Garcia shoved two
down his "possessed"
From the Files of Fortean Slips
by D. Trull
The family that prays together, stays together, or so the old saying goes. But how about the family that performs exorcisms together? What happens to them?
In the recent case of Mario Garcia, the results were not terribly wholesome for him and his loved ones. Following an exorcism in which the whole family in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, lent a hand, Garcia ended up in jail on charges of puncturing his mother-in-law's esophagus with a pair of crucifixes.
Prior to the incident, the mother-in-law, whose name has not been released, had been hospitalized following a display of erratic behavior. The hospital had suggested further psychiatric treatment for her, and the woman's son was depressed about his mother's condition when she returned home.
Either his depression manifested itself in extravagant ways, or his family has some peculiar methods of treating everyday stress, because his brother-in-law Mario attempted to cure his withdrawal by performing an exorcism on him. Garcia's mystical rites were indeed judged to force an evil spirit out of the stricken man, but unfortunately, it didn't just go away when it left his body.
"The family said the devil flew out of the son and into the mother," reported Capt. John Haberle of the Pawtucket police. "Then she began talking strangely."
Garcia soon transported his mother-in-law to his apartment, perhaps because he needed to have more equipment on hand for this second exorcism. He had the woman lie down on a bed, while the woman's son, her husband, Garcia's wife, and three young children contributed prayers for support.
As part of his exorcism, Garcia shoved not one but two 8-inch steel crucifixes into his mother-in-law's mouth. The crosses went deep enough down her throat to pierce her esophagus. Police who were called to the scene found the woman bleeding profusely from the mouth on Garcia's front porch, with Garcia shouting, "The devil is inside her!" Blood was found covering walls and floors throughout the apartment.
Garcia was arrested for assault with a dangerous weapon and taken under psychiatric observation. The woman was hospitalized in critical condition. Police are in agreement with Garcia's family that he did not act with intent to harm.
"I've seen suspects who thought they had psychic powers, but never one that had a family who believed it, too," Haberle said. Garcia explained to police that his possessed mother-in-law had inadvertently caused the injury herself by resisting and tossing about when he forced the crucifixes into her mouth.
Yo, Mario: I'm no expert exorcist, but I've got a friendly tip for you, buddy. Considering how likely it is that Satan can jump from body to body while you're trying to drive him out, maybe you ought to take some personal precautions. Next time you're about to start up an exorcism, why not preempt any possible mishaps by taking one of those crucifixes and ramming it down your own throat first? Really, it'll be for your own good.
(c) Copyright 1996 ParaScope, Inc.