PORT MORESBY, Oct 28 – A demon worshipper who believed in a black Jesus and paid daily homage on Papua New Guinea’s mountaintops hacked his family to death with an axe before killing himself, a report said Wednesday.
Rodney Sinod, 37, had repeatedly warned his family he was going to kill them so the world could be free. He turned upon them in a gruesome murder-suicide on Misima Island, 200 kilometres (125 miles) east of mainland PNG.
Sinod attacked his father, sister-in-law and a niece and nephew aged two and five years after returning from his morning worship on October 10, The National newspaper said.
He also set upon his 17-year-old niece, chopping off part of her lower hand and striking her in the head with the axe. She survived and is recovering in hospital, the paper said.
Sinod then fled to the mountains, stabbing himself in the chest with a knife and slamming himself against a tree to drive the blade in, it said.
Local police said demon worship posed a serious threat to Misima’s residents, with at least six villages engaging in such activities.
Witchcraft and black magic practices are common in PNG. Locals often blame unexplained deaths and those resulting from illnesses such as AIDS, which is rife in the country, on sorcery. The old and the weak are usually targeted.
A sex cult leader and his followers fled naked into the wilderness from police last month over claims he had promised villagers a bumper banana harvest if they engaged in public sex.