By Francis Scarcella
The Daily Item
SUNBURY — A former satanist who consults with authorities when occult elements are in evidence pointed to possible clues in the high-profile homicide in which a newlywed couple is charged with killing a Port Trevorton man.
A string of satanic coincidences in connection to the murder of Troy LaFerrara, 42, may not be coincidences, said Adele Neveling, a South African and former satanist who, in her April 2013 book, “Bloedoffer,” writes she was about to perform a human sacrifice of a young child in 1996 before being stopped by the boy’s father.
Sunbury police accuse Elytte Barbour, 22, and Miranda Barbour, 19, of Selinsgrove, of murdering LaFerrara, alleging Miranda stabbed the engineer 20 times while Elytte was waiting for a sign to pop out from under a blanket in the back seat of Miranda’s vehicle and strangle him.
Police have remained tight-lipped since the Barbours were arrested in December.
However, Miranda posted an ad on Craigslist in which she invited men who hated their wives and were looking for fun to contact her for companionship.
The ad was uploaded at 1:11 a.m. Nov. 1.
On Nov. 11, the same day as Elytte’s 22nd birthday, LaFerrara was slain.
That would make the ad posting at 1:11 a.m. on 11/1, with 11/11 the day of LaFerrara’s killing and Elytte’s birthday.
“The relevance to satanism in the Pennsylvania case is that important satanic dates are usually dictated by the satanic calendar, but each satanist’s birthday is also regarded as an important day in satanic celebrations,” Neveling said Thursday. “It can include anything from blood and sex rituals to death rituals.
“Since sex is considered the most powerful act to be used during rituals, since it is believed that sex invokes power and fluids, sex paraphernalia is often part of practices and rituals. It is possible that there would be many other signs or items found on the crime scene that will show what types of sexual interest they’ve had and practiced.”
The numeral 1 definitely has meaning, Neveling said.
“All the 1’s are related to the personal satanic date connected to the accused’s birth date,” she said. “In numerology, the 1 symbolizes strength, determination, unwavering and with specific goals in mind. The 1 can turn dreams and ideas into reality.”
Police didn’t release what, if anything, was discovered at the crime scene, but have scoured the Barbours’ Selinsgrove residence three times to collect evidence, a former roommate of the couple said.
Possession of bible key
Among those pieces of evidence were two long knives, a black dress Miranda allegedly wore the night of Nov. 11 and a copy of “The Satanic Bible.”
“Only people who are really serious about satanism own a copy of ‘The Satanic Bible,’” Neveling said. “Knives, specific clothing and other objects like candles and books or little boxes are commonly part of the collection used during rituals.”
Neveling, who speaks out against satanism, said: “A self-styler satanist is someone who does not belong to a specific satanic coven or church. They do not like to be controlled by rules and leadership. These are considered the most dangerous satanists because they (do) not submit to hierarchy and therefore are loose cannons, doing whatever they want, the way they want to.”
Neveling also said the Barbours would have kept a murder weapon if they committed the crime.
“The knife will be called a ceremonial dagger,” she said.
“It does sound like a satanic crime, although traditional experts will not view them as satanists because they are self-styled and will most likely not belong to a coven.”
According to “The Satanic Bible,” written by Anton Szandor LaVey, clothing used during a satanic ritual are black robes for men and sexually suggestive garments for women — to stimulate the emotions of the male participants.
A woman in black dress
The night LaFerrara was killed, Miranda wore a black dress, black boots and a black skirt with a red jacket — all of which was recovered from her residence, the former roommate said.
“The color of the coat, cloak or cape depends on the level, degree, position of initiation,” Neveling said. “It will vary from cult to cult, especially when it comes to self-stylers. These are also available to purchase on the Internet. The real deal will be harder to find and will have certain symbols embroidered on it. It definitely has meaning, but it would be wrong for me to generalize because I don’t know what it meant to them.”
The weapon of choice in satanism is a sword. However, if a sword can’t be used, then a long knife, cane or staff may be substituted, according to “The Satanic Bible.”
Knife length of forearm
The Barbours’ ex-roommate confirmed police seized at least two knives from the house, one of which was the length of the former roommate’s forearm. The search warrant and what was recovered were sealed in Snyder County Court.
Police confiscated “The Satanic Bible” from the home during a search, the ex-roomate said.
“He never spoke about it to me,” he said. “She never spoke about any of that with me.”
Ex-lover: Elytte satanist
However, Elytte’s ex-girlfriend, Aimee Vaneyll, of North Carolina, who is the mother of his child, said Elytte absolutely practiced satanism.
Northumberland County District Attorney Tony Rosini announced last week he would seek the death penalty against the Barbours.
“Our procedure in determining whether to seek the death penalty in a homicide case is to first determine whether there is enough evidence to support one or more of the aggravating circumstances that are required by Pennsylvania law, which support the imposition of the death penalty,” Rosini wrote in a statement.
“In reviewing this case we believe there is enough evidence to support two aggravating circumstances. A killing committed while in perpetration of another felony, namely robbery, and a killing committed by means of torture,” he wrote. “In reviewing the facts of the case and the manner in which this killing was arranged and committed, we believe that this is an appropriate case in which to seek the death penalty and that a jury would be likely to impose the death penalty in the event the defendants are convicted of first-degree murder.”
However, if it turns out the Barbours are found guilty of killing LaFerrara during a satanic ritual, it actually helps the couple’s defense, a Luzerne County defense attorney said.
The attorney, who requested anonymity, said such a ritual would be a mitigating circumstance for the defense.
Elytte and Miranda Barbour have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In “Bloedoffer,” distributed by Maranatha Christian Publishing, Neveling writes about her exposure to satanism and Christianity from an early age. In 1996, she attempted to sacrifice the son of Marc Bredenkamp, a South African religious leader. She later returned to Christianity and became a motivational speaker who ministers to others, and repaired her relationship with Bredenkamp’s son