visit a month later, I had spoken out to the victims. I let them know if there was something that Whaling City Ghosts could do for them, to set their spirits at rest, that they could ask, and we would try our best. On a sudden thought, I reached out to the murderer, for isn't everyone worthy of redemption? I gave him the same offer to help, and stated that I didn't agree with what he did, but if there was something I could do for him, all he had to do was ask. The answer I got was very plain, very simple, and a very commonly used expletive. It's not every day you get the big middle finger from the other side.
After our investigations at Profile Rock, I have to say the victims of these crimes still linger. Do they wait for help, are they afraid to cross over, do they believe they must serve Satan, as they were offered to him? Still I am left answerless. I only know that these victims who called out to us that night have touched our hearts. No matter what they did in life, are they not deserving of forgiveness in the great scheme of things? Do we not still have choices in our fate, even on the other side? And if, after death, we still have choices, then why do these spirits linger on? What holds them to these wicked, dark woods? I still don't have an answer for you. But I do know this, Whaling City Ghosts is going to have a "hell" of a time finding out!
by Luann Joly
Founder/Whaling City Ghosts