In 1972, a dog brought something very strange to the back door of his owner’s home. He had sniffed out an almost completely decomposed human forearm on a cliff top in Springfield, New Jersey and dragged it back to its master who realized with a great shock what it was. The man informed the police and, after a short search, they found the remains of the body to which the arm belonged. The remains were that of Jeannette DePalma, a teenager who had been missing for six weeks.
Not only did they find her decomposed body, but there were strange objects on the ground where it lay. Rumors began to fly that the girl had been sacrificed by a local coven of witches. Others believed that Satanists murdered her for occult ritual purposes.
The strangest thing about the murder, however, was the fact that no one wanted to speak about it when an article about the incident was in its planning stages. Even after 30 years, people who lived in the area refused to comment or give their opinions on what they believe happened. Not one person who was interviewed wanted their real name used, and this even included the local police department.
Leads in the case did not come in the traditional manner. People sent in anonymous letters omitting their addresses and names. One of the letters stated that logs had been placed around Jeannette’s body and that the writer of it couldn’t reveal his name for many reasons which he couldn’t reveal either.
Another anonymous writer wrote that he or she knew about a coven of witches in the area who were planning to murder a kid over Halloween. The writer was a child at the time and remembered being terrified of going out trick-or-treating for the holiday. Yet another letter stated that the writer’s mom knew DePalma and that they were about the same age in 1972. This letter also mentioned animals being murdered and strung up in the trees after the murder took place.
In all of the letters, witches or Satanism was mentioned. One of them reiterated that DePalma was a very religious girl who wouldn’t get mixed up with satanic practices. However, the writer also mentions that Jeannette DePalma started becoming a little “wild” as she got older.
The murder of Jeannette DePalma was big news for around two weeks after her body was found, and then the absolute silence around it started and remained. Her murderer has never been found.