An Occult Crime Watch Preview…
Pazuzu Algarad died of blood loss due to self-inflicted injuries in a cell at the Central Prison in Raleigh, N.C., on the 28th October 2015. He was Thirty Seven years old. He had been convicted of murder after police found the skeletal remains of two men buried in the backyard of his home. The house had subsequently been condemned as uninhabitable and demolished the preceding April, effectively erasing any further evidence of what had happened there.
Many of the known facts in the case of Pazuzu Algarad were profiled in a 2019 Vice News documentary “The Devil You Know” produced by Patricia E. Gillespie, that follows local investigative reporter Chad Nance as he attempts to get to the bottom of a uniquely bizarre small town mystery. Without the diligent journalistic work of both Nance and Gillespie, we would not have been able to connect the dots in order to complete our own research into the already legendary Hell House of Clemmons, North Carolina.
Algarad had been a notorious drug dealer and practicing Satanist who was the center of a wild cult of personality operating out of his mother’s house in a not so remote village southwest of Winston-Salem. Despite the highly conservative Christian community that surrounded his suburban home, Algarad openly practiced a school of primitive Satanism that was brutally animalistic. He tattooed himself and mutilated his own face as expressions of his religion, regularly self-harming during wild drug fueled rituals that lasted for days on end. These orgies of desecration involved frequent animal sacrifices for which purpose he had filed his own teeth to sharpened points. He filled the house with refuse and left the corpses of sacrificed animals to rot where he dropped them. He openly urinated and defecated on the floors promoting a feral environment where all was permissible and criminal depravity was encouraged. Despite his contempt for personal hygiene he maintained two live-in girlfriends and had sexual relations with many other women who visited his home. Because he was a drug dealer, and an extremely violent person, it is very likely that not all of these women were fully consenting participants; many could have been trading sex for drugs or afraid to say no. However, the fact that any of them were willing speaks to a personal charisma that belied his inhuman savagery.
The narrative of Algarad’s early life is far from complete, his parents Timothy and Cynthia Lawson married in the early 1970’s, having their first and only child together in 1978. John Alexander Lawson was born in San Francisco, but his parents separated when he was young and Cynthia moved to North Carolina where she raised him on her own. Little is known of Timothy beyond his name on the birth certificate. Neither Cynthia, nor her son, can be considered reliable witnesses; but, they did not paint a pretty picture of Timothy as a man or father. As an adult, Algarad would say he was the son of a “Satanic High Priest” along with many other unsubstantiated self-aggrandizing claims.
Childhood babysitters described John Alexander having a precocious fascination with horror movies and vampirism. Claiming that his mother permitted him to enjoy graphic violence, and that he became unmanageable when denied such entertainments. By the age of 10, the boy was already exhibiting symptoms consistent with some form of psychiatric illness. Cynthia Lawson would later claim her son was diagnosed schizophrenic as a teen, and subsequent court ordered evaluations would confirm his behavior was consistent with untreated psychosis. Despite this, he was consistently deemed to be sane and competent to stand trail 2012 when he was charged as an accessory after the fact in a 2010 murder, and again in 2014 when he was finally arrested for the murders of the two men found buried in his backyard.
In 2002, at the age of 24, he legally changed his name from John Alexander Lawson to Pazuzu Algarad as an expression of his religious identity. Because he claimed to have started practicing Satanism from such a young age, it is impossible to know if his religious views were a product of his mental illness; or if professing such beliefs biased the professionals who diagnosed him. Most likely, both things were true to varying degrees. From a secular scientific perspective, merely adopting such a belief system is indicative of a disordered mind. To a clinical psychiatrist, hearing voices and interacting with unseen entities is symptomatic of a religious delusion. A trained criminologist might perceive Algarad as a cunning psychopath who learned at a very young age he could manipulate and terrorize authority figures by impersonating the afflicted girl from “The Exorcist” his favorite movie. Each of these theories about his motives has merit, but none of them fully explain the atypical features of his case.
It has been asserted that one, or more, of the men Cynthia Lawson dated in North Carolina was abusive toward her son. It is certainly plausible that being an emotionally unstable child he could have suffered corporal punishment, or more severe violence, as that type of discipline was (and is) unfortunately very commonplace across the Southern United States. Allegations that Algarad was also sexually abused as a child can not be substantiated, however, the extremely antisocial and self-destructive behaviors that defined his adult life are indicative of that kind of trauma. This could support the hypothesis that he was preforming demonic possession to assert power over others. Never the less his level of commitment is strong evidence that he was sincere in his beliefs.
So, that is our brief profile of the person who became Pazuzu Algarad. A young man suffering from a severe psychiatric affliction in a small town with a healthcare system chronically unprepared to effectively serve his needs. But, the spiral his life would take is anything but a tragic case of inadequate mental health interventions. It is a sad fact that every year thousands of Americans suffer from severe mental illnesses receiving no positive interventions, and they do not become cult leading serial killers. Most experience lives of victimization and abuse, suffering horribly because they are deprived the agency to report their mistreatment to the appropriate authorities. The overwhelming majority report being extremely distressed by their auditory and visual hallucinations and a strong desire for them to stop.
Rather than being marginalized and alienated by his mental health struggles, Pazuzu Algarad enjoyed a peculiar celebrity. How does a young boy suffering from early onset schizophrenic psychosis grow up to become a charismatic small town drug kingpin? How does a mentally ill boy with a dial-up internet connection in an unincorporated hollow of North Carolina learn about the darkest most esoteric schools of Satanism? How does such an antisocial monster exist in plain sight in such a small conservative locality for over a decade?
We seek to answer the questions, as best we are able, in the extended case study available only on Patreon.