You don’t get much creepier than this. Combine Satanism, teen-aged girls and weapons and you’ve got a keeper of a story.
Bartow, Florida, is in the central part of the state — due south of Lakeland and about an hour’s drive southwest of Orlando. Because of the Assemblies of God college in Lakeland, the area is full of pentecostal-charismatic churches. There are other evangelical houses of worship in the area and a significant Catholic population, as well.
Then from WFTV-Ch. 9 in Orlando came one of the better headlines of the day: “Leave body parts at entrance': Bartow MS girls planned to kill classmates, drink their blood: Cops.”
Is this a religion story or a crime story, or both?
BARTOW, Fla. — Two students at Bartow Middle School came to school with knives and planned to attack students Tuesday, according to the Bartow Police Department.
The school resource officer was alerted to a complaint about armed students around 1:30 p.m.
· Police said the girls allegedly planned to kill as many as 15 students.
The girls have (understandably) been expelled. Although some of the news accounts seem sensationalized, remember that it’s been less than a year since a massacre only a few counties to the south of Bartow — when 17 people were killed at Stoneman Douglas High School. That shooting surpassed Columbine High School’s 1999 massacre as the deadliest yet on high school property.
Police say the girls — ages 11 and 12 — were found in a bathroom stall, allegedly with multiple knives, a pizza cutter and knife sharpener in their possession. The girls planned to commit suicide after stabbing other students, police say.
"The plan was to kill at least 1 student but were hoping to kill anywhere from 15-25 students," an affidavit said. "Killing all of these students was in hopes it would make them worse sinners ensuring that after they committed suicide ... (they) would go to hell so they could be with satan."