Officer Says Suspect Claimed Topeka Beheading For Voodoo Ritual

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

LYNDON, Kan. (AP) -- A former Topeka man will be tried for the 2011 killing of another man whose head was severed in what witnesses described as a voodoo ritual.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports 29-year-old James Paul Harris was bound over for trial following a hearing Friday in Osage County District Court.

Harris is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 50-year-old Topeka resident James Gerety, who was reported missing in March 2011 by a law firm that handled his personal affairs. A mushroom hunter found Gerety's partial remains a year later in the Osage County town of Carbondale.

A Topeka police officer testified Friday that Harris told him he kept Gerety's head so that he could talk to it as part of a voodoo ritual. The skull was found at a house near Cardonale.

Posted by: Nick Viviani


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