This incredibly disturbing saga harkens back to the heyday of heavy metal moral panic. Via the Los Angeles Times:
Prosecutors say that Moises Meraz-Espinoza strangled his mother and then skinned, filleted and dismembered her body as part of a satanic ritual. The woman’s internal organs were never recovered. A Norwalk jury convicted him of first-degree murder in June.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Heba Matta, said Meraz-Espinoza was motivated by satanic beliefs, which he was “heavily entrenched in.” His mother disapproved of his listening to death metal music and he regularly disobeyed her, Matta said.
“This crime was not in the heat of passion or rash and impulsive,” Matta said. “It was done for the purpose of devotion. That’s pretty much the ultimate sacrifice.”
Meraz-Espinoza has numerous tattoos that draw on satanic imagery, such as upside-down crosses and a 666 behind his right ear. Authorities recovered his copy of a satanic bible near the crime scene. The date he chose to strangle and dismember his mother, Feb. 2, 2011, also fell on a day in the satanic calendar that calls for ritual human or animal sacrifice.
Officers found an electrical circular saw with pieces of bone, blood and flesh stuck to the blade. Nearby, in a freezer, police found skin and muscles stored in plastic bags. The woman’s skull, with all her teeth plucked out, her eyes removed and two upside-down crosses carved into the bone, was stashed in a backpack.