Wednesday, April 27, 2005

That Old Black Magic!

Here is an example taken from an article in yesterday's Saipan Tribune of beliefs that are still prevalent in the cultures of the western Pacific Islands:

Black magic woman caught

Police is investigating a woman who allegedly performed black magic on a Superior Court judge's seat while the courtroom was empty. Unknown to the woman, the Marshal's office was monitoring her activities through security cameras. Police reportedly arrested the woman shortly, but it did not disclose the person's identity nor that of the judge as of press time.

The woman allegedly poured a black substance on a judge's seat, desk, and microphone. The Marshal's office later took custody of the judge's seat cushion, desk calendar and microphone, which showed dark stains. Superstitious practices that persist in the Northern Marianas believe that a type of black magic may inflict pain on the person who gets in contact with the substance. It is also believed to put the person under a magic spell, controlling his decisions.

As of press time, the police did not specify the charges that could be brought against the woman. The Department of Public Safety's crime scene investigators responded to the courthouse yesterday to probe the case. Crime scene investigator Joey M. Benavente went to the Marshal's office, where he took photographs of the stained microphone, desk calendar and seat cushion. Marshal officers said that their chief, Jess Santos, spotted the woman on the video monitor, while she was allegedly doing her incantations. Santos, however, could not be interviewed yesterday, as he attended a jury selection process in the afternoon in connection with a criminal trial.

Story by John Ravelo

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