15 Nov 2010

Stepfather admits inserting dozens of needles into 2-year-old boy as part of religious ritual

Digital Journal - December 17, 2009

2-Year-Old Brazilian Boy has 50 Needles Inside His Body

by Chris Dade

The stepfather of a 2-year-old Brazilian boy has allegedly confessed to inserting 50 needles in the boy's body, saying that he was helped by two women, one of whom was involved with a religious sect.

After the unnamed boy was admitted to hospital in Barreiras, a city in the state of Bahia in Northeastern Brazil, on Sunday, it was thought that the needles found in his body - the London Evening Standard reports that an X-ray showed the needles in the young boy's abdomen, neck, thorax and legs - had been put there as a part of a black magic ritual.

The boy, who was first taken to hospital on December 10 by his 38-year-old mother Maria Souza Santos and X-rayed, after saying that his stomach ached and vomiting, had 17 of the 1.8-inch (4.5 cm) needles in his digestive system, with at least one of the needles having punctured his left lung, Xinhuanet noting that his liver was also punctured.

Speaking on behalf of the hospital where the young boy is being treated, he is conscious and speaking but in a serious condition, Dr. Luiz Cesar Soltoski said that whilst the needles pose no threat to the boy's life they cannot be removed until his breathing improves.

According to the Brazzil Magazine some needles may never be removed because of their proximity to vital organs, or the fact they may be inside those vital organs. At present it is unclear how the needles came to be in the boy's body, with some reports suggesting they could not have been swallowed but were instead pushed through his skin one at a time.

However a general practitioner at a hospital in Sao Paulo, the largest city in Brazil, said it was likely that they had been swallowed. After first denying that he was responsible in any way for the condition of his stepson, reportedly the boy did not like going out with his stepfather, on Wednesday afternoon Roberto Carlos Magalhaes confessed to police in Ibotirama, the town where the young victim and his family live, that he and two unnamed women had inserted the needles in the boy's body.

There has been no confirmation as to whether the religious sect one of the women is supposedly involved in is connected with black magic but Gessivaldo Alves, the boy's natural father, has supposedly said that his former wife found objects associated with black magic ceremonies, such as a bottle of cachaça (sugar cane liquor), in the home she shared with her six children and the man who has confessed to having harmed one of those children.

Reports suggest that charges of attempted murder may be laid. Prior to the confession by the stepfather police chief Helder Fernandes Santana had indicated that there was no specific evidence linking Magalhaes to the crime that had seemingly taken place but Brazzil Magazine notes that the stepfather had behaved very suspiciously after speaking with police on Monday.

He could not be found when required to sign some papers and did not turn up for work, he is a bricklayer's assistant and fisherman, on Tuesday. Stories of black magic being performed in Brazil, although it should be emphasized that at present it has not been established that the condition of the 2-year-old boy is definitely connected with those type of activities, have emerged on previous occasions.

In 2001 the Independent carried a report on how black magic, frequently referred to as Macumba, was being blamed for the deaths of 20 boys from the port city of Sao Luis in the Northeast of the country. At least some, if not all, of the boys had been castrated at some point before or after they were murdered.

UPDATE: 11:32 AM U.S. Central Time - The Daily Mail is reporting that the number of needles in the boy's body is closer to 42 whilst the BBC says that the stepfather's motive for putting them there was because his mistress instructed him to take revenge on his wife through the ritual killing of the young boy.

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