Think that witch hunts ended several centuries ago? Slate on the “Satanic Panic” that engulfed parts of the United States in the 1980s and 90s:
Among the atrocities that Frances and Dan Keller were supposed to have committed while running a day care center: drowning and dismembering babies in front of the children; transporting the children to Mexico to be sexually abused by the Mexican army; putting the children into a pool with sharks that ate babies; putting blood in the children’s Kool-Aid; exhuming bodies at a cemetery, forcing children to carry the bones.
It was frankly unbelievable—except a Texas jury did believe the Kellers had committed at least some of these acts. In 1992, the Kellers were each sentenced to 48 years in prison.
After multiple appeal efforts and 21 years in prison, the Kellers are finally free. Their release may also finally mark the end to one of the strangest, widest-reaching, and most damaging moral panics in America’s history: the satanic ritual abuse panic of the 1980s and 1990s.