Idaho Gothic: The Story of Baby X

Idaho Gothic: The Story of Baby X

The Eighties experienced a period of “Satanic Panic” that culminated in shows like Geraldo Rivera’s Devil Worship: Exposing Satan’s Underground.” The period saw true uptick in child abuse, ranging from the McMartin Preschool Child Abuse Case and backlash from those seeking to protect similar perps in the False Memory Syndrome Foundation.” The Franklin Cover Up, a tale of a North Omaha Nebraska credit union illustrates the Eighties outbreak, used as a nexus point of multiple corruptions. A crossroads of every possible unseemly evil, Omaha’s Franklin Credit Union dealt in money laundering, fraud, theft, child sex trafficking, children used as drug couriers and a huge dose of satanic activity. A 1992 article by Barry Siegel, Idaho Gothic: Other American Towns Have Been Haunted by Rumors of Rampant Satanism and Human Sacrifice. But Rupert, Idaho, Is Different. Rupert, Idaho, Has the Body of Baby X,” represents eighties era “Satanic Paranoia,” story of how a small Idaho town, Rupert, wakes to evil and its struggle to confront it only to be dismissed despite a damning fact – the body of Baby X:

“An infant girl who’d been dead for no more than five days. An infant girl who’d been dismembered, disemboweled, possibly skinned, and burned. Both hands were missing. So was the right arm, at the shoulder. The abdominal organs had been cut out, leaving only the lungs and a portion of the upper heart chamber. The body had been placed in the metal drum on its back, clothed, before being torched with gasoline… The dismemberment, the metal drum, the burned body–they were all telling.”

Local authorities naively checked records for newborn babies only to receive an anonymous letter from Eastern Idaho:

“One day a haunting, anonymous letter arrived from eastern Idaho. ‘Stop looking at hospital records and assuming that the mother was aware of what happened to her baby,’ the writer advised. ‘I was a victim many times of satanists in the Burley, Rupert and Murtaugh area. Know that in many cases women were used as breeders for the seed of Satan. . . . Babies were born in the compound and no records were ever kept. Many times the mothers only lived in a nightmare world and cannot tell you about their child. . . . Babies were not dead before disemboweling.'”

A recurrent theme in investigations of satanism seems to be their dearth of positive result.  It’s never satanism. Rupert seems sadly typical with rumors of complicity:

“There is a ‘particular power’ wielded by [Charles] Creason. The prosecuting attorney’s interests ‘go beyond his office.’ Creason doesn’t have a ‘strong record’ of prosecuting,particularly narcotics cases. Which is significant, because Timothy’s father is ‘connected’ to a ‘sophisticated major narcotics ring.’ Look at a map–we’re at a major crossroads for trafficking. And didn’t those who went camping with Creason say he sat at a campfire, talking at length about how you could use the inner metal drum from a dryer as an incinerator? There’s been trouble with narcotics response from the sheriff as well. The sheriff, as a matter of fact, has been spotted guarding the road leading to sites of known rituals. Isn’t it curious that the sheriff’s wife died on the 23rd of December, which is the very date when Satan is to return to Earth in 1999, and the date when Christ was to be killed in the Bible? Yes, the sheriff’s wife’s death was ruled a suicide. But suicide can be induced.”

Timothy, a pseudonym, given a small boy who became central to investigation, brought to attention of Rupert authorities, when his descriptions of child sacrifice supplied sufficient detail to make believers of many who heard them. Sadly, as also recurring in these cases, a more mundane explanation gets forced upon evidence of satanism:

“IT WAS AN OFFHAND QUESTION that finally yielded the conclusion to the Baby X case.

Talking to Timothy’s mother one February morning during the course of a marathon series of interviews, Randy Everitt, an investigator for the Idaho attorney general’s office, thought to ask: What kind of stories do you read to your boy?

I’ve only read one story to him since he was a baby, she replied. There’s only one book I read to him.

The family’s book, Everitt discovered, is a Jehovah’s Witness children’s bible that–as part of the story of King Solomon threatening to split a child in half–includes pictures of a baby being sacrificed and torn apart.”

The authorities are quick to dismiss the young child actually saw anything, preferring the following explanation: “Baby X…most likely was an infant who died of pneumonia and then was discarded and set on fire by a scared family….” A courageous struggle to confront an abomination in their midst, Rupert was left with little resolution:

“Those in Rupert who long for clarity and purpose, of course, do not find this outcome entirely satisfying. Desiring not a contraction but an inflation of the story, they faithfully await an alternative ending. The Rev. [Stephen] Oglevie [of the Nazarene Church] continues to explain that the Baby X situation is ‘only a small microcosm’ of what’s going on ‘all over the country.’ Coroner Hansen now officially classifies Baby X’s death as a ‘homicide.'”

Story of Baby X rings true throughout America with a predictable script: exposure, investigation and dismissal – little matter how tortured the mundane explanation. Rupert, Idaho to its credit took a square stance to face evil only to be subdued by a sinister system.

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